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Apollo's Song [Paperback]

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Item description for Apollo's Song by Osamu Tezuka...

In a continuing effort to show Americans the more literary and adult side of Osamu Tezuka's manga-graphic novels, Vertical proudly introduces Apollo's Song, the story of Shogo, a troubled young man who has no faith in love. When his misanthropy reaches its peak, he is met by the Goddess of Love, who condemns him to an eternity of heartbreak.
"More than telling a multifaceted story, Apollo's Song inspires. When the dust settles and the back cover is closed, Tezuka's intent is laid bare to the reader and it's a noble one. Shogo doesn't merely learn a lesson about love and life — he transcends the agony of both." - MangaLife

"Tezuka's work is about as essential and far-reaching as manga gets, and Apollo's Song only adds that much more weight to an already massive reputation. Start here, and if you're intrigued, Ode to Kirihito and Buddha also await you. There's never been anything like Tezuka's body of work, and there probably never will be again." - Serdar Yegulalp Anime Advanced Media Network

Osamu Tezuka (1928-89) is the godfather of Japanese manga comics. He originally intended to become a doctor and earned his degree before turning to what was then a medium for children. His many early masterpieces include the series known in the U.S. as Astro Boy. With his sweeping vision, deftly interwined plots, feel for the workings of power, and indefatigable commitment to human dignity, Tezuka elevated manga to an art form. The later Tezuka, when he authored Buddha, often had in mind the mature readership that manga gained in the sixties and that had only grown ever since. The Kurosawa of Japanese pop culture, Osamu Tezuka is a twentieth century classic.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   544
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.7" Width: 5.9" Height: 1.6"
Weight:   1.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 8, 2007
Publisher   Vertical
ISBN  1932234667  
ISBN13  9781932234664  

Availability  0 units.

More About Osamu Tezuka

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Osamu Tezuka was born on November 3, 1928, in Osaka. He grew up in an open-minded family exposed to comics and Walt Disney. As a boy he also had a love for insects, which he would later as a grown-up incorporate into pen name. Having developed an intense understanding of the preciousness of life from his wartime experience, Osamu Tezuka aimed to become a physician and later earned his degree in medicine, but ultimately chose the profession he loved best: manga artist and animated film writer.
Tezuka's manga and animated films had a tremendous impact on the shaping of the psychology of Japan's postwar youth. His work changed the concept of Japanese comics, transforming it into an art form and incorporating a variety of new styles in creating the "story cartoon." Osamu Tezuka lived out his entire life tirelessly pursuing his efforts, passing away at the age of 60 on February 8, 1989.
In all, Tezuka produced more than 150,000 pages of graphic storytelling before his death. Posthumously Tezuka's work have won a number of awards in the U.S., including the 2009 Eisner Award given to his series Dororo.

Osamu Tezuka was born in 1928 and died in 1989.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Manga > By Creator > Tezuka, Osamu
2Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Manga > General
3Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Manga > Shonen (Boys)
4Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > General
5Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Apollo's Song?

Great Osamu Tezuka Book  Jun 20, 2008
After seeing an exhibit of Tezuka's original pages last fall, I was eager to dive into one of his more mature works. I've read a handful of volumes of "Astro Boy" before, and while I can appreciate them, I'll admit that I wasn't exactly blown away. "Apollo's Song" is one of the books that excerpts from were displayed, and since it was only one volume (versus the 10 or so of "Buddha"), that's the one that I went with. Granted, that one volume is 500 or 600 pages long, but it's still not a stack of books up to my waist.

"Apollo's Song" is a story of a recalcitrant youth whose extraordinary cruelty leads a higher power to doom him to relive a scenario (albeit in different settings) where he falls in love with a woman (she always looks the same), only to have her taken away from him as soon as he truly falls for her. As this situation repeats, the desperation of the main character becomes overwhelming. I found myself being really emotionally affected by the story, which doesn't happen all that often, and it really stuck with me. For those who haven't read Tezuka's work before (he's considered the Jack Kirby or Walt Disney of manga), it does take a little time to get used to his drawing style, but for me it did become transparent after a few pages. After only really being familiar with his all-ages, lighter work, "Apollo's Song" was a welcome shock to me.
Epic tale of tragedy  Apr 2, 2008
Osamu Tezuka truly is the god of manga. The attention to detail is simply staggering, and he produced his hundreds of thousands of pages of manga over the decades the long, hard way. Sometimes, when reading his work, one simply must stop and marvel at the art, even during the most engrossing of tales.

Apollo's Song, given to me by a friend, is quite epic, whether examined alone or alongside Tezuka's other works. It features, of course, Tezuka's unmistakable comic drawing style, combined with a dark, deep story about eternal punishment. The contrast in the story and its presentation is itself something truly amazing, and it must be seen to be fully appreciated.

What happens to a man who hates the very concept of love? What must he endure in order to open up to the idea that even a troubled, abused fellow such as he can learn to truly love someone? What happens to our tortured anti-hero is nothing short of brutal, and never-ending. How he wound up being the sort of person he became can't truly be blamed on him, yet he receives retribution everlasting for rejecting love itself.

Shogo's journey is at times sweet, at times violent, and at times even peppered with hope, but is always a struggle. This story is a tragedy on a truly epic scale, stretching from the past well into the future, with the only constants being his name, his appearance, his punishment... and the face of one specific woman. The remaining details all change, yet his travels are very much a spiral, leading him downward into the bottomless.

This manga was made during a time when sex education was no longer taboo in Japan, and is not hesitant to take advantage of the new freedom this allowed the medium. This isn't one of Tezuka's family-friendly works. There's blood, there's nudity and enough else you don't want the young 'uns seeing. It's filled with plenty of immensely unlikeable characters supporting two very flawed, but ultimately likable people whose sad story has backdrops as brutal as the Holocaust.

Apollo's Song isn't for everybody. But for those who like solid story and the inimitable crafting and style of Osamu Tezuka, it's a must-read.
Can't believe it's Tezuka's  Mar 22, 2008
I love most of Tezuka works, but this one just way too weird. I get the protagonist is a love-hater, I get the point of love transcended time and lives, but somehow the stories does not get me as romance, or as an adventure/mystery. It just very boring. I do not care for this man or his suffering or his love/s at all. Tezuka and romance just does not goes together.
The love-hater  Oct 29, 2007
I must agree with Matthew Kirschenblatt--it's very good, but not Tezukas's best. The transition between episodes is not always smooth, nor are all episodes of equally high quality. I doubt that the translation is bad; Tezuka is capable of fantastic drawing--people's faces, architecture, nature, action--but his work is not uniformly great, and it isn't uniformly great in this manga.

After a hilarious, irreveverent, cynical prologue about human reproduction, we get into the story of Shogo Chikaishi, whose home life, from birth till 15, when the actual story starts, is a complete disaster: his mother has little time nor love to waste on him, being involved with a neverendieg series of lovers, all of whom she insists Shogo call "Papa." From as far back as he can remember, Shogo knows none of them are. One time, when Shogo spies on his mother and one of his "Papas" behind his mother's closed bedroom door, she beats him for it, and he says "Why did you have me anyway? I wish I'd never been born." His mother admits it was probably a mistake, and adds, "Well, that's what happns when men and women sleep together."

Something clicks in his mind, and he becomes a love-hater, growing physically sick and enraged when he sees people or animals about to make love. He kills many animals (fortunately no people), and through the police, arrives in a mental hopital, where a psychiatrist sets about curing his disease with electro-shock therapy. In his shock-induced dreams, he meets the Goddess of Love, who sentences him to wander endlessly, from life to life, always falling in love with the same girl, in different forms, but never being able to consummate this loove, because the death of one or the other of them intervenes. This is what creates the series of stories, some of which are touching, and some rather funny (Shogo, being an otherwise normal 15-year-old, has an amusing sense of humor himself). He learns to understand not only his own suffering, but that of others as well.

The sentence seems a bit stiff to me: you'd think the Goddes of Love would take his sad background into consideration!

It's a good read, and the prologue is priceless.
Very High Quality Read  Sep 7, 2007
This is an excellent Manga. Furthermore, I think it has a good chance to appeal to readers who enjoy more western graphic novels but struggle with esoteric themes found in a lot of Manga. There is something very literary about this story that contrasts with much of the other manga Ive been exposed to. File with "Fun House," "American Born Chinese" and other more personal story arcs before lumping it with "Battle Royale" or "Lone Wolf and Cub." Despite this charactization, Apollo's Song is not a biography by any means (Im getting sort of sick of autobiographical comics).
"Apollo" is basically a collection of several smaller stories that fit within a larger framework, and it holds together well both ways. It is a strong title and certainly one of the best comics of 2007 (at least here in the US, where it is finally appearing!). I think readers of mature graphic novels will be quite happy with this lengthy read.

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