Osamu Tezuka, the Father Storyteller
The story of Osamu Tezuka is amazing in itself as he was the true father of manga in its current form which is today popular not only in Japan but all around the world. Hoverer, it is even equally interesting to note that the development of his storytelling and drawing skills was influenced by the same factors which were reflected in the benchmark movie 'Nihon Chinbotsu' and anime like 'The Grave Of The Fireflies' and 'Barefoot Gen'.
The underlying reason for appearance of these cultural phenomena was WWII and the following reconstruction of Japan's political, economic and cultural life after democratic pattern, and the influx of Western movies and affordable ticket prices significantly changed the dramatic and narrative landscape of Japan. If prior to WWII
Tezuka was following mostly Disney and Chaplin cinematic and cartoon patterns, then post-war supply of American movies of diverse topics and nature struck him with wide range or opportunities and expressive tool he never encountered before (Schodt 234-235; Gravett 026). The closeness to life and seriousness and importance of topics presented in dramas imported from developed Western world inspired him to move beyond the traditional patterns of manga and re-invent it anew.He was a passionate storyteller and artist, yet this source of technical inspiration and material for exploration allowed him to develop the static and rather conventional image used in manga into the fully dynamic and fast-pacing story with gripping plot yet soaked with philosophical concepts and humanized spirit. The cinematic narration with plenty of visual effects like different camera angles, visual presentation of sounds and movement, spark-like and dynamic presentation of event occurring across long time periods was fused with very touching and thought-provoking messages put into the plot (Gravett 028). Tezuka as a witness of the war was a passionate promoter of peace, and many of his works are related to the war itself or predict how the world would develop if the science turns to peaceful and productive activities instead of creating weapons of mass destruction (Schodt 234). His super popular manga Tetsuwan Atom (Mighty Atom) was created in 1951 and immediately won the hearts of readers. The story about a boy robot who had a kind heart and extraordinary powers was created as a series of chapters with individual plots and the main hero unifying them into a consequential narration. I have explored Volume 1 (Chapters 1-3) of Mighty Atom renamed into Astro Boy after its American animated version. These chapters immediately grip the readers' attention and plunge them into the depth of events.
Tezuka's famous feature was the author's dialogue with readers. In Astro Boy these dialogs are in place in every chapter; they set the background topic of the chapter (like science in the life of humanity or cyborgs and morality of their creation) and somehow link the real life closer to the imaginary world, as Tezuka (author) communicates with Astro Boy (fictitious character) and then addresses readers (real people who …