Osamu Tezuka The BOOK OF HUMAN INSECTS manga

The BOOK OF HUMAN INSECTS is an unusual bit of work by the legendary Osamu Tezuka. What is not unusual, however, is that it’s brilliant.

Originally created in 1970-71, Vertical, Inc. continue their excellent English translations of Tezuka’s manga, with this long-awaited 2011 release.

Dark, sinister and sexy, this is not the kind of thing most people expect from Tezuka, yet he delivers all that and more with typical style and class.

The story summary reads … “Toshiko Tomura is a genius; the darling of the intelligentsia. A modern-day Michelangelo, this twenty year-old is already an established international stage actress, an up-and-coming architect, and the next recipient of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize as Japan’s best new writer. Her actions make headlines in the papers, and inspire radio and television programming. And like many great talents, her troubled past is what motivates her to greatness. She has the amazing ability to emulate the talents of others.”

Above it all, Tezuka tries to get us to follow, like and sympathize with a characters that really should be despised, or at best, pitied. The story, like its world, is full of deception, crime and mystery. There is also a surprisingly subtext of sensuality and lust. I love how the story follows a certain character for a while, only for them to either suddenly meet their demise or drift back into the manga at a latter stage.

Tezuka is the best!

score: 9 out of 10.


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