Osamu Tezuka's Work
Osamu Tezuka's work is extremely difficult to both quantify and qualify.
On the one hand, is the sheer volume of work - over the course of his 40-year career, Tezuka created more than 700 volumes of manga (clocking in at roughly 150,000 pages), not to mention another 200,000 pages of scripts for nearly 500 episodes of animated television programs, and short and feature-length animated films.
"Tezuka created more than 700 volumes comprising roughly 150,000 pages of manga, not to mention another 200,000 pages of scripts for television and film..."
On the other hand, is the sheer diversity of that work - Tezuka's works range in tone from manga series aimed at very young children, such as Unico (1976-79) to those strictly for adults, often deep explorations of mankind's capacity for evil, such as MW (1976-78). They also range in style from the mass-market appeal of his animated television programs such as Astro Boy (1963-66) to his award-winning experimental animated shorts, such as Jumping (1984)... and everything in between.
From the late 1940's to the the late 1980's, Osamu Tezuka was instrumental in developing (if not downright creating) almost every genre of manga possible. Although he is probably best-known for his shōnen (young boys) manga works such as Astro Boy (1952-68), and Jungle Emperor (1950-54), he was equally comfortable in working on shōjo (young girls) manga stories such as Princess Knight (1953-56) and Queen Nasubi (1954-55). Never one to rest on the laurels of his past success, Tezuka was constantly seeking to reinvent himself and find new ways to entertain his audience. This meant branching out into new areas, such as the cutting-edge and avant-garde series Phoenix (1967-88), and his seinen (young men) social commentaries such as Swallowing the Earth (1968-69), and Ayako (1972-73).
As if that was not enough, Tezuka also explored social issues such as sexual education for young people through manga series such as Apollo's Song (1970), Yakeppachi's Maria (1970) and Marvelous Melmo (1970-72). He crafted, out of nothing, the sub-genre of "medical thriller" with manga series such as Black Jack (1973-83). He also added significantly to that of "historical super-natural thriller" with the samurai period piece Dororo (1967-68). In fact, just naming the genres of manga that Tezuka created his manga for would be a lengthy process all on its own.
Always moving forward, Tezuka's belief and enthusiasm led him to create the first truly weekly animated television program (i.e. anime) in Japan with Astro Boy (1963-66), the first full-colour animated television program with Jungle Emperor (1965-66), and the first animated feature-length film intended for an adult audience with A Thousand and One Nights (1969). Throughout it all, he also felt the need to express himself as an artist and continued to push the boundaries of animation with his experimental shorts.
In this section, you will find more information on all of Tezuka's many works. A nearly complete (excluding only some extremely minor works) listing of his manga works has been broken down by decade, while the listing of his animation works has been organized by type for convenience.
Tezuka's Work (Sections)