Tezuka In English
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Captain Ken – Shonen Sunday Box Set

Between 2011-13, Shogakukan Creative released archive-quality reprints of several of Tezuka's shonen (boys) adventure series under the banner of it's "Shonen Sunday Limited Edition BOX" Series. Captain Ken (1960-61) was actually the second set to be released (in February 2012) after Zero Men (1959-60), was first released in June 2011.

I want to see my name in lights!

As many people know, Osamu Tezuka was a huge fan of the theatre.  So, it should really come as no surprise that he would sneak in a little hommage to the lights of (off) Broadway now and then.  For sharp-eyed readers may spot one of these in the background in Melody of Iron (1974-75).

Easy come, easy go…

When a horrific airplane crash occurs, all the passengers are doomed to die.  However, the plane just happens to have comes crashing down onto the mysterious “Mountain of Life” - home to a hidden reserve of the energy that serves as the basis of all living creatures.  As such, in the aftermath of the crash, small stones and dust infused with this energy rain down on eight of the crash victims and allow them to miraculously survive.

Say hello to Maria!

When Yakeno Yahachi, better known to his friends as “Yakeppachi” (i.e. “desperate”), has ectoplasm seep out of his nose, he does what any normal teenage boy would do - he puts it in a life-like doll suit, names her Maria, and has her attend high school alongside him.

Beam Me Up!

Escaping from a gang of criminals, two young orphans, Minoru and Marimo stumble into the laboratory of a scientist who has created a transporter machine that can take the pair anywhere they wish.  With that, the pair are literally “broadcast” into one adventure after another - including a world inhabited by humanoid ants, a world filled with invisible men bent on world domination, and the American “Old West”.

The Three Invaders

When three aliens, disguised as escaped human convicts, descend upon unsuspecting manga artist, Osamu Tezuka, and devour his brain, they expect to acquire all his thoughts and knowledge.  Instead, all they get is a sudden, unrelenting feeling of the pressure of a impending deadline hanging over their heads… which only gets worse when the editors of his many manga publications start calling.

This peek behind the scenes of Tezuka’s life comes courtesy the chapter “The Three Invaders” (1969) of his sci-fi series exploring the human mind, The Crater (1969-70).

Only Tezuka…

Young Okuchin, a good-for-nothing student with no prospects for the future, is visited by a strange young man who tells him he’s a thief that steals the futures of others.  The stranger gives Okuchin a set of special glasses that lets him see one of the great secrets of mankind - that we all carry our futures in a sack of flesh coming out of our rear ends.  While the size of the sack denotes the amount of future each one has left, no one knows what the future holds… unless you cut open the sack and find out.