Thursday, July 31

For me, living in the early years of the 21st century, it is an age of manga, an age of thoughtfulness, an age of (relative) silence. Of course, it's really not a sweeping generalization, not at all. If I look into a manga review book, they're the Same as a North American cartoon review book, a movie review book, a novel or novella review book - they're all pretty much the same. A few stellar pieces, the bulk; good to mediocre, and the rest would howl at the moon in pain. But still...

The manga - the best, that is - will bring us to a situation, from the same distance, but from a decidedly different angle. Also, the angle is from a kaleidoscopic view. (At least from an American looking at a Japanese work.) Osamu Tezuka's work, in particular Buddha, cannot help but be in a Japanese-Buddhist viewpoint. Siddartha, later the Buddha, knew that he would not realize the monks' efforts for eons. Tezuka, born in the early 1900s, realized this most painfully with Japan showing forth a most fierce face. But after just two bombs in 1945, the harshest of reality was put forth: Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both reduced to nothingness, and those who were unfortunate enough to survive were indeed among the walking dead.

Tezuka was brave enough to call to conscience two nations: the Americans, who obliterated not only an army, but elderly men, women, children, and infants; and the Japanese, whose worldview was clouded by pure insanity.

It is indeed rare for any man to show such bravery. Osamu Tezuka was such a man.

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