Osamu Tezuka is one of the most well-known mangaka of all time. He was born in 1928 and died in 1989, but not before becoming known as the “Father of Anime”. Tezuka was born in Osaka. He has said that he did not enjoy school, as he was bullied there a lot, but instead enjoyed watching movies and cartoons on a small projector that his father owned. It is then that he started to read comics, even attempting to write his own manga.
But Tezuka did not know then that he would become a world-famous mangaka, so he went to medical school. He continued to draw while he was at medical school, and his mother encouraged him to leave school in order to follow his dreams. He agreed with her, and started working diligently to get published. This was all done by the tender age of eighteen. He worked at such a fast pace that he became noticed by some of the larger publishers in the industry in Tokyo. Their interest is what helped to take him from the bottom of the mangaka rung, up.
He started drawing his manga with large, expressive eyes, which has since become the norm. He was fortunate that the public seemed to like his style, as it brought him further along. Some of his work, such as Cleopatra and Arabian Nights, was considered to be scandalous at the time because it showed some nudity and intercourse-like activities. Tezuka was not bothered by their criticism, however, and kept drawing the way that he wanted to.
One of Tezuka’s most beloved manga series is that of Astro Boy. Astro Boy was originally a side character known as Captain Atom. It was not until the sequel to the series was made that he became the star, and became known as Astro Boy. The story follows Astro Boy, who was created by Dr. Tenma. Tenma’s son had recently died, and he created Astro Boy as a replacement. He is upset, however, when he realizes that Astro Boy is not going to be able to learn human emotions. It is then that he abandons Astro Boy. The boy gets taken to a robot circus, where he is tortured and made to perform stupid tricks.
Fortunately, Astro Boy is saved by Dr. Ochanomizu. Dr. Ochanomizu takes Astro Boy in and slowly, but surely, realizes that he can achieve human emotions. He also discovers that Astro Boy has some very strong powers, and helps him to use those powers in the fight against evil. Astro Boy becomes more human than robot, and is able to help the world.
In 1963, Fuji TV aired the first cartoon of Astro Boy. It was a 30 minute show that was entirely animated, using Tezuka’s classic style. The anime became a hit, and is considered to be where the anime craze that runs today, began. In the 1980’s, the series was once again put on television: this time in color! Astro Boy cemented a great mangaka’s work, truly establishing him as the “Walt Disney of manga”.