“Coincidence doesn’t happen a third time.” – Osamu Tezuka.
This year, I chose to research Osamu Tezuka, one of the pioneers of the manga industry.
Tezuka first used many of the drawing techniques that we see in manga today, making manga a much better experience for the reader. In order to make the content further accessible to the consumer, he introduced the idea of adapting manga into anime, and then even distributing it around the world. This is important for the anime industry because many popular anime series rely on the original manga for the story. The anime industry today would not have been nearly as big if it weren’t for Tezuka’s ideas. Being one of the first manga artists to have such success, Tezuka proved that the profession can be financially rewarding. Today, there are over 3000 professional manga artists, whose manga are being translated and read by people all around the world. All of this is thanks to Tezuka’s contributions, which will be remembered for as long as the manga/anime industry exists.
Tezuka didn’t become successful in one day, though. Before Tezuka, being a manga artist wasn’t nearly the respected and rewarding profession it is today. Manga wasn’t as popular back then, so it must have been hard to get his work published. Tezuka had to take huge risks, such as giving up becoming a doctor, to pursue manga, which was not very reliable. Later, Tezuka didn’t have much time for manga again because he had to help with the World War II efforts. Nevertheless, he stayed confident and worked hard to rise to eminence.
Learning about Tezuka’s life story is not only important for manga readers, but also for anyone who enjoys animations and movies. Tezuka’s contributions are so significant that they have spread well outside of the industries he worked in. The insight we gain by learning about him will help us better appreciate any manga, animation, or movie. Being a pioneer of so many manga techniques with such a successful life, most other influential manga artists would not have been successful either, making Tezuka arguably more important than them.
About a year ago, I started getting into anime and it became an important part of my life. Since then, my interests have expanded into manga and light novels as well. However, I never set aside the time to think about and appreciate the hours of work that manga artists put into their work. I think the Eminent Project is a great way to do this. Since Osamu Tezuka was one of the “pioneers” of manga, I hope to gain some insight into the life of a manga artist and the industry.
Both Tezuka’s and my parents are very supportive of our passions. In Tezuka’s case, his parents were willing to buy art supplies and sketchbooks for him to draw. Although are interests are different other than manga and anime, my parents are also supportive of me in my interests. My mom lets me use her programming books when I want to. If it weren’t for our parents, there is no way that we could develop our passions to the way they are now.
One quality Tezuka and I share in common is our attention to detail. We also both can work hard when we need to. Once we find something interesting to do, we devote all our time and effort to it. However, the difference is that I often lose interest in the tasks that I do after a while. The motivation to keep persevering even when something is boring is a quality that I would like to emulate from Tezuka. Tezuka’s motivation, along with his confidence to take risks, are qualities that were necessary for him to become eminent.
A goal that I had when joining Talons is to find opportunities to make contributions to society. Other people are what give me purpose in life, and it benefits everyone the more we give to each other. Tezuka demonstrated this very well and left an impact on the world for at least many decades.
For the next phase of my research (the next week or two), I will look deeper into his childhood and the specific ideas that he introduced to the manga industry. I will also find someone to interview to find out more about him.
Thanks for reading!
Osamu Tezuka Quotes. (n.d.). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/29482.Osamu_Tezuka
McCarthy, H. (2006). Manga: A Brief History. 500 Manga Heroes & Villains. Hauppauge, New York, USA: Chrysalis Book Group.
About Tezuka Osamu. (n.d.). Tezuka Osamu Official. https://tezukaosamu.net/en/about/1920.html
Romano, A. (2016). Osamu Tezuka was the “Walt Disney of Japan.” His beautiful manga biography shows why. Vox. https://www.vox.com/2016/8/2/12244368/osamu-tezuka-story-explained