Captain Ken, the mysterious “Savior of the Martians”, and the fast draw on all of Mars, takes down the hired gunman, Lamp.
Who is this mysterious human hero who intervenes to stem the tide of growing violence between humans and martians… and why does he always disappear whenever the lovely young woman Kenn Minakami is around?
All the answers can be found in Osamu Tezuka’s cowboys n’ martians epic, Captain Ken (1960-61).
Jinnai is a student studying for university entrance exams. One day a beautiful young girl, dressed in rags and speaking a strange language shows up at his apartment.
Jinnai soon discovers the girl is in fact a “spirit of the lamp”, who magically escaped a coup d’etat in an Arabian country over 2,000 years ago and, crossing the mists of time, has now appeared in modern-day Japan.
In an attempt to thwart an assassination attempt, the girl genie has concealed the mysterious Princess Lumpenela in the lamp, but the sword-wielding assassins soon follow the trail to the present and Jinnai is quickly caught up in a magical adventure to keep Lumpenela safe.
One of Tezuka’s most sexually suggestive gag-adventure tales, Beggar Princess Lumpenela (1980) features such over-the-top events as a pair of assassins having to navigate their way through some enormous female genitalia, and a missile that is suddenly grounded after developing a giant pair of testicles.
Yep, it’s true.
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”.
All of the action takes place in Osamu Tezuka’s Adventure Broadcasting Station (1961).
Meet Kenta. Boy Detective.
Starring the power team-up of Shunsaku Ban as Dr. Thrill and Rock Holmes as his son Kenta, Tezuka’s mystery detective series, Dr. Thrill (1959) certainly lived up to its billing when it began serialization in the very first edition of Weekly Shonen Sunday (週刊少年サンデー).
Assassination plots, drug smugglers dressed up as giant insects, international conspirators, this one’s got it all.
"Garon, Kenichi, help meeeeee!"
Pick and Garon succeed in getting a volcano to erupt and blow up Kairyu-O Island, but are caught in the ensuing whirlpool. The action comes from Tezuka’s tale of the giant alien robot with (quite literally) the heart of a young boy, The Devil Garon (1959-62).
More innovative panel design by Osamu Tezuka, this time, courtesy of his samurai epic General Onimaru (1969).
The son of a Roman soldier and a Japanese mother, Onimaru was hated and feared as a monster (or Oni) by the local village people because of his blue eyes and blond hair. Captured and tortured, Onimaru escapes with the help of the legendary swordsman, Kojiro Soma and his flashing blade…
Hint: tilt your head to the right. ;)
"It all comes crumbling down…"
It’s 1982, and when former-sumo-wrestler-turned-salary-man, Hitoshi Himito, finds himself being appointed as the head of Edo Shoji Corp.’s new South American office, he’s quite happy with the big promotion. However he soon finds out not all is fair in love, war and the manufacturing of electronics.
Osamu Tezuka’s sweaty tale of political drama and corporate intrigue, Gringo (1987-89) was one of his last works, and, unfortunately, remains unfinished with his untimely death.
Say what you will, but Shunsaku Ban sure knows how to take a punch…
Continuing with our look at how to draw manga according to Osamu Tezuka, here he shows us how to ramp up the action. A single punch, depending on the narrative requirements, can result in “various overreactions”.
Love… Osamu Tezuka shōjo style!
Sapphire sprouts wings and plays a harp while day-dreaming about her very own prince, Franz Charming. This scene comes from Tezuka’s classic shōjo gender-bending romance/adventure tale, the original Princess Knight (1953-56).
It’s good to remember that even a butt-kicking, swashbuckling princess can have a Prince Charming… even if he thinks she’s a boy… and her fancy golden wig is her own worst rival for his affections. There’s hope for us all!
Happy Valentine’s Day!