If you’re interested in manga you’ve probably heard of Osamu Tezuka, the affable chap lauded as “god of manga,” and frequently photographed wearing his trademark beret. But how well do you know the man?
Osamu Tezuka was born on November 3, 1928 to a well-to-do family in Japan. Growing up he absolutely loved American animation, most notably Disney’s Bambi, a movie he reported obsessively watching in movie theaters. The fluidity of motion and character designs in these cartoons would influence Tezuka’s drawing style for the rest of his life. At seventeen he began publishing his own comics while enrolled in medical school, eventually deciding to do manga full time. Manga was nowhere near the robust market it is now, but that would change, owing to Tezuka’s own peculiar abilities.
Osamu Tezuka could crap manga out. It’s estimated Tezuka crapped out approximately 150,000 pages of manga in his lifetime. No one is sure how this was accomplished, but scientists theorize he subsisted entirely on a diet of India ink and paper pulp. The pulp/ink could theoretically travel through his digestive tract, resulting in reams of manga coming out when he pooped. Modern scientists are still trying to unlock the physiological mysteries of how this was done exactly.
Tezuka could crap out stories, then crap out slightly different versions of those stories, and then crap out slightly different versions of his characters. Tezuka’s ability to crap is unmatched by any other manga artist, and indeed any being since the beginning of recorded human history.
His prodigious output, more than any other single factor, has shaped the existence of manga and anime as a pop culture phenomenon. Blog of the North Star salutes Osamu Tezuka, even if the grandiosity of his reputation in the West seems to have stifled the notoriety of other immensely talented manga luminaries, such as Shotaro Ishinomori, creator of Kamen Rider and Guinness World Record holder, among many other distinctions.