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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding
Another reviewer gave this a low rating because he found it "dark"; I found this book unusually profound because it has real character development. I never could get into the lighter Manga of Tezuka or his more sci fi (if that's the word) stuff like Apollo. I found this a very powerful story of human cunning and greed and deception with fantastic art. Is it perfect...
Published on November 3, 2011 by reading guy

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars read mw instead
its the exact same story as mw, but mw is much better, except human insects has an explicit reference to mishima. in both comics, a maniacal protagonist tries to take down the world to fullfill their perverse, fatalistic aims. mw is about a gay guy. human insects is about a lady.
Published 15 months ago by imran rehmani


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding, November 3, 2011
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This review is from: The Book of Human Insects (Hardcover)
Another reviewer gave this a low rating because he found it "dark"; I found this book unusually profound because it has real character development. I never could get into the lighter Manga of Tezuka or his more sci fi (if that's the word) stuff like Apollo. I found this a very powerful story of human cunning and greed and deception with fantastic art. Is it perfect? No, sometime the story gets confusing but I attribute that to Tezuka's style of working on multiple stories at once. I also am thrilled with the production values - hardcover, dj, sollid book/binding. Highest recommendaiton for Tezuka fans!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly maligned book, April 3, 2012
This review is from: The Book of Human Insects (Hardcover)
I feel like a lot of people are bashing this book because it doesn't fit their preconceived notions of what a Tezuka work SHOULD be about, and as a result they don't give this book a fair shot.

No, it's not an optimistic work, it's not upbeat, it's not sci-fi, but it's an incredibly realistic and astute observation of human nature, particularly female sociopathy and narcissism, in the vein of great books like Madame Bovary and movies like Darling starring Julie Christie.

I would highly recommend someone try a short, psychology book for laypeople called Narcissistic Lovers by Cynthia Zayn and Kevin Dibble, then compare the observations of that book to the character Tezuka describes and you'll be shocked at what an incredible insight into personality disordered people Tezuka displays here. I've actually known people like the main character here, and I felt a pang of recognition reading the work.

Highly recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Curious Gem from The Kamisama no Manga, September 27, 2011
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This review is from: The Book of Human Insects (Hardcover)
Osamu Tezuka is a name that should not only be known among anime fans, but also among those with even an inkling of passion in the visual arts. To his credit is the creation of narrative manga as we know it today, and the founding of several manga conventions that have since ascended into the collected conscience of the medium. After starting his career with such family-friendly classics as "Astro Boy" and "Kimba the White Lion", Tezuka began to focus on more adult-oriented work in the mid-to-late sixties. This kicked off the period which arguably showed the most of his capability as both an artist and a thinker, and it is in this period that he created "The Book of Human Insects."

"The Book of Human Insects" follows a reporter who becomes ensnared in the world of a young woman who has reached the top of both the academic and artistic world. Through painting, acting, and writing, among other things, she has gotten to a place where no other person has before. There's only one problem: the work she does is never her own. The woman is a master of mimicry, and becomes close to anybody who she finds talented in order to steal their secrets. But what happens to the original creators is more insidious than anybody could imagine, guaranteeing that the victims of plagiarism never say a peep about the woman.

Saying anymore would spoil this excellent story, and rest assured, it IS excellent. As one would expect from any Tezuka story, this is a book devoid of flaws in the way of visuals and storytelling. Many visuals here, though, feel a bit more experimental than future mature works from the artist. It's clear that "The Book of Human Insects" falls into the same vein as "Swallowing The Earth", in the sense that it shows a more transitional approach to his work as opposed to the polish that we'd later see from, say, "Buddha." This approach exudes a certain confusion as to what Tezuka was trying to do when drawing this work up, attempting to be mature but struggling to get out of the cartoon-y box he'd built around himself.

This, however, isn't detrimental to the work at all. It actually makes it a good bit more interesting to read, albeit a little disorienting at times. While it's definitely more structurally solid than "Swallowing the Earth", it still gives us a glimpse into the mind of Tezuka when he was trying to carve out a slot for himself in the pantheon of contemporary gegika manga-ka. What he came up with may not be completely deadpan in tone, but perhaps that's for the better. Where Sampei Shirato and Kazuo Koike failed by being much too grim, Tezuka succeeded by experimenting with disturbing (and disturbed) plotlines while maintaining the schoolboy-like zeal that eventually would cement his place as the definitive God of Manga. And it's precisely that stark juxtaposition of comedy and thriller that makes "The Book of Human Insects" so engaging.

Story: B+

Art: B+

Overall: B+
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 12, 2014
Best novel I've read in a while. Hitchcock manga.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great story by Osamu Tezuka, July 31, 2013
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I bought this book because it was by Osamu Tezuka and it was worth the price. Great story that is pretty complex and mature and worth every penny. Reccomend to anyone who loves Osamu Tezuka and anyone who is mature enough to read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Humanity is vicious and cruel and heartless, right?, September 3, 2012
By 
Andrew C Wheeler (Pompton Lakes, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Book of Human Insects (Hardcover)
Some writers love their characters, and can hardly bear to have anything bad happen to them. Osamu Tezuka, though, is not one of them: particularly in his books for adults, like MW, Ayako, Ode to Kirihito, and Apollo's Song, he creates profoundly damaged -- and damaging -- characters, and then sets them up to bounce off each other like frenzied fighting cocks until he's satisfied.

THE BOOK OF HUMAN INSECTS is another work in that vein, though even more so -- it's main character is a cuckoo of a woman, who "steals' the creative abilities of every person she comes into contact with, doing what they do just a bit better and more impressive and leaving them wrung out and ruined when she moves on. It's from that period in Tezuka's career when he was focusing on comics like this -- it was serialized in Play Comic during 1970 and 71, at roughly the same time as ODE and APOLLO. And, to be honest, the people that Toshiko Tomura (or any of her many other names) steals from aren't much better than she is -- they're certainly not innocent, or anything more than slightly better than she is.

Tomura has just won a major literary award with her first book as HUMAN INSECTS opens -- but, as we come to see, that means it's time for her to move on, since she can only have one great achievement in any field. (Since they're not her achievements, really, except in that she takes them and makes them hers.) HUMAN INSECTS follows Tomura as she stalks forward into new territory, and we also slowly discover the people -- men, primarily; this is a story from the early '70s and could be read as a curdled take on a certain kind of feminism -- that she's already met, seduced, co-opted, and abandoned already.

A Western story of the same era would probably spend a long time psychologizing about Tomura, explaining why she is the way she is, with references to her childhood traumas and whatnot. Tezuka, coming out of a different tradition, just presents Tomura: we see some hints of her past, and she clearly doesn't have a healthy relationship with that, but there's none of the deadening "now I'll explain everything to you" that an American would have felt compelled to include in 1970. Tomura is nasty and manipulative and utterly self-centered: that's just who she is. And, because that's who she is, she will win, even when faced with men more powerful and seemingly as ruthless as she is.

HUMAN INSECTS is not the most pleasant read, in common with Tezuka's other books of this era: in a world full of scoundrels and bastards, there is only nastiness and back-stabbing. And HUMAN INSECTS doesn't have the supernatural majesty of ODE TO KIRHITO or the epic family-saga sweep of AYAKO (or the pure feral energy of MW), so it's pleasures are at a more human scale, and driven by schadenfreude and bemused head-shaking. These are nasty people doing nasty things, but we recognize them all: Tezuka makes them all very real nasty people, doing exaggerated, large-scale versions of the kind of petty slights we see every day. HUMAN INSECTS is a misanthropic book, as you'd expect from the title, but not an unconvincing one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's a good read, but be prepared for the oddness that ..., August 19, 2014
Really a very very weird book.... It's a good read, but be prepared for the oddness that goes on here.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars read mw instead, June 15, 2013
This review is from: The Book of Human Insects (Hardcover)
its the exact same story as mw, but mw is much better, except human insects has an explicit reference to mishima. in both comics, a maniacal protagonist tries to take down the world to fullfill their perverse, fatalistic aims. mw is about a gay guy. human insects is about a lady.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "THE BOOK OF HUMAN DISAPPOINTMENTS", February 19, 2014
The cover is quite deceiving and the entire book was a complete disappointment. No morals or values from the character, no lessons learned or even a heartfelt storyline, and rather a depressing one at that. Just the insecure actions, issues and misadventures of a VERY insecure woman and how her intentional bad decisions effect several people.

I had originally bought the book because of what the cover had said and took it more literally and was expecting more out of it, more like a science fiction kind of feeling, from the master himself, however this direction and angle of this kind of storyline and plot just wasn't the case, lesson learned.

For those even thinking of getting this manga, DON'T. Not one of Osamu Tezuka's best, or even good works. I don't and wouldn't even think of recommending this manga to ANYONE.
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4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A UNIQUE GRAPHIC THRILLER! THE BOOK OF HUMAN INSECTS BY OSAMU TEZUKA..., September 24, 2011
This review is from: The Book of Human Insects (Hardcover)
THE BOOK OF HUMAN INSECTS by Osamu Tezuka is an unique graphic thriller. It is a Japanese manga comics book. It is the story of Toshiko Tomura who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. She has stolen,murdered,blackmailed, copied others works,but she has climbed the ladder to become an acclaimed stage actress and award-winning architect. I love the graphics(comic strip) style in this story. Although,the main character is a little over the top to me some will find her engaging.This is a haunting story of climbing to the top at all costs with little to no consequences. "The Book of Human Insects" is an intersting and unique story.It is the portrayal of a instead of "dog-eat-dog world" it is a "bug-eat-bug world",where some of the charcters would sell their souls to achieve their goals.It was a little disturbing to me.If you enjoy a seductive,disturbing,brutal,cynical culture you will enjoy "The Book Of Human Insects" also. This book was received for review from the publisher.Details can be found at Vertical and My Book Addiction Reviews
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The Book of Human Insects
The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka (Hardcover - September 20, 2011)
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