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MW Hardcover – October 30, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Verdict - 9.6
A diabolically epic story.
+ An anti-hero you can't take your eyes off of.
+ Osamu Tezuka. (Need we say more?)
- Possibly Tezuka's bleakest work yet." - Anime media network.

"Created during the period of 1976-1978 MW is a shocker, especially for it's time, both in terms of the potential for terrorism and the phsychological effects on the reader, who, in some cultures, might not easily adapt to this nature of storytelling (for example, what would Hollywood do with this plot?)" - www.anime.com

"MW is a story that will make you think, and will probably make you unhappy about a segment of mankind, and will thrill you in ways that feel uncomfortable. It’s a major graphic novel by a major creator, grappling with the nature of evil in a way that superhero comics only wish they could. And it’s presented in a form nearly transparent to Western readers. From what I’ve seen, Tezuka’s dark works of the ‘60s and ‘70s are easily his best, and MW is right up there." - ComicMix
"The author shrewdly reveals through these characters the vulnerability of human beings and the concept of latent "original sin" that lurks inside us." - Brian Cirulnick

About the Author

Osamu Tezuka ( 1928-89) is the godfather of Japanese manga comics. He originally intended to become a doctor and earned his degree before turning to what was still then considered a frivolous medium. His man early masterpieces include the series known in the U.S. a Astro Boy. With his sweeping vision, deftly intertwined plots, and indefatigable commitment to human dignity, Tezuka elevated manga to an art form. Other works available from Vertical include Apollo's Song, Ode to Kirihito and the eight-volume epic Buddha, winner of the Eisner and Harvey awards.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical; First American Edition edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932234837
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932234831
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the story of the two survivors of an "accident." In the early `60s, the United States stashed away on a tiny Japanese island, with Japanese cooperation, of course, some deadly gas (Tezuka calls it "MW,"--hence the title)--we really did---but in Tezuka's manga some leaks out, killing all 800 inhabitants of the island. The survivors, Iwao Garai, 15, and Michio Yuki, 9, are protected from the gas because they are sheltered in a cave. When they come out the next morning, it is to an island of the dead: men, women, children, birds and beasts--every sentient being. The gekiga (a manga for adults, which MW is, in spades) tells us about the rest of their lives, (almost...) beginning 15 years later. We find out about the events on the island in flashbacks.

What happened to the rest of the gas? (The cover-up has of course been enormous.) And what will Garai and Yuki (now, respectively, a Catholic priest and a loan executive at a Tokyo bank) do about it? Garai is haunted by his memory of the dead, and Yuki is simply a madman: he inhaled some of the gas, which gives him occasional attacks of bad health, but worse, it warped his brain, robbing him of every speck o conscience, so that he takes great joy in using, kidnapping, torturing and killing people. We find out his reason--just as insane as the acts themselves--in the second third of the manga. Yuki always confesses his crimes to Father Garai, who--and we don't understand why, at first-- never tells on him.

Yuki and Garai have (since when?) an uneasy homosexual relationship (Yuki is Tezuka's only true homosexual main character). It's very hard to hate our arch-villain Yuki: he's cute as a button , very smart, has a great sense of humor, and really loves Garai (although he loves nobody else on earth).
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Format: Paperback
I can't believe that MW is 30+ years old. It hasn't aged a day! The story is just as relevant today as it likely was 30 years ago (maybe more so). If you're a Tezuka fan like me then you should quit wasting your time with my review and go buy it! MW is wonderful.

Be warned! This book is a shocker! Japanese Disney this is not! Its a serious book covering very grown up topics - like murder, gay clergy, pedophilia and... love. For behind the betrayal, murder, lies and intrigue is a very subtle love story.

I disagree with many of the other reviewers. This isn't a story about evil. Its a story that shows us that our concept of good and evil is flawed. It shows us that humanity is flawed. We love without hope and believe without faith. The characters in this story stand up for what they believe in - even when they know that failure is the only possible outcome.

MW is a story about faith. Its a long, rich and complex story full of all-too-human characters. If you can survive without men in tights, cheesy storylines and gratuitous art then this is a must buy.
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Format: Hardcover
First off, the previous two reviews do an excellent job of retelling the events of the story and apply the appropriate warnings (this is an adult manga). In addition to those reviews, it is important to note that while this work does have political underpinnings it isn't to the point that it dominates the work. Yes, the history of the Catholic priest is obviously a hippy-esque/radical life style - the character art proves it. Yes, the work refers back to the Vietnam war and the overriding plot is to uncover a military cover-up.

That said the whole of the work is really focused on Yuki's madness. I've read many, many books on psychopathic killers both in fiction and non-fiction, but Yuki truely strikes a cord. He kills without remorse and then feigns remorse. He is completely self-centered and makes no issue with that. He uses people in such a masterful way that a real Yuki is chilling. His homosexual relationship (by the way no male nudity just naked upper torsos together or blanked out male forms) with the Catholic priest is extremely interesting in terms of dynamics.

Lastly, secondary characters like the prosecutor (actually detective/investigator) are highly entertaining. To use an extremely American reference, this character plays Hannibal's Clarice.

It has been said that this is the only Tezuka work without anything "real" to say such as Buddha. It couldn't be more wrong. However, unlike Tezuka's other works the point isn't as obvious. To find it examine Yuki not the political aspects.

Overall, this is a wonderful criminal read with political underpinnings. If politics make you cringe don't worry - this is still a good read. The art is older but refreshing considering the similar looking characters in more modern mangas. The backgrounds are rendered in amazing detail showing extremely deft work with a pen. Manga lovers of horror, suspense, crime, or an excellent thoughtful read pick this up!
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Format: Hardcover
Tezuka is too often referenced as Walt Disney's Japanese counterpart. For those who've read the last few re-releases ("Apollo's Song" and this), they know that this title isn't really appropriate; Tezuka created many things -- childhood humor, science fiction, crude drama. I guess "MW" would fall into that last category (though categorizing Tezuka on premise is probably faulted) being an epic war/crime drama.

Michio Yuki is probably Tezuka's most vile character. One that is left scarred by his past (something out of his control); this is a theme that Tezuka comes back to again and again and he knows it well. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Father Garai, Catholic priest and, fifteen years before the books' current events, Yuki's childhood companion. These two are "bound by fate," Yuki says, and it's all because of a deadly, secretive gas labeled "MW".

I won't bother giving away any plot points or points of interest - they're all there for you to enjoy. Though it is worth saying that this is an adult novel (it has infantile death, genital mutilation, and multiple rape scenes) - it even probably deserves more than its (16+) rating. (Some of this stuff is sadistic enough to remind one of Junji Ito (or maybe Mizuno, since there's a "cute" factor here)).

Props have to be given to Vertical for putting out such a fine work. In a hardcover, this is almost too perfect. My only fault with "Apollo's Song" was its flimsy attitude when being held - at over 500 pages you just NEED hardcover, and with "MW", the end product feels much more satisfying. (But who designed this dust jacket? The actual cover and spine are much more aesthetically pleasing!)

This is manga at its best, and shows Tezuka at one of the high points of his career. Truly frightening and deeply psychological work from one of the masters of the genre.
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