- Paperback: 832 pages
- Publisher: Vertical; 1st American Ed edition (October 24, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932234640
- ISBN-13: 978-1932234640
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ode To Kirihito 1st American Ed Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Tezuka earned the nickname "godfather of manga" not just by the length and prolificacy of his career but by the moral commitment he brought to such projects as the award-winning Buddha. His works deal with the most profound questions of human existence. Kirihito combines medical melodrama and anguished debates about guilt and redemption. The hero, complacent Dr. Osanai Kirihito, believes he's been assigned to study people suffering from a new, fatal disease that degrades them into doglike beasts. When the transformation hits him, too, he realizes that the cause is not what he was told and that the condition can be controlled. However, Kirihito soon finds out how violently society reacts to anyone who looks different. He also discovers that the medical establishment has betrayed him and now wants him to disappear permanently. Fleeing through episodes of brutal exploitation, he tries to find a place where he can function as a human being; he winds up as a combination of Jesus Christ and the Count of Monte Cristo. While Kirihito struggles with himself and other vividly drawn characters, the operatic plot swirls from one passionate scene to the next, reinforced by Tezuka's apparently simple but strikingly expressive line work. (Oct.)
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“Ode to Kirihito is moving, tender and engrossing. Also very, very odd.”
—Neil Gaiman, author of The Sandman and Anansi Boys
“A thoroughly original, wonderfully bizarre, and compulsively readable masterwork. Ode to Kirihito is a vital testament to Tezuka's range as an artist, as well as an awe-inspiring example of the possibilities of the graphic novel.”
—Adrian Tomine, writer/artist of Optic Nerve and Summer Blonde
“Tezuka was like a god for me. He shocked the manga world with the medical thriller genre, and the work he did it with was Ode to Kirihito — a monumental suspense masterpiece that shows off Tezuka’s two points of expertise — manga and medicine.”
—Yoshihiro Tatsumi, author of The Push-Man and Abandon the Old in Tokyo
Tezuka-san turns his comic book mastery to evil in this terrifying examination of moral decay. Fans of Japanese horror both new and old should not miss this shocking single volume that will completely change Tezuka's American reputation as the Japanese Walt Disney. Brutal, depraved and savage, Kirihito will leave you panting like a beaten dog-man!
—Andrew D. Arnold, Time comics critic
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Top Customer Reviews
All the familiar Tezuka themes are here, including well worn ones from Astroboy and Kimba, but here they are used to devestating effect along-side an infinitely more sophisticated Tezuka who can show us the full range of human emotions. I recognize that Tezuka (like Miyazaki after him) wanted to show us characters who are human, neither good nor bad, and it couldn't be done better here. The subtitle 'are you a beast?' could be applied to every character as we see them go through their transformations, even to society itself.
The biblical quotes and christian imagery are used masterfully, not as a religious instrument, but as a powerful illustrative device for the emotions and struggles of our heroes. Tezuka as usual finds the commonality between Christianity and Buddhism (not overtly); driving his characters to find their own humanity by first giving up that humanity. Ultimately, the characters only seem to rise from their own personal hells once they've given up those attachments to their former lives and begin to live for others.
Politically, the book couldn't be more timely. Sides constantly shift as goverments backstab 'less fortunate' countries in the name of profit, while individuals duke it out at a corporate level on their own personal ego trips. Parents sell out their own children to wager on rising corporate kings. This sort of sophistication is well past the Tezuka of the 50's and 60's, placing at or beyond the high water-mark reached by Alan Moore's 'From Hell' (maybe not your personal favorite, but a superbly dense, sophisticated comic, way out in front of the pack.)
Ultimately however, Tezuka shows he is, above all other things, a great story teller. The characters are compelling and pull you along on their harrowing trip through dissolution, hell and rediscovery, and when that ending comes (probably not without a few shed tears), we have precisely the kind of ending you would expect from any great novel: highly satisfying with a sense of personal granduer.
This is a triumph for Vertical, and if there was a way to induce everyone who reads comics to read Ode to Kirihito, Tezuka would win his crown in the US overnight. It has everything to succeed, short of the mechanism to put it in the hands of every reader.
This is an excellent manga, and I highly recommend to anybody who enjoys a great story.
Every once in a while I come across a graphic novel that just makes my jaw drop--Bone, Black Hole, and now Ode to Kirihito. This monstrous (832 pp.) graphic novel is not only absorbing enough that you won't want to put it down, but has as much character development, plot, and action as any print novel, and a great deal more than most. Ode to Kirihito may be Tezuka's magnum opus--and given that Tezuka is considered the godfather of manga in Japan, that's saying something.
Osanai Kirihito is a young doctor who has more scruples than his boss. This makes him a liability, so when the boss finds a way to both study a new disease and get Kirihito out of the way, he jumps at the chance, sending Kirihito to the village where the disease seems to have originated, thus almost guaranteeing he'll contract it. The disease essentially turns humans into animals. Soon enough, of course, Kirihito starts looking like a dog, and thus his travails begin. Meanwhile, Kirihito's old colleague, always more tractable, discovers that the boss' hypothesis on the disease, which Kirihito was supposed to reinforce, may not be entirely accurate, and so he heads off to Africa to gather more evidence. This throws him into a quandary; should he keep kowtowing to the boss in order to advance, or do what Kirihito would have done, and stand up to him?
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There's a great deal going on here, with many subplots, a raft of well-developed characters, and actions and reactions that feel completely realistic. Tezuka has created a wonderfully detailed world here, and the truly amazing thing about Ode to Kirihito is that, like all truly well-crafted graphic novels, it feels like we just don't spend enough time in that world. Eight hundred pages? Just a drop in the bucket. We could have followed Kirihito for thousands more.
Will definitely be on my ten best reads of the year list. An amazing book. **** ½
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have my doubts as if people unfamiliar with comics or more specifically...Read more
Gentle dog-faced doctor,
You wander such a difficult world.
Your self-importance, your violence,
emptied out by suffering,
You are more you...Read more