How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan--And Japan to the West The unlikely history of early cross-cultural encounters between the West and Japan, featuring acrobats, jugglers, and a colorful American impresario. Schodt takes us all around the world of 19th-century entertainment: It's a captivating story about a pioneer in international entertainment.
Raz is an avid student of animation, and has written and lectured on the subject.
This is his first review for Animated Views. Schodt is a scholar of Japanese culture, known mostly for his work on manga Japanese comicsas both a translator and as a researcher of the subject. Writings On Modern Manga have achieved a status of canonical texts among those wish to study the field.
In his new book, The Astro Boy Essays: He created dozens of memorable heroes in different genres that defined and paved the way for artists who followed in his footsteps ever since. With such a prolific career in comics, it should come as a surprise that in his short life Tezuka had time for other projects — but the role Tezuka played in the history of Japanese animation is at least as significant as his work in comics.
Other scholars Review astro boy essays notably Fred Patten in his essays anthology Watching Anime, Reading Mangaalso discussed Tezuka; but The Astro Boy Essays is the first book in English devoted entirely to Tezuka and his work, albeit from a very narrow focus.
So, The Astro Boy Essays may be the first book in English devoted entirely to Tezuka, but it focuses on only a fragment of his work— a very important fragment, to be sure, but still only a fragment.
And as such, Schodt presents it in his usual fascinating, though-provoking manner. For those chiefly concerned with the animated incarnation, however, things start getting interesting around chapter 4, which describes how Atomu made the transition from comics to TV animation, eventually revolutionizing the Japanese animation industry.
Again, there is a discussion of the artistic influences on Tezuka from other animators, in particular Disney and Fleischer, along with the revelation that Tezuka actually considered a career in animation long before he turned to comics, and in fact created a second animated short as kid.
Schodt also reminds the readers that Tezuka was not working in a vacuum, and that an animation industry existed in Japan long before he set up his studio, Mushi Production, to adapt Tetsuwan Atomu into an animated TV series in Tezuka can hardly be blamed for inventing limited animation techniques for TV productions Americans were there at least a decade earlierbut he did make it popular enough to encourage many other studios to jump on the wagon.
Japanese animation received a stigma for making things quickly, cheaply, and without much care for quality, a stigma that would accompany it for many years to come. Yet Tezuka made another achievement — perhaps his most significant achievement — when he managed to sell the Tetsuwan Atomu animated series, now renamed Astro Boy, for broadcast in the United States, where it became a hit.
This made Tezuka the first man who managed to popularize Japanese animation in the West, a task others before him in particular the Toei Studio, with its lush and expansive productions failed to do.
And the fact that he did it with a black-and-white series, at a time when color broadcasts were taking over in America, makes it even more amazing. The story of how cultural differences between Japanese and Americans were reflected in the show and had to be resolved through dubbing and editing is fascinating enough, but Schodt also explores just how deep an impression Tezuka made with the show on key figures in the American film industry, some more likely to have noticed it Walt Disneysome less so Stanley Kubrick.
The final chapter of the book deals with Tezuka and his iconic hero in the years following the bankruptcy of Mushi productions. Reservations aside, Schodt has again managed to produce a wonderful book, a much-needed first comprehensive study in English about one of the most important people in the history of both comics and animation.
The Astro Boy Essays:The Astro Boy Essays is an invaluable contribution to manga scholarship, and provides a window for American otaku to finally learn about the "God" who made anime what it is today. For more information about the book, see. Summaries.
Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Astro Boy is a suitable first-entry into the SciFi genre, with all the charm, thrills and fun that its demographic needs in a classic premise of political morality straight from its source material%.
Read Common Sense Media's Astro Boy review, age rating, and parents guide. Action-packed adventure a fun bet for young superhero fans. Read Common Sense Media's Astro Boy review, age rating, and parents guide.
Astro Boy may not launch a thousand sequels, but its humor and boy-friendly superhero premise make for an entertaining diversion.
Read "The Astro Boy Essays Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution" by Frederik L. Schodt with Rakuten Kobo. The pioneering genius of Japan’s “God of Comics,” Osamu Tezuka (–89), is examined through his life’s masterwork: Tet.
The Astro Boy Essays: The United States has been feeling the profound effects of Japan’s cultural influence over the last decade. This influence can be traced back through several different pop cultural icons such as martial arts, monsters (Godzilla), anime, and most.