Osamu Tezuka: Influencing Expressive Techniques in Contemporary Manga

Modern manga has come a long way from the early days of Edo. Osamu Tezuka is one if the main pioneers that laid the road that many manga artists followed to create the Japanese culture of today.

Today when many western readers read manga they often times describe it as being almost cinmatic. Many Japanese young artists also found this same inpression when they first read Tesuka's "New Treasure Island" during its realease in 1947. This cinematic feeling was borin during the postwar cotemporary manga movement lead by Tezuka.

Manga is repeatedly described as cinematic... yet the pictures do not move. What makes this feeling of film surface in contemporary manga?

Tezuka's composition and arrangement becomes what is most sucessful in creating this illusion. In "New Treasure Island" Tezuka chose to illustrate a sequence that used to be represented by a page or two into an 180 page sequence. This was different from anything the manga world had ever seen before. The new post-war approach had begun a revolution. From close-ups and perspective pans to zooms, "it was almost as if the artist has simple pasted succesive frames from a film onto the page."

This is seen in many examples of contemporary manga today. The artistic value of manga became more apparant over the following years. The development of these styles evolved along with the development of story subject.




cinematic like page from Tezuka's "Jungle Emporer Leo"

page from "Astroboy"