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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Buddha


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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:24 am Reply with quote
Wow, that sounds pretty damn interesting. I'm in the middle of re-reading Tezuka's psychological thriller, MW, which really impresses me. Perhaps Buddha would appeal to me, perhaps not spiritually, but storywise.
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:24 am Reply with quote
Quite an interesting piece.

While I wouldn't call myself a Tezuka scholar, my experiences with the Phoenix manga have been rather positive and I'm definitely looking forward to checking out Buddha eventually.

And I agree, Tezuka absolutely does have his own way of telling what look like relatively simple and straightforward stories, on paper, with a good dose of eccentric humor and yet maintain a surprising amount of depth. His ability to easily move between those layers is truly one of the reasons he can be considered a master of his craft.

The content and structure aren't going to be equal throughout all of his works, of course, but in terms of themes and storytelling techniques it would surely be intriguing to compare and contrast the two titles mentioned above. For one thing, Buddha seems to have a clear protagonist at its core while Phoenix can't really be pinned down in a similar manner (there are far more recurring "actors" or character designs than actual individuals, the titular creature itself being fairly elusive and all).
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:40 am Reply with quote
I first read Buddha via the library a few years ago and then finally got the manga in the past few months via manga trading (I have a lot of Tezuka manga btw, Phoenix, Buddha, Astro Boy, MW, Ode to Kirihito, Ayako, Apollo's Song, Next World, Metropolis, and some of Black Jack, I've read Adolf via my university library and would love to own it)

One thing I noticed was something between it and Phoenix, I would say that Buddha shows Buddhism in a positive light, as a religious form of having found enlightenment and spreading messages of equality and life, but the Sun Chapter of Phoenix shows it being used as a means of political control, in fact the Phoenix actually comes down to a confused main character and tells him spoiler[that all religions are equally correct, so his fight against Buddhism being forced onto his people over local dieties might not be entirely right of him on a religious basis, especially when his people are willing to give in to not be murdered at this point, though the main still finds it to be wrong of the government to force religion as their means of control]

But the Buddha manga is so much more than just reading about Buddhism, there's a really great adventure tale with vibrant characters in there too, righteous people, scheming people, innocent people, people guilty as all hell, and their interactions, it's worth reading for that alone.

But just imagine if someone today tried to do the same thing with Christianity, that would probably cause so much controversy and annoyance (actually, I think I do recall seeing a comic book, maybe even manga version of the Bible somewhere, what I mean is presenting it as anything other than a scene for scene direct translation with no liberties allowed to be taken to the story for any reasons without causing an upset), I'm rather impressed that this manga was able to be made at all because I don't think it'd fly today.
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:04 am Reply with quote
@classicalzawa:

That's actually a rather keen observation and a good example of the sort of thing I was getting at.

As for the idea of ever seeing an equivalent work dealing with other major religious figures, Christian or otherwise...I have to imagine that it would have to be written in geographical or cultural isolation, which isn't too likely to last in this day and age, or the person(s) responsible for it would have to be held in such high regard both inside and outside of their own faith as to make any fundamentalist objections look not just silly but sadomasochistic. Unfortunately, even that probably wouldn't be able to completely eliminate the risk of things getting out of hand under the current climate of intolerance and radicalism.

I have to say that I do envy your healthy collection of Tezuka's works though, albeit in an entirely constructive sense. Wink I'd be glad to own even half of the titles you've listed, sooner or later.
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:14 am Reply with quote
I've got some pics of my Tezuka shelf (and another shelf under it) here and here. I'm really hoping to get more Black Jack at Otakon, it and FMA will probably be my major manga buying objective this time around (though I've read through volume 8 or so once again thanks to the library). Right now I've only got 1, 3, and 7.

Also, if you're a Tezuka fan, I always highly recommend playing Astro Boy: Omega Factor for GBA, it's dirt cheap to buy and it has tons of cameos. And it's developed by Treasure! It's definitely what got me into Osamu Tezuka in the first place, oddly enough.
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taster of pork



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:09 am Reply with quote
Does anyone know any sites that have the first volume of Phoenix? I can't seem to find it.
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:15 am Reply with quote
taster of pork wrote:
Does anyone know any sites that have the first volume of Phoenix? I can't seem to find it.

Believe it or not, there's this class at my University that requires that as a reading and you bet the bookstores had a good 20 copies or so, so, odd as this may sound, check local university bookstores.

If you can't find it, Media Blasters put out the Phoenix anime and that chapter, Dawn, is pretty much exactly like it is in the manga.
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taster of pork



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:08 am Reply with quote
classicalzawa wrote:
taster of pork wrote:
Does anyone know any sites that have the first volume of Phoenix? I can't seem to find it.

Believe it or not, there's this class at my University that requires that as a reading and you bet the bookstores had a good 20 copies or so, so, odd as this may sound, check local university bookstores.

If you can't find it, Media Blasters put out the Phoenix anime and that chapter, Dawn, is pretty much exactly like it is in the manga.
Is the hole anime like the manga?
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:30 am Reply with quote
taster of pork wrote:
Is the whole anime like the manga?

The first 4 episodes cover Dawn pretty much perfectly. It also covers half of Sun (the better half arguably), Strange Beings perfectly, Future very well, and Resurrection.....not at all like the manga, but it covers the other 4 very well.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:07 am Reply with quote
Ah Buddha, I won this in a contest from the late FPS Magazine. Very Happy
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:48 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Maybe it's because psychic manga was so popular in the '70s.


I'm guessing it's because transcendental meditation was popular back then, so the psychic thing is just an extension of that.
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Moomintroll



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:45 am Reply with quote
I think Buddha is the only Tezuka manga to have been published in English that I haven't read any of yet (and the only Vertical manga I haven't got for that matter).
I really need to fix that.
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vashfanatic
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:16 pm Reply with quote
I really loved this series; it is, along with MW, one of the few series of Tezuka's where I never had a moment where I felt like punching him across the space-time continuum for his sexism* and use of lame gag humor, I was just caught up in the drama. It has quite possibly one of the best final scenes I've read in a manga, where as the Buddha is dying and about to enter parinirvana, that indescribable final state that isn't living or dying, and he wonders whether anything he did will outlast his own life... I had to have my box of kleenex handy. Crying or Very sad

One of my friends who is a Buddhist convert really did not like this series and didn't continue past about volume 3 because of the enhanced role that Brahma plays in this story; and I don't know if it's Verticle's translation or Tezuka's own religious views, but it conflates Brahma (the god who Buddha preached to) with Brahman (the universal substance of the universe in Hinduism). My friend felt it added an overtly theistic element to a decidedly non-theistic religion; Buddhism doesn't deny that their might be a God or gods, just that they are not vital for attaining enlightenment. That the Buddha gets so much of his knowledge as revelation from God was, in my friend's judgment, un-Buddhist.

But I think it was meant more as a vehicle for Tezuka's own personal interpretation of Buddhism, which is almost more pantheistic. Like the Phoenix, Brahma is the representation of the sacred wholeness of the universe that we all participate in. You could also interpret him as just part of the Buddha's own subconscious.

Anyway, it's fantastic series, funny and exciting and moving. I really do with someone would give a similar treatment to other religious founders. You can holdup Jesus, but if it weren't for some (but not all) Muslims having traditions against depicting Muhammad pictorially, his life was astoundingly cinematic.


*And yes, I've very interested to see what his Princess Knight is like, because in nothing I've read by him has he had particularly good heroines.
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BleuVII



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:56 am Reply with quote
classicalzawa wrote:
But just imagine if someone today tried to do the same thing with Christianity, that would probably cause so much controversy and annoyance (actually, I think I do recall seeing a comic book, maybe even manga version of the Bible somewhere, what I mean is presenting it as anything other than a scene for scene direct translation with no liberties allowed to be taken to the story for any reasons without causing an upset), I'm rather impressed that this manga was able to be made at all because I don't think it'd fly today.


Yeah, it's called "Manga Messiah". I know the artist personally, and I am the English proofreader for the series. It is a good scene-for-scene adaptation, but we have definitely run into lots of opposition from SO MANY parties if we try to add in a scene not from the Bible, not matter how well it's done.

I read the first 2 or 3 volumes of Buddha last year, but as I was getting them from the library and I moved, I had to stop reading them. It's too bad too, because it's a fantastically done manga, and I would like to see what happened in the end. It sounds like it just got better.

Lots of people seem to be wondering what an artistic take on Jesus' life would be. I've honestly been thinking a lot about that. I have a lot of ideas for a long-running manga that has Luke as a narrator, with possible chapters being narrated by John Mark, Mary, and Peter. But the main thing is that Jesus is not the main character. The main character needs to doubt; needs to be relatable. Since Christianity holds that Jesus is God, we are not afforded the luxury of making him a flawed character that has to grow. So the key is to tell the story through the eyes of the disciples.--
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ptolemy18
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Joined: 07 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:17 pm Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
One of my friends who is a Buddhist convert really did not like this series and didn't continue past about volume 3 because of the enhanced role that Brahma plays in this story; and I don't know if it's Verticle's translation or Tezuka's own religious views, but it conflates Brahma (the god who Buddha preached to) with Brahman (the universal substance of the universe in Hinduism). My friend felt it added an overtly theistic element to a decidedly non-theistic religion; Buddhism doesn't deny that their might be a God or gods, just that they are not vital for attaining enlightenment. That the Buddha gets so much of his knowledge as revelation from God was, in my friend's judgment, un-Buddhist.


I noticed that too! It does seem unusually monotheistic for the story of Buddha. I almost commented on it in the review, but the Wikipedia on Brahma suggested that maybe I didn't know as much about Brahma as I thought I did, so I let it pass.
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