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Osomatsu-kun Creator Akatsuka Gets Documentary Film

posted on by Karen Ressler
Late manga creator drew gag manga Tensai Bakabon, earliest magical girl manga Himitsu no Akko-chan

The life of Fujio Akatsuka (Osomatsu-kun, Himitsu no Akko-chan, Tensai Bakabon, Hennako-chan) is inspiring a documentary film to commemorate what would be his 80th birthday (Akatsuka passed away in 2008 at 72). The film will be titled Manga o Hamidashita Otoko: Fujio Akatsuka (The Man Who Went Beyond Manga: Fujio Akatsuka)

Masanori Tominaga (The Echo of Astro Boy's Footsteps) is directing the film and Tamori (live-action Tensai Bakabon), who had a close relationship with Akatsuka, will perform the theme song. Orange Muroi is contributing 2D animation and Animaroid is contributing 3D animation.

The documentary will pull together footage, new and old, from a wide variety of friends, fans, and fellow creators. These include Shotaro Ishinomori (Kamen Rider, Cyborg 009), Kenichi Kitami (Tsuri Baka Nisshi), Shinichi Suzuki, Tetsuya Chiba (Ashita no Joe), Jirō Tsunoda (Pyunpyunmaru, Ushiro no Hyakutaro), Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko (Doraemon), Yōichi Fujita (Mr. Osomatsu director), Mitsutoshi Furuya (Dame Oyaji), FROGMAN, Hideko Mizuno (Honey Honey no Suteki na Bōken), Kenji Morita (Robotan), and Akatsuka's daughter Rieko Akatsuka.

The recent Mr. Osomatsu anime was also created to commemorate Akatsuka's 80th birthday.

The film will open in theaters on April 30.

Akatsuka led a distinguished career. He was born in 1935 in Manchuria, the area that is now the northeastern part of China. When World War II ended, his family moved back to live in Japan's Nara and Niigata prefectures. Since he dreamed of becoming a manga artist like Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy, Jungle Emperor/Kimba the White Lion), he moved to Tokyo in 1954 to work in a factory while he honed his craft. He lived in the Tokiwa-sō, the Tokyo apartment building that became the haunt of famous and soon-to-be-famous artists such as Tezuka, Shotaro Ishinomori (Cyborg 009, Kamen Rider, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past), and the Fujiko Fujio duo (Doraemon).

Akatsuka made his professional debut with Arashi o Koete in 1956, and his first hit was 1962's original Osomatsu-kun gag manga in Shonen Sunday. This manga won a Shogakukan Manga Award in 1965. Akatsuka helped pioneer a new kind of gag manga that specialized in fast-paced, nonsensical humor. He would create dozens of manga titles, including the Mōretsu Atarō children's comedy, the popular family comedy Tensai Bakabon, and the earliest magical girl manga Himitsu no Akko-chan. In 1997, the Japan Cartoonists Association gave him the Literary Giant Award.

Source: Cinema Frontline

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.

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