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Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix Manga Gets Sequel in Novel Form in April

posted on by Karen Ressler
Gosick's Kazuki Sakuraba pens novel based on Tezuka's manuscript

The Asahi Shimbun newspaper announced on Thursday that it will serialize a sequel novel for Osamu Tezuka's classic Phoenix (Hi no Tori) manga based on an outline Tezuka wrote himself. Naoki Prize-winning author Kazuki Sakuraba (Gosick, Fusé: Memoirs of a Huntress) is writing the novel, titled Shōsetsu Hi no Tori Daichi-hen (Novel Phoenix "Ground"). The novel is planned to begin serialization in April in the newspaper's "be" excerpt on Saturdays, and it will feature illustrations by Seitarō Kuroda.

The historical fantasy will take place in Asia during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Tezuka wrote the outline on two sheets of 400-character standard Japanese manuscript pages, with the story beginning with, "A corner of the Taklamakan Desert, an endless wasteland."

The manuscript had been stored in a storage room in the Tezuka Production offices. According to Tezuka Production employee Hajime Tanaka, Tezuka wrote the manuscript in 1988, after receiving a proposal for a planned musical based on Phoenix. The musical production eventually decided on a future setting, so Tezuka abandoned the story and began writing another.

Tezuka began the original Phoenix "Dawn" arc in Manga Shonen from 1954-55, but it remains unfinished due to the magazine's suspension of publication. Three more chapters (Egypt, Greece, and Rome) appeared in the Shojo Club magazine in 1956, but also left the story unfinished. Tezuka later restarted "Dawn" with some changes in the debut issue of COM magazine in 1967. This manga served as a prologue for the long-running multi-part series.

Tezuka continued to serialize new arcs for the manga until the 12th part, "Sun," which ended in 1988, the year before his death. The stories presented in the Phoenix manga span multiple eras, past and future.

Viz Media published the manga in North America.

The manga has inspired a series of anime film and OVA adaptations from 1978 to 1987, each adapting a different story in the manga. The manga also inspired a 2004 television anime.

Thanks to Kevin Marnholz for the news tip.

Source: Asahi Shimbun (滝沢文那)

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