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Message to Adolf, Part 1


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Osamu Tezuka (1928-89) is the godfather of Japanese manga comics. He originally intended to become a doctor and earned his degree before turning to what was then a medium for children. His many early masterpieces include the series known in the U.S. as Astro Boy. With his sweeping vision, deftly interwined plots, feel for the workings of power, and indefatigable commitment to human dignity, Tezuka elevated manga to an art form.

The later Tezuka, when he authored Buddha, often had in mind the mature readership that manga gained in the sixties and that had only grown ever since. The Kurosawa of Japanese pop culture, Osamu Tezuka is a twentieth century classic. Tezuka is a multiple award-winner on both sides of the Pacific. His Adolf won the Kodansha Manga Award in 1986. His works Buddha and Dororo have received Eisner Awards in North America over the past decade.


Winner of the 1986 Kodansha Manga Award for Best Manga Adolf is one of Japan's greatest manga epics... The perfect choice for those who don't normally read manga. There's humor here, but also monstrous acts that defy comprehension. Adolf is an emotional and complex work that proves once again that comic books can be equal to any great literary novel. Whether you love manga, super hero books or personal tales, Adolf is one series you must read. -

"God of Manga" Tezuka received a Kodansha Award for this mature, provocative work-his last major manga before his death in 1989. A Japanese reporter assigned to cover the Berlin Olympics finds that his Berlin-based brother has been killed, somehow in connection with a secret message sent to Japan. The message contains evidence that Hitler had Jewish blood, and so Nazi official Wolfgang Kaufman, living in Japan with his half-Japanese son, Adolf, is charged with recovering the dangerous document. This Adolf's best friend is a Jewish lad, Adolf Kamil, and he has no interest in Nazi anti-Semitism. As the reporter searches for clues about his brother and Kaufman searches for the document, the two young Adolfs become involved. Tezuka uses a style more realistic than cartoony, with frighteningly good renditions of the third Adolf: Hitler himself. Issued in seven volumes by VIZ Media in the 1990s, this edition fits all into two. Verdict This alt-history murder mystery offers a nuanced, psychologically based realism rarely seen by U.S. manga readers. Best for older teens up owing to violence, it's a real treat for lovers of historical fiction and "what-if" scenario-building.-Martha Cornog, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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