Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ode To Kirihito

Osama Tezuka

Ode To Kirihito is an acknowledged classic, and deserving of the title. This mammoth 822-page work is a steal at $25 (Thank you, Vertical, Inc.), and a rich, deep work to boot. It has the feel of a real epic as the characters travel to several exotic locales in their quest to escape tyranny and to expose the culprit behind the disease that leaves people in the form of Dog Men. Physicians the world over struggle to understand the epidemic and its nature, meanwhile hiding truths for personal gain. Two young doctors are at the heart of this story, one idealistic man (Dr. Osanai) and one with, well, real issues (Dr. Urabe). As Dr. Osanai ventures to a remote village with hundreds of cases of this "Monmow Disease" on record, he steps into a terrible conspiracy and leaves behind Urabe and a fiance to deal with several consequences of this trip, while having to struggle in his own horrific battle as well. Ultimately, this is a science suspense thriller with real heart that looks these dog-faced individuals in the face and confronts the real dark sides of men. It is a strange sort of tale, but not as odd as I was brought to believe given many people's reactions to the story, particularly in the face of some books I've read as of late. Ode To Kirihito was the first work I've actually read by master artist Osama Tezuka, and an absolute pleasure. This work deserves all the acclaim its garnered and I look forward to delving into other works from Tezuka in the near future. A

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