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Overflowing with imagery of the Cold War seen through Japan's eyes, Ayako is firmly set in realism taking inspiration from a number of historical events that occurred over the American occupation and the cultural revolution which soon followed. It focuses on the Tenge clan, a once-powerful family of landowners living in a rural northern Japan. The increasing influence of political, economic and social change begins to tear into the many Tenge siblings.
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About the Author

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.

Reviews

A 2011 Eisner Award NomineeA 2010 About.com Best Manga of the Year Selection "Best New Seinen/Josei Manga of 2010--Drama Ayako depicts horrifying events, but it is beautifully presented. Connoisseurs of comics craft will find much to admire in Tezuka's cinematic approach to paneling, pacing, and illustration. Peter Mendelsund's striking design gives this 1970's story a modern mood to attract mature readers."--About.com "Panel after panel flows effortlessly, composed in such a way that it draws you in, despite the cartoonish characters that Tezuka is so well known for. His scenery and backgrounds show a vibrant land slowly weighed down by filth and corruption... While I have been dismissive of Tezuka's work in the past, I am fully convinced by Ayako... This book is one of Vertical's finer achievements and a must-have for any Tezuka or intelligent comics fan. 9.5/10" --Comics Village"It is a portrait of humanity's dark side on par with Dante's Inferno... With so many interlocking storylines, all meticulously charted up to the final page, this drama plays out on a stage so grand that only Tezuka could have conceived it. Even the artwork reaches heights that are yet to be surpassed today... For pure story and visual impact, one of the best ever. A-" --Anime News Network "Like some of Vertical's previous long-form Tezuka releases--MW and Ode to Kirihito in particular--Ayako isn't afraid to get dark and dreary. In fact, Ayako may be one of the bleakest yet. That is, of course, said as a term of endearment; this nearly 700-page work sucks you into its twisted narrative from the very first chapter, and its grip only gets icier as the pages turn... From Peter Mendelsund's elegant cover design to Mari Morimoto's dialect-infused translation, this is another must for fans of Osamu Tezuka and comics in general." --Otaku USA A 2011 Eisner Award NomineeA 2010" About.com "Best Manga of the Year Selection" " Best New Seinen/Josei Manga of 2010 Drama "Ayako" depicts horrifying events, but it is beautifully presented. Connoisseurs of comics craft will find much to admire in Tezuka s cinematic approach to paneling, pacing, and illustration. Peter Mendelsund s striking design gives this 1970 s story a modern mood to attract mature readers. "About.com" Panel after panel flows effortlessly, composed in such a way that it draws you in, despite the cartoonish characters that Tezuka is so well known for. His scenery and backgrounds show a vibrant land slowly weighed down by filth and corruption While I have been dismissive of Tezuka s work in the past, I am fully convinced by "Ayako" This book is one of Vertical s finer achievements and a must-have for any Tezuka or intelligent comics fan. 9.5/10 "Comics Village""" It is a portrait of humanity s dark side on par with Dante s "Inferno" With so many interlocking storylines, all meticulously charted up to the final page, this drama plays out on a stage so grand that only Tezuka could have conceived it. Even the artwork reaches heights that are yet to be surpassed today For pure story and visual impact, one of the best ever. A- "Anime News Network" Like some of Vertical s previous long-form Tezuka releases "MW" and "Ode to Kirihito" in particular "Ayako" isn t afraid to get dark and dreary. In fact, "Ayako" may be one of the bleakest yet. That is, of course, said as a term of endearment; this nearly 700-page work sucks you into its twisted narrative from the very first chapter, and its grip only gets icier as the pages turn From Peter Mendelsund s elegant cover design to Mari Morimoto s dialect-infused translation, this is another must for fans of Osamu Tezuka and comics in general. "Otaku USA"" A 2010" About.com "Best Manga of the Year Selection" ""Best New Seinen/Josei Manga of 2010--Drama"Ayako" depicts horrifying events, but it is beautifully presented. Connoisseurs of comics craft will find much to admire in Tezuka's cinematic approach to paneling, pacing, and illustration. Peter Mendelsund's striking design gives this 1970's story a modern mood to attract mature readers."--"About.com" "Panel after panel flows effortlessly, composed in such a way that it draws you in, despite the cartoonish characters that Tezuka is so well known for. His scenery and backgrounds show a vibrant land slowly weighed down by filth and corruption... While I have been dismissive of Tezuka's work in the past, I am fully convinced by "Ayako.".. This book is one of Vertical's finer achievements and a must-have for any Tezuka or intelligent comics fan. 9.5/10" --"Comics Village""""It is a portrait of humanity's dark side on par with Dante's "Inferno.".. With so many inter .,."a compact Japanese version of a W.E.B. Griffin novel." - "Publishers Weekly" "Much more than just a plane-ride story, Zero Over Berlin offers a broad canvas of a world uneasily slipping into a world war. "- "The Complete Review "

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