Phoenix, Volume 2: A Tale of the Future

Phoenix, Volume 2: A Tale of the Future

by Osamu Tezuka
     
 

First published in the 1960s, Phoenix remains relevant today. Civilization has gone underground after several nuclear wars. Masato, a resident of the underground capital of Tokyo, is discovered owning an outlawed alien animal with hallucinogenic properties. Fleeing for his life, he learns the secret of the Phoenix as the world veers toward Armageddon.  See more details below

Overview

First published in the 1960s, Phoenix remains relevant today. Civilization has gone underground after several nuclear wars. Masato, a resident of the underground capital of Tokyo, is discovered owning an outlawed alien animal with hallucinogenic properties. Fleeing for his life, he learns the secret of the Phoenix as the world veers toward Armageddon.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chances are readers have never seen anything like this, and not just because it's only now being published in English. Tezuka (1928-1989), known for his manga innovations, considered this series of interlocking stories to be his masterpiece. Viz excellently contextualizes it with essays and an interview with and brief statement by Tezuka. This work, the second of Tezuka's 12 Phoenix books, starts off conventionally enough in the year 3034. Humans have been forced underground by a series of wars, and the remaining population lives in five cities ruled by infallible computers. Young space patrolman Yamanobe is in love with a Moopie (a shape-changing alien) who's taken on the form of a beautiful young woman. When ordered to kill her-Moopies are being exterminated because of their ability to induce hallucinogenic fantasies-Yamanobe flees to the Earth's ravaged surface instead. The cities subsequently blow each other up, and in the ensuing nuclear winter, Yamanobe finds that he's been granted eternal life by the mysterious Phoenix. The story then shifts into high gear: the rest of the book covers not centuries or millennia, but millions of years, as Yamanobe, unable to die and totally alone, watches evolution unfold, from primordial soup to evolved, thinking life forms. Throughout, Tezuka's visual imagination is as stunning as his narrative is ambitious. If readers can get beyond the retro-cute look-the artwork's bold, simple lines might seem overly cartoony given the serious, even metaphysical nature of the story-this is a work guaranteed to blow their minds. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Tezuka (1928-89) was Japan's "God of Manga." The incredibly prolific artist created manga's cinematic and cartoony style, pioneered many manga genres, and inspired generations of creators. His manga Tetsuwan Atom, known here as Astro Boy (Dark Horse), became the first anime shown on American TV. Tezuka referred to the Phoenix saga, begun in the 1960s but unfinished at his death, as his life's work. This volume, though only one of 12 original parts (only an excerpt of one of the others is available in English), is actually the climax of the series and is an epic in itself. In the year 3404, fugitive space patrolman Masato, illegally harboring a friendly alien creature, flees one of the last homes of the human race, which sparks a conflict between the last humans that seems like the end for humanity. But Phoenix, the Spirit of the Earth, has other plans. Some modern comics fans may find the look of Tezuka's characters old-fashioned, but this is the work of a master storyteller, comparable to other complex manga such as Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind (Viz). The excellent translation team Dadakai includes manga expert and Tezuka associate Frederik L. Schodt. Visionary science fiction on a grand scale, this is highly recommended for all collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Part of a 12-volume masterwork, Phoenix appeared in Japan in 1969. Each volume can stand alone, and this one is the first to appear in English in its entirety. In 3404, Earth is nearly dead. Everyone lives underground in one of five capitals. Space patrolman Masato lives with his Moopie, a creature that can assume any form (in this case, a beautiful woman), and with whom he has fallen in love. As all Moopies are to be destroyed, he takes her and escapes aboveground, where he crash-lands in a lab. Throughout his adventure, a vision of a phoenix appears and tells Masato that it is up to him to re-create mankind after its impending destruction. He also learns that he has been made immortal, and then lives alone for thousands of years until human civilization can be created anew. This future world, with its weapons of mass destruction and cities full of upwardly mobile trendsetters, brings to mind contemporary society so strongly that teens will immediately be able to relate to the story (and have a hard time believing that it's more than 30 years old). The eternally optimistic phoenix shares its hope for the nature of humanity, and it is drawn with sparks of light surrounding it. The illustrations are reminiscent of those in Tezuka's "Astro Boy" series (Dark Horse). This moving masterpiece is a must for most graphic-novel collections.-Jamie Watson, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591160267
Publisher:
VIZ Media LLC
Publication date:
06/28/2002
Series:
Phoenix Series, #2
Edition description:
Graphic Novel
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

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