In this 1970 work by influential manga giant Tezuka (Astro Boy), Shogo Chikaishi is the son of a prostitute and an unknown member of her clientele. Derided by his mother and beaten when he sees her in bed with a customer, he comes to despise all lovemaking. Under psychiatric care, during electroshock therapy, he sees a goddess who curses him for disdaining love; he will be endlessly reborn to fall in love with the same woman, but one of them will always die before their love is consummated. In his visions, this story plays out in Nazi Germany; in an isolated, peaceable kingdom of animals; and on a near-future Earth ruled by artificially created humanoids who know nothing of love. In the real world, Shogo becomes a fugitive, but a woman shelters him, and his capacity for love is gradually awakened. This is no dewy-eyed paean to love's transcendent power, however; for Tezuka, love ennobles humans, but it also torments them. Tezuka's cartoony artwork here is similar to that in Buddha(LJ1/04), and there is little of the characteristic goofy humor that can seem out of place in Tezuka's more serious works. With nudity and sex, this is recommended for adults.