Osamu Tezuka never goes out of style, and there have been countless publishers who have sought to bring his manga catalog to a new generation. The latest effort comes from ABLAZE Publishing, which announced that it will license and publish four new English language translations of Osamu Tezuka titles under its ABLAZE MANGA imprint. The titles will be licensed from Tezuka Productions in cooperation with DI Books for English publication. The titles, which will debut in August and launch through 2024, include One Hundred Tales, Shakespeare Manga Theater, Tomorrow the Birds, and Neo Faust.
In One Hundred Tales (August 29, 2023, MSRP $12.99), Tezuka adapted a Faust legend into a samurai story. Ichirui Hanri is an ordinary accountant who becomes entangled in a power struggle and is sentenced to die via hara-kiri. A witch named Sudama offers and grants three wishes to Hanri in exchange for his soul. The manga originally ran in Weekly Shonen Jump from July 26, 1971 until October 25, 1971.
Shakespeare Manga Theater collects Tezuka’s adaptations of Hamlet, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet (featuring Astro Boy), and The Merchant of Venice into a single volume. The manga is scheduled for publication in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Tezuka’s Tomorrow The Birds is a dystopian science fiction manga in which evolved birds rise up and rebel against their human oppressors, The seven-page chapters alternate with longer stories and was first serialized in 1971 by S-F Magazine as Birdman Anthology. Tomorrow The Birds has an anticipated release date in the second quarter of 2024.
Finally, Neo Faust adapts Goethe’s Faust and was one of the unfinished projects Tezuka developed prior to his death. Neo Faust is the last of the three Faust manga. The first two series ran in Asahi Shimbun between January 1, 1988 to December 16, 1988. Neo Faust will launch in the last quarter of 2024.
ABLAZE Co-founder Rich Young had this to say about the four new English language translations of Osamu Tezuka titles:
“Osamu Tezuka is perhaps the most renowned manga creator of all time and his works have been loved by multiple generations of fans for more than 70 years. We are honored to expand the ABLAZE manga catalog with four of his esteemed works and look forward to comics and manga fans adding to their collections with these new releases.”
Tezuka drew over 700 titles and tens of thousands of pages during his lifetime. The “Godfather of Manga” was a prolific artist and innovator of manga and anime. HIs art ran the gamut from Disney-inspired cutesy and fun to gritty and violent. Late in his career, Tezuka earned critical acclaim for his stylized adaptations of Western literature.