To Shogo, “love” is a four-letter word…
By Osamu Tezuka
Translated by Camellia Nieh
Graphic Novel / Manga
New Paperback Editions for 2010!
Part One: 978-1-935654-04-9, 288 pages
U.S.$10.95 / CAN$12.99
Part Two: 978-1-935654-05-6, 264 pages
U.S. $10.95 / CAN$12.99
Apollo’s Song follows the tragic journey of Shogo, a young man whose abusive childhood has instilled in him a loathing for love so profound he finds himself compelled to acts of violence when he is witness to any act of intimacy or affection whether by human or beast. His hate is such that the gods intervene, cursing Shogo to experience love throughout the ages ultimately to have it ripped from his heart every time. From the Nazi atrocities of World War II to a dystopian future of human cloning, Shogo loses his heart, in so doing, healing the psychological scars of his childhood hatred.
Master storyteller Osamu Tezuka’s Apollo’s Song is a lyrical tour-de-force on the human spirit, the destruction of hate, and the triumph of love.
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 still then considered a frivolous medium. His many early masterpieces include the series known in the U.S. as Astro Boy. With his sweeping vision, deftly intertwined plots, and indefatigable commitment to human dignity, Tezuka elevated manga to an art form. Other works available from Vertical include MW, Ode to Kirihito, Black Jack, and the eight-volume epic Buddha, winner of the Eisner and Harvey Awards.
“A marvelously screwed-up paean to the power of love and sex […] The story is as emotionally manipulative as a classic Disney movie, and just about as unstoppable”
“The paradox is that what’s essentially the same story, filtered through various historic and fantastic milieus, not only holds our interest but also sparks a satisfaction deeper than the sum of its episodes. We know what’s going to happen, but Tezuka’s shamelessly entertaining storytelling and versatile art make repetition a giddy and even profound pleasure.”
—The Los Angeles Times
“Shows just how grim and powerful Tezuka’s stories can be, no matter how childish his big-eyed manga-doll characters look.”
—The Onion A.V. Club
“Maybe it’s a good thing Apollo’s Song wasn’t published in the West until now. Had it appeared there when it first came out, its peculiarity would surely have been dismissed. But now comics sit at the table with the grown-ups, and we should clear a space at the head for Osamu Tezuka and his oddball masterpiece.”
“Apollo’s Song deserves the close reading of a literary novel and will reward those who do so.”
“This manga is full of action and adventure to keep readers’ interest while at the same time being relevant and noteworthy.”