Apollo’s Song Due in June

While at the NY Con last month, I picked up a sampler from Vertical highlighting the upcoming Apollo’s Song.

Apollo's Song cover

It’s another in their line of works by Osamu Tezuka (whose Ode to Kirihito was recently reviewed on this site). It’s 500 or so pages, due in June, priced at $19.95.

It’s described as “the story of Shogo, a troubled young man who has no faith in love. When his misanthropy reaches its peak, he is met by the Goddess of Love, who condemns him to an eternity of heartbreak.” Also included in the story are travels to other times and places. That explains the chapter shown in the preview, which follows a young Nazi soldier to his death.

I know Tezuka is deservedly well-respected, and I’m disappointed in myself for not appreciating his work more, but I have a really hard time reading a story that features rape and violent death when the characters look like they should be starring in a happy Disney movie for six-year-olds. The cartoony style gets in my way, which is odd, since I don’t have a problem with serious material drawn in a simplified fashion in American independent comics.

I think, and this is an odd thing to say, it’s all the highlights on the large eyes. I just can’t cope with sparkling eyes watching soldiers strip a girl before sexually assaulting her. Nor can I reconcile a story about horror and cynicism with its cute characters. (I had similar problems when friend of the blog Ed lent me Buddha. It was meant to be inspiring and spiritual, and then a funny little animal would run by, and I’d expect it to talk, and boom! there I went right out of the story.)

Other readers may feel differently, of course. Also of interest is this interview with Director of Marketing and Publicity Anne Ishii in which she explains more about the company’s goals.


  1. […] expresses some doubts about Tezuka’s serious work, such as the soon-to-be-published Apollo’s Song: I know […]

  2. […] criticism of Osamu Tezuka’s more adult works, that Tezuka’s cute, cartoony style detracts from the serious tone and events of the story. But for me it wasn’t something that threw me out of the story of Ode to Kirihito, or the […]

  3. […] Johanna Draper Carlson can’t get into Osamu Tezuka’s work due to the Disney-like art: […]

  4. I agree, Johanna. I too have had a stumbling block with Tezuka and feel slightly ashamed for not “getting it”. I couldn’t really get through the first volume of Astro Boy and I didn’t enjoy Metropolis. But someone lent me Buddha, and while I had that knee-jerk reaction to some of the occasional Disney characters, as you say, I found that I really enjoyed Buddha overall and whipped through two volumes in no time. I hope to acquire and enjoy the rest! I’ll read your Kirihito review.
    Take care,

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