Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Apollo's Song Review

"Apollo's Song" by Osamu Tezuka, is Tezuka cast of characters in top form.

"'The Song for Apollo' is a science fiction manga for young readers featuring a boy named Chikaishi Shogo, a bad boy who has grown up without knowing love. In the story, he travels in time to search for true love." [Synopsis taken from Tezuka's site]

I also see a similarity between this manga and the novels "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" [1968, Phillip K. Dick] and "Valis," [1981, Phillip K. Dick] due to times in our respective societies when sexuality, technology and identity became subjects of importance in science fiction writing.

"Apollo's Song" is a fever dream of the future, splicing the storytelling gene of the greek myth with the cyberpunk future tale. Both heroes struggle to find love as artificial constructs in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep," and "Apollo's Sun." Both Kilgore Trout from "Valis," and Chikaishi Shogo both suffer a multiple personality disorder that in time reads more like an actual phasing of their real selves through time. This is heavy shit.

As Shogo falls through the cracks of his dream lives to rediscover and suffer love tragically, he willingly accepts his fate to experience the wheel of karma time and time again, combining the Buddhist with the greek myth/cyberpunk hybrid.

"Apollo's Song" is a really great read. This is Tezuka, also known as the "Japanese Walt Disney," in top form. His team of artists render the story with such quality, the likes of his "Phoenix," and "Cyborg 009" stories, with lush vegetation, expressive gestures, and mind-numbing technological epiphany.

Read it.

By Guest Contributor: Mark DeNardo



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