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Ayako by Osamu Tezuka


by Osamu Tezuka

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The period is 1949-72. Twenty-three years that cover roughly the ill-fated existence of a young girl that, having grown up in seclusion and isolation, is thrown into a world that she cannot understand and has violently abused her. Born into a family of incestuous relations in which powerful traditions and connections rule, Ayako is a victim that reminds the reader of some well-known real cases of long-term incarceration suffered by children and youngsters. Yet Tezuka goes beyond the horror of the situation by placing it in the midst of a Japanese society torn after the upheavals of the Second World War. A dislocation that is marked by corruption and greed. Not a comfortable story to read but, nevertheless, an unforgettable one that reminds us of ethical values and the ways that life can sometimes go completely awry. ( )
  drasvola | Jan 28, 2013 |
By "Father of Manga" Osamu Tezuka, those expecting something of the line of Astro Boy or Kimba the White Lion, are strongly recommended to avoid this, ...or at least change their expectations. More of a greek tragedy than anything else, Ayako is the post WW2 story of the Tenge family, who's drama is something akin to VC Andrew's Flowers in the Attic. Equal parts decadent and historical, Ayako is definitely a piece of work, ...but one not for children. ( )
  timothyl33 | Feb 12, 2011 |
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In “Ayako,” Osamu Tezuka draws on that offshoot of literary realism called Naturalism. Emile Zola and others working in that tradition were greatly influenced by Charles Darwin, though their understanding of his theory was idiosyncratic, and they put it to their own uses. Mostly what they took from Darwin’s work was the notion that we are all prisoners of our heredity (a notion that wasn’t exactly new: novelists had been using “blood” to explain their characters for a long time) and our social environment. “Prisoners” is the key word here: one’s heredity and circumstances seldom, in the Naturalists’ view, left one free to live a happy, healthy life: They were more likely to compel one toward vice, poverty, crime, incest and alcoholism.
added by dcozy | editThe Japan Times, David Cozy (Aug 18, 2013)
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