Osamu Tezuka’s vaunted storytelling genius, consummate skill at visual expression, and warm humanity blossom fully in his eight-volume epic of Siddhartha’s life and times. Tezuka evidences his profound grasp of the subject by contextualizing the Buddha’s ideas; the emphasis is on movement, action, emotion, and conflict as the prince Siddhartha runs away from home, travels across India, and questions Hindu practices such as ascetic self-mutilation and caste oppression. Rather than recommend resignation and impassivity, Tezuka’s Buddha predicates enlightenment upon recognizing the interconnectedness of life, having compassion for the suffering, and ordering one’s life sensibly. Philosophical segments are threaded into interpersonal situations with ground-breaking visual dynamism by an artist who makes sure never to lose his readers’ attention.

Tezuka himself was a humanist rather than a Buddhist, and his magnum opus is not an attempt at propaganda. Hermann Hesse’s novel or Bertolucci’s film is comparable in this regard; in fact, Tezuka’s approach is slightly irreverent in that it incorporates something that Western commentators often eschew, namely, humor.

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Demon King Daimaou: Volume 8

2V, with the newly-awakened First Demon King, Zero, has successfully taken over the Empire. All Liradans, including Korone, are under her control. And with Akuto out of commission and no one allowed to use magic, no one can stop her from commanding every aspect of the citizen’s lives. What is 2V’s true goal behind creating this Liradan-centered, magicless society?

Amagi Brilliant Park: Volume 2

Kanie Seiya has saved the park… right? Well, you can hardly call it “saved” when they’re majorly understaffed and their budget is running on fumes! Which means that if Seiya wants to give his newfound friends more than a brief stay of execution, he’ll have to navigate a new set of trials. Touch-and-go employee interviews and razor’s edge investor negotiations may be par for the course… but when things escalate to literal trials in a literal dungeon, it won’t just be the park whose survival is in question!

Kamakura Monogatari Vol. 2

Kamakura Monogatari follows the mystery writer Masakazu Isshiki and his young bride, Akiko, on their heart-warming life in Kamakura–but it’s not all fun and games! Masakazu and Akiko get caught up in a series of mysterious events on right after another that require all their wits and sleuthing skills to solve. Full of mysteries and romance, this charming story was chosen as the grand prize winner in the 2015 Manga Translation Battle, and was even turned into a movie in 2017!