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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A Terrified Teacher at Ghoul School! Vol. 4

Haruaki Abe’s career as a teacher in the most unorthodox environment continues in this fourth volume of the manga series that is winning hearts around the globe!

The Lion and the Bride Vol. 1

Yua is a high school girl in a secret relationship with her teacher. But one day her grandmother, her last surviving family member, passes away and leaves her all alone in the world. And then, her beloved Sensei, supporting her again as he always has, asks her to marry him. She’s convinced that she’s about to begin a happy newlywed life, but it turns out Sensei has a huge secret…?! At school and at home, she’s gotten tangled up in some complicated afterschool marriage blues!!!

Oh My Goddess! Volume 26

Ever since a cosmic phone call brought the four literal young goddesses Belldandy, Urd, Skuld — and, like an occasional vowel, Peorth — to live in college student Keiichi’s residence, his personal life has been turned upside-down, sideways, and sometimes even into strange dimensions!