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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Fairy Tale Battle Royale Vol. 3

Aoba heads back to the Story World to see if she can find out just what is going on there, only to discover someone’s waiting for her — Peter Pan! He might look friendly, but his intent is far from benign. He wants Aoba to be his Wendy and won’t take no for an answer!

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Vol. 1

A high school girl is stunned to find herself reincarnated as the conniving villainess from her favorite dating sim game, Fortune Lover. Now, as Katarina Claes, the impossibly rich and spoiled daughter of a Duke, her new life seems to perfectly sync up with the world of the game. This means big trouble!

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Vol. 8

Kanna’s father, the great chaos dragon warrior Kimun Kamuy, has appeared to take Kanna back to the world of dragons. Kanna will go if it means finally getting her father’s approval, but Kimun Kamuy is more interested in Kanna as a comrade-in-arms than a daughter.