by Chris MaGee
It seems like 2008 has been the battle between Akira Kurosawa and Osamu Tezuka. This year marks not only the 10 anniversary of the death of the former, but also the 80th anniversary of the birth of the latter. Tribute exhibitions have been popping up for both directors and for awhile there’s been news of various Kurosawa remakes and a posthumous screenplay, “The Masque of the Black Death” being turned into an animated film, but with news that Osamu Tezuka’s entire catalogue of 700 manga and 100 animated films will be posted online for free has the god of anime coming out victorious in the battle of the legends of Japanese cinema and culture.
According to Anime News Network Tezuka Productions, the company in charge of overseeing the estate of the late manga and anime artist will begin to post volumes of and animated episodes of “Astro Boy”, “Kimba the White Lion”, Black Jack”, “Pheonix” and other Tezuka creations at their official site starting this week. The whole undertaking will take until 2011 to complete, but regardless of the time involved I can’t think of any better tribute.