Guide to English Language Editions of Tezuka’s Work
February 17, 2012
The date of the Osamu Tezuka Manga Moveable Feast is fast approaching. I had to bump this article up a week when I realized the one I wanted to post today required more research on my part. So this is early. But the love for the MMF is still there.
In case it wasn’t extremely obvious, I am a huge book nerd. I work at a used bookstore, and I love spending my time researching titles and editions for customers, where to pick them up, and how much they cost. Reading the books are a big part of it, of course, but researching different editions, and which one is the best, is one of my favorite things. This extends to manga, of course, and Tezuka in particular. Tezuka has had around 6 English-language publishers, and a good number of his titles have more than one edition. This is a list of every title, and every edition of each, that has been published in English, along with search-friendly ISBNs and a little information about each. I’ll update this as more come out, but it’s pretty monstrous already.
I plan on adding photos at a later date, to give you an idea of the size and look of the different editions, and for comparison’s sake.
EDIT: I haven’t updated with photos yet, but I have updated this list a few times since it was first published in 2012. It is up to date as of June 2015, save for detailed info on non-eManga digital releases.
Adolf, aka Message to Adolf
Viz, under their Cadence Books imprint, published both hardcover and paperback editions of this series in five volumes. As far as I can tell, the release was simultaneous. It appears that at least one reprint occurred for the paperback editions, around 2001. Unusual for the time, this was published straight to graphic novel, and no staple-bound comic issues exist.
Early volumes of the series are expensive (currently around $40 for the cheapest used copy), later volumes are still in stock at some retailers. The hardcovers are fairly uncommon, and all volumes of that are generally difficult to find.
CADENCE BOOKS HARDCOVERS:
1 – A Tale of the Twentieth Century: ISBN 1569310513
2 – An Exile in Japan: ISBN 1569311072
3 – The Half-Aryan: ISBN 1569311323
4 – Days of Infamy: ISBN 1569311234
5 – 1945 and All That Remains: ISBN 1569311633
CADENCE BOOKS PAPERBACKS:
1 – A Tale of the Twentieth Century: ISBN 1569310580
2 – An Exile in Japan: ISBN 1569310572
3 – The Half-Aryan: ISBN 1569311331
4 – Days of Infamy: ISBN 1569311242
5 – 1945 and All That Remains: ISBN 1569311625
Vertical acquired the license for this series and republished it in a 2-volume hardcover edition with a new translation in 2012. Both the Vertical and Viz editions are flipped, and both have excellent translations (the Viz edition is by Yuji Oniki, the Vertical edition done by Kumar Sivasubramanian). Which is better is mostly a matter of personal taste. The Vertical edition does have better covers, the 2-volume format is more appealing, and the cost on the Viz edition makes it prohibitively expensive. But I do slightly prefer the Oniki translation.
Vertical lost the licenses to their Tezuka works in 2013, so these are technically no longer in print. Message to Adolf was the last Tezuka book they released, and there is no paperback edition, as there is for the other Vertical books. Since it was released last, however, there are currently plenty of new copies circulating in online marketplaces, and it should still be in stock in comic stores as well.
VERTICAL HARDCOVER EDITION:
1 – ISBN 9781935654438
2 – ISBN 9781935654445
Age of Adventure
The second of the digital-only one-shots released by the Digital Manga Guild, available on eManga.com from Digital Manga Publishing, and likely other platforms in the future. Released March 2015. They will likely pursue print options in the future, but for now, bust out the eReader.
Another Digital Manga Publishing series funded through Kickstarter in February 2014. This is slated to be a deluxe 2-volume paperback edition. More details will be forthcoming. This will likely only be available from Akadot, DMP’s own retail site, when it is released. Don’t be fooled by inflated Amazon prices, but if you want it, look up the release info and buy it immediately, since DMP Tezuka tends to sell out fast.
Published by Vertical in 2007. This was printed in both a one-volume, 541 page paperback omnibus and a two-volume paperback edition. Vertical lost their Tezuka licenses, so this title fell out of print around 2013. The paperback omnibus has been out of print for years, but used copies are currently not valuable. Make sure a secondhand copy of the omnibus has the unique obi intact, that blue band around the cover. The summary on the back is printed on it, and it keeps the front illustration modest. The first volume of the 2-volume edition is currently very valuable (used copies start at $80), but new copies of volume 2 are still available in online marketplaces.
The Vertical edition is currently available for Kindle.
IN TWO VOLUMES:
1 – ISBN 9781935654049
2 – ISBN 9781935654056
Published in English by Dark Horse from 2002-2004 in 23 volumes. Dark Horse used an unusual, smaller-than-normal pocket book size for these. A few volumes are still available new at online retailers, but most are long gone. Used prices fluctuate on these, but all volumes are currently available for less than $20. In 2007, an omnibus of the first two volumes was released, but no subsequent omnibuses were made available. Strange, since the popular “Pluto” storyline is in volume 3. Prices are currently around $20 used for the omnibus.
Oddly, Dark Horse currently has a new omnibus series scheduled for release starting in late 2015 (odd, because nobody should have print rights other than DMP). This appears to be a 3-in-1 edition.
Kindle editions of the first 5 Dark Horse volumes are available.
Vol 1-2: ISBN 9781595821539
Vol 1-3: ISBN 9781616558604
Vol 4-6: ISBN 9781616558611
1 – ISBN 1569716765
2 – ISBN 1569716773
3 – ISBN 1569716781
4 – ISBN 156971679X
5 – ISBN 1569716803
6 – ISBN 1569716811
7 – ISBN 1569717907
8 – ISBN 1569717915
9 – ISBN 1569717923
10 – ISBN 1569717931
11 – ISBN 1569718121
12 – ISBN 156971813X
13 – ISBN 1569718946
14 – ISBN 1569718954
15 – ISBN 1569718962
16 – ISBN 1569718970
17 – ISBN 1569718989
18 – ISBN 1569718997
19 – ISBN 1569719004
20 – ISBN 1569719012
21 – ISBN 1569719020
22 – ISBN 1569719039
23 – ISBN 1593071353
Jippei English Comics released a bilingual volume of Astro Boy stories in 2013 in Japan. This is a “Best of” selection, and includes the stories “The Birth of Atom,” “Darling Uran,” “Atom vs. Atlas,” “Giant Uran,” “Atom’s First Love,” “Touch and Go for a Slippery Snake,” “Atom the Second,” and “The Story of Foolish Ivan.” Other comics in the Jippei English Comics bilingual imprint include single volumes of both Jungle Emperor Leo and The Salesman Returns by Fujiko Fujio. If you’re interested in picking this up, volumes are still readily available from the usual Japanese sources.
Digital Manga Publishing announced the licenses for Atomcat, Unico, and Triton together, and all three were funded by the same Kickstarter campaign. Atomcat was the 2nd of the titles, and a one-volume paperback edition was released in April 2013. The book sold out quickly, but used copies are currently hovering around $20. DMP has been reprinting older titles with Kickstarter stretch goals for new titles, so we may see this one come back into print soon. In the meantime, it is also available digitally exclusively at eManga.com.
Published by Vertical in 2010 in a one-volume, 700-page hardcover edition. A one-volume paperback edition was released in February 2013. Vertical lost their Tezuka licenses in 2013, so both editions are currently out of print. The paperback is still available new at online retailers, however. The hardcover edition is currently not valuable, with used copies starting just over $20.
Digital Manga Publishing released this title in a one-volume paperback edition in 2012, using Kickstarter to fund the printing process. The title sold out quickly, and used copies are currently priced over $40. A reprint was successfully funded in May 2015. The second edition should have higher-quality paper. It is also available digitally exclusively at eManga.com.
Originally published by Viz starting in 1997 in the magazine Manga Vizion. Black Jack stories were featured in Manga Vizion vol. 3, #9 – #12 and vol. 4, #1 – #8 (the final issue of Manga Vizion, published in 1999).
After the death of Manga Vizion, Black Jack stories were printed in two one-shot comic books, called Black Jack: Operation Down Under and Black Jack: Under the Knife.
Viz collected the Black Jack stories they published in English in two paperback volumes. At one time these were desirable and commanded high prices, currently the prices start at around $5.
Black Jack (numbered vol 1): ISBN 1569313164
Black Jack: Two-Fisted Surgeon (unnumbered): ISBN 1569313636
Vertical acquired the English language license for Black Jack and published the whole thing in a 17-volume paperback edition from 2008-2011. Vertical lost their print rights to this series in 2013. Most of the volumes are currently in stock, but they are going fast, and those that are out of stock are expensive secondhand. Volume 6, 8-10, 12-13, and 15 are currently out of stock, and used copies start between $30-$60.
All of Vertical’s Black Jack are currently available digitally for Kindle.
VERTICAL PAPERBACK EDITIONS:
1 – ISBN 9781934287279
2 – ISBN 9781934287288
3 – ISBN 9781934287415
4 – ISBN 9781934287439
5 – ISBN 9781934287552
6 – ISBN 9781934287569
7 – ISBN 9781934287606
8 – ISBN 9781934287613
9 – ISBN 9781934287736
10 – ISBN 9781934287743
11 – ISBN 9781934287781
12 – ISBN 9781934287798
13 – ISBN 9781934287897
14 – ISBN 9781934287941
15 – ISBN 9781935654001
16 – ISBN 9781935654018
17 – ISBN 9781935654117
The first three volumes had special Previews-exclusive hardcover editions that were released simultaneously with their paperback counterparts and only distributed to comic shops. Each of these three hardcover volumes contains an extra story not included in the paperback editions, a “sealed” story that is also not included with the current Black Jack editions in Japan. These were damn difficult to get when they were new (I had to check about five different comic book stores for the second volume the week it came out), and are fairly pricey secondhand. Currently, the used prices appear to start at around $140.
Thanks to Nicke for the correction and ISBNs on these!
1 – ISBN 9781934287521
2 – ISBN 9781934287538
3 – ISBN 9781934287545
The Book of Human Insects
Vertical published a one-volume, 300-page hardcover omnibus edition of this series in 2011. Currently this edition is available at the usual online book retailers. A one-volume paperback edition was released in December 2012. Both are currently out of print due to the English-language rights reverting in 2013. The paperback edition is still available new, but used copies of the hardcover edition start around $40.
The first in a series of Digital Manga Guild one-shots from Digital Manga Publishing, released in fall 2014. Brave Dan is digital-only for the time being. eManga is the place to buy it to give DMP the most support, but it is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and likely other platforms. It was successfully funded for print in May 2015, so there will be a print edition shortly.
Vertical published an 8-volume hardcover edition of this work from 2003-2005. Later, the hardcover edition was retired in favor of a nearly identical 8-volume paperback edition. The hardcover edition is difficult to find in a complete set due to an early shortage of volume 6 (6 starts at $100 used in hardcover. The price fluctuates on the others, but they generally are creeping higher with age). This edition is unique in that the spines feature an illustration that shows the main character aging throughout the course of the series. Vertical lost their English-language rights to Tezuka works in print in 2013, so the paperback volumes are technically out of print, but all volumes are still currently available new at most retailers. If you want them, buy them now.
1 – Kapilavastu: ISBN 9781932234435
2 – The Four Encounters: ISBN 9781932234442
3 – Devadatta: ISBN 9781932234459
4 – The Forest of Uruvela: ISBN 9781932234466
5 – Deer Park: ISBN 9781932234473
6 – Ananda: ISBN 9781932234480
7 – Prince Ajatasattu: ISBN 9781932234497
8 – Jetavana: ISBN 9781932234503
1 – Kapilavastu: ISBN 9781932234565
2 – The Four Encounters: ISBN 9781932234572
3 – Devadatta: ISBN 9781932234589
4 – The Forest of Uruvela: ISBN 9781932234596
5 – Deer Park: ISBN 9781932234602
6 – Ananda: ISBN 9781932234619
7 – Prince Ajatasattu: ISBN 9781932234626
8 – Jetavana: ISBN 9781932234633
Another DMP series funded by Kickstarter. This was released as a 2-volume paperback edition in spring 2015. Copies will be available at many retail outlets, but they will likely be available the longest at Akadot, Digital Manga’s own online retail store. Remember, DMP’s print runs are not large, so it would be wise to buy this sooner rather than later. It is also available digitally exclusively at eManga.com.
1 – ISBN 9781569703380
2 – ISBN 9781569703397
Castle of Dawn
Another digital-only title, this is currently only available digitally at eManga.com. DMP has been looking into printing these digital titles as add-ons for their Kickstarter campaigns though, so it’s possible this will see print sometime in the near future.
This was a book of short stories that was funded on Kickstarter by a company called Kansai Club Publishing in 2013. This was to be a deluxe slipcased hardcover. Kansai Club Publishing was a one-man operation, and they allegedly ran into funding issues. Copies of the book have yet to surface as of mid-2015, and the project has not been updated since summer 2014.
Crime and Punishment
The Japan Times published a bilingual paperback version of this 120-page work in 1990. This edition is interesting because it was published just after Tezuka’s death, and contains a memorial essay in the back and a translation by Frederik Schodt, who also did the translations/adaptations of several of the later Tezuka works published in English. Crime and Punishment was not distributed in America, and is difficult to find used on English sites. It’s not a particularly valuable book, though, and searching the ISBN on Japanese secondhand sites currently yields copies for around $20.
DMP currently holds the English-language license, and released a digital-only one-shot through their Digital Manga Guild program in March 2015. The translation and presentation are different from the previous edition. The DMP version is currently only available on eManga.com, but will likely open up to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc shortly. It was also recently announced as a stretch goal for DMP’s current Kickstarter, Storm Fairy. These stretch goals have rarely failed, so we may be able to look forward to a print edition shortly.
Vertical published a 3-volume paperback edition of this work in 2008. Contrary to their usual pattern, the 3-volume edition appears to have been retired in favor of a one-volume, 850-page omnibus that came out in 2012. The single volumes have been out of print for years, but were never valuable, and most can be had very cheaply. DMP lost the English rights to their Tezuka works in 2013, so the omnibus will not be reprinted, but is currently still available new at online retailers.
1 – ISBN 9781934287163
2 – ISBN 9781934287172
3 – ISBN 9781934287187
Jungle Emperor Leo
Jippei English Comics released a bilingual version of volume one in 2013 in Japan. Volumes two and three of the series remain untranslated. This comics line also includes single volumes of Astro Boy and The Salesman Returns by Fujiko Fujio. As of 2015, this book should still be readily available from the usual Japanese sources. Don’t be fooled by high prices in English-language marketplaces!
The oldest of Tezuka’s stories in English, Dark Horse published this book in 2003 in a larger size paperback. Other Dark Horse Tezuka titles were released in a pocket size paperback edition, but this one does not match the rest; I believe there may have been format discrepancies that prevented this. It’s part of the “Sci-Fi Trilogy,” along with Nextworld and Metropolis, and Dark Horse released all three titles to coincide with the anime adaptation of Metropolis. The “Sci-Fi Trilogy” label is more of a historical designation, the three titles are unrelated story-wise. This has apparently been reprinted at least once, if not two or three times. Used copies start at around $15.
This was one of Tezuka’s final series, and is unfortunately incomplete. Digital Manga Publishing successfully raised funding for this series through Kickstarter in December 2014. This will be a 2-volume paperback release. More details forthcoming. It will likely not appear at other retail outlets aside from Akadot, DMP’s own retail site. Check there for release info, and don’t be fooled if used copies show up on Amazon at inflated prices. Again, DMP print runs are tiny, so if you want this, buy it immediately.
Dark Horse released this in 2003 to coincide with the anime adaptation that came out around the same time. It’s a one-volume work, and part of Tezuka’s “Sci-Fi Trilogy” along with Nextworld and Lost World. The “Sci-Fi Trilogy” is a historical designation, the three titles are unrelated story-wise. Metropolis’s paperback edition is the same pocket size that Astro Boy and Nextworld was released in, and does not match Lost World. The contents of this book are almost completely unrelated to the 2003 anime movie adaptation, and neither version bear any resemblance to the Fritz Lang movie from 1927. The book is out of print and unavailable new, but used prices currently start at around $12.
Released in March 2015, this is another eBook Digital Manga Guild release from Digital Manga Publishing. Currently only available on eManga.com, it will likely appear on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other platforms shortly. As DMP is looking to print Tezuka’s entire catalog, I would keep an eye out for this as part of a Kickstarter in the future.
MW was released as a 600-page hardcover omnibus in 2007 by Vertical. A nearly identical paperback omnibus was released later. The hardcover edition went out of print several years ago, used prices start around $25. The paperback edition is currently available new, but is technically out of print as of 2013. If you want a copy, buy it ASAP.
HARDCOVER: ISBN 9781932234831
PAPERBACK: ISBN 9781934287729
The Mysterious Underground Men
The second and final book in a line called “Ten-Cent Manga,” this was released in November 2013, just before publisher PictureBox folded. This is a small deluxe hardcover edition, meant to imitate the “rental manga” style of the original. The manga is printed with the original color tinting, on pages meant to look pulpy. There are several pages of essays in the back by and about Tezuka, and some other historical info. Originally published in 1948, this is one of the oldest Tezuka stories we have in English.
New Treasure Island
Tezuka’s first story manga, released in 1947. This is actually a version that Tezuka completely redrew from memory in 1984, since the original was basically lost, rather dated, and (long story short) mostly the work of another. Prepare yourself, because even with the more modern redraw, this is still completely unlike modern story manga. DMP released this digitally in early 2015, and it is available exclusively at eManga.com. DMP has been adding these digital titles as stretch goals onto more mainstream work, so look for a paperback edition sometime in the future.
Released by Dark Horse in 2003 in a 2-volume pocket paperback edition. Both volumes are currently still available new. This was part of the “Sci-Fi Trilogy,” along with Metropolis and Lost World, and all three were released by Dark Horse to coincide with the release of the 2003 Metropolis movie adaptation. The “Sci-Fi Trilogy” label is a historical designation, the three titles are unrelated story-wise. Nextworld’s pocket paperback format matches the Dark Horse editions of Astro Boy and Metropolis, but Lost World is a larger format book that does not match its brothers.
1 – ISBN 1569718660
2 – ISBN 1569718679
Ode to Kirihito
Ode to Kirihito was published by Vertical in a one-volume, 830-page paperback omnibus in 2006. A two-volume paperback edition was later released. The omnibus is currently out of print, but not particularly rare or valuable. Make sure a secondhand copy of the omnibus has the unique obi band intact around the front cover, it’s the gray section of the cover that has the title on it and slides either way to reveal both sides of Dr. Kirihito’s face. And make sure to use the ISBN when buying, as the one-volume edition has the same cover photo as the two-volume edition (it can look like either of the two volumes, depending on where the obi is on the cover). The two-volume paperback edition is still available new, but will be disappearing shortly due to the English print rights reverting in 2013. If you want copies, get them ASAP.
1 – ISBN 9781934287972
2 – ISBN 9781934287989
Phoenix originally appeared in English as a lengthy excerpt from volume 4, the Karma volume, in Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics. This book is a guide meant to introduce English-speaking audiences to the history of manga. It was published in 1983, and is still one of the best resources for that information. In addition to the Phoenix excerpt, it’s also got a lengthy English excerpt from the lamentably untranslated Rose of Versailles.
Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics: ISBN 0870117521
Viz licensed this series in 2002, and initially tested the waters by printing a large oversized paperback edition of Phoenix: A Tale of the Future, the second volume of the series. It was part of the Pulp imprint (though did not appear in the magazine of the same name), and was an unnumbered volume. It doesn’t match the other volumes of the series, and is thus not very desirable. Used copies are fairly inexpensive, though oddly, the prices are creeping up a bit. Used copies start at $15.
PHOENIX: A TALE OF THE FUTURE (PULP ED.)
The series was re-launched under the Editor’s Choice imprint in 2003. It was printed in 12 paperback volumes, with a larger trim size than a regular volume of manga, but still smaller than that initial edition of A Tale of the Future. The Editor’s Choice logo stopped appearing on the spines as of volume 6, when the series switched over to the Viz Signature imprint. I suspect this series was not reprinted even once, though if it was, it’s possible the early volumes appear with the Viz Signature logo instead of the Editor’s Choice logo.
Volume 12 was released in 2008. Volume 12 is also nearly completely unrelated to the saga. Rather than one of the standard Phoenix stories, it is instead a very early shoujo version of the concept, and it stops before it reaches a conclusion. While a couple volumes of Phoenix are still available from online retailers, others are notoriously difficult to obtain. Used copies of any volume that’s out of stock at retail start between $30-$100.
Happily, Kindle versions of the Viz editions are currently available.
1 – Dawn: ISBN 1569318689
2 – Future: ISBN 159116608X
3 – Yamato/Space: ISBN 1591161002
4 – Karma: ISBN 1591163005
5 – Resurrection: ISBN 1591165938
6 – Nostalgia: ISBN 1421502585
7 – Civil War (part 1): ISBN 1421505177
8 – Civil War (part 2): ISBN 1421505185
9 – Strange Beings/Life: ISBN 1421505193
10 – Sun (part 1): ISBN 1421509725
11 – Sun (part 2): ISBN 1421509733
12 – Early Works: ISBN 1421509741
Originally published in English as a 6-volume bilingual comic from Kodansha, each volume is about 120 pages long. Similar to the Vertical edition of Buddha, the spine of each book has a portion of an illustration on it, and all six volumes lined up displays the whole thing nicely. Meant as an aid for those learning English, this wasn’t distributed outside of Japan, and used copies are expensive on the English language secondhand market. Feeding the ISBNs into a Japanese secondhand marketplace yields affordable results for most volumes, though. Prices range between $5-$25 currently. There never seems to be more than a few copies of each volume available, which may lead to unsteady prices in the future.
1 – ISBN 4770028156
2 – ISBN 4770028164
3 – ISBN 4770028172
4 – ISBN 4770028180
5 – ISBN 4770028199
6 – ISBN 4770028202
Vertical licensed the work and published a 2-volume paperback edition of the same material in 2011. That they are the same series is key, because Tezuka did have a few different versions of Princess Knight. Both the Kodansha and Vertical editions are definitely the same material, though. The Vertical edition has a better translation and adaptation (the Kodansha one is hilarious and sometimes vulgar), and is much easier and cheaper to get ahold of. The English rights disappeared as of 2013, so these volumes are technically out of print, though still currently available new. Buy them soon if you’re interested.
1 – ISBN 9781935654254
2 – ISBN 9781935654315
A different, earlier version of Princess Knight does appear in excerpted form in the July 2007 issue of Shoujo Beat. It’s worth tracking down for comparison’s sake, because the beginnings of these two versions of Princess Knight are quite different.
Another of Tezuka’s shoujo works, this is another that is being published by DMP via fundraising on Kickstarter. The Kickstarter will run through mid-July 2015, and more details about the paperback edition should be forthcoming. There will likely be a digital edition available on eManga.com once the paperbacks are released, as well.
Swallowing the Earth
Digital Manga released a 520-page paperback omnibus edition of this work in 2009. It quickly went out of print, and used prices were quite high for a couple years. Later, DMP reprinted the book through funding from a Kickstarter campaign, and a 2nd printing was released around July 2012. It should be noted that this 2nd printing is completely identical to the first, and doesn’t feature the “Funded Through Kickstarter” logo that appears on the back of Barbara, nor does it contain an edited number line that indicates that it is a second printing. This book is once again out of print, with used copies starting around $50. DMP just funded a third print run, this 3rd pressing should have higher quality paper. There is also a digital edition available exclusively at eManga.com
Triton of the Sea
The third of three children’s series funded through the same Kickstarter campaign by Digital Manga Publishing, which included Unico and Atomcat. Triton was the third series from that campaign, and was released in late 2013 in a 2-volume paperback edition. Copies are still available new, but probably not for long. DMP does not print many copies of their books, and doesn’t do reprints without additional funding. If you want them, buy them now. There are also digital editions available exclusively at eManga.com.
1 – ISBN 9781569703137
2 – ISBN 9781569703144
Another release by Vertical. This is a sequel to the series Princess Knight, which was released in English by Vertical in 2011. Twin Knight was released in a one-volume paperback edition in July 2013. Currently out of print as of 2013, copies are still available new online.
Digital Manga Publishing funded Unico, Atomcat, and Triton together in the same Kickstarter campaign. Unico is the first release, printed in March 2013. It is a very nice a one-volume, full-color paperback edition.
You can pre-order through Amazon, but I recommend using DMP’s own Akadot.com to guarantee a copy if you were not part of the Kickstarter campaign. Check around the release date. It’s very likely that supplies will be limited. I warned you supplies would be limited. As of early 2015, the book is sold out, and used copies start at $150. DMP has added a reprint of Unico on as a stretch goal for their current Storm Fairy Kickstarter. It will likely be successful, and should be on a slightly higher quality paper stock. There is also a digital edition available exclusively at eManga.com.