Direction: Left to right
by: Osama Tezuka, Helen McCarthy
Publisher: Digital manga Guild
This is a short volume is a Digital companion to another release, Osama Tezuka’s Barbara.
Originally i wasn’t going to review this, for several reasons, firstly and probably primarily, I’ve never read Barbara, in fact i haven’t been able to get a copy for myself yet. Amazon still has it on a 5week lead time, which sucks. Also, for some reason this release is purely for reviewers, which seems really weird to me. This seems like it would sell really well to people who bought Barbara due to the info it contains.
While only 50 pages long it does have a lot of information in it, split into two separate parts.
Part one is a essay written by Helen McCarthy, which looks at the story in context with Osama’s life, his inspirations for the events in the volume and so on. For me this was hard to read, since I’m a guy that doesn’t really care at what leads to a release, if it’s great . This particular essay was a bit hard for me to plough through since I’ve not read the source material, so I’ve no reference point for it.
However despite this it was an interesting read, with some interesting view points and thoughts. I think it’s a ideal companion for the manga, if your interested in this sort of thing.
Part two, is a selection of translator notes from the manga. These are always welcome, but the fact they’re here makes me wonder if they were missing from the official manga release, and if so why. However translation notes are always welcome.
According to the index there’s supposed to be a third part, with ‘Additional Info’, but this is missing.
This sort of thing is very hard to review, since when you get down to it there’s nothing really TO review. I’m certainly not in a position to review the essay, and the translation notes are well, translation notes. I do like the way they handle the notes, which is a way they certainly couldn’t have done in the actual manga.
Overall i think this a great release if you have the Barbara manga and have an interest in learning more about both it’s origins and Tezuka himself. Unfortunately though, at the moment, as i said earlier; there’s no official release of this planed apparently. Which is a shame.