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Phoenix, Vol. 1: Dawn

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The acclaimed Phoenix series is regarded as Tezuka's masterpiece. Osamu Tezuka painstakingly created his epic 12-volume series over several decades, stretching the limits of manga to address fundamental questions about existence. All 12 episodes of Phoenix are linked by the presence of the mythical bird, an immortal guardian of the universal life force. Beginning in AD 270 The acclaimed Phoenix series is regarded as Tezuka's masterpiece. Osamu Tezuka painstakingly created his epic 12-volume series over several decades, stretching the limits of manga to address fundamental questions about existence. All 12 episodes of Phoenix are linked by the presence of the mythical bird, an immortal guardian of the universal life force. Beginning in AD 270, ‘Phoenix: Dawn’ follows the ambitions of Queen Himiko, capturing with precise period detail the early phase of Japanese civilization.


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The acclaimed Phoenix series is regarded as Tezuka's masterpiece. Osamu Tezuka painstakingly created his epic 12-volume series over several decades, stretching the limits of manga to address fundamental questions about existence. All 12 episodes of Phoenix are linked by the presence of the mythical bird, an immortal guardian of the universal life force. Beginning in AD 270 The acclaimed Phoenix series is regarded as Tezuka's masterpiece. Osamu Tezuka painstakingly created his epic 12-volume series over several decades, stretching the limits of manga to address fundamental questions about existence. All 12 episodes of Phoenix are linked by the presence of the mythical bird, an immortal guardian of the universal life force. Beginning in AD 270, ‘Phoenix: Dawn’ follows the ambitions of Queen Himiko, capturing with precise period detail the early phase of Japanese civilization.

30 review for Phoenix, Vol. 1: Dawn

  1. 4 out of 5

    Akemi G.

    This is a masterpiece. I use to own all the original Japanese comics. Everything except the very short stories set in ancient Egypt and Greece are highly recommended. I also remember watching the anime version of Ho-o episode, and it was beautiful. The episodes switch back and forth in timeline; Dawn is set in almost mythological time in Japan's history, vol 2 Future takes you to the far end in the future, then vol 3 back to ancient Japan, a little closer to the present time than vol 1. Tezuka i This is a masterpiece. I use to own all the original Japanese comics. Everything except the very short stories set in ancient Egypt and Greece are highly recommended. I also remember watching the anime version of Ho-o episode, and it was beautiful. The episodes switch back and forth in timeline; Dawn is set in almost mythological time in Japan's history, vol 2 Future takes you to the far end in the future, then vol 3 back to ancient Japan, a little closer to the present time than vol 1. Tezuka intended to complete the series with an episode set in his contemporary time, but he passed away before writing that. So the series is part historical fiction, part SF. It's truly a unique story. Hard to explain without spilling out spoilers, so please just read it. Don't look down on this because it's manga. I can recommend this more comfortably than most modern Japanese novels. P.S. I figure the printed edition is out of circulation now. I don't think Kindle would work in this case -- the pictures would have to be shrunk so much that I think they'd lose much of their allures.

  2. 4 out of 5

    The Crimson Fucker

    I said I can't write a review cuz I suck! Bird Brian said I should write one anyway! I said I suck at reviwing and presented a pretty solid case of me being to stupid to do so! And he said it don't matter! I said it will be full of typos and that I will butcher the english language in the proccess! He said write, bitch! Write!! So write I shall!!! So... suck on it!! I'm not a big fan of manga! That ain't no secret! But this one was good! It got all the good shit! And the end of the word starts with I said I can't write a review cuz I suck! Bird Brian said I should write one anyway! I said I suck at reviwing and presented a pretty solid case of me being to stupid to do so! And he said it don't matter! I said it will be full of typos and that I will butcher the english language in the proccess! He said write, bitch! Write!! So write I shall!!! So... suck on it!! I'm not a big fan of manga! That ain't no secret! But this one was good! It got all the good shit! And the end of the word starts with 2 computers getting angry at eachother and unleashing armagedon! And it got aliens that make you dream whatever you want! And creepy old dudes cloning bitches in a basement! And a bad guy dude that looks like an asshole friend I had in highschool! Hell he even sound like him! Well not sound but read like him!! Arg y'all know what I mean! Anyway! Brian says I'm to say what I like! What I like the most about it was the Mopy or Moopy or whatever! That alien thing that can take any form and it creates any dream that feels real of whatever you want! That sounds so fucking appealing!! I've always said that if they were to invent a drug that could do that... ill over dose the first day I manage to put my hands on it!! Shit! I'm drifting here!! (I have problems with that) anyway! I think my favorite part of the whole thing was the 2 super computers arguing... I don't remember much but I do remember laughing my ass off when they decided to go nuclear even tho it meant the destruction of everything cuz it was the only logical solution! Heeehehhe! That's funny! I also like the evil dude bailing as soon as he heard the news! Totally a la Cartman! "Screw you guys I'm going home!" Also the creepy old dude with his army of horny clones! That he hated cuz it wasent real! They were still hot! I don't get it! If I was a creepy old ugly dude who can't get anything else I will totally be down with clone robots! I mean! Better than one's hand... right? Anyway! The word goes to shit! And the pheonix comes and makes the main dude immortal! Shit! Did I mentioned the main dude? He the one who has the alien thing that turns into a hot chick and makes the dreams that are real! Anyway! He immortal and shit! But his body never stops getting old! And he has to see the cycle of creation all over again! And its long! And boring! Till some slug people rice! And blow everything again! Then humans come back! After the dinos... shit! I can't keep a straight line of thought even if my life depended on it!! Anyway! Shit gets blown up again! I'm sure there is a lesson there... somewhere! But I like it when shit blows up! So its lost to me!! So there!! I like shit blowing up! And computers blowing shit up! And sexy horny robots! And escapism! and giant faming birds!!! And this manga has em!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    If you're not into the typical manga that is all over the shelves now, which are high on gratuitously dressed young girls, and nerdy boys, then read a book written for adults, and drawn and written by a Doctor. Phoenix is probably one of the best manga out there, it is a time crossing story going from the past into the future, with many characters interwoven throughout, including their past selves, and their future descendants. The underlying link throughout is the phoenix bird, a bird of immort If you're not into the typical manga that is all over the shelves now, which are high on gratuitously dressed young girls, and nerdy boys, then read a book written for adults, and drawn and written by a Doctor. Phoenix is probably one of the best manga out there, it is a time crossing story going from the past into the future, with many characters interwoven throughout, including their past selves, and their future descendants. The underlying link throughout is the phoenix bird, a bird of immortality, which existed before time began, and will exist after, and is constantly sought by all involved. It's really heady, and sometimes Tezuka's illustrations border on Disney-esque,which can distract from the storyline at times, and roots it in the comic world. Rest assured, you'll think about it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    The Phoenix is supposedly Tezuka's magnum opus, an epic 12-volume series that he worked on over several decades. If you want to read his version of what you associate manga with today, funny page turning stories for kids, read his Astro Boy. Tezuka basically invented manga of this form, and then went on to explore various genres for adults and kids. Phoenix is incredibly ambitious, as was his Buddha, and Adolph, which I actually like better as stories, because I can relate to them more personall The Phoenix is supposedly Tezuka's magnum opus, an epic 12-volume series that he worked on over several decades. If you want to read his version of what you associate manga with today, funny page turning stories for kids, read his Astro Boy. Tezuka basically invented manga of this form, and then went on to explore various genres for adults and kids. Phoenix is incredibly ambitious, as was his Buddha, and Adolph, which I actually like better as stories, because I can relate to them more personally. This one is highly ethereal and mythological and historical all at once, focusing on Tezuka's ideas about The Meaning of Existence. The phoenix figures in as guardian of the universal life force. This particular volume focuses on early Japanese history. And also, to lighten things up a bit, goofy manga characters and silliness which I never like in his work. Comic relief. But no one writing comics matches the scope of his ambition, and in this one the art is central, and impressive. You can't think of it in the same category as what we have come to know as manga today, with its silly sexualized little girls and goofy ultra violence. Tezuka is the godfather of manga, so if you are interested in comics history, you gotta read him.

  5. 5 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    After I read this book, I was absolutely hooked for the rest of the series, which had proven to be a overall solid and satisfying one. This volume interweaves fairy tales, mythology, and history to create an compelling work of historical fiction, and introduces us to the recurring character of Saruta, who seems to be cursed to reincarnate into unhappy/ugly lives.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pétur Marteinn Urbancic Tómasson

    Loved it! The historical references are really fun to look up. The only thing I'm sad about is not knowing the fate of the characters. Are the other volumes as good? Loved it! The historical references are really fun to look up. The only thing I'm sad about is not knowing the fate of the characters. Are the other volumes as good?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Schwarz

    Not your typical manga, which is good as I'm not a typical manga reader. I heard about it at the ArmadilloCon Science Fiction convention as an example of non-Judeo-Christian storytelling. The idea underpinning the series being Buddhist, with the same characters appearing in different stories/lives throughout the series. I don't know if this is true, but I'm looking forward to reading the whole series as I thoroughly enjoyed this volume. Unfortunately it is currently out of print, but my public li Not your typical manga, which is good as I'm not a typical manga reader. I heard about it at the ArmadilloCon Science Fiction convention as an example of non-Judeo-Christian storytelling. The idea underpinning the series being Buddhist, with the same characters appearing in different stories/lives throughout the series. I don't know if this is true, but I'm looking forward to reading the whole series as I thoroughly enjoyed this volume. Unfortunately it is currently out of print, but my public library has most of the volumes and they are now available for Kindle. While the drawing style can seem primitive at times, I found the simplicity beguiling and well matched to the story and the characters. The stories are compelling and often heartbreaking. Volume one takes place in the distant past. The next volume is set far in the future. BTW, my 13YO daughter, who is a huge fan of modern-day manga, also loved it. I got this first in the series on my Kindle Paperwhite (first volumes of any series are often the first ones lost from library collections, unfortunately), and it is not an ideal way to read it. The paper format of these books is larger than the average manga, better suited to the art and the story. The Paperwhite screen is just too small (enlarging portions of the screens just feels claustrophobic). I hope this series will be back in print someday, it's definitely something I'd like to add to my personal library.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carl Waluconis

    Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro-Boy and much more, has statues of him erected in Japan. I don't know if any cartoonist in the world has the stature he has rightfully achieved in Japan. This is the first of a truly epic sequence of twelve large volumes, six set in Japan's mythological past and six in the far future. This contains a tale set in 240-270 AD. The story is wide-ranging with many nations and their rulers interacting with large-scale campaigns and fascinating, mythological characters. Fi Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro-Boy and much more, has statues of him erected in Japan. I don't know if any cartoonist in the world has the stature he has rightfully achieved in Japan. This is the first of a truly epic sequence of twelve large volumes, six set in Japan's mythological past and six in the far future. This contains a tale set in 240-270 AD. The story is wide-ranging with many nations and their rulers interacting with large-scale campaigns and fascinating, mythological characters. First published in 1967, it is wild and free Tezuka throwing in cameos and occasional wild comments and asides. This is only one book, but I enjoyed Tezuka's 8-volume biography of Buddha more. However, because this was only one book, the comparison is probably not fair. Peeking ahead, I plan to read the first volume of the science fiction Phoenix next, which looks to have more astounding kinds of graphics.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chadwick

    Even at his worst, Osamu Tezuka's storytelling ability is jaw-dropping. Phoenix, Vol. 1: Dawn is far from his worst. Perhaps Tezuka's greatest weakness is his occasional heavy-handedness in his handling of important Messages. The Phoenix stories include some of his most deftly accomplished treatments of grandiose concerns. A wonderful, wonderful thing. Even at his worst, Osamu Tezuka's storytelling ability is jaw-dropping. Phoenix, Vol. 1: Dawn is far from his worst. Perhaps Tezuka's greatest weakness is his occasional heavy-handedness in his handling of important Messages. The Phoenix stories include some of his most deftly accomplished treatments of grandiose concerns. A wonderful, wonderful thing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emilia P

    totally dece. This is not my favorite Tezuka art style (bubbly), and the Phoenix does look a little bit like a chicken, and I had a hard time following some of the land criss-crossing and Japanese very early history were lost on me....but I suppose I liked the immortality seekers, and even more, the folks who thought they had no use for immortality. Rock on, the latter. The next book will be in the future! Woot.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Zane

    I tend to agree with reviewer Emilia re this first volume of Phoenix. I really have a hard time visualizing the Phoenix as a "chicken" but I did like the idea that immortality carried highly emotional differences for each character. Will save judgement until I finish the series. I tend to agree with reviewer Emilia re this first volume of Phoenix. I really have a hard time visualizing the Phoenix as a "chicken" but I did like the idea that immortality carried highly emotional differences for each character. Will save judgement until I finish the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Not my favorite Tezuka, yet. I like the potential for the series but wish I could get a hold of the whole thing. I traveled to SFPL for it but (shockingly) half the series was missing from the main's shelves. Not my favorite Tezuka, yet. I like the potential for the series but wish I could get a hold of the whole thing. I traveled to SFPL for it but (shockingly) half the series was missing from the main's shelves.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    The plot itself is interesting and Tezuka shows a lot of talent in how he actually tells it, but his art style and the terrible jokes didn't fit the tone at all and kept taking me out of the story. The plot itself is interesting and Tezuka shows a lot of talent in how he actually tells it, but his art style and the terrible jokes didn't fit the tone at all and kept taking me out of the story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tom Ewing

    Thrilled to finally get the chance to read this manga by the prolific and revered Osamu Tezuka. The only other Tezuka I've read are the early parts of his Buddha, and Dawn inevitably reminded me of that - not just the ancient setting, but the vivacious, flowing cartooning, mixing slapstick, action, mythology and tragedy while trusting the reader's intelligence and ability to navigate the shifts in tone. (What hand-holding there is - stodgy text passages on early Japanese history - turns out to b Thrilled to finally get the chance to read this manga by the prolific and revered Osamu Tezuka. The only other Tezuka I've read are the early parts of his Buddha, and Dawn inevitably reminded me of that - not just the ancient setting, but the vivacious, flowing cartooning, mixing slapstick, action, mythology and tragedy while trusting the reader's intelligence and ability to navigate the shifts in tone. (What hand-holding there is - stodgy text passages on early Japanese history - turns out to be the result of over-cautious English language editors.) Dawn shares plot points with the first volume of Buddha, but it's a looser, more meandering story. It's also - as a standalone - a more powerful one, set on the misty border of myth and history. Kingdoms clash, with enslavement and slaughter the result for the losers - repeatedly, the story seems like it will resolve into a neat narrative of revenge, but Dawn is a more fatalist piece: tyrants age like anyone else, aggressors ultimately meet more powerful foes, life continues. Some characters' hubris is met by nemesis, while others' goes unpunished. Traitors and butchers live long enough to become protagonists. Behind the vivid motion and cartoon clarity of his figures - Disney's impact on Tezuka is enormous and obvious - this is a real and unsparing story, unsentimental even though it's also fantastic. Tezuka's art is a delight throughout, but at its best when it pauses to linger on landscape and wider action - the forbidding walls of a volcanic crater, or a fleet of war-boats on a sea at night. Dawn is a masterpiece - and by reputation it's the weakest part of the Phoenix cycle!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    This ending up being the last book I read of the series. I can see then characters who will show up later, like the bulbous nosed man, and I can see a direct correlation between the man climbing out of the volcano crater with sharp bones as a primitive man to the man scaling the tower of the light tribe in the distant future to see the phoenix captured and put in a test tube. I liked actually seeing someone catching the phoenix, the bowman, but then of course not for long,eh. I'd like to see a l This ending up being the last book I read of the series. I can see then characters who will show up later, like the bulbous nosed man, and I can see a direct correlation between the man climbing out of the volcano crater with sharp bones as a primitive man to the man scaling the tower of the light tribe in the distant future to see the phoenix captured and put in a test tube. I liked actually seeing someone catching the phoenix, the bowman, but then of course not for long,eh. I'd like to see a list of the correlate allusions throughout the work, because I can't remember all the stories. My favorite book is still Karma.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ignition

    Osamu tezuka's lifes work and magnum opus. Also the most ambitious, each volume is its own contained story but there is one underlying theme/idea thats pervesaive throughout the entire story. Think cloud atlas I suppose, but even grander in scale. Admittedly, the biggest flaw for this is the art and the bit of a slow pace. It's a bit difficult to get into Tezuka's outdated art-style when compared to more modern works. but you can't overlook how important he is in the history of manga. And I heard Osamu tezuka's lifes work and magnum opus. Also the most ambitious, each volume is its own contained story but there is one underlying theme/idea thats pervesaive throughout the entire story. Think cloud atlas I suppose, but even grander in scale. Admittedly, the biggest flaw for this is the art and the bit of a slow pace. It's a bit difficult to get into Tezuka's outdated art-style when compared to more modern works. but you can't overlook how important he is in the history of manga. And I heard it only gets better after this.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angela Randall

    Found this book on a list of 20 essential works of Japanese literature. Made this list in Goodreads here. Found this book on a list of 20 essential works of Japanese literature. Made this list in Goodreads here.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rosa

    This was an epic tale. I am very interested to see how the series develops, since it is said to be several interlinked tales, but they don't flow from one straight into the next. This was an epic tale. I am very interested to see how the series develops, since it is said to be several interlinked tales, but they don't flow from one straight into the next.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Celso

    This entire series is excellent.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex McNeel

    Tezuka shows that he is indeed the 'Godfather of Manga' Tezuka shows that he is indeed the 'Godfather of Manga'

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hal

    Brilliant brilliant collection. I read the series 3x. Incredible vision of the rise and fall of civilizations, planets, time, reincarnation. Tezuka has other great reads, but the best IMHO.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emmy

    Phoenix: Dawn is not quite like anything I've read before, while at the same time, it feels as familiar as a dream. This is a great start to the series, although I'll admit it was a bit slow. I love the feel of Tezuka's storytelling. You pick up one of his books, and you know it's him. There's something special about his work. Compliments aside, though, it started a bit slow, and I had trouble getting into it. The story was sad, full of betrayal, while at the same time hopeful, with the ever-pre Phoenix: Dawn is not quite like anything I've read before, while at the same time, it feels as familiar as a dream. This is a great start to the series, although I'll admit it was a bit slow. I love the feel of Tezuka's storytelling. You pick up one of his books, and you know it's him. There's something special about his work. Compliments aside, though, it started a bit slow, and I had trouble getting into it. The story was sad, full of betrayal, while at the same time hopeful, with the ever-present symbol of the phoenix to remind us that new life will spring from the destruction. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kienie

    Part of me feels like I haven't done my homework before attending a very well researched presentation. I love how meta some of the humor is. I love the recurring theme of motherhood and immortality. I sometimes find it hard to tell the faces apart, but on the whole the art is great. Part of me feels like I haven't done my homework before attending a very well researched presentation. I love how meta some of the humor is. I love the recurring theme of motherhood and immortality. I sometimes find it hard to tell the faces apart, but on the whole the art is great.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    The story is almost stereotypical manga-Japanese, with the doomed lovers being reunited only in death, etc. However, the art is simple yet enjoyable, and even when one can guess where the plot is going, it still makes for a fun ride.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Phillip

    This is a fine opening to the 12 volume Manga series "Phoenix". It takes place in ancient Japanese history and shows the destructiveness of war and the healing power of friendships. This is a fine opening to the 12 volume Manga series "Phoenix". It takes place in ancient Japanese history and shows the destructiveness of war and the healing power of friendships.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Re-telling Japan's history through the eyes of Manga, which he had developed. Re-telling Japan's history through the eyes of Manga, which he had developed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Abi Inman

    I remember NOTHING about this comic (graphic novel?) except that I found it at my public library when I was in jr. high and I really liked it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ilib4kids

    ILL

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jack Moody

    Stop talking down to me Tezuka!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ariane

    yum. Ever since the exhibit at the Asian Art museum on Osamu Tezuka I've been ardently in awe. yum. Ever since the exhibit at the Asian Art museum on Osamu Tezuka I've been ardently in awe.

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