Tezuka Osamu Story- I am Son Goku is a special for some Japanese channel “24-hour Television” program and an  animated semi autobiography of Tezuka himself. It was one of the last or even maybe the last film Tezuka worked on .The dvd details from Amazon said that Tezuka planned the whole thing but died halfway . As for other staffs for this special/film , the director is Rintaro ,  the (in)famous mind behind polarising films such as Metropolis , Harmagedon and Dagger of Kamui. He is also one of the  many renowned animator that had worked on the first 1963 Astro Boy . His most recent work is a full 3D CG children film , Yona Yona Penguin . By the way , another director is Masami Hata  but I don’t really know who she/he is so I didn’t talk much about him/her. Here’s her/his ann page if you are interested.

I am Son Goku starts with the childhood of Osamu Tezuka  and how he got his nickname Osamushi which kanji is actually 治虫 and that’s actually only adding a shi behind osamu(治) and mushi meant bug so it is very funny . In other words , it’s a joke that only clever guys like me understand. The name Osamushi will then become Tezuka pen name . Tezuka favourite hobbies consist of collecting incest which is how his nickname originated from and  watching cartoon films . He was amazed by a film adaptation of Journey to the West by the famous Chinese director Wan Laiming( 万籁鸣) and was motivated to create a manga film next time . If you are really interested , the film in question is Iron Fan (1941) by Wan Laiming .

Now , after some research , this part of the series was true it is a fact that Tezuka know Wan Laiming in real life and did collaborate to draw one picture of Astro boy and Son Goku together during one of their meetings. This picture is now stored in some Beijing Film Memorial Museum (direct translation from 北京电影纪念馆).

Astro Boy and Son Goku shaking hand by Tezuka Osamu and Wan Laiming

The meeting of Tezuka and Wan Laiming

Tezuka's gift to Wan Laiming

After his childhood day , the film focus on Tezuka’s army days . He met a woman named  Okamoto Kyouko(岡本京子)whose name has a unccany resemblence to Tezuka’s real wife  Etsuko Okada (岡田悦子) so this might be hinting something deeper. Then a bombing happened and Tezuka couldn’t find Kyouko in a ruin . This story might hold some truth but from my previous post .The bombing really did happened but there are nothing about Tezuka meeting a lady named Kyouko who want to become a opera singer. I guess the film wants to substitute the corpses by river  to something much more milder . The idea is a event to change Tezuka’s mind and motivates him in drawing manga so I guess it does the work.

Then the film time skipped to 1959 and it was said that Tezuka haven’t met Kyouko since then and she might had died during the bombing . Ironically , that year was the year where Tezuka got married and the film did touch on that when there’s a lady voice calling Tezuka “Anata/Anta” which sort of what wife called their husband in Japanese even though it literally meant “you”. After that , there’s an exposition of Tezuka’s manga career but it didn’t touch any tocuhe issue like Gekiga or such . Then it was a time skip to when Tezuka meets Wan Laiming .

After their brief meeting , Tezuka talks about his new film that is related to Son Goku which is said to be the film that influenced him during his young age with Wan Laiming. Then it transited to the Son Goku film which is the story of Journey to The West with sci-fi elements . That means that it is a film inside a film if you don’t get what I meant .  The story consist of the common themes of Tezuka which is anti war , environmental , perseverance , hope and cherish life . After the Son Goku film ends , Tezuka gave a monologue of how his dream for world peace might never come true . The imaginary Son Goku who followed and encouraged him throughout the whole film gave him a lecture of how he must believe in the him who believe in himself and such . Then the whole film ends with a awesome environmental song call 地球の歌(Earth’s Song) .

Now I summarised almost the whole plot for you because you can never watch it due to availability issue. I am lucky to find it on some chinese torrent site so HAHA! , in your face.

All in all , I felt that this film gave a full cycle for Tezuka’s career where it starts with Son Goku and ends with Son Goku , pretty amazing if you think of it . I think this was intentional and Tezuka knew that his cancer is fatal . Now to end it off , I will end with Tezuka rumoured last word ” Give me my pencil , I still want to draw”!

Further reading on Wan Laiming and Tezuka , if you know Chinese that is :

http://ent.163.com/09/1022/15/5M88C4TF00033RBG.html <- Chinese site

http://ent.sina.com.cn/m/f/2008-10-23/09412217786.shtml <- Chinese site

http://www.filmsatthegate.org/2010/08/04/wan-laiming-founding-father-of-film-animation-in-china/ <- English site.


This show is too obscure for its own good but guess what , Youtube has it . Just search for Tezuka Osamu I am Son Goku or I will help you do that and embed it here. No subtitle though but it should be understandable because the Japanese is easy for this film.

Or better still , show that you are a hardcore anime fan by buying the dvd here