I’m pretty sure the 90% rule1 still applies, I just happen to have very excellent guides (thank you, Micole, Rachel, and Doselle). And Anne Ishii of Vertical Books who led me to Osamu Tezuka‘s Ode to Kirihito, which I loved so much I feel compelled to rave about it here.
Ode to Kirihito is like nothing I’ve ever read before. So much so that I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s a medical thriller, it’s a philosophic musing about what it is to be human, it’s completely unputdownable. That’s saying something because it is a very big book. There are depraved sideshow performers, corrupt doctors, scary small town locals, depraved and corrupt crime lords, nuns, as well as racist mine overseers.
From page to page I had no idea what was going to happen next, but when it did, it made sense. It all worked. More than worked, it sang.
And that’s just the story. The art is something else again.2 Although Ode was first published in the early 1970s if I hadn’t known that I couldn’t have guessed it. The art looks contemporary. More than that it looks cutting edge contemporary. It’s so beautiful that I would stop to just stare at many of the pages. And, trust me, I’m not someone who will stop to smell the roses when I’m as caught up in a story as I was with Ode to Kirihito. It was just so gorgeous I could not soak it up.
You all have to read this book. It is gobsmackingly awesome. And weird. Very very very weird.
I am now going to read the first volume of Tezuka’s Buddha. I must now read everything he has ever written. He is a genius and I am smitten.