Tatsumi [DVD] [Japanese] [2011]

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The life and work of one of Japan's leading comic artists is explored in this animated drama from director Eric Khoo. Yoshihiro Tatsumi was born in 1935; his early childhood took place as Japan was mired in World War II, and some of his earliest memories coincided with Japan's loss in the war and the subsequent changes of the post-war era. Tatsumi also grew up in a poor household with three siblings, and when he discovered his talent for cartooning as a young teenager, he was soon encouraged to put his skills to work to help support the family. Tatsumi began selling his work to leading Japanese comic publishers, and he found inspiration in the work of Osamu Tezuka, a leading artist who struck it big as the creator of the Japanese animated series Astro Boy. However, Tatsumi grew frustrated with the creative limitations of conventional comic books, which were aimed towards a younger audience; he spearheaded a new genre of Japanese comics known as gekiga ("dramatic pictures"), which told bold stories intended for adult audiences and often featured graphic content. The film Tatsumi tells the story of the artist's early life and rise to fame, while also dealing with his difficult relationships with others and the evolution of his work into increasingly disturbing themes. Tatsumi himself narrates the film, with the art and character design closely following his own style. The film also incorporates animated adaptations of five of Tatsumi's better known stories from throughout his career. Tatsumi was an official selection at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Tetsuya Bessho
    Tetsuya Bessho - Voice
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