The seventh book in the classic eight volume graphic novel series retelling the story of Buddha, from the godfather of the genre. In book seven, in the kingdom of Magadha, young Prince Ajatasattu agonizes over the prophecy that claims he will one day murder his own father. Deciding that the prediction is false, he believes that the Buddha is to blame and must pay for the rift it has caused between father and son. Meanwhile, the Buddha's closest disciple, Devadatta, is seduced by the political opportunities offered by the discord in Magadha, and urges his master to take full advantage of them. Originated in the 1970s, 'Buddha' is Osamu Tezuka's unparalleled rendition of the life and times of Prince Siddhartha. Tezuka's storytelling genius and consummate skill at visual expression blossom fully as he contextualizes the Buddha's ideas; with an emphasis on, action, emotion, humour and conflict as Prince Siddhartha runs away from home, travels across India and questions Hindu practices such as ascetic self-mutilation and caste oppression.
Rather than recommend resignation and impassivity, Tezuka's Buddha predicates enlightenment upon recognising the interconnectedness of life, having compassion for the suffering, and ordering one's life sensibly, his approach is slightly irreverent in that it incorporates something that Western commentators often eschew, namely, humour.
Osamu Tezuka (1928-89) is the godfather of Japanese graphic novels. A genuine intellectual, deeply familiar with Western culture from the Bible to Goethe to Hollywood, Tezuka originally intended to become a doctor and received an M.D. Though many have followed his example, it is still Tezuka who draws the deepest awe with his sweeping vision, deftly intertwined plots, persuasive characters, feel for the workings of power, and above all, an indefatigable commitment to human dignity and the sanctity of life.