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Kapilavastu (Buddha #1)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,888 Ratings  ·  406 Reviews
Osamu Tezuka’s vaunted storytelling genius, consummate skill at visual expression, and warm humanity blossom fully in his eight-volume epic of Siddhartha’s life and times. Tezuka evidences his profound grasp of the subject by contextualizing the Buddha’s ideas; the emphasis is on movement, action, emotion, and conflict as the prince Siddhartha runs away from home, travels ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published by HarperCollins (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Seth T.
Sep 19, 2007 Seth T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with patience and a lot of money - or a good library
Shelves: comics
At 3013 pages, Osamu Tezuka's Buddha was something of an investment in time. I received the last two hardcover volumes of the collection (vol. 7 and 8) for my birthday at the end of July and began reading from start to finish in mid-August. It's true that one could possibly read the entire collection - and a handsome collection it is - in a day (at perhaps two hours per volume), but I didn't feel compelled to rush things.

In Buddha, Tezuka presents a curious blend of themes and styles. This proje
Sam Quixote
Jan 08, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it
I admit I’m not the most enlightened (rim shot - thank you!) guy when it comes to Buddhism, or religion in general for that matter, in knowing its origins, tenets, and so on. But I do have a rudimentary understanding of Buddhism and the Buddha having read Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha” a few years ago, and because of osmosis through pop culture. Buddhists believe all life is sacred, something about existence being suffering, and reincarnation, with the Buddha as an enlightened chap who figured out ...more
Tyler Hill
Jan 01, 2013 Tyler Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
I originally collected and read this series as it's hardcover volumes were releases in the United States, a half dozen years ago. But, having recently watched PBS's documentary about the life of Buddha, and having read several other books by Tezuka since then, I figured it was time to revisit the series.

In all honesty, while the series is essentially about the life of Buddha, it's a very hard series to encapsulate. To start, it's worth pointing out that Buddha isn't even born until about 2/3rds
Riku Sayuj
Nov 01, 2012 Riku Sayuj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Riku by: Anand Ayyadurai
Anime Buddha with no expressions spared... what next?
I read this book several years ago, I confess, not a whit out if any interest in Manga. I'd read a scant few "manga" at the time & was thinking: why do all these books seem suspiciously similar to each other down to how the characters were drawn, their roles and (most) surprising, even most of the plot lines!
However, my first foray into the Manga of Tezuka was I can only compare to being introduced to some of the animated films of Miyazaki or even some of the works of the great Japanese fil
Dec 05, 2014 Jokoloyo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I tried but I couldn't like this manga. The storytelling feels flat for me. There are some recurring (POV? fictional?) characters in this manga, but I don't feel they give additional value for the story, and some of their plots are inconclusive.

Feb 08, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, manga
Not a historically accurate or religiously orthodox retelling of the life and times of the Buddha. Rather, this is Osamu Tezuka throwing every idea in his gigantic brain onto the page. There's epic fantasy, philosophical musings, slapstick comedy, weird meta jokes, political commentary, action, and romance. Definitely not for everyone, but I loved it.
Kavita Ramesh
Jan 29, 2016 Kavita Ramesh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mar 15, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, japan
Lots of fun. This is perhaps a good introduction both to buddhist ideas as well as manga for those who aren't quite prepared to read from the right to the left. Also, you will find yourself wanting to read quickly, as it is manga. You may not want to look for historical accuracy in this, but Buddhism has a lot of background texts and myth (itself an incredible understatement), and this may stoke the curious budding Buddhist to explore further.

You will find yourself wanting to finish the series,
Apr 29, 2008 Imogen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It feels like it's from the eighties, and when the weird meta-comicky jokes start in like the last quarter, it feels unfocused instead of inventive. Still though, everything else totally works, dude was a comic book master genius, lots of things *do* feel inventive and exciting, and the little peanut who runs around naked and peeing on everybody- because of empathy with animals?- is my favorite comic book character in a long time.

Isla is totally right and now I totally want to read the rest of
Og Maciel
Sep 14, 2015 Og Maciel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not really knowing anything about Buddha or Buddhism, this graphic novel was a great way for me to learn a bit about this very famous historical figure. Though I'm not a fan of the manga-style drawings, I believe that it was a valid choice to lighten up a story so filled with details and "mythological" events that supposedly let to formation of its main character.

This first book (I believe there are six or seven more) introduces us to two interesting characters: Chapra the slave and Tatta the pa
Untung perpus kota punya seri ini lengkap jadi sambil nunggu hujan, iseng-iseng baca. Secara pribadi gw mengagumi gaya khas Tezuka dengan karakter wajah figuran yg lucu-lucu -- di luar wajah tokoh utama yg selalu ganteng atau cantik -- plus panelnya yg banyak. Namun secara penuturan cerita, gw nggak terlalu suka humor-humor yg menurut gw seperti nggak pada tempatnya. Misalnya, yg cukup banyak ditemukan, mimik wajah yg berubah lucu secara mendadak. Yg paling gw inget pas sang Jenderal mau mandi t ...more
Brian Ritchie
I'm giving this a 3 star rating for now and while it may seem harsh, here are my reasonings:

* Osuma uses humor rather childishly in the book, which more often than not, is corny and completely misses the point, such as references to New York when likening a city in the story. I don't see the point of such comedy or odd analogies, and how it contributes to the overall style and story (if it does at all). While unique, I personally find that it detracts from the central message the joke was trying
Apr 04, 2014 Hriday rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Superlative! Stunning! Touching! Graphic! Would like to breeze through the other 7 parts.
Shashwata Datta
May 20, 2012 Shashwata Datta rated it it was amazing
Wow. what a read.can't wait to read the rest. :)
Sandra Cañete
Jun 10, 2014 Sandra Cañete rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un Siddartha sin duda muy humano.
Mahabharata dan Ramayana mengesankan keteraturan. Para brahmana yang bijaksana dan para satria yang gagah perkasa yang bertindak sesuai dharma masing-masing. Kita bisa menangkap kesan harmoni dan keselarasan dari sistem yang berlaku saat itu. Misalnya saja, waktu perang Bharatayudha terjadi, kedua belah pihak menyepakati dulu bahwa perang harus berlangsung di padang Kurusetra.

Sayangnya sebuah sistem bisa menjadi korup, seperti halnya yang terjadi di India pada saat lahirnya pangertan Siddharta G
Aug 16, 2012 Hugo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels, buda
This story is around the arc of the birth of Siddartha. There’s no main character (maybe Tatta, but the story is not told only on his perspective), and each chapter is told on parallel or on another point of view on different set of characters, a similar style that he use on Adolf. Tezuka takes some liberties, like appear in the story or making modern jokes, even one character on a rage brakes the vignettes. This helps lifting a lightly the serious veil, but not affecting the story or losing the ...more
Laura Zurowski
Jan 26, 2013 Laura Zurowski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm very fortunate to live up the street from a most awesome bookstore, Copacetic Comics, which carries a very well-curated selection of graphic novels, comics, small-press/indie books, and other assorted words of interest.

I had gone into the store looking for Charles Burns' Black Hole (for the very eclectic book club I'm a member of) and as it was a quiet, summer afternoon, started chatting with the owner. Being a bit unschooled in graphic novels beyond the big-guns like Sandman, Persepolis, an
Mar 05, 2013 molosovsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel, 2013
Die US-Paperback-Ausgabe von Vertical kostet nur halb so viel wie gebundene Ausgabe von Carlsen Comics. Da muss ich nicht wirklich nachdenken. — Die japanische Originalversion wurde gespiegelt und wird also westlich von links nach rechts geblättert & gelesen.

Meine erste Tezuka-Lektüre und ich verstehe, warum er als Großmeister gilt. Scheinbar mühelos gelingt ihm, Abenteuer, Geblödel, Tragik, Märchenhaftes & brutale Realität miteinander zu vermengen, um in diesem ersten Band (von acht) di
Nov 16, 2011 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Tezuka's liberal adaptation of the Buddha story is both riveting and kitschy in its use of 80s lingo and Manga humor and silliness. In the end, Tezuka's ability to tell a fast-paced, well-oiled tale outshines all these cartoonish trappings.


The mix of Manga humor and action with the gravitas of a spiritual text is discriminating and quite original. Tatta's use of 80s lingo takes away from the any of the period believability in the story. Chapra and Tatta's stories are heartbreaking but lose
David Schaafsma
So, you walk into a bookstore and you see shelf after shelf of manga, different categories, crazy volume after volume of individual titles and you go: nah, don't know where to start, too cartoony, don't get it, too much of an investment, what's the best way to go for an adult just wanting to sample some of the best stuff? That was me, 3-4 years ago, and since I was teaching a graphic novels class, I asked the young manga experts to suggest the best manga series they knew and so I read 1-2 of the ...more
Nicolas R.
Jan 17, 2014 Nicolas R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written by the late great Osamu Tezuka Buddha, Vol. 1: Kapilavastuis a great start to a great series. Interestingly enough, Buddha (at this point known as Siddharta) is barely in the story, appearing as a newborn baby. The actual main characters of this book is the pariah Tatta, the brahmin Naradatta, the slave Chapra, and his mother who I don't think we ever learn the name of. The story focuses on their journey. Mostly Chapra's goal to rise up from his slave caste even though it is forbidden. T ...more
Koen Claeys
Apr 29, 2015 Koen Claeys rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein-de-lijk deze klassieker van Tezuka beginnen lezen. De torenhoge verwachtingen worden ingelost. Tezuka's adaptie leest als een fantasy-verhaal waarbij de invloed van Disney duidelijker dan ooit oogt. Tezuka was in de herfst van zijn leven zeker nog niet uitgeblust, integendeel.

Okay, so it's a cartoon. You really can't ignore that fact... it's not even a LEAP to say "Hey, this is the Disnified, Astro-Boy version of the story of Buddha..." because it IS.

Osamu Tezuka was heavily influence by early Disney animations, and he is the one who gave us Astro-Boy... and here we have, in his distinct artist style, the story (and the sub stories) of the Buddha.

You'll find a fresh way of looking at this tale, mythological or not, and probably, you'll find a new understanding too, o
Jan 11, 2010 Tana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun and easy retelling of the events that preceded the birth of the Buddha, as told by the grandfather of Manga, Osamu Tezuka, Buddha, Volume 1: Kapilavastu
is the first of eight volumes of the graphic novel adaptation of the Buddha's life.
Althea J.
A great story of sacrifice, loyalty, hubris and class-struggle. I was pulled in immediately and engaged throughout -- really well-told story and art that suits it perfectly.

I doubt I would have sought out this series were it not for the Panels 2015 Read Harder Challenge category to "Read a comic about a religion other than your own." I'm so glad I gave this book a try! I will definitely be checking out more of the series via my library.
Nov 25, 2015 Bee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know almost nothing about the early life of the Buddha. I read another review here that said that a great deal of the story is a fiction of Tezuka's. The characters, Chapra, Tatta, etc, are therefore nothing to do with the real story of Buddha. I guess it might be worth checking this out, but that disappoints me.

It took ages to get to the point where Buddha was born. There's lots of adventures, injustices, story lines around pariahs and slaves. I'm guessing it all leads up to the reason why Bu
John Pistelli
I will excuse myself from writing a lengthy review since I am insufficiently grounded in the narrative idiom and traditions of manga. I confess that I find some of the conventions personally off-putting: the cartoonishness of the figures, the shrill and totally unsubtle character interactions, the extreme decompression of the storytelling. My own taste in comics was formed under the influence of Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Dave McKean and others, who emphasized a denser and more layered presenta ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Maarten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daar ik geen zin heb om alle delen apart aan te vinken, geldt deze recensie voor de gehele reeks, van een tot acht.

Ik vond Buddha - een manga van Osama Tezuka, on andere bekend van Astroboy en ook wel de 'grootvader van de manga' genoemd - mooi, ontroerend, grappig en soms zelfs leerzaam. Ik weet niet precies in hoeverre de manga Buddha de biografieën van de historische Boeddha en die van heilige teksten getrouw volgt, maar ik heb zo een donkerbruin vermoeden dat meneer Tezuka het niet zo nauw n
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From Wikipedia:
Dr. Osamu Tezuka (手塚 治虫) was a Japanese manga artist, animator, producer and medical doctor, although he never practiced medicine. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion. He is often credited as the "Father of Anime", and is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during his f
More about Osamu Tezuka...

Other Books in the Series

Buddha (8 books)
  • Buddha, Vol. 2: The Four Encounters  (Buddha #2)
  • Buddha, Vol. 3: Devadatta
  • Buddha, Vol. 4: The Forest of Uruvela
  • Buddha, Vol. 5: Deer Park
  • Buddha, Vol. 6: Ananda
  • Buddha, Vol. 7: Prince Ajatasattu
  • Buddha, Vol. 8: Jetavana

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