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Apollo's Song

(Apollo no Uta #1-2)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,128 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Better to have loved and lost...

The gods with their poetic justice, can be unrelenting. Just ask the young cynic Shogo, who sinned against love. Electroshock therapy was only meant to bring him face to face with his own violent misdeeds, but instead landed him in the court of a stern goddess.

If the encounter was a hallucination, then it's a hallucination that starts to en
Paperback, 541 pages
Published June 8th 2007 by Vertical (first published April 26th 1970)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,128 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ivan by: Bren
Shelves: manga
Osamu Tezuka truly is the god of manga. The attention to detail is simply staggering, and he produced his hundreds of thousands of pages of manga over the decades the long, hard way. Sometimes, when reading his work, one simply must stop and marvel at the art, even during the most engrossing of tales.

Apollo's Song, given to me by a friend, is quite epic, whether examined alone or alongside Tezuka's other works. It features, of course, Tezuka's unmistakable comic drawing style, combined with a da
Pilar Wyman
Dec 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Astro Boy or Apollo -- we all love, need to love, to be loved, and I loved this book! enjoy.

It's a graphic novel for adults, with an hysterical opener reminiscent of Woody Allen. If you enjoy odysseys of the heart, and are curious about Manga, you'll definitely enjoy this title from one of the masters of the genre.
Quang Khuê
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cái bác làm bìa bản tiếng Anh của cuốn này rất nổi tiếng nhé :D
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
An interesting exploration of male-female relationships and the distance between people. Pretty disturbing at times as well.
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book was…different. The story centers on a teenage boy who, abused by his floozy of a mother, develops a pathological hated of love, or, more appropriately, sex. He has begun to act out his rage by slaughtering animal couples, and it is this behavior that sends him to the asylum in which our story begins.

First, the good. I appreciated that the storyline treats animal cruelty and killing for the pathology it is, and the act of harming animals is always taken seriously. There’s no talk of “sp
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loeg-archives
A boy who hates love (his mama was neglectful, and a prostitute) is cursed to continually find his true love, only to have either her or himself die shortly after realizing their true feelings.

Tezuka fits three variations on this theme into 530-odd pages, and some readers might not like the "life sucks, and then just when you think it's gonna get good, it gets 1000x worse" theme of it, but Tezuka does a great job assembling the story, finding different twists on the lead characters and keeping e
Svanhvít Björns
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
A strange, but enthralling piece of work that tells the story of a cursed soul. The protagonist, Shogo, is a man so unable to understand love that Athena curses him to live countless lives where he will learn to love only to lose it at its apogee. What follows is various tales of love found and lost, teaching Shogo that love is an eternal cycle of bliss and pain.

It is a strange piece of fiction and to some extent twisted. Its greatest flaw is that Tezuka spends sometimes too little time in each
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
It was hard trying to rate this book. I quite enjoyed some of the vignettes, some ideas were interesting, and the art was good with some really impressive moments. But that was outweighed by a thoroughly unlikeable protagonist, a lot of heteronormativity and other uncomfortableness, and it not actually having much to say about love.
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: comix
Tezuka's exploration of sex and romance is definitely interesting and I enjoyed the multi-layered structure of the narrative, but the take away moral of the book as a whole is more than a little cheesy. Also, this is yet another book groaning under the endlessly bogus weight of Freud and his Oedipus Complex Theories, which is kind of irritating.
Brian Sobolak
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
My first manga. I liked some of the pictures and enjoyed the creativity of the story, but felt too much of the text was banal (bad translation?) and learned I didn't much like seeing what the characters looked like.

I'll try 1-2 more manga books to see how I like other others, but I was disappointed that I didn't like this more.
Catherine Schaff-Stump
May 21, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: manga
Even Tezuka can't bat a 1000 all the time. An unsympathetic protagonist and a lot of dismal sex can't save this interesting concept.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Dated, melodramatic, and rather toxic gender and relationship tropes made this novel a flop for me. A young man who hates all expressions of love--to the point of killing animals and attacking couples--is cursed to fall in love with the same woman in successive lives, only for death to separate them before their love can be consummated. There follows a string of experiences where he basically forces his attentions on others, or occasionally other people force their attentions on him, and in most ...more
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Tezuka's place in the history of modern pop culture is hard to overstate (both in Japan and abroad, given the reach Astro Boy had), which is what led me to Apollo's Song. Unfortunately, I couldn't really get into it. Tezuka had stated that Apollo's Song was a response to/reflection of changing societal moods in Japan in the 70s, so I'm not surprised that it didn't land as well with four decades later and half a world away. The variety of vignettes is nice, but I didn't find myself connecting to ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
not my favorite Tezuka (see: Phoenix), but still a good story. Tezuka's well-rounded education as a doctor shows in Apollo's Song as he draws from mythology, modern psychiatry and even cardio-vascular training to give his story more dimension. my quibbles include: some the panel transitions aren't as smooth as they should be which I found odd since most Tezuka works have very articulated transitions. ranting about love and broken hearts is not something I like to read, but I suppose every prolif ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely darker than average Osamu Tezuka material, not for kids, I had the sense a sci-fi movie or two might have been inspired by the final "sub-story". Go in appreciating his imagination and you probably won't be disappointed. If this was a novel, and it was supposed to be "real people", I would have gotten tired of the twists, but as it's manga, I'm OK with it.
Nicholas Siebers
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another strange blend of sexuality and psychopathy told within an interesting plot and fantastic illustrations. Not quite as dark as MW or Ode to Kirohito, but still pretty violent in some parts. Definitely not for kids.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Pleasantly surprised by this one. I thought I'd be boring and monotonous as some of the older manga out there, but it was quite entertaining. It's a mix of fantasy and reality, of truth and fiction, of 5-6 stories in one. It's really interesting, my favorite is the first few pages. Great hook!
Dec 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: online
Well the story was all over the place and even amateurish at times (Shogo conjures a rope to climb down a highway seemingly out of nothing, Hiromi's glasses keep disappearing) and the protagonist (if he even is one) is dumb, shallow and mean. What a difference from Tezuka's Buddha.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dave Woodward
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best love stories I've ever read, as well as one of the best manga I've ever read. Tezuka is a legend!
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Osuma wrote an absolute masterpiece. The cycle of loss, love and regret is clearly seen here. No panel is without a purpose and each story ties itself up to come back again.
Alex McNeel
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of Tezuka's best
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga-rock, manga
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga-novels
3.5/5 stars
Sep 27, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Humanity
Shelves: graphic-novel
Osamu Tezuka is one of my favorite writers of all time, so when publishers decide to release another one of this under appreciated writer/illustrator's works, its cause for celebration. Tezuka is the father of Japanese comics and illustration, and though I do not partake in the guilty pleasures of Anime or Manga, Tezuka has been a strong force in forming who I am since I used to watch The Fantastic Adventures of Unico when I was three, not even knowing he was behind it. Tezuka died of cancer due ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Osamu Tezuka published this in 1970, shortly after Japan authorized sex education for teenagers. Much of what seems peculiar about the story today was therefore taboo-busting when it originally came out. In the prologue, 500 million anthropomorphic sperm race for a single egg, personified as a queen in a diaphanous gown. (Try to read this without thinking of Woody Allen.) The single winner loses his tail and disappears with the queen into the womb to create an embryo, defined by Tezuka as " ...more
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, nerd-culture
This was another book that came at a very good time for me. For me, this book is about the power of storytelling, and the power of experiencing something through someone else's eyes (ideally, what you do when you read/watch/hear a story).

The changes that Shogo undergoes throughout the story are deeply internal, but Tezuka makes them manifest through his interactions with Hiromi. From a creator's standpoint, this is a very difficult task, but Tezuka executes it very well. His artwork is breathtak
ash newton
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: novigraafix
tezuka makes good on his penchant for time-hopping across aeons here, though maybe with less spectacular results than his signature phoenix saga. the little factoid asides about biology, mythological elements and clever visual conceits (particularly the opening pages) are the story's strong suits, while none of the characters really jump out as particularly exceptional examples of tezuka's typically nuanced understanding of people. the heroes are trapped in repeating scenarios of lost love, and ...more
Neerja Bakshi-Sharma
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: All Tezuka fans, and others who want a quick, fun read and are not afraid of hopeless endings
Shelves: graphic-novels
From start to finish, this was one Tragic piece. Dear Osamu Tezuka made this another one of the 'Must Read' Manga; it has the typical flair and 'cute' art and style but still leaves you feeling very flustered and confused.

You go from pitying Shogo to pitying the girls he falls in love with, then you feel like you don't know what is happening with him living so many lives one after another in such a flurry, and then at the end (which leaves much to be desired, by the way) you begin to feel pity f
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic, fantasy
Lesser Tezuka. It has some of the experimentation that I found so invigorating in Ode to Kirihito, notably the opening sequence, in which conception is imagined as a race for a goddess is a jaw-dropper and the only must-read portion of Apollo's Song. However, the rest of the short work falls flat from a lack of well-rounded story... Tezuka is a bit of a chameleon, and part of his "God of Manga" title comes from his ability to do all genres, but he's really characterized by his unrepetent mix of ...more
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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 formative years ...more

Other books in the series

Apollo no Uta (2 books)
  • Apollo's Song, Part One
  • Apollo's Song, Part Two
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