Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ayako” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ayako (Ayako #1-3)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,022 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
Long considered as one of Osamu Tezuka’s most political narratives, Ayako is also considered to be one of his most challenging as it defies the conventions of his manga by utilizing a completely original cast and relying solely on historical drama to drive the plot.  Ayako, pulls no punches, and does not allow for gimmicks as science-fiction or fantasy may.  Instead Tezuka ...more
Hardcover, 704 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Vertical
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
copypasta from a class essay @w@:

Osamu Tezuka was as invested in his fans as they were in him; the feelings of his readers were paramount, and he would often adjust the tone, pace, or emphasis of his work in response to the reactions of his audience. After achieving mainstream success and gratuitous accolades from very early in his career, Tezuka remained somewhat preoccupied with being liked. As such, his style would frequently change to suit the want of his constituency – sometimes in the mid
Anthony Vacca
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Clocking in at one page shy of seven hundred, Tezuka's serialized epic is a feast for lovers of cartoons with literary notions. Following WW2, a backwoods clan on the financial decline tries to save face over the unwanted fruits of an incest (one of the many instances of familial over-familiarity prominently featured throughout the twists and turns this graphic novel takes) through the usual means: murder and the twenty-year imprisonment of the unwanted child beneath the family's barn. And as th ...more
David Schaafsma
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Buddha, Message to Hitler, Ayako, all very ambitious works that try to weave historical and spiritual themes and political commentary into exciting, masterful stories. Manga, but less cartoony, silly characters than in Buddha. Darker than either of these two works by far. Beginning in 1949 and extending maybe a quarter of a century to when he was publishing it, it is post-WW II Japan, a kind of allegory of despair and corruption within a kind of allegory, everything that happens in one fairly we ...more
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Heavy content for a manga. Its not for the action lover or the science fiction fan (though it does have some violence and action in it). This is a pure drama. Quite emotionally effective. The book peels apart characters who you like, giving them pain and showing them to be imperfect, but also never satisfyingly punishes characters who you don't like. Very tragic tale. Everyone in it is a nuttier.

Comic wise it was professional. Cinematic illustrations and panel layout. I love that as the story ta
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Weird, creepy, violent. Lots and lots of men slugging women, lots and lots of sex (even creepier, most of it is incestuous), murder, and other violence. The dialogue is really disconcerting because it mimics American southern speech in a really stereotypical way (a la "L'il Abner, I think). I picked up this book because it's by Hiroishi Tatsumi's hero Osamu Tezuka, and I stuck with it because I did like one of the themes it explores (of a new generation offended by the sins of its father but fat ...more
Paulo Vinicius Figueiredo dos Santos
Quando falamos do nome Osamu Tezuka, logo associamos a histórias como Metrópolis e Kimba, com personagens inocentes e ingênuos e histórias com narrativas simples e temas como amizade, companheirismo e heroísmo. Alguns até mesmo chamavam Tezuka de o Walt Disney japonês. Mas, as comparações terminam por aí. Algumas das melhores histórias de Tezuka são Adolf, Buddha e Ayako. Com temas mais pesados, com aquela sujeira inerente ao caráter sombrio das pessoas. E Ayako é uma obra-prima neste sentido.

Michael Jandrok
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
To be certain, Osamu Tezuka is one of the acknowledged giants of Japanese manga. His works are so immensely influential that he is often referred to as the “father of manga”. Thus is it a bit intimidating to sit here and try and critique one of his works. My only real exposure to Tezuka before reading “Ayako” was the epic “Buddha” series, read in one long stretch last summer. But that only whetted my appetite for more Tezuka, and I had bookmarked “Ayako” a long time ago when it was first release ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow, this is a brutal and unpleasant book - quite deliberate, but unnerving coming from Tezuka, and in his cartoony style.

The plot is set over roughly 25 years, and revolve around the Tenge family, who are coping with the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. Every member of the family is culpable for some crime - legal or moral, and of differing severities. Every member that is, except Ayako, who is only 4 when the story begins. She becomes something of a scapegoat for the family's ills
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Those who compare this to Greek tragedy are completely on the right track. The Tragic Heros are all from a formerly wealthy family of a nation who has suffered downfall due to its own hubris in warfare. The family feels they've already lost everything, when in reality they still have power and wealth to spare. They then go on to squander that as well. The story is at every turn a classic tragedy, and I love a good tragedy.

Even the ending is an allusion to classics. The theme of the cave is wove
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
A great companion non-fiction piece for reading this title would be Alex Kerr's "Dogs & Demons". Although it may not prepare a n extremely rich political foundation, it's treatment of Japan's declining agricultural and expanding urbanization endeavors after WII would be enlightening.
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, translation
I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. Kept reading mixed reviews and have to say I disagree with the negative ones. Yes this is dark and gets creepy, but keep in mind this is during Tezuka's dark period when he made manga more appealing for adult instead of just children. This story is full of drama and emotions it's hard not to get into it unless you're not a fan of dramas. I also liked this because it proves that you don't need fantasy and zany out-of-place elements in a manga to tel ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Tezuka fans, crime novel fans
Osamu Tezuka is best known in the United States for his early children’s manga and their subsequent animated adaptations like “Astro Boy” and “Kimba the White Lion.” But later in his prolific career, he also produced quite a few works for more mature readers, such as “MW” and “Ode to Kirihito.” Ayako falls into the latter category.

The year is 1949, and the last of the Japanese POWs are returning to Japan. Among them is Jiro Tenge, second son of a wealthy landowning family. Times are tough for th
Andrew Fairweather
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asian-lit, comics
It's hard to know where to begin—Tezuka's 'Ayako' was such heavy stuff, and the layers are so deep. Ayako herself is the unmentionable center of the corruption and disappointment of the Tenge clan, an old family from the pre-war era of Japan. The story begins at the end of WWII and Jiro has just arrived back in the village having been a Japanese POW under the Americans. His values are flippant and self serving, his decisions abrupt. Throughout 'Ayako', Jiro reveals himself as both a user and a p ...more
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ayako is, easily, one of the best graphic novels that I've ever read and certainly the best I've read this year. It's twisted, sick, depraved, violent, and absolutely engaging. It's a very different take on the familial unit, showing a family that while fatally flawed will remind you of your own in a lot of different ways.

The art of the book is beautiful. Its pace is quite brisk and the dialogue, even in translation, is complex and beautiful. The closest thing I can think of to this book is tha
ash newton
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novigraafix
on the ultra wide spectrum of tezuka works, this one probably ranks as his most realistic as well as his most deliberate effort toward social commentary. the unusual and quite appaling circumstances of ayako's coming of age and the various flavors of corruption within the tenge family are reflections of larger strands in japanese society, forming a sort of national allegory with direct references to organized crime, american imperialism, the student movement and the japanese red army. though aya ...more
David Ramirer
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
im mittelpunkt dieser familienuntergangsgeschichte (die glücklicherweise nur wenig an die buddenbrooks erinnert) steht ayako, eine junge frau mit einem sehr düsteren schicksal, das einerseits das epizentrum vom niedergang des hauses tenge bildet, andererseits aber auch eine spiegelung darstellt. eingebettet in politische und wirtschaftliche entwicklungen der nachkriegszeit liegt die geschichte da, in ihrer ganzen düsternis und ihrem schrecken, und tezuka findet bilder dafür, die ergreifend sind. ...more
Ayako explores the development of post-WW2 Japan for about a quarter of a century. The rapid societal change is mainly seen from the perspective of an old influential family that has thrived for five centuries and whose time is just about up. A major theme of the graphic novel is power, how it corrupts and what people are willing to do in order to maintain it and achieve it. The ones who suffer the most because of the most corrupt are the most innocent, young girl Ayako being the prime example.

Dr Zorlak
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japanese-lit, manga
A somber, sober narrative of the lives and times of the Tenge family in post-war Japan. The Tenge, rich landowners of Yodoyama prefecture, are vile in every sense of the word; their vices and moral frailties run the gamut from lechery, treason and greed, to submissiveness, abyection and indolence. Here are Tezuka's best natural landscapes, rivaling those found in Buddha. Background work is outstanding. Characterization is immaculate and facial studies on point. I have filed this book as Japanese ...more
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ayako is an emotionally charged story. Incest, murder, rape, imprisonment of a girl for 23 years, this tale is dark as hell and incredibly well told.

The illustration, paneling and pacing of the book is some of the best I've seen. The characters are rich and intriguing, though I really couldn't sympathize with most of them.

Tezuka's Ayako is not only my favourite work by him, not only now my favourite manga, but I do believe it has taken its place as my favourite graphic novel. Incredible, incre
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: manga
By "Father of Manga" Osamu Tezuka, those expecting something of the line of Astro Boy or Kimba the White Lion, are strongly recommended to avoid this, ...or at least change their expectations. More of a greek tragedy than anything else, Ayako is the post WW2 story of the Tenge family, who's drama is something akin to VC Andrew's Flowers in the Attic. Equal parts decadent and historical, Ayako is definitely a piece of work, ...but one not for children.
Sitanan Ketkraipob
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like Mw, great build up with disappointing ending.
Ainun Nazrin
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Nice plot, disturbing human behaviour. Such a twisted family, that Tenge.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
Esse mangá estava na minha lista de desejos há um tempão, mas como só achava pra comprar lá fora, acabei postergando a aquisição e para minha sorte, acabei ganhando de presente. A edição brasileira lançada pela Veneta é belíssima, com material de ótima qualidade e como extra, um final alternativo.

Eu já desconfiava que fosse gostar, mas não esperava que fosse uma leitura tão viciante, ainda mais se considerarmos o tom pesado da obra. Li em dois dias porque resolvi começar a ler às 23h e precisava
Alex Panagiotopoulos
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga-manhua
Σκληρό, καινοτόμο για την εποχή του, η πιο σκοτεινή και ακραία δουλειά του Tezuka. Αυτή είναι η πιο άμεση κριτική του μεγάλου δασκάλου των manga στην μοίρα της Ιαπωνίας στο μεταίχμιο της ολοκληρωτικής ήττας. Είναι ασυνήθιστα απομακρυσμένο από τις συμβάσεις των κόμικς και σκηνοθετιμένο με σκοτεινό ηδονοβλεπτικό χιούμορ, αποτελώντας ταυτόχρονα πρωτοπόρο της φυσιογνωστικής (σε σαρκικό επίπεδο) Ιαπωνικής λογοτεχνίας. Ο κεντρικός άξονας είναι μια ηρωίδα έμβλημα των άνγωστων πτυχών που ακολουθούν ενός ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
At times it felt as if Tezuka wrote/drew parts of Ayako just for the hell of it, because some of the story-lines/panels were so gratuitously deviant that I was absolutely shocked. The depiction of the family as an incestuous tangle that keeps on entangling has to have some reason behind it, which I couldn't decipher. Maybe due to his political outlook, Tezuka ended up showing the landowners as depraved as he did. But honestly, I have no idea regarding Tezuka's personal life let alone his ideolog ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is all over the place. Its scope is admirable, spanning decades in the lives of multiple characters.

A noir, it often reads like a mafia story, and for a while, is one. There are only enough decent people among its cast of characters to count on one hand.

Tezuka's art is, as always, a total joy, and on the occasion that he draws things realistically, they are lovely as well. I am curious as to why the book was flopped to read left-to-right. I thought that practice had gone out of style.

Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
another Tezuka masterpiece but this one reminded me of Akira Kurosawa's Ran which wasn't released until nearly two decades later. both stories focus on rich, powerful families whose corruption and selfishness are malignant tumors. unlike Ran, Ayako's characters are quickly undone by their own flaws (or maybe karma?) in the last 20-30ish pages of the 700-ish page book. Ran deteriorates the Ichimonji house at a glacial pace; Ayako is a sudden, horrifying avalanche. I think Ode to Hirohito is still ...more
Bruno Croci
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I'm not a big fan of the Japanese culture. Maybe because I haven't been as exposed to it in the coming of age as many other kids in Brazil in the 90's. However, as I've been trying to consume more culture from outside the US-UK-Brazil axis lately, I came across with some surprises.

Ayako is disturbing. Its cute drawing style can make you think it is a lightweight reading, but it's not. It's visceral and grievous at some points. This will rise unusual feelings and emotions on you. What bogs me is
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first mango from second hand book . It’s very interesting and needed read more more time. L like this book so much. The story is about revenge in a family but in a very big background picture.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This manga is epic, mind-blowing, and most importantly, engaging. The story is pretty twisted, but it's so much fun, there's such depth to the world Osamu Tezuka has created, and it's steeped in political Japanese history. Glorious.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Kitaro
  • Good-Bye
  • Gold Pollen and Other Stories
  • Red Snow
  • PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 003 (Pluto, #3)
  • A Drunken Dream and Other Stories
  • Solanin
  • Helter Skelter
  • The Drops of God 4 (The Drops of God, #7-8)
  • Strange Tale of Panorama Island
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 1 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #1)
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 fo
More about Osamu Tezuka

Other books in the series

Ayako (4 books)
  • Ayako 1 (Ayako, #1)
  • Ayako 2 (Ayako, #2)
  • Ayako 3 (Ayako, #3)

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • An Empty Cup
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Underground River
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Word Game
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraulein M.
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sister of Mine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bury What We Cannot Take
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Searching for Grace Kelly
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Bricking It
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Thunder and Rain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • All Grown Up
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light of Hidden Flowers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ecstasy
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Elephant Keeper's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Virtues of Oxygen
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony #1)
    $11.14 $1.99
  • Dog Crazy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Towers of Tuscany
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Who We Were Before
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Midwife (Hope River, #2)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Sin No More (Reverend Curtis Black)
    $10.39 $1.99
  • The List
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lost & Found
    $5.74 $1.99
  • A Watershed Year
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Savage
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Designer
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Novice: A Story of True Love
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Stray City
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Go Away Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Leaving of Things
    $4.49 $1.99
  • That Kind of Mother
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Weight of Ink
    $10.99 $2.99
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Flower
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Take Two (Above the Line, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lisette's List
    $11.99 $1.99
  • This Burns My Heart
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Journeys of Socrates
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.99
  • An Absent Mind
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Wonder Boys
    $17.99 $1.99
  • All the King's Men
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Wolf Hall
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Namesake
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Sideways
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Warleggan: A Novel of Cornwall, 1792-1793 (Poldark)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I Capture the Castle
    $9.99 $2.99
  • 300
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Yellow Birds
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Room
    $7.99 $2.99
  • The Book of Ruth
    $18.99 $1.99
  • I Want to Show You More: Stories
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Revenge of the Lawn / The Abortion / So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Where We Belong
    $5.99 $1.49
  • Cashelmara
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Digging In
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Going Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Girl in the Glass
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Prayers and Lies
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Go the F**k to Sleep
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Just a Couple of Days
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Daughter of Union County
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Fighting Ground
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The Sugar Men
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stiltsville: A Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • To the Bright Edge of the World
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Flicker of Old Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All the Good Parts
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Food of Love
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Scattered Life
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt, #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (Malayan #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • An Amish Buggy Ride
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Elizabeth Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Is Well
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Sinful Calling (Reverend Curtis Black #13)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On a Cold Dark Sea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Edward Adrift
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $1.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Like an insect larva that repeatedly molts its skin as it develops, Ayako rapidly transformed from a young girl into a fully-grown woman.” 0 likes
More quotes…