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The Book of Human Insects
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The Book of Human Insects

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,011 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Toshiko Tomura is a genius; the darling of the intelligentsia. A modern-day Michelangelo, this twenty year-old is already an established international stage actress, an up-and-coming architect, and the next recipient of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize as Japan's best new writer. Her actions make headlines in the papers, and inspire radio and television programming. And lik ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Vertical (first published May 9th 1970)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,011 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Joey Dhaumya
Sep 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Where this book succeeded was having a thrilling and dynamic story, even if without a clear plot, and creating several intriguing characters with some decent character development over its course.

Where it failed was not developing them enough. Instead of uni-dimensional characters we get excellent two-dimensional characters, but they largely end up seeming like empty puppets. It all could have been redeemed if we got more insight into the mind of the protagonist, Toshiko Tomura, or at least
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the weirdest book i've ever read. It started off good and pulled me into the story. It kinda reeled off a bit in the third chapter. Maybe i should have done a research on what they were talking about. I dunno, but it kinda felt weird and cringe reading some of the panels but they're essential to understand the mentality of Tomura. All in all its worth your time reading it
Mar 14, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015
Listen, I don't want to scream "misogyny!" every time I read a story written by a man about a female character I don't like. But between this and Ayako it's kind of hard to ignore. First of all, Tezuka's Ayako is all about a nubile young woman who systematically destroys everyone around her. She has very little personality. The Book of Human Insects is about a nubile young woman who systematically destroys everyone around her. She has very little personality. I understand that in gekiga charact ...more
Francesco Zampa
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Osamu Tezuka è un artista di fama internazionale non a caso. Per quanto mi riguarda, pur non essendo particolarmente affezionato ai manga in genere, devo riconoscergli una capacità di inventare di inventare personaggi e situazioni molto insolita, il che fa di molte delle sue creazioni, perlomeno quelle che ho letto io finora, dei capolavori del genere. Anche questa "Cronaca" riflette tutti i tratti caratteristici dell'autore e ogni co-protagonista ha una sua funzione peculiare. Si legge nella po ...more
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mi primer Tezuka. Se entiende enseguida el prestigio que tiene. La distancia con otros autores del manga y del cómic en general es enorme, tanto en calidad como en personalidad. Dibujo sencillo y muy expresivo para una historia muy bien trazada. Qué personajes. Este libro es de 1970. Ahora lo reedita -magníficamente- Astiberri.
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
I had no idea what I was getting into. I don't know the first thing about manga..but this has got to be the weirdest book I read this year!
Angus George
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first half of this book is nothing more than a well-oiled crime thriller, flaunting the shallow antemask of a woman who is manipulative and two-dimensional. As the book progresses, however, Tezuka reveals his antagonist to be far more fascinating: a woman who is desperate, if destructively, to escape being branded as a victim.
Stephen Douglas Rowland
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Possibly the best thing I've read from Tezuka.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics-and-manga
Flavors of MW.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
El dibujo es flipante, pero bueno que ya está.
Thomas Maluck
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga, best-of-2011
Tezuka kept me guessing in every chapter. He takes aim at the "new breed" he saw coming up in the 70s, obsessed with consumerism and free sex, and follows those values to absurd (and absurdly entertaining) lengths. What's it like to live only knowing how to imitate, seduce, and acquire? How does one resist such a lifestyle without becoming a victim? Several different lifestyles (celebrity, corporate, artistic) are corrupted by Toshiko Tomura, who always gets her way. Follow her around awhile; Te ...more
Sandeep Mathias
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Before Catherine Trammell, there was ... Toshiko Tomura. A genius who is the fastest learner in the East, with parasitic tendencies.

While most of us know of Tezuka because of his works such as Astro Boy and Black Jack, this book, published by Vertical Inc. gives us a look at his full range of talent, especially in writing a psycohlogical thriller work. Due to the content, it is in some ways similar to MW, his other extremely dark manga.
Alberto Carlos
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesante relato de Tezuka. Un drama en varios actos con una femme fatale algo atípica y de la que no me extrañaría que surgieran tvmovies antenatreseras.

En serio, muy buen manga.
Daniel Ausente
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Escribí sobre este cómic en la web Gencomics
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
another fantastic Tezuka creation. this one however leaves the reader with no sense of relief at the end! Amy Dunne from Gone Girl could certainly take some lessons from the femme fatale of The Book of Human Insects. after chapter one, the book somewhat reminded me of Kobo Abe's The Woman in the Dunes as both use the "inescapable devil woman" and insect theme - both were even composed roughly 8 years apart! however, Abe's book is a gritty psychological thriller while Tezuka's 1970 graphic novel ...more
Vittorio Rainone
L'inizio di "La cronaca degli insetti umani" (bellissimo titolo) è molto interessante: pur con i modi sbrigativi di Tezuka, viene presentato un personaggio affascinante, una donna che, si percepisce da subito, nasconde qualcosa: un segreto inconfessabile. Il resto, ed è un peccato, si sviluppa troppo velocemente. Se nei primi capitoli non è un problema sapere che Toshiko Tomura è una perfida manipolatrice, che copia le persone per poi abbandonarle al proprio destino, che assorbe le buone caratte ...more
S.A. Hemstock
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm a lifelong fan of Tezuka's work, even the relatively childish titles like Unico and Princess Prince, but when he did choose to go mature he really excelled. As far as I'm concerned the rather simplistic art style just adds to the impact of the subject matter. It's hard to believe that such a doe-eyed nymph could be such a monster at first glance.

This is a story about an emotional vampire. A cipher who moves from person to person draining them of their skills, their passions and in some case
Matthew Brady
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
One of Osamu Tezuka's more "serious" works, although maybe it just seems that way because it doesn't have the kind of wacky gags, formal experimentation, or cameo appearances that fill so much of his work. Instead, it's a fairly adult story about a woman who finds a way to survive by latching on to someone with talent and imitating/plagiarizing them to the point that it drives them to death. It takes a lot of twists and turns, and there's plenty of sex and violence, and I'm still thinking about ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic_comics
A "Gone Girl" in manga form, this very dark story of a mantis-woman who steals and murders her way to fame and fortune leaves the reader uneasy . Osamu Tezuka adds his odd twists and turns to the story on what looks like an otherwise conventional " All about Eve" structure multiplied tenfold. What it lacks in psychological depth, it more than compensates in knotting twist after twist until no-one is left alive but the bad guys. As I am finding out in Tezuka's work, some themes recur: the helple ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This sure isn't Astro Boy! In this book we see the whimsical style of Tezuka depict shocking amounts of sex and violence. Tezuka roars into the 1970's with a mature story about some frankly terrible people. It is harsh, uncompromising, weird, but excellently done. Not a book for children but great for grownup fans looking to experience the full range of Tezuka's talent.
Jenny Gervais
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
For some odd reason I really liked this book; I agree with other reviewers about the misogyny - obviously the excessive nudity is to satisfy the pervy men and boys that read graphic novels...but I do think her character is interesting/has depth ...she is clearly a sociopath...I would LOVE to see this turned into a movie!
Onur Y
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Femme Fetale'nin bitmek bilmez entrikaları. Çok keyifle okuduğum söylenemez. Ama Tezuka ile tanışmak açısından iyi oldu. Hikayeyi bu denli uzatıp sarkıtmasa çok iyi olurmuş, bir yerden sonra artık bunaldım, zorlukla bitirebildim. Hızlı okuma yapabilenlere tavsiye edilebilir.
Ian Howell
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great twisted story

A somewhat twisted story about a plagiarist. Lots of interesting plot twists and a great ending. A really fun gripping story.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it

Really had a near perfect premise. Executed in a good way, as usual from Tezuka. It's just the plot...
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Katrina Forrestall
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El dibujo aparentemente naïf de Tezuka acompaña de manera curiosa una obra que parece cine clásico, tanto en la manera de desarrollar la trama como en las ideas que transmite. Me recordó a ratos a "El crepúsculo de los dioses", a "Eva al desnudo" , y al Kurosawa más costumbrista. Sin llegar a la altura de estos referentes, es un tomo entretenido y bien hilado, aunque veas venir el final a mitad de su desarrollo.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
This is interestingly similar to Ben Ames Williams' novel The Strange Woman. If you enjoyed this, I'd suggest hunting down a copy of the other.
Oct 06, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Entre toda la mediocridad humana que la rodea, Toshiko Tomura destaca como un sol en medio de la oscuridad: con apenas 20 años es una actriz de éxito internacional, una arquitecta en ciernes y, en definitiva, la reencarnación contemporánea de Leonardo Da Vinci. Guapa, encantadora y misteriosa, Toshiko es el objeto de envidia y admiración de todos los hombres y mujeres que están a su alrededor... Pero la aparición de Ryotaro, un antiguo amante, nos descubrirá que no es oro todo lo que reluce: par ...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