Skip to main content

SPACE FIREBIRD 2772

Japan, 1980 (MIFF 1995, Buried Treasures – Osamu Tezuka)

Director: Sugiyama Taku

Space Firebird 2772 is loosely based on certain futuristic aspects of Tezuka's sprawling Hi No Tori (Phoenix) series of manga, regarded by many as his most outstanding work. Firebird. is a simi­larly long saga which may appear confused and patchy (some say the result of Tezuka trying too hard to 'internationalize' the production), but is nonetheless a valuable anime in terms of how skillfully Tezuka infused Buddist, Shinto and Zen concepts with standard science fiction ponder­ing Firebird, also serves as a potent dose of a non-Western view on life and the cosmos The opening sequence set solely to 'beautiful' orchestral music shows the creation and birthing of a test tube human male—Godoh—within a bizarrely clinical space station. There he is attended by a sexy mother robot, Olga, who also can change herself into an amazing array of sexy machines and appliances at the service of the developing child. Godoh grows up in this envi­ronment until he is a late teenager, after which he goes out into the world for a series of adven­tures. Only a Japanese animation could depict such a child-rearing environment in such a sexu­ally-coded yet Utopian way. Godoh-not unlike Tetsuwan Atom-is ultimately an individual unit who has to develop his social interaction skills by instinct rather than programmed design. This 'loner' figure appears in a lot of Tezuka's work, and usually is conveyed less through heroic actions and more through personal maturation As such, Godoh reflects not only ways in which the individual functions in the seemingly-con­trolled Japanese social world, but also the indi­vidualistic stance Tezuka himself has taken as a manati and anime artist

See also...

Drop

A companion piece of sorts to Mermaid, Drop utilizes similar brush and wash backgrounds, but stylizes its central protagonist in broader caricature. Tezuka made this film in one week as a ... More »

Remake of Astro Boy

Technically referred to as the Remake Of Astro Boy this series features a karaoke disco version of the theme (true to the Japanese theme but with English words). Many changes are evident in this ... More »

THE FANTASTIC ADVENTURES OF UNICO

From the imaginative and ever popular brilliance of Tezuka comes an endearing animation told akin to a fable. Unico the young Unicorn discov­ers life, friendship and loyalty, fights against the ... More »

Muramasa

One of Tezuka's last shorts. Utilizing a sketchy realist mode of depiction , it is a cautionary tale of armament set against a backdrop of samurai lore and iconography. Towards the end of his life ... More »

Broken Down Film

A string of gags based on 20s-style animation and the self-reflexiveness of Windsor McCay's surreal comic strips from the same period. While the gags are familiar, the extent to which Tezuka pushes ... More »

Akuemon

Akuemon is a good example of animation in the gekiga style which has developed in Japan by the start of the 60s. This was a more seriously toned adult-oriented form of manga, which stressed realistic ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director