The first book in the classic eight volume graphic novel series from the godfather of the genre – an irreverent and humourous rendition of the life and times of Buddha.
In book one, Kapilavastu, Chapra, an ambitious slave, spurns the caste system into which he was born and tries to become a nobleman, Tatta, the wild pariah child, communes with animals, and the monk, Naradatta, strives to uncover the meaning of strange portents surrounding the Buddha’s birth.
Originated in the 1970s, Buddha is Osamu Tezuka's unparalleled rendition of the life and times of Prince Siddhartha.
Tezuka's storytelling genius and consummate skill at visual expression blossom fully as he contextualizes the Buddha's ideas; with an emphasis on action, emotion, humour and conflict as Prince Siddhartha runs away from home, travels across India and questions Hindu practices such as ascetic self-mutilation and caste oppression.
Rather than recommend resignation and impassivity, Tezuka's Buddha predicates enlightenment upon recognizing the interconnectedness of life, having compassion for the suffering, and ordering one's life sensibly, his approach is slightly irreverent in that it incorporates something that Western commentators often eschew, namely, humour.