4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Hardcover Paperback Skillful Means,
This review is from: Kapilavastu (Buddha, Book 1) (Paperback)
A few details that I feel other reviews have not covered:
The hardcovers, published by Vertical, when put together on the bookshelf, combine spines to create a really cool image of the Buddha as a young man, as a middle aged man and then as an old man. Inside, the paper is bright and this means that the drawings are pleasing to the eye and easy to read. They have a wrap-around dust jacket that is made to cover only the bottom section of the book. I find these dust jackets extremely irritating, like the publishers couldn't make up their mind.
The paperbacks published by Vertical have the word BUDDHA on the spines in different colours but do not create a composite picture of the Buddha.
The paperbacks published by Harper Collins do create a composite image of the 'three Buddhas' but it does not look as elegant as the one on the hardcovers. Inside, the paper is a little dull (printed on cheaper paper than the hardcovers), but they are fit for purpose.
As a person who is interested in Buddhism, I found this series to be a lovely example of what Buddhists call 'skillful means'. Yes, the story is strongly embellished with Tezuka's own characters and humour, but to say that you learn nothing about Buddhism is simply wrong. In fact, everything in the story lends itself subtly to the explanation of core Buddhist ideas. Tezuka was obviously aiming at the spirit and not the letter of Buddhism and by doing so brings it alive, relating it (despite the many fantastical feats in the storyline) to real human experience.