The History of Mushi Pro

Let me start this story by its ending. On July 12th, 2022, Mushi Production lost a lawsuit filed by Etsuko Tezuka, owner of the studio’s facilities, to whom it owed 11.5 million yen of unpaid rent. When I went there in February 2023, the building looked abandoned – after 60 years of existence, it seems that Mushi Production’s history has finally come to an end. This small bit of information may be a surprise to some, and it would have been to me not that long ago: after all, most accounts of the studio’s history stop in 1973, with the bankruptcy of subsidiary Mushi Pro Trading, followed by that of the animation studio. However, it reopened in 1977, managed by its union, and kept existing as an animation subcontracting company until 2018.

Most accounts of Mushi Pro stop in 1973, and this one will as well. It is, after all, a convenient date: the studio’s activities past 1977 don’t hold any of the attraction that the ones before do, and it seems like a good landmark in anime history in general. It is 10 years after the “first TV anime”, Tetsuwan Atom, and just before the double tidal change initiated by Heidi, Girl of the Alps and Space Battleship Yamato. It makes sense to stop there, then, but it is not an obvious choice – events go on their course, and breaks are never as radical as we’d like them to be.

Indeed, if one were to continue the story, it would be possible to argue that both Heidi and Yamato are themselves products of Mushi: the latter was largely made by ex-Mushi staff, and the former’s inscription in the World Masterpiece Theater cannot be separated from Mushi’s contributions to the prehistory of the program. In other words, Mushi Pro’s legacy goes beyond the production of Tetsuwan Atom and irrigates all of anime history.

Heidi and Yamato are significant for another reason. They seemingly embody two major directions Japanese animation would go – that of high-quality, all-audiences animation on one hand, and SF series aimed at hardcore fans on the other. 1974 is a turning point because it seemingly encompasses the duality between manga eiga and anime, two different understandings of animation in Japan that claim their respective origins in two rival studios, Tôei Dôga and Mushi Production.

The Tôei/Mushi duality is a structuring narrative in anime historiography. Originating in a real rivalry between employees of both studios during the 1960s and 1970s, it developed into a historical framework proper in the columns of magazine Animage during the 1980s. It was finally formalized in 2004 by Nobuyuki Tsugata, in his book The Power of Japanese Animation, which sets up Hayao Miyazaki and Osamu Tezuka as the two structuring and antagonistic figures of anime history – one focused on “full animation” and feature films, the other on “limited animation” and TV series.

This opposition has also been fueled by the writings of those who were involved in both studios. On one hand, Yasuo Otsuka and Hayao Miyazaki have taken the side of “cartoon films”: animation as entertainment, an international language of sorts that crosses cultural and national borders. On the other, Eiichi Yamamoto and Gisaburô Sugii have defended the legacy of their master Osamu Tezuka, illustrating the artistic qualities of TV anime and commercial animation’s ability to break the barriers between “art” and “entertainment”. To illustrate this opposition, I’d like to cite an excerpt from each party, each of which showcases, in its own ways, how fundamentally different both definitions of animation are.

The first is taken from Yasuo Otsuka’s memoirs, Drawings Drenched With Sweat, and describes the reaction of Otsuka and Tôei’s artists when they saw the first episode of Tetsuwan Atom air on TV in 1963.

“Everybody hurried to watch it, but nobody could provide any technical evaluation of it. The way it moved was so awkward that, thinking seriously, nobody would even want to watch it. […] A work of art speaks by itself and no excuses will justify it. It wasn’t ‘animated on 3s’ – it was just still frames and repeated sequences. The main character might be a robot, but the posing was poor and didn’t differ much from the drawings of the manga. The action was basic and without any inventiveness. It might be simplified, but it was so awkward that anyone in Tôei would have gotten scolded for it. We believed that animation is about creating movement, that characters have to act, and this was impossible to accept for us.” [Otsuka 2001, pp.101-102]

The second is a scene from the beginning of Eiichi Yamamoto’s autobiographical novel The Rise and Fall of Mushi Pro, in which the main character Meita explains that he works as an “animator” and develops his vision of his art.

“- Oh, I know ‘animation’, it’s cartoon films (manga eiga), right?

– It’s not cartoons! […] Cartoons are just a part of animation, but because they’re the overwhelming majority, in Japan, we’ve taken the habit of calling all animation films cartoons. […] TV commercials, or puppet plays, are those cartoons? They’re not, right? […] Animation is a technique that consists of shooting things frame by frame. If you shoot a puppet frame-by-frame, changing its pose every time, when you rewind it it will look like it’s actually moving. Some say it’s like breathing life into lifeless objects. Long ago, people thought that everything in nature, not only humans and animals, but also clouds, wind, mountains, water and grass, had life and were alive. That’s called ‘animism’, and that’s where the word ‘animation’ comes from. […] In animation, there’s nothing in front of the camera. There’s just the blank sheet of paper. When you draw something on that blank paper, images begin to form. In other words, you express your inner self with the work of your own hands, your own creation. […] In the world of images, animators are gods and creators.” [Yamamoto 1989, pp.22-23]

Both texts don’t really answer each other, and perhaps they are not fundamentally contradictory – ultimately, they both rest on an understanding of animation as movement and life. But Otsuka positions himself as nothing more than a craftsman, whereas Yamamoto speaks with all the arrogance of an artist and “creator”. As much as Mushi may be decried for giving birth to standardized industrial animation production, most of its defenders speak as auteurs, masters of their craft with a vision to share.

After such statements on what animation is and what it should be, we can turn to a more immediate, concrete issue: that of the difference between “full” and “limited” animation. On this blog and elsewhere, I have already expressed my views on these concepts, especially the second one, which I consider lacking any sort of intellectual consistency. I will therefore not go in depth into it, and just mention Gisaburô Sugii’s claim that UPA’s “limited” animation is not really limited and that only Osamu Tezuka discovered the “true meaning” of the word [cited in Itô and Nagao 2001, vol.3, p.45]. If this is not enough to show that “limited animation” is nothing more than an ideological and polemical terminology, I don’t know what is.

More fundamentally, I think that speaking of “limited animation” is dangerous because it makes it impossible to see animated works for what they are: animation, first and foremost, exploring the possibilities of the technique in their own unique ways. This is how I will try to approach the works I discuss in this series. I will, to some extent, keep discussing movement in terms of framerates, not because I think it is methodologically or formally interesting – it most often is not – but to put an end to the frankly ludicrous assumptions one encounters so often about TV anime and Mushi Pro’s animation “style”.

This series of articles about studio Mushi Production will try to cover various aspects, from the history of the studio as an entity to that of specific productions and analysis of certain works and sequences. This has become a speciality of sorts for this blog, but I would like to note that I am not alone in this. Indeed, production histories have become more common and spread beyond the narrow limits of the sakuga community and even of the anime fandom, whether in text, video or podcast format. All of these efforts have been incredibly encouraging and inspiring, and they keep pushing me to do better, to expand both the range and focus of my writing. 

With that in mind, my goal here will be to treat animation in its various aspects – animation as business, production and art. In that sense, this series will very much be in the continuity of two previous articles. The first is the one that immediately precedes this series, dedicated to Japanese animation in the 1940s and 1950s: not only did it chronologically end with Atom, but it was also a test for me to explore further the conditions of animation business and production. The second is the one where I tried to establish the framework of the “production model” in order to grasp together the three dimensions mentioned above.

This framework also interrogates the choice of my subject, and brings us back to the questions I initially raised about how to begin and conclude historical narratives. “Studio discourse”, in which all artistic agency is attributed to companies and not individuals, has always been a hot topic in sakuga circles. While I hope that the actual content of my articles is enough to show that I don’t intend to erase individual agency, centering the narration on studios should be questioned.

First, I would say that starting from the studio is asking a question. As I did with the World Masterpiece Theater, it means taking an apparently well-defined object, studying its characteristics, and then asking: is it really that consistent? This is basically the point of the “production model” framework, which will be applied to Mushi (but this time, not retroactively) in order to see whether the studio had a consistent production system, financing model and creative philosophy.

Following from this, I’ll try to approach studios not as “consistent”, “well-defined” objects from the start, but rather as modes of organization open to diversity and change. A “studio”, like any company, is at the same time a place, the people and things that occupy it, and all the relationships that bring them together and separate them. It is not closed up but open, in multiple ways: people come and go, production may be outsourced, ideas, trends and influences circulate… Focusing on the studio doesn’t necessarily mean hiding individuals behind an anonymous entity: it can also mean asking “what happens when these people work together under these conditions?” and, in the case of a historical approach like mine, “what makes these conditions sustainable, how did they come to be and disappear?”

Much more concretely, this also means broadening the scope as much as possible. For instance, Mushi Production seems to be closely tied to just one individual, Osamu Tezuka, to whom are attributed some of the studio’s best or worst orientations, greatest successes or failures. I of course do not intend to erase Tezuka from the story, but I want to show that he was but one actor in what were always collective processes over which he sometimes had little influence.

On the other hand, I want to stress that the “history” I want to write is fundamentally a history of art, based on the belief that works do not speak for themselves but need to be explained, at least partly, by how they were financed, distributed, produced, and by the lives and ideas of those involved in these processes. This is a necessary prerequisite so that “production history” does not become just a succession of production anecdotes. In other words, while studio and production history might occupy most of the word count, aesthetic and formal analysis will remain an essential part of articles – they are, in a way, what justifies all the rest.

How, then, does one approach Mushi Production? As I have discussed, the studio’s legacy is both obvious and debated. In English-speaking circles in particular, writings about it have mostly been confined to two themes – the “first TV anime”, Tetsuwan Atom, which opens the studio’s history, and the Animerama film trilogy, which more-or-less closes it. It is only very recently, with Toadette’s in-depth article about Mushi’s Moomin, that general knowledge about it has been allowed to expand. 

I will of course cover both the beginning and the end in this series, but just as important is all that stands in-between. It is not just interesting in itself and when some of anime’s first masterpieces have been produced (Jungle Taitei and Ashita no Joe, to only cite two): Mushi’s attempt and ultimate failure to dominate TV animation and even the animation industry in Japan can only be understood by narrating its decade-long development.

To that end, I will be using almost exclusively Japanese-language sources, for the simple reasons that I can access them and that they are the most complete and up-to-date. Thankfully, most are very recent, as if there had been a sudden movement to write memoirs, conduct and publish interviews and research on the first years of the anime industry in the last 5 years or so. Hopefully, what I write here can therefore be in line with at least some of the latest developments in Japanese animation historiography. In that regard, I am particularly indebted to one book, Yûsuke Nakagawa’s The Founding of the Animation Kingdom: not only does it appear to be one of the most recent and complete syntheses on the first decade of the anime industry, it puts anime production in the wider context of the TV and manga industries, a perspective that is often lacking in anime history.

I have tried to use as many secondary sources as possible, but primary sources – particularly memoirs and interviews – remain the foundation for anime history. But I would like to stop here a bit and discuss the risks of using such documentation. First, it is always edited in a way or another; second, individuals misremember, confuse things and always have their own implicit or explicit biases. As a rule of thumb, I now tend to consider that witnesses may be lying, but in good faith – in other words, they sincerely believe in what they say, even if it’s wrong. This is a necessary assumption, because if people were consciously lying, their testimonies would be unusable. This would lead nowhere, so I believe it more interesting and productive to investigate why and how biases and mistakes develop. This is only possible by comparing sources and always keeping in mind where a given witness stands.

To illustrate these remarks, I’d like to discuss one specific source: Eiichi Yamamoto’s The Rise and Fall of Mushi Pro. This is not a memoir or an autobiography, but a novel narrated in the third-person, whose main character, Ani Meita (yes, “animator”) roughly occupies the same position Yamamoto did. The novel format makes the book very tricky to use, because it’s never clear what is fact and what is fiction, or what really happened but is told differently for dramatic effect. Moreover, as I will show in the articles, Yamamoto makes multiple factual mistakes and repeatedly omits what appears like key events in Mushi Pro’s history. The fact that it was published in 1989, just after Osamu Tezuka’s death and at a point when his legacy in manga and animation had to be defined, must not be ignored either.

On the other hand, there are a few elements that make it an essential resource. First, it is chronologically rather close to the facts: after Tezuka’s 1973 series of tearjerking essays about Mushi Pro and the reasons for its collapse and Yoshiyuki Tomino’s provocative 1981 memoirs, it is one of the earliest and most complete accounts of the studio’s history. Moreover, the sheer amount of detail and information makes Yamamoto’s narration extremely convincing. It’s impossible not to use it – but one must do so with the utmost caution.

As a result, when citing sources, I have tried to adopt the following principles whenever possible (which sadly didn’t apply as much as I’d have liked):

1) Never cite a source individually but always give at least two testimonies for an event or claim

2) Always give priority to secondary sources, which are presumed to have already done criticism of primary sources and consulted some that I may not have accessed

3) When available, always give priority to actual production documents and archives, while at the same time acknowledging that they do not speak by themselves and need to be analyzed in the light of other sources

4) If a statement is particularly important or unexpected, it must be backed up by a higher number of sources

In terms of how this will translate in the articles themselves, I have decided to adopt a system of footnotes. I provide a full bibliography here – which can hopefully serve as a resource for those interested in researching the topic further – which I’ll reference by footnotes in each article. In these, I will also discuss the sources themselves, such as some of their limitations and contradictions. While it may not be the most practical, I encourage those interested to check them out, even if they don’t intend to cross-reference every one of my statements.

As I usually do in those introductory articles, I will also provide an outline of the series. It will be generally chronological, but with some caveats. The last 5 years of the studio in particular are extremely crowded, not to say confused, as many things were in production at the same time and the internal conditions within Mushi got increasingly complicated. I have therefore chosen thematic entries, such as “gekiga anime” or “pre-World Masterpiece Theater”, but these are always somewhat arbitrary. These, alongside the lack of access, have led me to bypass certain productions: Tezuka’s so-called “experimental works” will not be analyzed in depth, while shows like Vampire, Sasurai no Taiyô or Kunimatsu-sama no Otoridai will only get brief mentions. This is, as always, a reminder that my work here is far from complete and always welcomes corrections and additions.

Series outline

1. The road to TV anime, 1960-1965 (Saiyûki, Aru Machikado no Monogatari, Tetsuwan Atom) – 08/04/2023

1.5. Atom through its storyboards – 15/04/2023

2. Anime business, 1965-1966 (W3, Jungle Taitei) – 22/04/2023

3. The beginning of the end, 1967-1969 (Goku no Daibôken, Ribbon no Kishi, Wanpaku Tanteidan, Animal 1, 1001 Nights)  – 29/04/2023

4. Mushi’s gekiga, 1969-1971 (Dororo, Sabu & Ichi, Ashita no Joe) – 20/05/2023

5. Farewell to Tezuka, 1970-1972 (Cleopatra, Kanashimi no Belladonna) – 27/05/2023

6. Towards the World Masterpiece Theater, 1971-1973 (Moomin, Andersen Monogatari, Vickie the Viking) – 03/06/2023

7. Digging Mushi’s grave, 1972-1973 (Umi no Triton, Wansa-kun) – 10/06/2023

Conclusion: Mushi’s successors? (Ace wo Nerae, Space Battleship Yamato, Zero Tester, Manga Nippon Mukashibanashi) – 24/06/2023


(WARNING: At the time of initial publication, this bibliography is not complete, as I didn’t have the time to check the contents of the Ashita no Joe DVD box booklets and articles from anime magazines, and whether or not I’ll use them as sources. If I do, they will be added properly later on)

Primary sources

Memoirs, essays & blogs

Aketagawa Susumu (明田川進). 2018. “Sound Stories” (音物語). Anime Eiga.

Higuchi, Masakazu (樋口雅一). Manga-do. 

Masami, Jun (真佐美ジュン). Masami Jun. 

Mineshima, Masayuki (峯島正行). 2012. “The Osamu Tezuka I Knew” (私の手塚治虫). 

Okuda, Seiji (奥田誠治). 2020. Animation Is Too Interesting: The Storyboard Devil, Seiji Okuda, and the Reality of the Animation Industry (アニメの仕事は面白すぎる 絵コンテの鬼・奥田誠治と日本アニメ界のリアル). Shuppan Works.

Otsuka, Yasuo (大塚康生). 2011. Drawings Drenched with Sweat, Supplementary Revised Edition (作画汗まみれ 増補改訂版). Tokuma Shoten.

Sugii, Gisaburô (杉井ギサブロー). 2012. Animation, Life and Wandering: A Current of Expression from Atom to Touch and Night on the Galactic Railroad (アニメと生命と放浪と : 「アトム」「タッチ」「銀河鉄道の夜」を流れる表現の系譜). Wani Plus.

Takahashi, Ryosuke (高橋良輔). 2019. Anime Director… Is That Alright? (アニメ監督で…いいのかな?). Kadokawa.

Tezuka, Osamu (手塚治虫). 1996. Osamu Tezuka Essays Collection (手塚治虫エッセイ集). Kodansha.

Vol.1 – “Osamu Tezuka Autobiography” (手塚治虫自伝)

Vol. 2 – “Animation is about drawing ‘movement'” (アニメーションは”動き”を描く); “Record of my animation madness” (わがアニメ狂いの記); “Mushi Pro’s epic battle record” (虫プロ奮戦記); “Walt Disney, king of cartoons” (ワォルト•ディズニーー漫画映画の王者); “Disney in New York” (ニューヨークのディズニー); “Walt Disney” (ワォルト•ディズニー); “Animation is about to die” (瀕死のアニメーション)

Vol. 3 – “On SF manga” (SFマンガについて); “Jungle Taitei and me” (私とジャングル大帝); “On Jungle Taitei” (ジャングル大帝について); “Atom and me” (アトムと私); “On gekiga” (劇画について); “Mr. Sôji Ushio” (うしおそうじさん)

Vol. 5 – “The TV series Andersen Monogatari” (テレビ番組アンデルセン物語)

Vol. 6 – “Money and me – The monthly salary system of a family” (お金と私 一家総月給制); “My daily life” (私の日常生活); “Sell Atom” (アトムを売って); “The death of Atom” (アトムの死); “My work and lifestyle” (私の仕事と生活)

Vol. 7 – “At the time of the cartoon Sindbad no Bôken” (漫画映画シンドバットの冒険のころ)

Tomino, Yoshiyuki (富野由悠季). 2002. And So, I Am…: The Road to Gundam (だから僕は… : ガンダムへの道). Kadokawa Bunko.

Toyota, Aritsune (豊田有恒). 2000. The Birth of Japanese SF Animation: Mushi Pro and TBS’ Manga Room (日本SFアニメ創世記 : 虫プロ、そしてTBS漫画ルーム). TBS Pritanica.

———. 2020. The Dawn of Japanese Animation (日本アニメ誕生). Bensei Publishing.

Yamamoto, Eiichi (山本暎一). 1989. The Rise and Fall of Mushi Pro: Ani Meita’s Youth (虫プロ興亡記 : 安仁明太の青春). Shinchosha.

Yasuhiko, Yoshikazu (安彦良和), Ishii, Makoto (石井誠). 2020. My Back Pages (安彦良和マイ・バック・ページズ). Ohta Publishing.

Interview collections

Cinema Novecento (ed.) (シネマノヴェチェント). 2020. The Light of Group Tac: the Trajectory of the Animation Company Which Produced Manga Sekai Mukashibanashi and Night on the Galactic Railroad, 2nd edition (グループ・タックのきらめき : 『まんが日本昔ばなし』『銀河鉄道の夜』を生んだアニメ制作会社の軌跡 第2版). Cinema Novecento.

Hoshi Makoto (星まこと). 2018. Legendary Anime Creators: Animation Interviews, vol. 1 (伝説のアニメ職人たち : アニメーション・インタビュー 第1巻). Mandarake ZENBU.

Interviews with Sôji Ushio, Noboru Ishiguro, Shingo Araki, Akihiro Kanayama

Kawajiri, Yoshiaki (川尻善昭). 2008. Plus Madhouse 02: Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Kinema Junpo

Interview with Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Nakagawa, Yûsuke (中川右介). 2021. The Gods of Animation: Interviews with Anime Creators who Crossed Time (アニメ大国の神様たち : 時代を築いたアニメ人インタビューズ). East Press.

Interviews with Aritsune Toyota & Masaki Tsuji, Daisaku Shirakawa, Shôzô Shudô, Gisaburô Sugii, Yoshio Kuroda, Shin’ichi Suzuki, Osamu Dezaki.

Rintarô (りん・たろう). 2009. Plus Madhouse 04: Rintarô. Kinema Junpo.

Interviews with Rintarô, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Toshio Hirata, Masao Maruyama

Takahashi, Ryosuke. 2017. “Revival serialization: ‘The Genes of Atom, the Dreams of Gundam’, Sunrise’s 30th anniversary project.” (リバイバル連載:サンライズ創業30周年企画「アトムの遺伝子 ガンダムの夢」). 

Individual interviews

Araki, Shingo (荒木伸吾). 2002. “Shingo Araki Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°16, pp.136-144. Mandarake Publishing.

Dezaki, Osamu (出崎統). 2004. “NU Special Interview – Anime Director Osamu Dezaki: Jungle Kurobe’s Message Still Lives On” (NU SPECIAL INTERVIEW アニメ監督・出崎統氏 「ジャングル黒べえ」のメッセージは 今も生きている). Fujiko Fujio Fan Circle Neo Utopia. 

Hane, Yukiyoshi (羽根章悦). 2006. “Yukiyoshi Hane Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°33, pp.281-289. Mandarake Publishing.

Hachimura, Hiroya (八村博也). 2016. “Hiroya Hachimura Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°77, pp.209-217. Mandarake Publishing.

Haraguchi, Masahiro (原口正宏) & Oguro, Yûichiro (大黒祐一郎). 2005. “Let’s Learn about Sabu to Ichi From Data Haraguchi” (データ原口さんに『佐武と市捕物控』について教えてもらおう). WEB Animestyle.

Hirata, Toshio (平田敏夫). 2017. I Want to Talk to this Person! N°51: Toshio Hirata ( 「この人に話を聞きたい」第51回 平田敏夫). 

Kanayama, Akihiro (金山明博). 2000. “Akihiro Kanayama Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°06, pp.01-09. Mandarake Publishing.

———. 2006. Suginami Animation Museum Oral History – Akihiro Kanayama.

———. 2023. Full Frontal – Akihiro Kanayama Interview. (To be published)

Kawajiri, Yoshiaki (川尻善昭). 2014. “Director Yoshiaki Kawajiri Interview” (監督川尻善昭インタービュー). Bandai Channel – Creators Selection n°16. 

Kurokawa, Keijirô (黒川慶二郎). 2018. “Keijirô Kurokawa Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°89, pp.289-297.

Miyamoto, Sadao (宮本貞雄). 2009. “Sadao Miyamoto Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°42, pp.289-296. Mandarake Publishing.

Morita, Hiromitsu (森田浩光). 2016. “Hiromitsu Morita Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°73, pp.221-229. Mandarake Publishing.

Nakamura, Kazuko (中村和子). 2007. “Kazuko Nakamura Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°37, pp.281-288. Mandarake Publishing.

Nozaki, Yoshihiro (野崎欣宏). 2011. “Yoshihiro Nozaki Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°51, pp.269-276. Mandarake Publishing.

Numoto, Kiyoshi (沼本清海). 2012. “Kiyoshi Numoto Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°55, pp.305-312. Mandarake Publishing.

Ohashi, Manabu (大橋学), Morimoto, Kôji (森本晃司), Kobayashi, Osamu (小林治). 2001. “Future Anime” (未来のアニメ). Mao Cloud Official Website. 

Okaseko, Nobuhiro (岡迫亘弘). 2003. “Nobuhiro Okaseko Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°18, pp.145-153. Mandarake Publishing.

Otsuka, Yasuo (大塚康生) & Osumi, Masaaki (おおすみ正秋). 2008. Mr. Yasuo Otsuka (大塚康生氏). 

Sasakado, Nobuyoshi (佐々門信芳). 2006.  Suginami Animation Museum Oral History – Nobuyoshi Sasakado.

———. 2008. “Nobuyoshi Sasakado Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°38, pp.281-288. Mandarake Publishing.

Seki, Shûichi (関修一). 2007. “Shûichi Seki Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°36, pp.281-289. Mandarake Publishing.

Shirakawa, Daisaku (白川大作). 2004. Tôei Animation Research, Part 9: Daisaku Shirakawa Interview (東映長編研究 第9回 白川大作インタビュー). WEB Animestyle. 

Shindô, Mitsuo (進藤満尾). 2005. “Mitsuo Shindô Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°26, pp.283-291. Mandarake Publishing.

Sugii, Gisaburô (杉井ギサブロー). 2015. Suginami Animation Museum Oral History – Gisaburô Sugii.

———. 2004. “Let’s Research the Three Animerama Films! Gisaburô Sugii Interview” (「アニメラマ三部作」を研究しよう!杉井ギサブロー インタビュー). WEB Animestyle. 

Sugino, Akio (杉野昭夫), karagekon (tr.). 2019. “The Other Half of the Golden Combo: Akio Sugino Interview”. 

Sugiyama, Taku (杉山卓). 2010. “Taku Sugiyama Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°47, pp.315-322. Mandarake Publishing.

Takahashi, Shigehito (高橋茂人), Ono Kosei (小野耕世). 2013. “Shigehito Takahashi, The First Years of TV Commercials and TV Animation in Japan (History from TCJ to Zuiyo)”. (高橋茂人,日本におけるテレビCMとTVアニメの草創期を語る(TCJからズイヨーへの歴史)). Journal of Kyoto Seika University, vol.26, pp.189-213.

Tezuka, Makoto (手塚眞), Kuri, Yôji (久里洋二). 2013. “Special New Year Talk: Yôji Kuri x Makoto Tezuka” (新春特別対談 久里洋二X手塚眞). Mushi-n-bo 2013/01. 

Tomioka, Atsushi (冨岡厚司). 2015. “Atsushi Tomioka Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°67, pp.239-247. Mandarake Publishing.

Toyota, Aritsune (豊田有恒). 2014. “Aritsune Toyota Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°66, pp.223-231. Mandarake Publishing.

Tsuji, Masaki (辻真先). 2006. Suginami Animation Museum Oral History – Masaki Tsuji.

Tsuji, Masaki (辻真先). 2019. Scriptwriter Masaki Tsuji’s Memories of Dororo (脚本家・辻真先の語る『どろろ』の思い出). 

Tsukioka, Sadao (月岡貞夫). 2013. “Sadao Tsukioka Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°58, pp.321-328.

Udagawa, Kazuhiko (宇田川一彦). 2005. “Kazuhiko Udagawa Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°27, pp.273-281. Mandarake Publishing.

Ushio, Sôji (うしおそうじ). 2002. “Sôji Ushio Interview” in Mandarake Zenbu n°17, pp.02-12. Mandarake Publishing.

Yamamoto, Eiichi (山本暎一). 2003. “Let’s Research the 3 Animerama Films! Eiichi Yamamoto Interview” (「アニメラマ三部作」を研究しよう!山本暎一インタビュー). WEB Animestyle. 

Yasuhiko, Yoshikazu (安彦良和). 1998. Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. Douga-Ou (『動画王』). Vol.7. Kinema Junpo, p.163.

Artbooks and mooks

Anonymous. 1978. Ashita no Joe Roman Album (あしたのジョー ロマンアルバム). Tokuma Shoten.

Oyama, Kumao & Hayashi Nobuyuki (eds.). 2012. The World of Anime Director Osamu Dezaki: The Magician of Images Who Kept Portraying Human Beings (アニメーション監督出崎統の世界 : 「人間」を描き続けた映像の魔術師). Kawade Shobô Shinsha.

Takarajima Magazine Editors Room (別冊宝島編集部). 2018. Complete Analysis! Osamu Dezaki: The Man Who Made Ashita no Joe. Takarajimasha.

Tomino, Yoshiyuki (富野由悠季). 2019. The World of Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野由悠季の世界). Kinema Junpo.

Seki, Shûichi (関修一). 2014. Shûichi Seki’s World: Character Design Wonderland (関修一の世界 : キャラクターデザイン・ワンダーランド). Tokyo Shoseki.

———. 2018. Vickie the Viking (Character Design Wonderland) (小さなバイキングビッケ (キャラクターデザイン・ワンダーランド)). Tokyo Shoseki.

Sugino, Akio (杉野昭夫). 1982. Akio Sugino Works Collection – Shônen Magazine Special Issue (杉野昭夫 作品集『少年マガジン』特別別冊). Kodansha.

Production Materials & Resources

Anonymous 1978. Ashita no Joe Roman Album (あしたのジョー ロマンアルバム). Tokuma Shoten

Chûjô, Shôhei (ed.) (中条省平). 2015a. COM Masterpieces Selection. Part 1: 1967-1969 (COM傑作選 上 1967~1969). Chikuma Shobô.

———. 2015b. COM Masterpieces Selection. Part 2: 1970-1971 (COM傑作選 下 1970~1971). Chikuma Shobô.

Itô, Hideaki (伊藤秀明), Nagao, Kenji (長尾けんじ) & al. 2001. Astro Boy DVD BOX Data Files 1-6 (鉄腕アトムDVD-boxデータ・ファイル). Nippon Columbia.

Mushi Production (虫プロダクション). 1977. Mushi Production Materials Collection: 1962-1973 (虫プロダクション資料集).

Pia Kansai Branch (ぴあ関西支社). 2018. Ashita no Joe Complete DVD Book, vol. 1-8 (あしたのジョーcomplete DVD book). Pia.

Tezuka, Osamu (手塚治虫). 1999a. Astro Boy – Osamu Tezuka Storyboards Complete Collection 01 (鉄腕アトム 手塚治虫絵コンテ大全 ; 第1巻). Kawade Shobô Shinsha.

———. 1999b. W3 – Osamu Tezuka Storyboards Complete Collection 02 (W3 手塚治虫絵コンテ大全 ; 第2巻). Kawade Shobô Shinsha.

———. 2018. Osamu Tezuka Vintage Art Works – Animation Edition (手塚治虫ヴィンテージ・アートワークス – アニメ編). Rittôsha.

Tohoku Osamu Tezuka Fanclub (手塚治虫ファンクラブ・東北). 1989. Dororo Materials Collection (どろろ資料集).

Yamamoto Eiichi, Tomioka Atsuhi, Yanase Takashi, Miyamoto Sadao 2004a. “1001 Nights Audio Commentary” in 1001 Nights – Osamu Tezuka Anime World (千夜一夜物語 手塚治虫アニメワールド). Columbia Music Entertainment.

Yamamoto Eiichi, Tomioka Atsushi, Nakamura Kazuko, Tashiro Atsumi 2004b. “Cleopatra Audio Commentary” in Cleopatra – Osamu Tezuka Anime World (クレオパトラ 手塚治虫アニメワールド). Columbia Music Entertainment.

Yamamoto Eiichi, Tomioka Atsushi, Fukai Kuni, Sugii Gisaburô 2004c. “Belladonna of Sadness Audio Commentary” in Belladonna of Sadness – Osamu Tezuka Anime World (哀しみのベラドンナ 手塚治虫アニメワールド). Columbia Music Entertainment.

Secondary sources

Chiba, Kaori (ちばかおり). 2017. The Day Heidi Was Born: The Men Who Built a Landmark of TV Animation (ハイジが生まれた日 : テレビアニメの金字塔を築いた人々). Iwanami Shoten.

Holmberg, Ryan. 2011a. “Charting the Beginnings”. The Comics Journal.

———. 2011b. “An Introduction to Gekiga, 6970AD”. The Comics Journal. 

———. 2011c. “Saitô Takao and the ‘Gekiga Factory’”. The Comics Journal. 

Hoshi, Makoto. 2014. “Memories of Noboru Ishiguro” (回想の石黒昇さん). 

Isobe, Masayoshi (磯部正義) & Haraguchi, Masahiro (原口正宏). 2013. Organizing Information for the 50th Anniversary of TV Anime (TVアニメ50年史のための情報整理). 

Kiokunokasabuta (記憶のかさブタ). n.d. “Special Issue Phantom Pilot Films” (幻のパイロットフィルム特集).

Kurosawa, Tetsuya (黒沢哲哉). 2010a. “Mushi Walk, n°8: Fujimi-dai, Nerima – Walking around Mushi Pro with Arashi Ishizu!” (虫さんぽ第8回: 練馬区富士見台・虫プロ界隈を石津嵐さんと歩く!!の巻). Mushi-n-bo 2010/02. 

———. 2010b. “Tezuka Manga on This Day, n°9: The Birth of Mushi Pro and the Dawn of TV Anime” (手塚マンガあの日あの時第9回:虫プロ誕生とテレビアニメ時代の夜明け). Mushi-n-bo 2010/03. 

———. 2010c. “Tezuka Manga on This Day, n°13: Another W3” (手塚マンガあの日あの時第13回:もひとつのW3). Mushi-n-bo 2010/11. 

———. 2012. “Tezuka Manga on This Day, n°24: Looking for the Roots of Tezuka’s Passion for Animation!” (手塚マンガあの日あの時第24回:手塚治虫、アニメにかけた情熱のルーツを探る!). Mushi-n-bo 2012/09. 

———. 2013a. “Tezuka Manga on This Day, n°27: Dororo, Which Took On the Challenge of the Yôkai Boom!” (手塚マンガあの日あの時第27回:妖怪ブームの荒波に挑んだ「どろろ」の挑戦!!). Mushi-n-bo 2013/03.

———. 2013b. “Tezuka Manga on This Day, n°29: When the Osamu Tezuka Fan Club Was Created!!” (手塚マンガあの日あの時第29回:手塚治虫ファンクラブ創立の時代!!). Mushi-n-bo 2013/07.

———. 2013c. “Tezuka Manga on This Day, n°31: Mangaka and Editor, Past and Present!”  (手塚マンガあの日あの時第31回:マンガ家&編集者、今昔物語!!). Mushi-n-bo 2013/11.

 ———. 2016. “Tezuka Manga on This Day, n°43: Looking Back in a Scrapbook to the Time of Mushi Pro’s Bankruptcy Troubles” (手塚マンガあの日あの時第43回:あるスクラップ帳で振り返る虫プロ倒産騒動の頃). Mushi-n-bo 2016/02.

Makimura, Yasumasa (牧村康正) & Yamada, Tetsuhisa (山田哲久). 2015. The Man Who Made Space Battleship Yamato: Yoshinobu Nishizaki’s Madness (「宇宙戦艦ヤマト」をつくった男 西崎義展の狂気). Kodansha.

Masuda, Hiromichi (増田弘道). 2009. Osamu Tezuka’s 80th Anniversary: The Originator of Pop Culture, His Achievements and Reputation. 

Nakagawa, Yûsuke (中川右介). 2020. The Founding of the Animation Kingdom, 1963-1973: The Pioneers Who Built TV Anime (アニメ大国建国紀1963-1973 : テレビアニメを築いた先駆者たち). East Press.

Nikaidô, Reito (二階堂黎人). 2006. The Tezuka Osamu We Loved (僕らが愛した手塚治虫). Shogakukan.

Sensô, Amei (志水鳴蛙). 2019. “How Popular Is Japanese Animation Overseas?” (日本のアニメの海外での人気って実際どうなの?).

Shimotsuki, Takanaka (霜月たかなか), Tsuda, Takemi (司田武己). 2003. Astro Boy Complete Book (鉄腕アトムコンプリートブック). Media Factory.

Shimotsuki, Takanaka (霜月たかなか). 2011. COM – 40th Anniversary Final Issue (COM 40年目の終刊号). Asahi Shinbun Press.

Toadette. 2023. “Rintarô, New Moomin, and the Last Days of Mushi Pro” 

Tsugata, Nobuyuki (津堅信之). 2004. The Power of Japanese Animation: Two Currents Running Through 85 Years (日本アニメーションの力 : 85年の歴史を貫く2つの軸). NTT Publishing.

———. 2007. Osamu Tezuka as an Animation Artist: His Path and Essence (アニメ作家としての手塚治虫 : その軌跡と本質). NTT Publishing.