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Osamu Tezuka
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    (November 3, 1928-February 9, 1989)
    Born in Toyonaka (Osaku), Japan
    'Father of Manga'
    Published the debut 'New Treasure Island,' in 1947
    Published 'Tetsuwan Atom' (later Astro Boy) in 1951
    Founded Mushi Productions, in 1961
    Founded Tezuka Productions, in 1968
    Creator of Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Black Jack, Princess Knight, and Phoenix
    Namesake for the Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum in Takarazuka City (established 1994)
    His first name sounds like you know who.
    He claimed to have seen Disney's Bambi 80 times.
    He regularly made cameos as himself in his works.
    He turned down an offer from Stanley Kubrick to work as art director on '2001: Space Odyssey.'
    He was accused of perpetuating racist stereotypes in his early work (which he claimed to have only appropriated from his American counterparts).
    His impressive body of work is overshadowed by the debate as to whether or not Disney ripped off his 'Kimba the White Lion' cartoon to create 'Lion King.'
    The controversy is so infamous that it was parodied on an episode of The Simpsons ('You must avenge my death, Kimba - uh - I mean Simba!')
    He was known as the Walt Disney of Japan.
    'Kimba' won a Silver Lion award at the Venice Film Festival (1967).
    He developed the distinctive 'large eyes' characteristic of Japanese animation.
    He won numerous awards for 'Adolph,' a graphic novel about a German and a Jew torn between duty and friendship during World War II.
    At the height of its popularity, 'Astro Boy' was watched by over 40% of the Japanese viewing public.
    His life's work was 'The Phoenix Cycle' - a project he worked on for over 35 years, comprised of 12 volumes.
    He died only two weeks apart from Emperor Hirohito, and his death received almost as much attention.
    He was a huge baseball fan, and even later licensed the Kimba character to be the mascot for for the Seibu Lions of the Nippon Professional Baseball League.
    While not a direct copy as is sometimes stated, 'Lion King' was definitely influenced by 'Kimba' to some degree and the company continues to refuse to admit it (it went into production the year of his death interestingly).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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