Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Tezuka Osamu Ga Kieta?! 20 Seiki Saigo no Kaijiken

Tezuka Osamu Ga Kieta?! 20 Seiki Saigo no Kaijiken (Tezuka Osamu Vanished?! The Last Great Mystery of the 20th Century) is a TV special created by Tezuka Productions in 2000 to celebrate its namesake and departed founder. On New Years' Eve in the year 2000, Tezuka Osamu meets his creations for an end-of-the-century party at Dr. Tenma's mansion. However, before the celebration can start, Tezuka suddenly disappears from his room, in what appears to be a classic locked-room mystery. While Professor Ochinomizu, Sapphire, Sharaku and Wato-san, Higeoyaji, Hamegg, Pinako, Dr. Tenma, and even Robota race around helplessly (or suspiciously), and Black Jack hovers enigmatically, Atom investigates and eventually solves the puzzle. At the end, all the characters from Tezuka Osamu's "star system" (and many others) gather round to toast the new year, the new century, and the new millennium, while Tezuka begins his next adventure.

It's all very slight. The mystery itself doesn't hold water and requires several science-fictional elements for its resolution. (As usual, the explanation takes twice as long as the setup.) Rather, it's a chance for the viewer to get together with Tezuka Osamu's classic characters one last time and to bid them, and the God of Manga himself, hail and farewell.


One of the charms of the show is that it uses many of the voice actors who originated the characters for Mushi Productions or Tezuka Productions. These include:
  • Kobayashi Kyouji (Tezuka Osamu) was mostly a stage actor. However, he voiced Tezuka Osamu in Tezuka Osamu Monogatari: Boku wa Son Gokuu, Dr. Kudo in Bander Book, and Iyami in the original Osomatsu-kun.
  • Shizumu Mari (Atom) played Atom in every instantiation of the character from the original series in 1968 to the movie in 2003. She also played Jim Hawkins in Takarajima.
  • Ootsuki Akio (Black Jack) played the same role in all of the Black Jack properties. He played the title roles in Ambassador Magma, Blade, and Montana Jones, Gozo in the Aika franchise, Batou in the Ghost in the Shell franchise, the villain All for One in Boku no Hero Academia, and Nyanko Big in one memorable episode of Tada Never Falls in Love. He played George in Condition Green, the narrator in Fire Emblem, and Nobunaga the boss crow in Ultra Nyan 2, all Orphan releases. He is still active and will appear in this summer's Vinland Saga.
  • Katsuta Hisashi (Professor Ochanomizu) played the same role in the Atom series, its remakes, and Marine Express. He appeared in the original Osomatsu-kun, the original Dororo, the first three Lupin III TV series, and the Oishinbo properties.
  • Touma Yumi (Sapphire) played the title roles in Emma: A Victorian Romance and Baby Felix. She played Urd in the Aa! Megami-sama franchise. She appeared in numerous shows, including Boyfriend, Condition Green, Fukuyama Gekijou, and Eguchi Hisashi no Nantoko Nareudesho, all Orphan releases.
  • Kumai Matoko (Sharaku) played the title roles in title roles in Hanada Shounen-shi and Papuwa, Syaoran Li in Cardcaptor Sakura, Takao Kinomiya in Beyblade, Sumomo in Chobits, Ginta in Mar, Banba in Kuragehime, Honda Gorou in Major, Coffret in the Eiga Precure franchise, and Kocchi the black-and-white cat in Koneko no Chi.
  • Wato-san (Matsui Naoko) played the same role in Mitsume ga Tooru. She played the title role in Compiler, Uru Chie in High School! Kimengumi, Katsumi Liqueur in Silent Mobius, Run Run in Mahoujin Guru Guru, Roux Louka in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Suzuki Sonoko in Case Closed, Juushimatsu in Osomatsu-kun (1988), Marian in Robin Hood no Daibouken, and Matsu in Nobunaga no Shinobi.
  • Dr. Tenma (Ooki Tamio) played the same role in the 1980 version of Astro Boy, Ibuya in Hidamari no Ki, Aramaki in the GITS movies, and the title role in Planetarian: Hoshi no Hito.
  • Mizutani Yuuko (Pinoko) played the same role in all the Black Jack properties, as well as Rika in Sei Michaela Gakuen Hyouryuuki, Lila in Eien no Filena, and Dr. Uematsu Kikue in Yume Kakeru Kougen, all Orphan projects.
  • Tomita Kousei (Higeoyaji) played the same role in the TV specials Fumoon, Marine Express, Ginga Tansa 2100: Border Planet, and Tezuka Osamu Monogatari: Boku wa Son Gokuu, the movies Jungle Tatei and Metropolis, in several Astro Boy properties, and the OVA Midori no Neko. He also played Watson in Sherlock Hound
  • Hamegg and Robita (Ootake Hiroshi) played Tezuka-sensei in Fushigi na Melmo and Michael in the What's Michael? OVAs, which Orphan released.
The director, Kuwubara Satoshi, also had a long association with Tezuka Osamu projects. He directed the Black Jack TV properties, did production coordination for Tezuka Osamu's Tales from the Old Testament, storyboards for the Jungle Emperor Leo movies, and production management for the TV series Mitsume ga Tooru. Curiously, there is very little music; the end credits role over silence.

Despite the Orphan staff's passion for All Things Tezuka, the show took a while to get going. convexity translated. Yogicat timed. I edited and typeset. Nemesis and VigorousJammer QCed. M74 encoded from an R2J DVD. The original source was a mess, and it proved impossible to clean up. Perhaps someday it will be remastered and streamed.

So for all you Tezuka Osamu fan(atic)s out there, here's Tezuka Osamu Ga Kieta?! 20 Seiki Saigo no Kaijiken. (In tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle, it could almost be titled His Last Bow.) You can get the show from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.

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