Feb 9, 2023
There is not doubt Kimba is one of the most important manga for the development of the medium. It is a must read whose style and plot pioneer what it means to tell a story in manga. Without Kimba it is doubtful that we would ever get many of the long form Shonen works that we have all come to know and represent the culture. While there are edges that tend to be rough, and the highs reached may not topple those of works previously read, Kimba holds its own through it's sheer size of story packed into only three volumes. Each volume acting like
a different arc in the story of Kimba's life, this manga is one of the first attempts to really tell a generational story, something you can find in the great works such as Dragonball, Jojo, or YuYu Hakusho. Whether or not this manga really "invented" anything present in the manga is up for debate, but it's contribution to the legacy is undeniable.
There is a question if the original art was as high a level of visual communication as Tezuka did re-draw this work from scratch. You can feel many of the more updated methods that he develops later on, and his paneling more closely reflects his 60s work than something from 1950. This is a strength, however, as it is rare you have an artist completely redraw something a decade after completing their work, and after producing a seminal work like Astro Boy that helped mature the art form into something more akin to the Kimba re-draw.
Kimba is a must read for anyone interested in the history of manga, or anyone who wants to see where their favorite stories get their thematic narrative origin.
Reviewer’s Rating: 7
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