Mar 10, 2012
NimbusC (All reviews)
The Crater is a collection of 17 short stories by manga genius Osamu Tezuka that delve into the recurring tribulations of boy hero Okuchin, as he is moved from one dark scenario into another. With each story grounded in the horror and science fiction genres, and all ending on a twist - whether you see it coming or not - The Crater becomes like a manga equivalent of 'The Twilight Zone'.

Tezuka's storytelling is potently effective with his usual rapid-fire pacing, his combination of dramatic irony with comedic relief, and his self-insertion into at least two or three of the stories. Because of all this, one never tires of The Crater's short stories, especially those familiar with Astro Boy and Blackjack. The title story of the series ends with a sombre, but fitting, note to the whole set.

The artwork still holds up to today, as Tezuka mixes realistic and well-referenced backgrounds and objects - such as guns, airplanes, and military bases, etc. - with cartoon-style anime characters.

For those who enjoy old-school manga action and those wanting to be introduced to Tezuka, this is a good place to start.