Tatsumi (★★★★ Empire review)

TatsumiSquareInspired by the 800-page illustrated autobiography of Japanese writer and illustrator Yoshihiro Tatsumi, the father of gekiga (manga for mature readers), this superbly conceived and ingeniously executed film combines adaptations of some of the great man’s best short stories, animated in the style of the original manga, with autobiographical interludes narrated by Tatsumi himself. The addition of animation elements – voice acting, music, movement and sound effects – to the original comic strips neither enhances nor diminishes the inherent power and skill of the five stories, among them the indelible Hiroshima drama “Hell” and a troubling tale about a prostitute serving American G.I.s. But what emerges from the linking sections is a broader story about the powerful insistence of the creative urge, and the true artist’s enslavement to it. ★★★★

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