Osamu Tezuka drew and wrote the first volume of the Phoenix manga, but the series was never completed. Tezuka’s “life’s work,” Phoenix, is divided into 12 volumes that each describe a distinct story set in a different era. The stories alternate between the distant future and the Stone Age.
Since 2007 all of the volumes of the manga have been translated into English. Reincarnation is central to Phoenix. In Tezuka’s illustrations, the titular bird of fire looks a lot like the Fenghuang, and in each story, the protagonist is on a quest to drink its blood and become immortal.
While reincarnation in the Buddhist sense is presented as the inevitable course of existence, immortality in Phoenix is either impossible to achieve or a dreadful affliction. In the first story, “Dawn,” we are transported to the distant past, and in the second, “Future,” we are transported to the distant future.
Phoenix: Eden 17 Release Date
As Tezuka puts it, Phoenix is his “life’s labor” and it spans 12 volumes. After the manga’s creator passed away in 1989, the publication was halted. Nostalgia, the sixth volume, follows Romi and her companion as they flee a wrecked Earth and make their way to Eden 17 in search of a new beginning.
But to their shock, they discover that all life on the planet has perished, forcing her into an even more difficult existence. The series’ anime name is Phoenix: Eden 17. To celebrate the news, a brand new trailer and key visual were unveiled.
The protagonist Romi, the utopian planet Eden, and the phoenix are all teased in the trailer. The anime will premiere in 2023 and be available for streaming on the Disney + service around the world (with the exception of mainland China).
About Phoenix: Eden17
The anime Phoenix Eden17 is based on the “Phoenix” comic by Osamu Tezuka. The show is being made by Studio 4°C, and it will be available on Disney+ in every region. The story follows Romi and her companion as they leave a devastated Earth and travel to Eden17 in search of a new home. On the other hand, they find that all life has been eradicated from the new planet.
Phoenix: Eden17 Characters
- Hi no Tori: Keiko Takeshita/Suzanne Gilad
- Saruta: Tetsuo Komura/Danny Burstein
- Narrator: Akira Kume/Robert O’Gorman
- Masato Yamanobe: Daisuke Namikawa/Michael Sinterniklaas
- Robita: Shigeru Ushiyama
- Rock: Takuya Kirimoto/Eric Stuart
- Old Masato: Osamu Saka/Michael McConnohie
- Tamami: Yumi Touma/Stephanie Sheh
- Girl: Akiko Nakagawa
- Adam: Takahiro Mizushima
Reception and Legacy
Among Tezuka’s many excellent works, Phoenix is universally regarded as a manga classic. To celebrate its tenth year, the Japan Media Arts Festival compiled a special ‘experts’ ranking of the greatest manga of all time (composed of critics, editors, industry professionals, etc.) and Phoenix came out on top.
Asahi Shimbun conducted a poll in 2009 to determine the ‘Greatest Shwa Manga,’ and Phoenix came in at number 12, making it Tezuka’s third-highest manga after Astro Boy and Black Jack. Naoki Urasawa, a manga artist, has said that the first time he read Phoenix, he was astonished that a work of such quality existed and that he has never been as severely touched by anything since.
The Phoenix from the title is a manga classic, so much so that the museum’s permanent exhibition features a sculpture of the character. Near the entrance to the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum is a statue of the mythical Phoenix. Lyrically, “M.D.O.” by Lovebites, a heavy metal band from 2018, is inspired by the Resurrection arc of the Phoenix comic book series.
New Gene, Inspired from Phoenix, a compilation album by Evil Line Records, was published on October 30, 2019, in honor of what would have been Tezuka’s 90th birthday. There are songs by Glim Spanky, Kizuna AI, Tavito Nanao, and Naotar Moriyama, among others, that were inspired by Phoenix.