published in Empire No.63, Sydney
Loosely based on elements from his long-running manga epic Phoenix, Osamu Tezuka's Space Firebird 2772 (directed by Taku Sugiyama from Tezuka's script and character designs) is an expansive space saga. Replete with beautifully hand-painted backgrounds, this somewhat dated movie still charms. The all-too-human hero of the story, Godoh, is birthed in a test-tube and nurtured by the mega-sexy transformer-bot Olga. Unthinkable in the West, Tezuka here accepts future life becoming automated, yet cautions us to seek out human warmth. Godoh's travels through space open his eyes to how life functions through the cosmos, making this a mature mix of sober contemplation and fantastic adventure.