Ootomo Katsuhiro 大友克洋

[born: 14 Apr 1954, Miyagi-prefecture, Miyagi; bloodtype: ?]

Ootomo has also worked as an illustrator, TV commercial director, and character designer. Anime credits include Genma Taisen 幻魔大戦, Kouji Chuushi Meirei 工事中止命令 (in Meikyuu Monogatari 迷宮物語 [aka Manie Manie]) and the title sequences of Robot Carnival.

Ootomo's manga has been inspired right from the start by the work of the French comic artist Moebius (Jean Giraud). Currently, Ootomo is believed to be working on a movie based on Giraud's best-known work, La Garage Hermetique [The Airtight Garage], featuring state-of-the-art computer animation.

Dozens of SF and fantasy mangaka have been very heavily influenced by Ootomo's work - Aki Kyoma, Kinutani Yu, Oyama Akira 大山玲, Tony Takezaki, and Sakaguchi Hisashi 坂口 尚 (the artist of Version), to name a few.

He made his manga debut in Action with "Juusei" (Gunshot) in 1973.

Sayonara Nippon [Farewell Japan]
serialized on Action, 1982
1 volume @ Y670
[ 01:____]
The experiences of two Japanese people who move to the US; one a judo teacher, the other a guitarist.

Kibun wa mou Sensou [Urge for War, Hard On]
serialized on Action, 1982
1 volume @ Y830
[ 01:____]
About three people involved in a fictional Sino-Soviet war. The work that brought recognition to Ootomo in Japan (more than 300 pages).

Doumu [Child's Dream]
serialized on Action, 1983
1 volume @ Y810
[ 01:8308]
Strange things are happening in an apartment block. A couple of suspicious deaths occur, but the police can't resolve the mystery. All this is caused by an evil, senile old man with psychic powers. He considers the apartment block as his playground. This changes when a new family with their daughter moves in. The little girl has the same kind of psychic powers and can't bear to see the old man abusing his powers. It's not long before psychic battles rage between the girl and the old man. The police and the other inhabitants are caught in the middle. A classic Ootomo work, it was the first ever manga to win an SF literature prize. Recommended.
TRA:(F)Humanoides Associes(E)Dark Horse(G)Alpha Comic Verlag

Hansel and Gretel
published by Sony Magazines,
1 volume @ Y1600
[ 01:____]
No Synopsis.

serialized on Young Magazine, 1982-90
6 volumes @ Y1200
[ 01:8409| 02:8509| 03:8609| 04:8707| 05:9012| 06:9303]
anime comics 5 volumes @ Y690
[ 01:8808| 02:8809| 03:8809| 04:8810| 05:8811]
In 2023, the teenage delinquent Kaneda and his motorbike gang ride through the streets of Neo-Tokyo. Kaneda's unstable friend, Tetsuo, is the subject of a secret military experiment which continues the work of the Akira project - a project which accidentally started WWIII years before. Tetsuo's new psychic powers lead to the revival of Akira, and Akira destroys Neo-Tokyo in a moment of fury. While Tetsuo carves an empire out of the ensuing chaos, his enemies - Kaneda, other psychics, and the US military - prepare to take him out. But Tetsuo's powers are increasing, and his ability to control them is decreasing...

AKIRA achieved spectacular success in the West, due to the careful English adaptation of the manga and the technically dazzling anime movie. However, Japanese readers lost interest towards the end of the manga, and the final volume (whose ending slightly expanded on the original) took nearly three years to be published. But the problematic ending should not keep you from reading Akira. The story in the manga is very exciting, fast-paced with interesting character development and complex relations between all the groups fighting for the secret of Akira. The movie tried to pack too much in two hours and the story in the anime gets incomprehensible because of that. The manga is much better story-wise. The English version remained stalled at issue #33 for a number of years, apparently due to petty problems with the colorist. It has since resumed, but the translation quality of these last issues is extremely inadequate. #37 was a "tribute issue" by American artists. Some scenes were redrawn for the later issues of the English version, also.

TRA:(F)Glenat(E)Epic Comics(I)Planet Manga(G)Carlsen Verlag

published by Koudansha, 1995
1 volume @ Y3500
[ 01:9506]
There are four parts in this book. The first one contains a complete set of color illustrations Ootomo made for Akira. The second part is the Title-page collection. Every chapter had a title-page and here they are republished without the title-text on it. This part makes up for more than half of the artbook. The third part is a memorial gallery which collects images of posters, goods and merchandise, foreign editions. The last part is called Unpublished Works. 264 total pages, 104 color pages. Cover features dual page design with a round cutout.

Kanojo no Omoide... [Memories]
Ootomo Katsuhiro Anthology
serialized on Young Magazine,
published by Koudansha, 1990
1 volume @ Y1200
[ 01:9004]
This is a deluxe version published in large format.
Stories included (260pp):
1. Flower (Color) (1979/10)
2. Memories (1980/11)
3. Sound of Sand (1979/11)
4. Farewell to Weapons (Color) (1981/11)
5. Electric Bird Land (1980/7) (sort of Hair 2)
6. Hair (1979/2)
7. Minor Swing (1977/8)
8. Chronicle of the Planet Tako (2 stories) (81/3)(82/2) 9. That's Amazing World (3 stories) (81/6|81/8|81/9)
10. Fireball (in some ways the prototype for AKIRA) (1979/1)

TRA:(G)Carlsen Comics(I)Star Comics

The Memory of Memories
published by Koudansha,
1 volume @ Y1942
[ 01:____]
Softcover, 160 pages, 80 color pages.

The Legend of Mother Sarah
art by Nagayasu Takumi ながやす巧,
serialized on Young Magazine, 1990
5 volumes @ Y1200
[ 01:____| 02:9107| 03:9307| 04:9707| 05:9708]
The Earth is rendered uninhabitable by war, and the population flees to orbiting space stations. Plans to make the Earth habitable again split the survivors into opposing groups, and Sarah loses her children when there is an exodus back to post-holocaust Earth. Each volume is the story of Sarah's efforts to be reunited with her children. Nagayusu's art is always technically impressive, but Ootomo's story is cliched and dull.

Against a background of the earth devastated by nuclear war, civil war, tyranny and drought, a woman called Sarah embarks on a quest to find her three lost children. Her quest takes her to five isolated towns, each facing a crisis that has enabled a group or tyrant to take power, and where human life is cheap. Through her enormous determination, wisdom and compassion, Sarah influences the individuals around her, giving them the strength to challenge their oppressive situations. Sarah faces frequent hardship and danger, as well as gripping personal struggles for the hearts and minds of her children who have grown up conditioned to the harsh realities of life on the desolate planet. {020}

TRA:(F)Delcourt(E)Dark Horse(G)Carlsen Verlag(I)Phoenix(S)

World Apartment Horror
art by Ima Satoshi 今敏
serialized on Young Magazine, 1991
1 volume @ Y800
[ 01:____]
Yakuza vs. ethnic apartment residents.

ZeD [Roujin Z]
art by Okada Tai 岡田鯛
serialized on Mr. Magazine, 1991
1 volume @ Y550
[ 01:9112]
The manufacturers of a hi-tech, fully-automated sickbed take an old man away from his nurse, so that they can showcase their product; however, the sickbed begins to run amok when they neglect the old man. An unusual and thoughtful piece.

The manga is pretty scrappy, but the anime (known as Roujin Z) is a nice piece of work (for which Ootomo only did the mecha designs). Character designs were by Eguchi Hisashi who is known for Age and Stop! Hibari-kun. Ootomo was a contributor to the debut issue of Comic Cue 1994, Eguchi's "alternative" yearly manga magazine.



Highway Star
published by Futabasha, 1979
1 volume @ Y?
[ 01:____]
No Synopsis.

published by Koudansha, 1989
1 volume @ Y?
[ 01:____]
No Synopsis.

SOS Neo-Toukyou Exploration Party
published by Koudansha, 1995
1 volume @ Y1200
[ 01:9602]
No Synopsis.

Short Peace
serialized on Action,
1 volume @ Y686
[ 01:____]
Short Peace contains 9 short stories in 217 pages and is one of many anthology series of Ootomo's work. The back of the book contains a complete listing of Ootomo's work between 1973 and 1983. {HLA}

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Maintained by Peter Van Huffel, 1/17/2004