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Rosalyn Lim 林惠美

Tatsumi (2011) Poster

Tatsumi (2011) at a glance

Tatsumi (2011) is a biographical drama film directed by Eric Khoo. A tribute to the father of Gekiga, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, it is based on Tatsumi's autobiographical manga entitled A Drifting Life and short stories Hell, Beloved Monkey, Just a Man, Good-Bye and Occupied. The animated feature is Singapore's first and the 13th in animated movie history to be invited to the Cannes Official Selection.

Tatsumi (2011) Trailer

Tatsumi (2011) Synopsis

Tatsumi (2011) celebrates the life and work of Japanese comics artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, a manga pioneer who transformed the genre with cinematic inspiration and psychological depth. In post-war occupied Japan, young Tatsumi's passion for comics eventually becomes a means of supporting his poor family. Already published as a teenager, talented Tatsumi finds even greater inspiration after meeting his idol, famous Disneyesque animator Osamu Tezuka.

Despite his steady success, Tatsumi begins to question why Japanese comics should cater to children with cute and whimsical tales and drawings. In 1957, Tatsumi redefined the manga landscape with an adult-oriented genre that grappled with the darker aspects of Japanese life, which he called gekiga (dramatic pictures). Realistic and disquieting, Tatsumi's work begins to grapple with the darker aspects of life...

Tatsumi (2011) Review

Vandalism; drawing naked woman in public toilet.
Vandalism; drawing naked woman in public toilet.

Tatsumi (2011) explores human nature and it is as dark as it is serious. The visuals are simple and straightforward yet everlasting due to its distinctive style. With many experimental narrative scenes in this animated feature, the overall plot can be puzzling but each scenes have their own message on social issues and they are undeniably powerful.

(Those who are not aware that this animated feature is a tribute–a biographical drama film with five fictional short stories based on the life and work of Yoshihiro Tatsumi–might be confused)


In brief, we will get to know a little about the manga master and some of the struggles he has to face until he became a renowned manga artist that coined the term gekiga (dramatic pictures) from the biography part.

Sakura scene.
Sakura scene.

As for the short stories, they are mostly sad, tragic, horrific and depressing even though it is psychologically realistic because there are many dark elements such as destruction, pressure, grief, lust and many more!

Scene from Tatsumi.
Scene from Tatsumi.

Ending this post, Tatsumi (2011) is undeniably a great tribute and it is the best from Singapore. There is a little surprise at the end of the animated feature that will leave us all nothing but amazed. If you do watch this, you will agree with me that the whole animation feels like line art or gekiga coming to life due to the impressive drawings by the manga master himself and the direction of this animated feature, makes it feel even more surreal.

PS. One sad news, Yoshiro Tatsumi passed away last month.. :(

Who will like this?

Manga, gekiga and anime lovers will like this, especially fans of Yoshiro Tatsumi! There are some occasional nude and sex scenes so those who are not comfortable with those might not like it.

Details of the movie

Director: Eric Khoo
Producer: Tan Fong Cheng, Phil Mitchell, Freddie Yeo, Eric Khoo
Story: Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Screenplay: Eric Khoo
Cinematography:Not sure.
Music: Christopher Khoo, Christine Sham
Studio: Infinite Frameworks, Zhao Wei Films
Starring: Tetsuya Bessho, Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Full Credit: [IMDb]
Distributor: Not sure.
Country: Singapore
Language: Japanese
Genre: Biography Drama
Running time: 96 mins
Budget: USD 585,000 est.
Box office: Not sure.

Official website(s)

Original posts from Rosalyn's Blog.
This article is a part of Rosalyn's Animated Movie Marathon.
Rosalyn can be contacted via email and facebook.

Stay tuned for more animated features!!!


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