Tezuka’s ‘The Phoenix’ to be rereleased in original format.

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

The original magazine version of Osamu Tezuka’s (1928-1989) “The Phoenix” comic series will be printed in book form for the first time this summer.

The series is one of Tezuka’s major works, dealing with grand themes including life, love, space and destiny, and is considered a key work in the history of Japanese manga.

The serialization of “The Phoenix” started in Manga Shonen magazine in 1954 and later moved to the Shojo Club, COM, Bessatsu Manga Shonen and Yasei Jidai magazines. Tezuka worked on it for 35 years.

Each chapter of the saga has been published in comic book format many times, but Tezuka revised storylines, dialogue, illustrations and other details in these later versions because he wanted to present his work to readers in ways that fitted the mood of the time when they were being republished.

In response to fan requests, online bookseller Fukkan.com decided to release the manga in its original version under the supervision of Tezuka Productions Co.

One volume of the 12-volume series will be published each month from June.

Fukkan.com takes requests from fans for republishing books that have gone out of print or stock. When the number of requests reaches a certain threshold, the publisher contacts the original rights holders to ask if a work can be republished.

The original version of “The Phoenix” had been near the top of the list of most requested titles for the past 10 years, and Tezuka Productions recently gave the green light for its revival.

The manga will come with episodes not included in previous comic books and will include unfinished work, shorts and synopses, as well as cover illustrations. The comics have been digitally remastered and will be published in full-color, B5 format.

The first volume, “Chapter of Dawn,” which ran in the COM magazine in 1967, will be released on June 24. The final volume, which covers the “Chapter of Egypt,” “Chapter of Greece” and “Chapter of Rome” episodes featured in Shojo Club magazine between 1956 and 1957, will be out in May next year.

For more information visit (http://www.fukkan.com/sp/hinotori/?tr=tb).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.