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Sin and redemption in Phœnix: Karma Chapter

As a follow-up to watching the overly-long, occasionally-corny but visually-satisfying Phœnix 2772 , I started watching the Madhouse OVA series based on Tezuka Osamu’s magnum opus . Why? Because this is Paneurasianist Weeb , my friends, and late-80s Madhouse is very much so my jam. More so: this one was directed by Rintarô ( Meikyû Monogatari , The Dagger of Kamui ), who went on to direct Tezuka Osamu’s Metropolis . Phœnix: Karma Chapter , which Rintarô directed in 1987, doesn’t disappoint. Actually, although thematically appropriate, the English title is not very literal. The original title is Hi no Tori: Hôô-hen : literally, Firebird: Chinese Phœnix Chapter . The ‘hôô’, or ‘fenghuang’, is a mythological Chinese five-coloured bird which symbolises the classical virtues, and is said to reign over all the other birds. I point this out because Tezuka’s original ‘cosmic’ concept of the phœnix was at least to start with an adaptation of the ‘ zhar-ptitsa ’ , inspired by Stravinskii an

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