Tezuka’s Barbara



Macoto Tezka brings Osamu Tezuka’s erotic manga to life through the lens of Christopher Doyle

One of Osamu Tezuka’s most adult and sexually-charged works, Barbara (1973-74) was originally serialized as a follow-up to Ayako (1972-73) in Big Comic from July 1973 to May 1974.

The controversial story, dealing with various taboos such as forbidden love, mystery, art, Eros, scandal and occultism, was said to have been impossible to be cinematized at the time of its original publication, but was made into a live-action film for the 90th Anniversary of Osamu Tezuka’s birth.

The director is Macoto Tezka, the son of Osamu Tezuka. He received the Digital Award at the 1999 Venice International Film Festival for ‘Hakuchi: The Innocent’ plus achieved international success with various other films. Internationally renowned Christopher Doyle is the cinematographer, who is valued with the beauty of filming as exemplified with his previous collaborations with Wong Kar Wai.






Famous novelist Yosuke Mikura encounters a young girl in the subway station and brings her home to his condominium. The girl’s name is Barbara. For all her bad manners and constant state of drunkenness, she has a certain charm that is hard to put your finger on. Much like a stray cat claiming her territory, Barbara settles herself into Mikura’s apartment. This propels the creatively congested Mikura to write again. His life takes a drastic turn for the better. Is Barbara a muse? An artist’s saviour? Or is she a spell-casting sorcerer?

人気小説家美倉洋介は、新宿駅の片隅でホームレスのような酔払った少女ばるぼらに出会い、つい家に連れて帰る。 大酒飲みでだらしないばるぼらだが、美倉はなぜか奇妙な魅力を感じて追い出すことができなかった。彼女を手元に置いておくと不思議と美倉の手は動きだし、新たな小説を創造する意欲がわき起こるのだ。ばるぼらはあたかも芸術家を守るミューズのようだった。 その一方、美倉はエロティックで異常な幻覚に悩まされる。次第に彼の周囲は現実離れしてゆく。ついに美倉はばるぼらとの結婚を決意するが、それは同時に破滅への入口だった。