The beloved manga artist Osamu Tezuka came around too soon to be involved with video games. But now, the apparel brand GAMES GLORIOUS has given us a glimpse at what a Tezuka-style classic 8-bit game might have looked like. Check out the new collection GAMES GLORIOUS x TEZUKA PIXEL WORLD.
This time-traveling collaboration mixes famous manga and anime series such as Astro Boy, Black Jack, Phoenix, and Kimba the White Lion with the look and style of NES-era video games. Of course, the company is based in Japan, so they use the original Japanese names for these characters. (Tetsuwan Atom for Astro Boy; Jungle Emperor Leo for Simba; Hi no Tori for Phoenix.)
The list of items includes hoodies, T-shirts, tote bags, tin badge buttons, and key chains. The designs are quite clever: Astro Boy looks like he’s on a retro Nintendo title screen, with ‘Start,’ ‘Password’ and ‘Option’ options next to him. One of Black Jack’s options is labeled ‘Karte.’ That’s a reference to how episodes were sometimes titled ‘Karte 1,’ ‘Karte 5,’ etc. The episodes used the German word for a chart, as in a medical chart.
Eventually, Tezuka Productions did make licensed video games based on Astro Boy. But they completely skipped over 8-bit and even 16-bit video games. And it’s really hard to find the right kind of Black Jack video game on Google.
The collection is called GAMES GLORIOUS x TEZUKA PIXEL WORLD. If you like square, blocky video games such as Undertale or the original Super Mario Bros., or if you like Osamu Tezuka, you’ll probably enjoy these items.
If find yourself in Tokyo this month, GAMES GLORIOUS will have a pop-up shop from 15 to 21 February at Shibuya MODI, about two blocks north of Tsutaya at Shibuya Crossing. (Head toward Shibuya Marui 0101.) Otherwise, the Tezuka collaboration web page is here.