Classic manga characters get Otomate makeover

A visitor looks at the exhibition.

KOBE - Works that fuse Otomate, a dating video game brand for girls, and characters created by legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka are now on display at the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture.

The exhibition, which is titled "Tezuka Otome Ten" and runs through Oct. 27, presents illustrations in which characters from such Tezuka masterpieces as "Ribon no Kishi" (Princess Knight) and "Buddha" are drawn by video game creators, who have given them the sensibilities of a new generation.

Otomate is a pioneering brand of "otome games," or girls' games-usually romance simulation games in which the player takes the role of a protagonist who develops a romantic relationship with a male character. So far, about 100 such video games have been released by the brand. Some of them have been made into anime or adapted into plays for the stage.

The exhibition includes illustrations that feature characters from Otomate games and Tezuka's masterpieces together-for example, characters from Otomate's "Amnesia" and Tezuka's "Black Jack," as well as "Hakuoki" and "Buddha." Drawn by Otomate video game creators, the characters from works by Tezuka were rendered with a fresh eye that reflects the worldview of video games designed for young women. Call the museum in Japanese at (0797) 81-2970 for details.