In the Beginning: The Bible Stories

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In the Beginning: The Bible Stories
(Tezuka Osamu no Kyūyaku Seisho Monogatari)
Anime television series
Directed byOsamu Dezaki
Written byOsamu Tezuka (posthumous work)
StudioTezuka Productions
Original networkWOWOW
English networkEternal Word Television Network
Original run April 1, 1997 May 9, 1997
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In the Beginning: The Bible Stories (手塚治虫の旧約聖書物語, Tezuka Osamu no Kyūyaku Seisho Monogatari, lit. Osamu Tezuka's Old Testament Stories) is an anime television series based on The Bible's Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) created by Osamu Tezuka. The series was a coproduction between Nippon TV, Tezuka's Tezuka Productions, and Italy's government-owned broadcaster, Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI). Although the series was in production during a period of several years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was not aired in Japan until 1997, on the satellite channel WOWOW. The series has also been aired on TV in the United States (on the Catholic-oriented Eternal Word Television Network), Italy, Spain, and Germany.

In the Beginning marked the fourth time Bible stories formed the basis of a Japanese-animated television series, following the two Superbook series and The Flying House, which were made for Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network by Tatsunoko Production in the early 1980s.

In the Beginning features episodes devoted to most of the major Bible stories of the Old Testament, including the stories of the Creation, Cain and Abel, Noah's Ark, Abraham and Isaac, Joseph, Moses, David, and Solomon, with the final episode featuring the birth of Jesus Christ. As with the second Superbook series, some stories were stretched out over several episodes. Unlike Superbook and The Flying House, however, no contemporary characters from modern times were inserted into the stories, save for the series mascot and viewpoint character, Roco the fox (whose appearances were removed in the English dub).

Tezuka's manga work frequently included religious themes, and because of his long-running manga Buddha, he is sometimes perceived as having been a devout Buddhist, but in fact, Tezuka was largely agnostic.[1]


In the Beginning grew out of a request that Osamu Tezuka received from the Vatican by way of RAI in 1984, requesting that Tezuka produce an animated version of the Old Testament. Tezuka spent two years working on a pilot film for the project based on the story of Noah's Ark, both writing the scenario for the film and working in the production of the animation itself. However, Tezuka died in 1989 before the film was finished. The remainder of the production for the pilot film and the subsequent 26-episode television series was supervised by director Osamu Dezaki.


  • Director: Osamu Dezaki
  • Screenplay: Osamu Tezuka/Tezuka Production Co., Ltd.
  • Character Designs: Osamu Tezuka, Shinji Seya
  • Animation Direction: Masaki Yoshimura, Akio Sugino, Junji Kobayashi, Hideaki Shimada
  • Music: Katsuhisa Hattori
  • Production: Tezuka Production Co., Ltd. / Nippon Television Network / Radiotelevisione Italiana

Voice cast[edit]


  1. ^ Schodt, Frederik L. The Astro Boy Essays. Stone Bridge Press, 2007.

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