Title: Tezuka Osamu no Kyuuyaku Seisho Monogatari: In the Beginning
English: In The Beginning: The Bible Stories
Japanese: 手塚治虫の旧約聖書物語 In The Beginning
Aired: Apr 1, 1997 to May 9, 1997
Premiered: Spring 1997
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG - Children
Through the Italian National Broadcasting Network, Tezuka Osamu received an ardent request from the Vatican to make the Bible into animated form. This request was probably made to see how the Bible would be depicted by the non-Christian Tezuka Osamu. Tezuka Osamu accepted the request and spent an entire two years to complete a pilot film. It was about the mythology of Noah's ark, with the enthusiastic Tezuka Osamu not only writing the scenario but also drawing pictures by himself. During production, however, he unfortunately passed away, so Director Dezaki took over the film and completed it. (Source: official homepage) Note: While 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. It was most likely broadcasted in Italy in 1992. (Source: AniDB)