Astro Boy

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Astro Boy Volume 1 (English version)

Astro Boy is the American title for the Japanese animated series Tetsuwan Atomu (鉄腕アトム), which roughly translates to "Mighty Atom" (literally "Iron-arm Atom"); first broadcast on Japanese television from 1963 to 1966.

Astro Boy is the first Japanese television series to display the aesthetic that later became known as anime. It originated as a manga comic series started in 1952 by Osamu Tezuka, the so-called "god-king of manga". After enjoying success abroad, Astro Boy was remade in the 1980s and again in 2003. For a while, Astro Boy achieved a similar level of popularity in Japan as Disney's Mickey Mouse.

The animated series was produced by Mushi Productions, a studio established and headed by Tezuka.

The original Tetsuwan Atomu manga stories are now also available in English, published by Dark Horse Comics in a translation by Frederik L. Schodt. They follow the television series in using "Astro Boy" instead of "Tetsuwan Atomu", as that is the name most familiar to English-speaking audiences. However the names of the other characters, such as Dr. Tenma and Professor Ochanomizu, are those of the original Japanese.

Chuang Yi plans to publish a more recent manga version of Astro Boy in Singapore.

The 2003 television series acknowledges the "Astro Boy" name. Although the character is still named "Atomu" ("Atom in English"), the series' onscreen title is Astro Robot Tetsuwan Atomu (with the latter part written in Japanese characters) and the scene in which the newly-activated robot is named has been written so it can support either character name. (In the English-language version of the series, the character is of course once more called Astro Boy.)

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Astro Boy

In the original story, Astro Boy was created in Takadanobaba on April 7, 2003. On the same day in the real world, a city in Japan (Niiza of Saitama prefecture) granted Astro Boy a special citizenship. This is in contrast to the hardship Astro Boy went through in the fiction to be a part of human society, including obtaining a citizenship.

In 2004, the character Astro Boy was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame.

A feature film is due out somewhere in 2005, with motion capture being the basis for this Columbia Pictures and Jim Henson production.


Plot summary

Astro Boy is a science fiction series set in a future where androids co-exist with humans. Its focus is on the adventures of the titular "Astro Boy", a powerful robot created by the head of the Ministry of Science Dr. Tenma (天馬博士 Tenma Hakase) (Dr. Boyton in the first series English anime, Dr. Balfus in the second series) in order to replace his son Tobio (Astor Boynton III in the first series English anime, Toby in the remake of the first series English anime) who died in a car accident. Dr. Tenma built Astro (Atom, アトム Atomu in the original Japanese) in Tobio's image and treated him as lovingly as if he were the real Tobio, but soon came to the fact that the little android could not fill the void of his lost son, especially due to the fact that he wouldn't grow. In the original 1960 edition, Tenma rejected Astro and sold him to a cruel circus owner, Hamegg (also known as Cachatore), who abused the performers. In the 1980 edition, Astro navely signed himself away to the circus owner.

While languishing in Hamegg's circus, Professor Ochanomizu (お茶の水博士 Ochanomizu Hakase) (Dr. Packadermus J. Elefun in the first series, Prof. Peabody in the second, and Dr. O'Shay in the third), the new head of the Ministry of Science, noticed Astro Boy performing in the circus. He managed to make Hamegg turn Astro over to him. He brought Astro along and treated him gently and warmly, becoming his new fatherly figure. He soon realized Astro was gifted with superior powers and skills, as well as the ability to experience human emotions.

Soon enough, Astro Boy became an android super-hero with a 100,000 horsepower (75 MW) motor. He has the ability to fly, lift many times his own weight, shoot laser beams from his fingers, deploy machine guns set in his back, and is equipped with an electro-heart that can define people's criminal intentions, and bright eye-lamps to assist his vision.

Astro then fought crime, evil and injustice. Most of his enemies were robot-hating humans, robots gone berserk or alien invaders. Each story almost always included a big robot battle involving Astro as one of the fighters.

The series explored issues of racism, prejudice, true heroism, and loss.


Astro's cry of "Let's rocket!" is also the morphing call yelled by the Space Rangers in Power Rangers in Space. In the original black-and-white series, Astro's cry was "Let's go -- go -- go!!"

The Astroboy March (1963 version)

Music by Tatsuo Takei; Lyrics by Don Rockwell

There you go, Astroboy, on your flight into space.

Rocket hi----gh, through the sk----y

For adventures soon you will face.

Astroboy bombs away,

On your mission today,

Here's the count----down,

And the blast----off,

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Astro Boy Volume 4 (English version)

Everything is go, Astroboy!

Astroboy, as you fly,

Strange new worlds you will spy,

Atom ce----lled, jet pro----pel----led

Fighting monsters high in the sky,

Astroboy, there you go, will you find friend or foe,

Cosmic ran----ger, laugh at dan----ger, everything is go, Astroboy!

Crowds will cheer you, you're a he----ro, as you go, go, go, Astroboy!

Voice actors

2003 series

Japanese version

English version

External links



fr:Astro, le petit robot ja:鉄腕アトム ko:우주소년 아톰 zh-min-nan:Gon-ch Si-kim-kong zh:铁臂阿童木


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