Astro Boy (Series)
Astro Boy Timeline
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- Astro Boy first appears in Ambassador Atom
- Astro Boy manga published begins publication in Shōnen
- Astro Boy Puppet Adventure TV series airs
- Live-action Astro Boy TV series airs
- B&W Astro Boy anime TV series airs
- Astro Boy: The Brave in Space (anime)
- final episode of B&W Astro Boy anime TV series airs
- Original Astro Boy manga concludes
- Astro Boy manga supplements published
- Astro Boy Shinsengumi Movie (anime)
- Astro Boy: Last Day of the Earth short film
- Third Astro Boy anime TV series airs
- Astro Boy The Movie
- Astro Boy manga by Akira Himekawa published
- Astro Boy CG film is released
- Astro Boy: the Video Game
Also known as 鉄腕アトム (Tetsuwan Atomu)
Astro Boy, the story of the boy-robot with 100,000 horsepower is, without a doubt, Tezuka's most well-known creation. Originally published in Shōnen (少年 ) between April, 1951 and March, 1968, the series has spawned several manga series, a number of animated television series, feature films, and several video games and other associated works.
What it's about
In the "near future", the robot known as "Astro Boy" is the created by the genius roboticist Dr. Tenma after his young son Tobio is killed in an accident involving his robotic car. Dr. Tenma, then head of the Japanese Ministry of Science, is determined to recreate Tobio, and marshals all the considerable resources at his disposal to create the world's most advanced robot - one capable of thinking and feeling like a human.
At first the project seems like a success, and Astro Boy lives peacefully with Dr. Tenma. However, it soon becomes apparent that Astro cannot simply replace Tobio. Enraged by the robot's limitations to imitate a human child, Dr. Tenma abandons Astro Boy to a fate as a slave performing in a robot circus. Abused by the harsh ringmaster, who has no idea that he has acquired the world's most sophisticated robot, Astro is eventually rescued by the kindly Dr. Ochanomizu. The new Minister of Science, replacing Dr. Tenma after he becomes wanted by the police for abusing his power and creating Astro, Dr. Ochanomizu rebuilds and restores Astro Boy.
Acting as a surrogate father figure, Dr. Ochanomizu teaches Astro to love and respect both human beings and robots, and he becomes somewhat of an ambassador between the two. However, the fugitive Dr. Tenma continues to consider Astro Boy to be his property, and believes that the robots will inevitably rise up against humanity, with Astro as their leader.
What you should know
Astro Boy is one of the finest examples of Tezuka's ability to write literature which introduces children to important and serious life issues - with a hero so noble that even those who prefer anti-heroes and charismatic villains find themselves, for once, rooting for the good guy.
The original manga series, which began in 1952, was one of the big leaps in Tezuka’s popularity, and the main character, known as Tetsuwan Atom in Japanese, became, and remains to this day, an iconic hero of the Japanese people. Astro’s influence over later manga and anime, both robot stories and science-fiction in general, is immeasurable, and much has been written on his significance as a personification of post-war Japan. Almost single-handedly, he transformed the terrifying force of atomic power into something useful and progressive, helping people to move on from the damage done during the Second World War by getting them to embrace modern technology and look to the future with hope. Indeed, so great is Astro’s importance in modern Japanese culture that on April 7th 2003, the date specified in the original 1952 story as the day of Astro’s creation, was celebrated with parades and festivals across the nation. Both Astro and his creator Dr. Ochanomizu were issued birth certificates and legally registered as Japanese citizens by the government.
Astro Boy (Sections)