20 Facts About Astro Boy

 

This Friday at the Star and Shadow Cinema, the film The Echo Of Astro Boy’s Footsteps will play, about the sound designer for the anime ‘Astro Boy’ who  effectively created the soundtrack for all anime to follow and his sudden retreat from the public eye in the 1980’s.

But what is Astro Boy? And what should you know about it before you watch the film? Well luckily for you Geordie Japan is back with another in our 20 facts series; with 20 fun facts about Astro Boy!

 

  1. Astro Boy’s first appearance was in 1951 in Atom Taishi (Ambassador Atom/Captain Atom) in a supporting role before being given his own series
  2. The Original Astro Boy Manga was first published in 1952 by Osamu Tezuka (手塚 治虫)
  3. Astro Boy was then adapted into what would become the prototypical anime television series in 1963
  4. In Astro Boy’s world robots and man live side by side, but not always harmoniously…
  5. One of the major themes of the series concerns robot rights
  6. Astro Boy himself is a robot created by Dr Tenma in the image of his dead son, after realising that a robot could not compensate for his son he sold Astro Boy to the circus. It was here that he was noticed by Prof. Ochanomuizu who took him in as his own kin and encouraged him to use his powers to fight crime.
  7. Astro Boy fights crime with his ‘seven amazing powers’ jet-powered flight, multilingualism, analytical skills, headlight eyes, super-sensitive hearing, hidden weapons in his back, and the ability to tell if a person is good or evil. Since his original incarnation more powers were added.
  8. Astro Boy’s name in Japanese is Tetsuwan Atomu (鉄腕アトム) which literally translates to “Iron Arm Atom”, the closest approximation in English would be “Iron Atom”
  9. The English language version of the manga was ‘flipped‘ and translated by Frederik L. Schodt who for the most part retained the Japanese names, however he felt that using the Atom name would be “going against too much history” in light of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombings.
  10. There have been three different Astro Boy Animated TV series, 1963, 1980 and 2003.
  11. Mirroring Batman in the West there was also a (rather hillarious nowadays) live action television show
  12. There has been one Western attempt at making an original Astro Boy story in a 2009 CGI film, whilst the film achieved moderate success in the West the film bombed in Japan
  13. In 2007 Astro Boy was named the Japanese envoy for overseas safety
  14. Astro Boy starred in a series of ‘edu-manga’ that told the biographies of such historical figures as Helen Keller, Albert Einstein and Mother Teresa
  15. Once Astro Boy traveled back in time and battled the U.S Airforce as they attempted to bomb a peaceful Vietnamese village during the Vietnam War.
  16. Astro Boy has several robot relatives, including his sister Astro Girl, his brother Cobalt and his robotic ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa’
  17. The original 1963 series lasted for 193 episodes
  18. In addition to Astro Boy Osamu Tezuka also created the manga/animes “Black Jack” and “Kimba The White Lion”, the latter is widely thought to have inspired (some would say directly lifted into becoming) Disney’s the Lion King
  19. Osama Tezuka had the unusual habit of redrawing previous manga chapters and re-releasing them, meaning that it is possible to read a much more modern looking manga chapter followed by a chapter in a much older style.
  20. On the 7th of April 2003, the Japanese city of Niiza, Saitama (新座市) added Astro Boy to their records as an actual, registered citizen. Which is quite appropriate when you consider the struggle for robot rights covered in the manga and anime.

 

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2 comments on “20 Facts About Astro Boy

  1. i had watched astroboy movie on hbo i think and truly i am not a astroboy fan. mecha series do not fit with my likes. overall you did work well to find such facts

  2. i am a really big fan of astro,so i want to know if he’s real.i also want to know when will astro boy the amine will come back to a channel.

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