Stronger Than All The Rest…

astroboyAstro Boy was the very first japanimation cartoon I saw when I was a young boy, growing up in the 80’s. My sister and I would watch Astro Boy together after school and there was always a heated debate as to what the error was in Astro’s debriefing report at the end of the show. Typically Astro Boy would make an ‘error’ on purpose in his debriefing report to the professor and the viewer had to guess what fact he had lied about. In most cases it was fairly obvious, but sometimes they threw in one that was really confusing to sort out the details. So my sister and I would argue about who was right regarding the inconsistencies, she always won in the end.

Astro Boy was created in 1952 by one of the great ‘Manga’ art masters; Osamu Tezuka. The origins of Astro Boy were unclear to me until I stumbled across the original 1963 black and white broadcast of the animation show on VHS tape. The creation of Astro Boy was responsible by the head of The Ministry of Science, Dr. Tenma whom had created the android in an attempt to preserve the memory of his little boy whom had died in a car accident by creating a metal version of his son. He soon realized that the metal contraption could not express ‘human’ emotions and the very sight of the soulless android caused Dr. Tenma to greave. Sickened by the monstrosity he created, Dr. Tenma abandoned the little android at the Robot Circus where Astro was mistreated and forced to perform pathetic circus acts for groups of taunting humans. It was at one of his performances that the good doctor; Professor Ochanomizu the new head of the Ministry of Science took in the little robot and taught Astro how to become more human. He witnessed Astro’s incredible strength and ‘super powers’ and guided Astro Boy to become the city’s guardian against renegade robots and robot hating humans. I have no idea what happened to the creator of Astro; Dr. Tenma, I’m sure you’ll have to refer to the manga comics to find out because if memory serves me in the cartoons he goes through a bout of depression and disappears from the storyline almost entirely.

So that’s the story in a nut shell, numerous media sources state that there’s a CG animation movie soon to be released in 2009 along with the original 1963 broadcast on DVD. We’ll just have to wait and see if it comes true or not, frankly I’m a little tired of all the 3D animation movies that have been released year after year let’s see some ‘traditional’ animation feature films or better yet more ‘stop-motion’ animations!

If you’re interested in the whole Astro Boy universe, step into your local comic book store and request a copy of the manga adaptation or look for the DVD’s of the 1980’s rendition already in stores.