Astro Boy (1980 TV series): Wikis

  
  

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Astro Boy
鉄腕アトム
(Tetsuwan Atomu)
Genre Action, Adventure, Science fiction
TV anime
Director Noburo Ishiguro[1]
Studio Tezuka Productions
Network Japan NTV
Philippines RPN-9 (1984), RJTV-29 (1995), SBN-21 (1998), Hero TV (2006), GMA-7 (2009)
United States Syndication (1986), WTGI (1986),Disney's One Saturday Morning (1998),
Canada Syndication (English, 1985-1995), Radio-Canada (French, 1985-1990),TV Land (2000-2007)
Australia ABC (1980s), Nickelodeon (1990s), Boomerang (2008-)
Original run 1 October 198023 December 1981
Episodes 52
Related works
Anime and Manga Portal

Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム Testuwan Atomu?, lit. "Mighty Atom") is a remake of the 1960s anime series of the same name; both series are adapted from the manga by Osamu Tezuka.

This series, which first aired during the 1980s, placed more focus on Astro's robotic skills and a somewhat darker storyline than the previous incarnation of the series. While mostly light-hearted, the series could be quite sombre and sad at times. It was not uncommon in the series for robots or human characters to suffer for their actions or the misdeeds of others.

The series ran for 52 episodes (edited down to 51 episodes for the English versions). There are two different English language dubs: the version coordinated by Tezuka Pro. and NTV and dubbed in the U.S.A. in 1982, which aired in Australia beginning in 1983, becoming very popular. The same version of the series had a very limited release in the U.S.[2](Broadcasts in the U.S. were limited to syndication in a few markets, like the Philadelphia-Wilmington area where it aired at 10:30am weekdays in 1986 on what was then WTGI—channel 61.[3])

The other version was heavily-edited and redubbed in Canada in 1985, solely for broadcast there. In the Canadian version, most of the characters had different names from their American counterparts. Due to laws which required a specific amount of Canadian content, the Canadian version featured a pre-title sequence which recapped Astro's origin, and an epilogue where Astro would give a brief report about each episode's adventure to a computer named Geronimo. Astro's report would always contain a minor error about the story, and a narrator would encourage the viewers to find Astro's mistake, and compare answers with their friends.

The US-dubbed version of the 1980 series has since been released on DVD by Madman Entertainment and Manga Entertainment, although there are differences between the Madman and Manga Entertainment sets. Madman's set contains more deleted scenes, as well as the first two episodes, unedited (in Japanese with English subtitles). The Manga Entertainment set has a newly-edited Japanese language track to go with the U.S. version of the first episode.[4] The 1980s series of Astro Boy is also available on iTunes.

Contents

Initial plot

The first episode set in future Tokyo, the year 2030. The Minister of Science, Dr. Tenma, is attempting to create a robot capable of expressing human emotions. After his fourth failed attempt, Tenma is approached by a shady man named Skunk Kusai, who offers him an "Omega Factor" circuit which will humanize robot if installed. After seeing Skunk thrown out, Tenma's nine-year-old son Tobio tries to console his father by suggesting he make a robot shaped like a child.

Inspired, Tenma sets the Ministry of Science to work, accidentally infringing on his promise to take Tobio to an amusement park. Upset, Tobio drives an aerocar home and crashes into an oncoming truck. On his deathbed, Tobio makes his father promise to name his boy robot "Tobio", make it the strongest robot in the world, and love it like a son. Tenma does so, making a 100,000 horsepower (75,000 kW) robot capable of flight, equipped with lasers and machine guns. Soon after, Skunk duplicates the blueprints and takes them to Count Walpurgis, whom aspires to put the Omega Factor into a robot and use it for world domination.

Afraid of the potential threat Tenma's robot could pose to humanity, the Prime Minister of Japan ordered the robot dismantled by the next night. Tenma secretly finishes the robot that night, only showing his two assistants that "Tobio" exists, and takes him home to raise him. After various mishaps with raising the robot, Tobio's mind goes blank and his eyes start blinking red, and he is summoned to the wait in the middle of town. Atlas, Walpurgis' new super robot, has just been activated and was connecting to Tobio. When the connection process failed, Tobio regained his senses, only to be struck down by a Robot Disposal Tank piloted by Tenma, Honda, and Ushiyama. The Disposal Tank malfunctions and goes berserk. Tobio recovers and saves everyone in the vicinity of the malfunction. Recovering in hospital, Tenma realizes the public will discover that Tobio exists, and decides for the two to take a cruise to America.

Tobio struggles to control his strength. After a disastrous meal on the cruise, Tenma denounces the robot as his son. Tobio hides on deck and accidentally signs himself away to Ringmaster Hamegg, whom runs the Robot Circus; Tobio later discovers Atlas nearby and fights him, loses most of his energy, and is taken away. At the circus, Tobio is renamed "Astro Boy" and is treated badly by Hamegg, but taught and cared for by a worker named Kathy. Dr. Ochanomizu, a local scientist, discovers Tenma's lost robot, and with Kathy's help, gets Astro out of the circus. Ochanomizu becomes the new head of the Ministry of Science. From there, Astro Boy learns more about the world and becomes the defender of Tokyo and beyond.

Characters

Astro Boy

Astro has a strong sense of morality and is always gentle and kind towards others. Astro is a super powered robot, with seven secret super powers[5] designed to look exactly like Tobio, the son of his creator. Dr. Tenma initially treated Astro like a real boy as a replacement for his son who died in a car accident. However, Astro Boy was clumsy from an inability to control his strength. After being rejected by Dr. Tenma, Astro joins Hamegg's Robot Circus, where he learns to control his powers, and meets Dr. Ochanomizu. He is unsure of his destiny in the beginning, but gains confidence as the story unfolds.

Throughout the series, Atlas attempts to persuade Astro to help Atlas conquer the world. By design, both Astro and Atlas were created from the same blueprints, and so are considered to be brothers. However, Astro refuses to help Atlas in his quest for world domination. He is voiced by Mari Shimizu, Patricia Kugler Whitely (American version) and Steven Bednarski (Canadian version).

Doctor Tenma

  • Doctor Boynton (American dub), Professor Balfus (Canadian dub)

After several robot design failures, Dr. Tenma created Astro Boy from a suggestion from his son, Tobio. Dr. Tenma zealously worked on creating a robot that would be able to act and behave like a real human. In his zealous search to obtain his goal, Dr. Tenma neglected Tobio, forgetting his promise to take Tobio to the amusement park. As a result, Tobio decides to go on his own and crashes the robot car, dying from the accident.

Dr. Tenma continues to work on the boy robot, and when the project finally reaches completion calls the robot Tobio, after his son. However, Tobio's (Astro) inability to control his own strength begins to infuriate Dr. Tenma, and while on a cruise, Dr. Tenma angrily disowns Tobio. Dr. Tenma is last seen mournfully calling out for Tobio, and is not seen through the remainder of the series.[6] He is voiced by Tamio Ohki, and Del Lewis (American version).

Professor Ochanomizu

  • Dr. Elefun (American dub), Professor Peabody (Canadian Dub), Professor Caudrine (French dub)

Succeeding Dr. Tenma as Minister of Science, Dr. Ochanomizu rescues Astro Boy from Hamegg's Robot Circus. Dr. Ochanomizu is a robot rights advocate and creates the "Robot Bill of Rights", which allows robots to be of equal status of humans. He often acts as a surrogate father for Astro Boy, providing him with advice and information. Early into the series, Dr. Ochanomizu builds Astro a mother, father, and a little sister named Uran. He is played by Brian Parry in the American version.

Higeoyaji

  • Daddy Walrus (American dub), Max McNugget (Canadian dub), Monsieur Morse (French dub)

Real name Shunsaku Ban (Albert Duncan in the American dub), Daddy Walrus is Astro's teacher. Throughout the series, Daddy Walrus is portrayed as a judo expert, an efficient private eye, and a keen flower arranger. As a trained martial artist, he loves the smell of action and is capable of "polishing off" an adversary twice his size. A sharp advocate for Robotic rights, he is one of Astro's strongest supporters, and frequently engages in vitriolic arguments with the formidale Inspector Gumshoe. While loud, brash and comically short-tempered, Daddy Walrus regards Astro and Uran with genuine affection and would willingly risk his life on their behalf. He is voiced by Bob Gonzalez in the American version.

Uran

  • Sarah (Canadian dub), Uranie (French dub)

Uran is Astro's naive but determined little sister. She was "born" on New Years Day, built by Dr. Ochanomizu as a gift to Astro. She has half the power of her brother (with 50,000 horsepower) but is quite powerful. Uran is depicted as a cute, tomboyish little girl.

Despite this, Uran is generally a good-hearted girl and is shown to be rather attached towards Astro and generally looks up to him. (this is shown after Astro saves her from becoming a slave in episode 14.)

In contrast to the 1960s series, Uran occupied a less prominent position in the general storyline, and her appearance was revised to make her softer and rounder, possibly to appeal to female viewers. Many times, she was the star of a few episodes, all of which had a special ending theme with pictures of Uran in costumes. Uran is played by Becke Wilenski in the American version[7].

Atlas

Astro's half-brother and arch enemy, he was created by Walpurgis and Skunk who copied Astro's original design plans. Atlas was designed with a similar child-like look, and was planned to be used in theft, but Atlas turned out to be too naive and unprepared for criminal use. After this, Walpurgis installed an Omega Factor into Atlas, which allowed him to defy the robot laws. After attacking Walpurgis and Skunk for destroying Livian and being heavily damaged himself, he rebuilt his own body and Livian's, along with a horse and an electric sword. The new Atlas believed robots are superior to human beings, and repeatedly asked Astro to join him in taking over the world. Atlas and Astro share many of the same powers and abilities.

The new Atlas and Livian are adult in appearance. Over the course of the series, Atlas gained a floating crystal castle and dealt with Walpurgis and Skunk again. Later, Atlas sacrifices himself and Livian to save Earth from alien invaders. He is played by Paul Nelson in the American version.

Livian

  • Selene (Canadian dub), Vivian (French dub)

Livian was formerly Walpurgis's robot maid, who befriended the young Atlas and took care of him. She was destroyed for accidentally breaking a decorative gargoyle, and as a result, Atlas went hysterical and attacked Walpurgis. Atlas rebuilt Livian and himself as adult robots, making Livian look like a princess. She is the only person to show compassion to Atlas, and in turn, he never harms her. Livian once leaves his crystal castle to warn Astro about Atlas's plans, and later tells Astro that he and Atlas are brothers. She is played by Becky Wilenski in the American version.

Jump

  • Blip (Canadian dub), Plume (French dub)

Jump is a yellow dog with brown patches, and the pet dog of Tobio. Jump was loyal to his master and rushed to the scene after Tobio crashed the car and died. When Astro was first introduced to Jump, Jump was afraid and didn't like him. It's unknown how Dr. Ochanomizu found him, but when Astro visits his new home and parents for the first time, Jump is also with them. Jump grows to like Astro and his family, though Uran doesn't have the same amount of respect for Jump that Astro has.

Skunk Kusai

  • Slippery (Canadian dub), Sirius (French dub)

An enigmatic thief and mob leader in Tokyo, known for his blue skin and bloodhound eyes. In the beginning of the series, he is working with Walpurgis in order to copy Astro's design blueprints. Skunk was assigned to teach Atlas, but after becoming frustrated with him, the majority of the teaching was done by Livian. After Skunk set up Astro and Atlas's first battle, Walpurgis destroyed Livian, and Skunk just barely got away from Atlas's hysterical backlash.

Skunk went to Tokyo and started up a gang, whom briefly used the adult Atlas to commit several robberies when Atlas returned. Throughout the rest of the series, Skunk utilizes various robots for his own doings, most famously in the episode "The Light Ray Robot". He develops a strong hate for Astro because of the boy's constant interference with Skunk's work. At times, the latter tries to destroy or taunt him. He is played by Jay Rath in the American version.

Tobio Tenma

  • Toby Boynton (American dub)

An 9 year old boy who is the son of Doctor Tenma and he was mortal wounded at the car accident after being neglected by his father. At moments of his death,he tells his father to create a robot who looked liked him. After his final words spoken to his father,he died. He is voiced by Mari Shimizu, Patricia Kugler Whitely (American version) and Steven Bednarski (Canadian version). And he appears in episode 1 and 2

Episodes

Though there is a rough story progression throughout the series, it need not necessarily be watched in order, something reflected by the fact that the English broadcast order was significantly different from the original Japanese broadcast order. Some scenes were also cut for the English version, usually because of violence. The final episode of the original Japanese broadcast, "Astro's First Love", featured an introduction by Osamu Tezuka himself.

The "lost" episode

The first two episodes of the series were edited into one episode, completely removing the subplot of Atlas's origin. This later caused confusion for many audiences, as there were many references to Atlas's childhood in later episodes. The voice actor Jay Rath (Skunk) once announced that there had been a complete English dub for the first two episodes, and that he had no idea the episodes were edited together, as they were initially blended together for a 45-minute special pilot episode. In late 2008, Jay Rath organized a successful search for the complete pilot, although it is not known if the original reel is in good enough condition or if it will be released.

The two episodes are available in their complete state, in Japanese-with-subtitles only, on the Madman Entertainment DVD release.

List of episodes

Ep
#
Dub
#
Episode title
1 1 The Birth of Astroboy
2 1 Astro Boy vs. Atlas
3 2 Robot Circus
4 3 Save the Classmate
5 10 Atlas Lives Again
6 21 Robot Land
7 12 Frankenstein
8 29 The Red Cat
9 11 The Crystal of the Desert
10 8 The White Planet
11 31 A Robot President
12 47 Goliath's Head
13 35 The Light Ray Robot
14 13 Uran the Tomboy
15 44 Robio and Robiette
16 7 Astro Fights Aliens
17 5 Save the Carolina 3
18 15 The Rainbow Comet
19 49 The Death Balloon
20 9 The Transformation Robot
21 30 The Wreck of the Titan
22 43 The Liar Robot
23 20 The Girl from Alsoar
24 50 The Greatest Robot in the World (Part 1)
25 51 The Greatest Robot in the World (Part 2)
26 22 The Robot Vikings
27 36 The Time Machine
28 34 The Robot Stuntman
29 23 The Great Meltdown
30 27 Uran's Twin
31 14 Speeding Through the Storm
32 46 The Return of Queen Cleopatra
33 16 The Runaway Subway Train
34 6 The Baby Elephant Pook
35 42 The Secret of Bee City
36 17 The Monster of Clarken
37 24 Lilly on Peligro Island
38 41 The Anti-Proton Gun
39 37 The Man-Made Solar Sphere
40 45 Blackie Young
41 18 The Genie from Outer Space
42 19 The Robots Nobody Wanted
43 48 Atlas Forever
44 25 The Snow Leopard
45 32 Uran's Quest
46 28 Outer Spaceport R-45
47 39 The Hijacked Airship
48 26 The Human-Faced Rock
49 38 Uran Falls in Love
50 33 The World of Odin
51 40 The Secret of the Mayas
52 4 Astro's First Love

References

  1. ^ "Astro Boy: The Complete Box Set". DVDEmpire.com. http://www.dvdempire.com/Exec/v4_item.asp?item_id=747815&partner_id=11367434. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  2. ^ "Astro Boy: The Complete Box Set Review". TVShowsOnDVD.com. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/reviews/Astroboy-Complete-Series/5266. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  3. ^ TV Guide Vol. 34 No. 37/ September 13, 1986/ Issue # 1746 (Philadelphia Edition) Pages A-22, A-86, A-114, A-137, A-159, A-180 Triangle Publications, Inc. (1986) ISSN 0039-8543
  4. ^ Frederick Patten (2002-05-31). "New from Japan: Anime Film Reviews". Animation World Magazine. AWN Inc.. http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=pageone&article_no=1408&page=1. Retrieved 3 January 2009. 
  5. ^ Astro Boy: The Greatest Robot in the World - Part 1
  6. ^ Astro Boy: The Birth of Astro Boy
  7. ^ http://www.rebeccaortese.com/about.html

External links








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