Astro Boy: The Iconic Robot Hero of Manga and Anime
Astro Boy is one of the most famous and influential characters in the history of Japanese manga and anime. Created by Osamu Tezuka in 1952, Astro Boy is a robot boy with human emotions and superpowers who fights for justice and peace in a futuristic world. He has inspired generations of fans and creators around the world, and has been adapted into various media forms, including TV series, movies, video games, and merchandise.
In this article, we will explore the origins, characteristics, and legacy of Astro Boy, and why he is still relevant and beloved today.
The Origins of Astro Boy
Astro Boy’s original Japanese name is Tetsuwan Atomu, which means “Mighty Atom”. He first appeared in a manga series called Atom Taishi (“Ambassador Atom”) in 1951, which was a spin-off of another manga by Tezuka called Shin Takarajima (“New Treasure Island”). In 1952, Tezuka launched a new manga series called Tetsuwan Atom, which focused on the adventures of Astro Boy and his creator, Dr. Tenma.
Tezuka was inspired by various sources when creating Astro Boy, such as Pinocchio, Superman, Frankenstein, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He wanted to create a character that embodied the hopes and fears of the post-war era, as well as his own vision of humanism and pacifism. He also wanted to appeal to children and adults alike with his stories that combined humor, drama, action, and social commentary.
The Characteristics of Astro Boy
Astro Boy is a robot boy who was built by Dr. Tenma as a replacement for his son Tobio, who died in a car accident. However, Dr. Tenma soon realized that Astro Boy could not grow or age like a human child, and abandoned him. Astro Boy was then adopted by Professor Ochanomizu, who became his mentor and guardian. Professor Ochanomizu also gave Astro Boy his name and upgraded his abilities.
Astro Boy has many amazing powers, such as super strength, speed, flight, laser beams from his eyes and fingers, a machine gun in his butt, a translator in his ears, and a high IQ. He also has a heart of gold and a strong sense of justice. He often uses his powers to help people in need and to fight against evil forces, such as robots gone rogue, aliens, monsters, criminals, and warmongers. He also strives to promote harmony between humans and robots, who are often discriminated against and exploited by society.
The Legacy of Astro Boy
Astro Boy became a huge success in Japan and abroad. He was the first manga character to have his own TV anime series in 1963, which was also the first anime series to be broadcast overseas. The anime series was followed by several sequels and remakes over the years. Astro Boy also starred in several animated and live-action movies, such as Astro Boy (1964), Astro Boy: Hero of Space (1965), The Greatest Robot on Earth (1980), Astro Boy: The Movie (2009), and Atom: The Beginning (2017). He also appeared in many video games, comics, books, toys, statues, stamps, coins, and other merchandise.
Astro Boy has influenced many other manga and anime characters and genres, such as Megaman, Doraemon, Gundam, Cyborg 009, Akira, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Pokemon, Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Mecha, Cyberpunk, Shonen, Shojo, etc. He has also inspired many artists and creators from different fields and cultures, such as