Astroboy Blasts Off

Astro Boy is Blasting Onscreen

Astro Boy will be landing on our screens in October this year, it’s been confirmed.

Astroboy Blasts Off

For those who don’t know, ‘Astro Boy’ is an anime sci-fi series set in a dystopian future where humans and androids coexist. It’s main character is a powerful robot called Astro Boy (Astro for short), who was created by a great scientist called Doctor Tenma following the death of his son Tobio.

Despite looking identical to Tobio, Tenma soon realized that the little android could not fill the void of his lost son, especially given that Astro could not grow older or easily express human feelings. Indeed, in one set of comic panels, Astro is shown preferring the mechanical shapes of cubes over the organic shapes of flowers. I’m a bit like that sometimes… 🙂

Astro is gifted with awesome robot powers and skills, as well as the ability to experience human emotions. Astro has fought crime, evil, and injustice across five decades of great comic and television series. Most of his enemies are robot-hating humans, robots gone berserk, or alien invaders. Almost every story includes a battle involving Astro and other robots. Cool huh?

In advance of Astro Boy’s Autumn 2009 cinematic release, let’s take a trip through the many ages of Astro Boy…

1960’s

Astro Boy was the first Anime to be exported to the West.
Check out this intro to his first TV series, dubbed from Japanese:

1980’s

Here’s the Astro that most of us will recognise.
He’s been in this colour form for the longest (excepting his past in comics):

Modern Day

Finally, the trailer for his upcoming movie, which I’m pretty excited about.
I’m predicting a new wave of popularity and cool merchandise from this:

Astro is a cultural icon in my eyes, and for me is the strongest symbol of a Japanese media form being highly attractive to a Western eye, together with Hello Kitty. Who’s with me? Would love to hear some thoughts.

Published by

Tom Saunter

I like to think about the media, technology, pop-culture & the future. When not blogging, I tweet @freedimensional & work @MediaComUK. Feel free to visit my Personal Bio to learn more about me.

  • Cat

    I first heard of astroboy when I found him on a t-shirt in a seconds shop. Since then I’ve been attracted to astroboy merchandise for the cute icon it sports in its indeed highly attractive Japanese style. I’ve never actually watched an episode I’m ashamed to say but will certainly be seeking out the film. He certainly is an icon up there with Hello Kitty. I imagine them as the king and queen up in animation land!

    • Interesting that you came across the merchandise first, and then discovered the character. I think it’s like that a lot these days because there are so many TV channels that it dilutes what we actually see.

      I suppose it is testament to how damn cool he looks, that you bought the T-Shirt without any prior knowledge. Astro would certainly stick out in an aisle of clothes.

      Nice idea with him and Hello Kitty being royalty in Animation Land. Maybe that’s a sequel?!

  • Cat

    I first heard of astroboy when I found him on a t-shirt in a seconds shop. Since then I’ve been attracted to astroboy merchandise for the cute icon it sports in its indeed highly attractive Japanese style. I’ve never actually watched an episode I’m ashamed to say but will certainly be seeking out the film. He certainly is an icon up there with Hello Kitty. I imagine them as the king and queen up in animation land!

    • freedimensional

      Interesting that you came across the merchandise first, and then discovered the character. I think it’s like that a lot these days because there are so many TV channels that it dilutes what we actually see.

      I suppose it is testament to how damn cool he looks, that you bought the T-Shirt without any prior knowledge. Astro would certainly stick out in an aisle of clothes.

      Nice idea with him and Hello Kitty being royalty in Animation Land. Maybe that’s a sequel?!