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Astro Boy

Let's dive together into the fascinating world of this little robot with a big heart, born from the visionary imagination of the legendary Osamu Tezuka.

Astro Boy , or "Tetsuwan Atom" in Japanese, made its remarkable debut in 1952 in the pages of manga by Osamu Tezuka, before taking off in anime in 1963. The story of Astro Boy follows takes place in a futuristicworld where robots coexist with humans, offering a deep reflection on the nature of humanity, social justice and peaceful coexistence.

From Mechanical Emotion to the Quest for Justice

In a futuristic world where robots and humans cohabit, enters the scene Astro Boy, or quite simply "Astro", a powerful androidcreated in 2003 by Dr. Tenma, head of the Ministry of Science. The basic idea? Replacing his late son Tobio, who died tragically in a car accident.

Dr. Tenma, in an attempt at robotic fatherhood, shapes Astro in Tobio's image, hoping fill the gaping void left by the loss of his son. However, he soon realizes that Astro's skills are not exactly those of a human child, especially when it comes to aging or expressing emotions. In the original 1960 edition, a disappointed Dr. Tenma dumps Astro on a sadistic circus director named Hamegg. It's off to a good start, right?

But hey, expect a surprise! Astro quickly reveals extraordinary talents and incredible combat skills. He then embarks on a mission against crime, injusticeand all the pesky things that are lying around. His enemies ? Malicious robots, machines gone mad, even alien invaders. It's a bit like he got a job as a general cleaner!

Astro Boy and Co: The characters

Doctor Tenma

Doctor Tenma, known by a variety of aliases such as Doctor Umatarô Tenma, Doctor Nagamiya Tenma, Doctor Balthus, or even Doctor Peabody - he clearly likes name changes as much as scientific experiments. This great brain of Japanese robotics had everything to succeed. His son Tobie unfortunately found his way out of this world in a car accident. The typical reaction of a dad who loves science too much? Create a robotic clonewith superpowersto fight misfortunes. That's how Tobie-robot was born.

But like in any good story, things don't go as planned. Tenma realizes that cuddling a robot, even if it looks like his son, is like trying to grow a plastic plant. It doesn't take. Tobio-robot therefore finds himself thrown around in a circus like an old, old-fashioned stuffed toy. But destiny decided otherwise. Tobio-robot is reborn under the name Astro.


Astro, also known as Tetsuwan Atomu or Astro Boy, is the ultimate super-robot, a sort of Tobie 2.0, if you like. Made in the image of Dr. Tenma's deceased son, he was rejected by his creator... But this is where the story takes an unexpected turn.

By a happy coincidence (or perhaps a divine intervention from the God of Robots), Astro was discovered by the professor Ochanomizu, who took him under his wing and transformed him into a superhero defender of the Earth.

With colossal strength fueled Powered by a 100,000 horsepower motor (which has been boosted to a million horsepower for even more punch), Astro canflyfaster than your Friday night pizza delivery guy. But wait, there's more! He has a machine gun at his disposal, a finger capable of triggering a destructive laser beam and an arm that transforms into a laser cannon. Not forgetting its eyes, which can project beams of blinding light.

Professor Ochanomizu

The Professor Ochanomizu, affectionately nicknamed Professor Caudrine or Doctor O'Shay in some adaptations, is an old scientistJapanese, recognizable by his prominent nose that would make Pinocchio pale. He is a true champion of peace and harmony between robots and humans, much like a hippie in a white lab coat.

Acting as a father figure to Astro, he is always there for him, whether for wise advice or to give him a a little well-placed screwdriver.

Its name, Ochanomizu, literally means "tea water" in Japanese, which is perfect for a scientist who probably spends half his day sipping tea while looking at complex equations. And if that wasn't enough, it's also the name of a subway station in Japan!

From manga to modern adaptations

The manga published from 1952 to 1968, then brought back to life with a series of newspapers (1967-1969) and two others series in the 70s and 80s.

The adventures of Astro Boy were then translated into English by Dark Horse Comics, so as not to lose non-Japanese people along the way. The other characters kept their Japanese names, just to keep a little exoticism.

Astro Boy, accompanied by his gang, even ventured into the world of biography in "edu -manga", learning all about celebrities like Helen Keller, Albert Einstein and Mother Teresa. A real jack of all trades, this little robot!

Well sure, there have been more modern adaptations with detective plots, but purists prefer the original versions.

Finally, there was a prequel in 2014, Atom: The Beginning, because why not?

Astro's Cinematic Adventures

In 1962, MBS released a film live-action : one minute animated at the beginning, then the rest in live action for 75 minutes.

Tezuka had the opportunity to meet Walt Disneyat the Exhibition Universal of 1964, where Disney expressed interest in "doing something similar" to Astro Boy.

Then, in 2005, a Japanese IMAX film was released, "Astro Boy vs IGZA", but hey, it was a Japanese exclusive.

In 2009, Imagi Animation Studios released a version of Astro Boywith Freddie Highmore in the title role and Nicolas Cage as Dr. Tenma. They even released an adaptation in BD to accompany the film, in order to reach all audiences.

From Paper to Controller

Konami released the game Mighty Atom for the Nintendo Famicom in 1988. It is said to be so difficult that even robots cry in front of it.

In 1994, Banpresto released its own game Mighty Atom for the Super Famicom. Just like the Konami game, this one follows the adventures of manga.

Sega, from for its part, released two games based on Astro Boy. One for the Game Boy Advance, and the other for the PlayStation 2 with a slightly darker plot, just to change it up a bit.

There were even mobile games ! did you know that he also did crossovers in other video games? Including the Android and iOS mobile game Great Battle! Tezuka All Stars and the Crystal Crisis crossover puzzle game!

Some rewards

Astro Boy has been widely recognized for his excellence, receiving a multitude
and praisefrom critics and fans around the world.


The manga has sold 100 million copies


Astro Boy was ranked 6th in an expert ranking for the "Greatest Manga of All Time" organized by the Japan Media Arts Festival in 2006


In a survey of 2009 organized by Asahi Shimbun for the "Greatest Manga of Shōwa era", Astro Boy was ranked 5th, the manga by Tezuka the
highest ranked on the list.

Niiza Saitama

On April 7 2003, the city of Niiza, Saitama registered the character Astro Boy as a
resident to coincide with his date of birth in the manga.

Popular series

The anime from the 1960s was named the 86th best series animated by IGN, calling it the first popular animated series.