Friday, April 01, 2005

Astro Boy - Tetsuwan Atom

Astro Boy
Tetsuwan Atom is known by every Japanese person, and his creator, Tezuka Osamu is revered as the “father of anime and manga”. Tetsuwan Atom was first published as a successful manga in 1951. The manga became the very first to be translated into an anime, a black and white animation that was broadcast on Fuji television from 1960 to 1966. The series was dubbed into English, renamed Astro Boy, and broadcast on American television for the first time on September 7th, 1963. That date was a fortuitous one, being my ninth birthday. I grew up with Astro Boy and Gigantor, another imported Japanese animation to be broadcast in America during the early 60’s. Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s Tetsujin 28 (Iron Man 28 in English), was dubbed into English and renamed Gigantor. These two shows had enormous influence upon me and my entire generation, and they marked the beginning of what was to become America’s infatuation with anime.

Tezuka created many masterworks, from his endearing children’s story Jungle Emperor Leo (which Disney based its Lion King upon), to his detective thriller, Black Jack. Tezuka is so highly thought of in Japan that there is even a museum dedicated to him which displays the original drawings and artworks he created throughout his career. Everyone in the world owes it to themselves to become familiar with Japan’s most famous animator, and there’s no better place to start than the official Tezuka Osamu World website. Astro Boy continues to make waves around the world long after his first appearance. In 1982 a new color television series was launched, producing 50 episodes. He was inducted into Carnegie Mellon University’s Robot Hall of Fame in 2004, along with C3P0 and Robby the Robot. Today all around the world Astro Boy can be found on t-shirts, key rings, bags, posters and tons of other merchandise… and the Astro Boy animation is selling stronger than ever. In fact, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is presently working on a feature length movie that will soon hit the silver screens! Our friends at Sony Pictures recently sent us the following message:

“Blast off with the all-new Astro Boy: The Complete Series DVD collection, a high quality, state-of-the-art update of Tezuka Osamu’s classic animated series that started the anime explosion. Filled with exciting action, humor and drama, Astro Boy tells the story of a young robot boy modeled after the deceased son of a research scientist. Originally intended to be kept a secret, the atomic-powered robot becomes a reluctant superhero ­ complete with devices like laser-firing fingers, uncanny hearing and jet-powered boots ­ all eventually used to fight for justice and peace ­ for humans and robots alike! For the first time on DVD, this collector’s edition contains the entire 50-episode series on five discs, with 29 episodes never-before-aired in the United States. Own Astro Boy: The Complete Series on DVD today. From Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. To learn more about Astro Boy or to purchase your copy, visit”

The staff of the Black Moon knows that many of you are dying to get your hands on this new box set of classic Astro Boy anime… so we’re going to hold a contest! We’re giving away copies of Sony’s Astro Boy DVD box set (worth $50.00), to the first three people who can answer our super-difficult question (aside from that, you must pay for the cost of mailing the prize to you -yeah, we’re cheapskates). So here’s the question:

Which late 1970’s Los Angeles punk band did a cover version of the Gigantor theme song? Think you know the answer? Write to us and see if you win the DVDs!