To promote the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, Facebook's Official Olympic Channel has announced a group of official --- albeit fictional --- ambassadors from some of Japan's most beloved pop-cultural exports, including Sailor Moon, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z's Goku, Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy, and more. And yes, they will be on the merch.
Without the massive popularity of Osamu Tezuka's trademark creation Astro Boy, the manga and anime industries might look very different today. By taking the hot topic of the time --- nuclear power --- and marrying it with a heroic child character and the influence of the Walt Disney cartoons that were flooding into postwar Japan, Tezuka not only secured his reputation as "the father of manga," but created an enduring icon of action and adventure.
The book also had a very specific influence on one of the greatest mangaka of the 21st century, Naoki Urasawa, who retold one of the classic Astro Boy tales in Pluto, but succeeded in making it very much his own.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
Kids love superheroes. Kids love pretending they are superheroes. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it's probably a good idea to make some superheroes that are kids! Before you get upset, while technically teenagers are kids too, teenage heroes get to do all kinds of things younger heroes don’t, so this list is going to be focused mostly on some of our favorite pre-teen heroes. All you grown ups and teens are gonna have to get out of the pool, because this week it's Kids Swim only!
Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in comics in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
This week we're taking a look at the long-running, ground-breaking series by Osamu Tezuka, god of manga and father of anime: Astro Boy! As both a manga and an anime, Astro Boy is one of the earliest and most successful examples of Japanese comics and animation to be introduced to American audiences. In this video, we look at the history of Astro Boy, from his earliest appearances as a secondary character in another comic to various tributes to this classic of a genre to his modern day role as a Japanese ambassador.
The great thing about having a long-running franchise about robots is that when it comes time for the inevitable reboot, you can just go ahead and put the word "Reboot" right there in the title and come away with something that is both accurate and thematically appropriate. That, at least, seems to be the reasoning behind Astro Boy Reboot, the upcoming animated series that returns Astro Boy to the small screen for a planned 26-episode run.
Now, we've gotten a look at the poster for the series, and along with a spiffy new design for the main character that includes what appears to be the polo shirt of the future, we're also getting a look at a few of the other main characters.
Plans for a live-action Astro Boy movie were first announced last year, when original production company Tezuka Productions and Animal Logic (the folks behind The LEGO Movie) joined forces to develop a film based on the classic character. Since then, we haven’t heard anything about the project, but it looks as though the studios are finally preparing to blast off as New Line has come on board to distribute the film, with the writers of San Andreas penning the screenplay.
If you've read one Astro Boy story, then the odds are pretty good that it's 1964's "The Greatest Robot On Earth." It's considered to be a high point not only for Astro Boy, but for Osamu Tezuka's career, a massive, sweeping story full of Earth-shattering fight scenes and a villain who, despite his horrible acts, isn't entirely evil. It was even revived as the basis for 2003's Pluto, one of the greatest comics of all time, where Naoki Urasawa retold the story as a murder mystery from an entirely new perspective. It is, by any measure, one of the all time greats.
But let's be real here: Why would anyone ever talk about that comic when the very next volume has a story where Astro Boy fights Lord Satan in an amusement park full of robot deathtraps?
Good news for fans of robots who have jet-boots, rocket fists and machine guns that pop out of their butts: This October, Dark Horse is releasing an oversized omnibus of Osamu Tezuka's legendary Astro Boy, a welcome change since the original digest-sized versions from a few years back have been out of print for quite some time.
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
The business journal Anime Busience has scored another coup with its cover art for its spring 2014 issue, landing a gorgeous image of Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy drawn by none other than Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo.
The magazine's two previous issues have featured a Space Battleship Yamato cover by by Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno and an Akira cover by Evangelion character designer Yushiyuki Sadamoto.
Check out Otomo's full cover image after the jump!