Mighty Atom

How Urasawa's 'Pluto' Reinvents Tezuka's 'Astro Boy'
How Urasawa's 'Pluto' Reinvents Tezuka's 'Astro Boy'
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.