Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム Tetsuwan Atomu, lit. The Mighty Atom) is a Japanese anime series based on the series of manga written by Osamu Tezuka, revered in Japan as the "God of Manga." Produced by Mushi Production, the series ran from January 1, 1963 to December 31, 1966 on Fuji TV.
Often cited as a staple in anime, it was the first Japanese animated TV series to be shown and marketed internationally.
For the English version, the producers, NBC Enterprises settled on Astro Boy after discussions between producer Fred Ladd and representatives from NBC. Of the first 124 episodes created out of a total 193, 104 were adapted into the English dub, and initially syndicated from September 7, 1963 through August 20, 1965, with repeats continuing until the series was withdrawn from syndication in the early to mid 1970s. The character names were changed for American audiences.
The title Astro Boy was a rename from the original title Tetsuwan Atom. The title Astro Boy proved to be popular among Japanese viewers as well, and so the names Astro Boy and Tetsuwan Atom are interchangeable in Japan. The original intro for the series was an instrumental track. When the show was dubbed, the intro was adapted with lyrics, sung by a children's chorus. The Japanese producers were so impressed, the following season a similar intro was created for Japanese audiences. This would start the trend of animes featuring songs in their intros.
Not all reception to the English adaptation was positive. In one Astro Boy manga story Osamu Tezuka expressed frustration towards the restrictions passed by American television networks on the adaptation of the TV series. The English version did not air an episode showing a dog being operated on, as the producers believed it was too cruel and grotesque to show. Tezuka criticized this as hypocrisy, as non-Japanese eat and kill animals in manners he described as “grotesque.” Tezuka added that many White people in Africa shoot animals for sport, yet people in England spread false rumors about Japanese people eating dogs.
|Astro Boy||Mari Shimizu||Billie Lou Watt|
|Dr. Elefun||Hisashi Katsuta||Ray Owens|
|Mr. Pompous||Masaaki Yajima||Gilbert Mack|
|Uran||Yoko Mizugaki||Billie Lou Watt|
- Peter Fernandez
- Gilbert Mack
- The English dub would end up being the salvaging source for the Episode "The Beast from 20 Fathoms" (Episode 34). The original Japanese negative was reportedly destroyed by Osamu Tezuka himself out of frustration with the final result of the episode. However, the episode had already been exported and dubbed for America. The Japanese soundtrack to the episode was re-synced with the footage from the English dub and marketed as "The Lost Episode".
|1963–1976||First-run Syndication||United States|
|The Right Stuf International||2006||The Complete Series*||1
*Complete Dubbed Series