Celebrate Japan: Tetsuwan Atom

His eyes double as searchlights, his ears can magnify his hearing a thousand times. His index fingers are powerful lasers, his arms and legs transform into powerful jet rockets, and he shoots from the hip (literally). He was born on April 7, 2003 and he’s a robot child of the 21st century. He is Tetsuwan Atom, or Astro Boy in English translation.

First published in a manga magazine in the early 50s, the original black-and-white anime was shown on TV in Japan in the 60s. Aired in 1967 The Greatest Adventure on Earth was the last of 193 episodes. I chose to highlight this episode for its timely message of global warming and disaster management presented in the spirit of  James Bond with a substantial sprinkling of early Disney and foreshadowing both Wall-e and Dr. Who. The creator is Tezuka Osamu.

Advertisements