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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Astro Boy

Name: Astro Boy

Created: 1952 (manga), 1963 (anime series)

Backstory: Astro Boy was created by a scientist as a replacement for his son (in most versions he died, but in the 2003 anime he ran away).  Soon realizing that Astro couldn't replace his dead son, he ends up with Professor Ochanomizu and is adopted by the kind hearted scientist. Most of his enemies were either robot hating humans, bad robots, or aliens from outer space.  His final battles always involved robots.

So What Makes Him Memorable? He was the first anime character to come over from Japan, setting up the exchange that would happen over the years and opening the doors to such classic shows as Speed Racer and Battle of the Planets.  The fact that the character develops human emotions within the run of the show (making it necessary for Professor Ochanomizu to build him parents) also makes him an interesting character. Plus, they're still writing Astro Boy mangas.

Where He's Been Seen: The 1952 manga was where he got his start.  He was later turned into the 1963 anime that aired on NBC.  He was revived in 1980 and 2003, which was followed by a 2005 movie, "Astro Boy Vs. IZGA," but was only shown in Japan.  In 2009, there was a 3D movie made based on the show. And four different video games have come out based on the character.

Tomorrow: A master thief gets his shot in the spotlight.

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