Astro Boy is a Japanese television series that premiered on Fuji TV on New Year's Day and is the first popular animated Japanese television series that embodied the aesthetic that later became familiar worldwide as "anime". It originated as a manga of the same name in 1952 by Osamu Tezuka, revered in Japan as the "God of Manga."

After enjoying success both in Japan and abroad as the first anime to be broadcast overseas, Astro Boy was remade in the 1980s and again in 2003. It lasted for four seasons, with a total of 193 episodes, the final episode presented on New Year's Eve 1966. At its height it was watched by 40% of the Japanese population who had access to a TV. In 1964, there was a feature-length animated movie called Hero of Space released in Japan. It was an anthology of three episodes; The Robot Spaceship, Last Day on Earth and Earth Defense Squadron. The latter two were filmed in color. An American computer-animated 3-D film based on the original manga series by Tezuka was released on October 23, 2009.

For the English version, the producers, NBC Enterprises settled on "Astro Boy" as a title during discussions between producer Fred Ladd and representatives from NBC. Of the 193 episodes created in the series, 104 were adapted into the English version by Fred Ladd, and initially syndicated from September 1963 through August 1965, with repeats continuing until the series was withdrawn from syndication in the early 1970s. The names were adjusted for American audiences. Frederik L. Schodt, who created the English version of the original comic, said that the names were “cleverly” changed for American tastes.

From 2007 - 2008, Cartoon Network broadcast NBC’s syndicated edition of the original 1960s episodes as a part of its late night Adult Swim line-up. Only the first 52 episodes were aired. Astro Boy was also shown as part of Adult Swim's Toonami April Fools Joke on April 1, 2012.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The series follows the exploits of a highly advanced robot, named Astro Boy, with amazing powers but a childish perspective on the world. The action is pretty standard for a superhero series, with Astro Boy facing off with a wide variety of giant robots, aliens, monsters, and more.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Astro Boy — The robot boy fashioned after Astor Boynton III by his father, the head of the Institute of Science in the year 2000. Aside from possessing the strength of 100,000 horsepower (later 1,000,000) and the kind personality of a child, he has what are called his "seven amazing powers": jet-powered flight, multilingualism, analytical skills, headlight eyes, super-sensitive hearing, hidden weapons in his back, and the ability to tell if a person is good or evil. In addition, he has a built-in geiger counter and shortwave communication system.

Uran/Astro Girl — Astro's cybernetic sister with a shown adoration towards Astro; she is a superhuman robot with a naive, tomboyish personality. Constructed by Dr. Elefun as a "gift" for Astro, Uran is an extremely mischievous little girl who constantly lands her older brother in trouble. While lacking Astro's weaponry and propulsion systems, she is extremely powerful (50,000 horsepower) and regularly accompanies him on various missions (or attempts to). Like Astro, she is fully capable of experiencing human emotions - though being somewhat less 'mature'. Uran first appeared in Episode 25 (The Strange Birthday Present) under the name Astrogirl.

Dr. Aster Boyton II — The former head of the Institute of Science. Ever since his son died, he decided to build a robot boy who looks like his son. But when he discovered that Astro Boy could not grow, he sold his son to the circus. He appears only in Episodes 1: Birth of Astro Boy, and 97: Mystery of The Metal Men.

Dr. Packerdermus J. Elefun — The present head of the Institute of Science and a fearless campaigner for robotic rights. Kind, patient and good-natured, he serves as a mentor for both Astro and Uran, and would willingly give his life for either. Somewhat eccentric by nature, he tends to be excitable when faced by a scientific mystery, particularly when his opinions are questioned by his scientific colleagues. He first appeared in Episode 1: Birth of Astro Boy, where he rescued Astro from Caccitore's circus.

Inspector Gumshoe — a highly-placed police detective with an innate distrust of androids and robots (the reason to this is never explained in detail). Due to his opposition to Tokyo's robotic population, Gumshoe has a long-standing feud with both Dr. Elephun and Mr. Pompous, and frequently engages in volatile arguments with them. While arrogant, cantankerous and, in some cases, downright rude, he eventually comes to respect Astro's courage and abilities, even calling for his assistance in particularly difficult cases. Partnered with Chief McClaw, he first appeared in Episode 2: Colosso.

Chief McClaw — The chief of the police and the partner of Inspector Gumshoe. Played mainly for comic relief, he was normally portrayed as fat, dim-witted and gullible; a stereotype "clueless flatfoot" of the period. Nonetheless, he instantly recognized Astro's good side and frequently stood up for Astro Boy against his bullying partner (as seen in Episode 23). In the 1960s English translations, he has an Irish accent. He first appeared in Episode 2: Colosso.

Percival Pompous — A private investigator who, like Dr. Elephun, serves as a surrogate father for Astro and Uran, providing guidance and advice when necessary. While gruff and comically short-tempered, he harbours a deep admiration for Astro, seeing him as the son he never had, and even stands up to the formidable Inspector Gumshoe in the boy's defence.

Jetto — Astro Boy's cybernetic brother. He was a defective prototype of Astro built by Dr. Boyton, then sealed within the Ministry of Science archives & later released. Jetto has abilities comparable to his brother's, but lacks Astro's intelligence and common sense. Clumsy, accident-prone and gullible, he is a constant source of trouble for Astro's family (and everyone else who crosses his path). Despite these problems, Jetto is often shown to be extremely kind-hearted and loyal. In addition to the abilities that were copied from Astro, he also shares a kind of telepathic link with his brother that gives him the ability to sense when Astro is in danger & home in his location. He first appeared in Episode 84: Brother Jetto. In the manga, his name is Cobalt.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Broadcast History[edit | edit source]

On September 7, 1963, the series began airing on NBC in the United States, running until August 20, 1965. The series was then aired in syndication well into 1975. On July 14, 2007, Astro Boy returned to American television on Adult Swim, being shown at 5:30 AM until December 29, 2008. During its run on the block there was a 7-hour marathon that aired on Saturday, December 25, 2007 (Christmas day) from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM. On April 1, 2012, Astro Boy aired as part of Adult Swim's Toonami April Fools prank.

  • United States (NBC) — September 7, 1963 - August 20, 1965
  • United States (Syndication) — 1963 - 1975
  • United States (Adult Swim) — July 14, 2007 - December 29, 2008; April 1, 2012

Toonami Broadcast History[edit | edit source]

  • Toonami (United States) — April 1, 2012

External Links[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Toonami Series
Cartoon Network (1997-2008)
Thundercats Ring.png Roulette Ring.png Voltron Ring.png JQuest Ring.png Robotech Ring.png Beast Wars Ring.png Sailor Moon Ring.png DBZ Ring.png
Super Friends Ring.png Reboot Ring.png PPG Ring.png Ronin Warriors Ring.png GForce Ring.png Gundam Wing Ring.png Batman TAS Ring.png Tenchi Muyo Ring.png
Tenchi Universe Ring.png Tenchi in Tokyo Ring.png Blue Sub Ring.png Superman TAS Ring.png Outlaw Star Ring.png Big O Ring.png Cardcaptors Ring.png Mobile Suit Gundam Ring.png
08th MS Team Ring.png Dragonball Ring.png Batman Beyond Ring.png Zoids NC Ring.png Gundam 0080 Ring.png Hamtaro Ring.png Zoids CC Ring.png G Gundam Ring.png
He-Man Ring.png Transformers Armada Ring.png GI Joe Ring.png Samurai Jack Ring.png Hack Sign Ring.png Martian Successor Nadesico Ring.png Gigantor Ring.png Neon Genesis Evangelion Ring.png
Dai Guard Ring.png YuYu Hakusho Ring.png Rurouni Kenshin Ring.png Justice League Ring.png Cyborg 009 Ring.png SD Gundam Ring.png Dragon Ball GT Ring.png Clone Wars Ring.png
Duel Masters Ring.png Astro Boy 2003 Ring.png Transformers Energon Ring.png Jackie Chan Adventures Ring.png Gundam SEED Ring.png Megas XLR Ring.png Rave Master Ring.png Teen Titans Ring.png
JLU Ring.png DICE Ring.png Zatch Bell Ring.png The Batman Ring.png One Piece Ring.png Transformers Cybertron Ring.png Yugioh Ring.png Naruto Ring.png
BoBoBo Ring.png IGPX Ring.png Wulin Warriors Ring.png Pokemon Chronicles Ring.png FF4 WGH Ring.png Pokemon Ring.png Yugioh GX Ring.png Prince of Tennis Ring.png
MAR Ring.png Storm Hawks Ring.png Megaman Starforce Ring.png Bakugan Ring.png Blue Dragon Ring.png Ben 10 Ring.png
Adult Swim (2012-Present)
Bleach Ring.png Trigun Ring.png Astro Boy Ring.png Deadman Wonderland Ring.png Casshern Sins Ring.png FMA Brotherhood Ring.png GITS 2nd GIG Ring.png Cowboy Bebop Ring.png
Samurai 7 Ring.png Eureka 7 Ring.png GITS SAC Ring.png Symbionic Titan Ring.png Thundercats 2011 Ring.png Inuyasha Ring.png Tenchi Muyo GXP Ring.png Soul Eater Ring.png
SAO Ring.png Star Wars The Clone Wars Ring.png FLCL Ring.png King Star King Ring.png Korgoth Ring.png Space Dandy Ring.png Shippuden Ring.png Blue Exorcist.png
Black Lagoon Ring.png AOT Ring.png Beware the Batman Ring.png Gurren Lagann Ring.png Hellsing Ring.png DBZ Kai Ring.png Inuyasha Final Act Ring.png Kill la Kill Ring.png
SAO II Ring.png Michiko & Hatchin Ring.png Akame Ga Kill Ring.png Parasyte Ring.png Samurai Champloo Ring.png Dimension W Ring.png HunterxHunter Ring.png Iron Blooded Orphans Ring.png
One Punch Man Ring.png JoJos Ring.png Dragon Ball Super Ring.png Gundam RE96 Ring.png Sand Whale Ring.png Tokyo Ghoul Ring.png Lupin the Third IV Ring.png Black Clover Ring.png
My Hero Academia Ring.png FLCL Prog Ring.png Pop Team Epic Ring.png FLCL Alt Ring.png Boruto Ring.png Mob Psycho Ring.png Megalo Box Ring.png SAO III Ring.png
Promised Neverland Ring.png Lupin the Third V Ring.png Food Wars Ring.png Gundam The Origin Ring.png Fire Force Ring.png GenLock Ring.png Dr Stone Ring.png Demon Slayer Ring.png
Paranoia Agent Ring.png Ballmastrz Ring.png Assassination Classroom Ring.png Gemusetto Ring.png Primal Ring.png SSSS-Gridman Ring.png Fena Pirate Princess Ring.png Uzumaki Ring.png
Blade Runner Black Lotus Ring.png Shenmue Ring.png
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.