Astro Boy (1963 TV series)
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Promotional artwork for the United States broadcast of Astro Boy
|Genre||Action, Adventure, Science fiction|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Osamu Tezuka|
|Written by||Yoshiyuki Tomino|
|Music by||Tatsuo Takai|
|Network||Fuji TV (1963-1966)
|Original run||January 1, 1963 – December 31, 1966|
Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム Tetsuwan Atomu , "Mighty Atom," lit. "Iron Arm Atom") 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 as Shin Tetsuwan Atomu, known as Astroboy in other countries, 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.
English-language version 
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 (there were 193 total), 104 were adapted into the English version by Fred Ladd, and initially syndicated from September 7, 1963 through August 28, 1965, with repeats continuing until the series was withdrawn from syndication in the early 1970s.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.
In one Astro Boy manga story Tezuka expressed frustration towards the restrictions passed by American television networks on the adaptation of the first Astro Boy television series. The U.S. 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 shot animals for sport, yet people in England spread false rumors about Japanese people eating dogs.
The Right Stuf International and Madman Entertainment have recently released the entire dubbed series on DVD in two box sets. The Right Stuf sets also include episodes 1, 20, 34, 56, and 193 in Japanese with English subtitles, a behind-the-scenes film, and an interview with Fred Ladd.
- "Astroboy: An Anime Legend". IGN. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- Lambert, David (2006-07-01). "Astroboy - Press Release for Astro Boy (1963) - Ultra Collector's Edition Set 1 DVDs!". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 3 January 2009.
- "Profile: Tezuka Osamu". Anime Academy. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- Schodt, Frederik L. "Introduction." Astro Boy Volume 1 (Comic by Osamu Tezuka). Dark Horse Comics and Studio Proteus. Page 3 of 3 (The introduction section has 3 pages). ISBN 1-56971-676-5.
- Schodt, Frederik L. "Introduction." Astro Boy Volume 1 (Comic by Osamu Tezuka). Dark Horse Comics and Studio Proteus. Page 2 of 3 (The introduction section has 3 pages). ISBN 1-56971-676-5.
- Tezuka, Osamu. Astro Boy Volume 1 (Comic by Osamu Tezuka). Dark Horse Comics and Studio Proteus. 34-35. ISBN 1-56971-676-5.
- "86, Astro Boy". IGN. 2009-01-23. Archived from the original on 19 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-24.