Feels like I've been putting out a lot of these lately...anyway,I near forgot to write up some things about Osamu Tezuka anime/manga! As you can well tell, he's quite possibly my favorite mangaka of all time, he's the one to beat in my book. This is all about Astro though, I'll explore non-Astro love next time! Am I at all pleased about the American currently-being-made CGI film? No, not really, but I might see it anyway. If we're lucky, whoever is doing it bothered to watch the shows.
Astro Boy-23 volumes-Dark Horse (R1)
Let's start with the Astro Boy manga! Yes, I am such a big fan of Astro Boy, but I've only had the pleasure of reading 14 out of 23 of the volumes of the fantastic manga. In the dark Horse publications, I think that volumes 6-9 or somewhere are standout, which shows another possibility to Astro's origin (I swear, the entire collective has like 4 or so at least). I plan to get the remaining volumes ASAP, but these aren't published in sequence, so when Cobalt, who looks exactly like Astro, shows up in volume 2, I was so confused for a while, he's not introduced until vol 11...but it's fairly episodic, so it's not a deal breaking issue.
Astro Boy: 1980's series-52 episodes-Manga Ent (R1)
This is based pretty heavily on the manga, some things are basically direct rips. Also, the dub for this series is horrendously bad, but Manga ent. is nice enough to give us subs. I'd probably call this one the least deep of the series in terms of thought provoking issues brought up, but it's a good series nontheless. One major difference between this and the manga is the lack of Cobalt, who was in the 1963 version which I've yet to see, but I will in due time! Osamu Tezuka had a direct hand in this one, he wanted to make this instead of Jetter Mars back in the 70's, but was forced to make Jetter Mars due to copyrighting issues, and it was essentially a clone of the Astro series. Should also note: some idiot in America smashed the first two eps together to eliminate the telling of the origin of Astro's nemesis Atlas. Luckily, these episode are on youtube.
Astro Boy: 2003 series-51 episode-Sony (R1)
Actually, one episode of this never made it to America due to copyright issues but I saw it thanks to the internet, not missing much. In Japan, this series aired on Astro's birthdate (4-7-2003), so it was partly a celebration, but it's also a good series in it's own right. I'd probably call this the darkest version of Astro Boy, there's more anti-robotism and themes of rejection than in any of the other series and it's certainly more politically charged, which the other series most certainly lacked. At the same time, I'm a little mad that the 1980 series allowed Astro to fail a bit more often, but the 2003 series didn't quite as much. I can't say which series I prefer, but I wish Sony had given us subs on this one too, the dub is much better than the 1980 series, but....it could use some improvement.
Ok, clearly not an anime, but this is what got me into Astro Boy and Osamu Tezuka in general and it came out due to the 2003 series. We're going to say that the PS2 version of this game doesn't exist, because quite frankly, it shouldn't. This game was made by Treasure, so the developers clearly had brains, but man! It's just so awesome! And in cla$$ic Treasure styl3 this game is not a cakewalk, not even on medium (it's easy is like normal difficulty on any other game). It's cameo infused, but not worthlessly so, since all the people you meet contribute to your inappropriatly named "Omega Factor" (I say innappropriate because in the 1980 series, it turns robots evil). But for $5 used at any GameStop, at least play this game, espcially for side-scrolling beat 'em up fans. Go play this, it's one of the best GBA games on its own merits and one of the best videogames based off an anime.