Author Topic: I'm going to watch every episode of Astro Boy  (Read 6770 times)

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Offline GregMcduck

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I'm going to watch every episode of Astro Boy
« on: May 20, 2008, 01:27:16 PM »
Welcome to


Astro Boy is considered one the very first Japanese animes, as well as one of the first to find success in the states. Based on the 1951 manga, the series follows the adventures of the robotic Astro Boy in the futuristic world of the year 2000. The series was created by "The father of anime" Osamu Tezuka, also known for Kimba the White Lion. The original series aired between 1963 and 1966 in both Japan and the US, with two new series released in 1980 and 2003. The original series impressed many, including Walt Disney.

And I'm going to watch every episode.

Here's how the review are going to go down. I'm going to go into detail, so SPOILERS and everything. Each review will include three rewards:


There are lots of moments in this series aimed towards comedy. Not "lol Japan" comedy or "lol english dub" like you'd see in Speed Racer, but they actually have jokes in Astro Boy. The LOL Award goes to the funniest moment in each episode.


Of course, there are plenty of "lol Japan" moments too. The WTF Award goes to the strangest moment in each episode.


They seemed to spend a lot of time coming up with unique character designs for background characters that only appear for a split second. The Background Character Award is given the best of these characters in each episode.


Offline GregMcduck

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Re: I'm going to watch every episode of Astro Boy
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2008, 02:43:12 PM »
Episode: #1 - The Birth of Astro Boy
Original Air Date: January 1, 1963

It's the year 2000. We don't have flying cars, but we do have robots by the houseful, and not just Roombas, but intelligent robots. This is the story of the most human robot of them all, Astro Boy. Our story begins with Astor Boyton, son of famed scientist Dr. Boynton, spreeding down the electric highways of the future. What, a child driving? Don't worry, these tracks are electronic and control the direction and speed of your car. All you need to do is press the on button, and off you go! Not once has any car crashed on these highways of the future.

Until today.

Without warning, a truck pulls directly in front of Astor's car. The reason why is never explained. The crowd is in panic, they don't know what to do. The ambulance arrives, but it's too late. Dr. Boynton shows up to find his son laying dead in the street.

It's not often to start off a kid's show this emotionally. Shit, I don't know of any other show that kills off a kid in the first minute. Got to give credit where credit is do, this is a powerful scene.

Dr. Boynton returns to his office, drenched in tears. Tears that quickly turn into madness, however, as he decides Astor's memory will live on in the visage of the most advanced robot ever created. He rounds up the entire Ministry of Science and declares that every scientist will drop what he's doing and work on a new project: Astro Boy.

Over the course of a year, they turn this...

...into this.

Dr. Boynton powers up Astro Boy ala Frankenstein, set to Beethoven's Fifth. It's a really neat scene that would make Fantasia proud, I wish I could find it on Youtube. Anyway, so Astro Boy awakens, and after strumbling around a bit learning how to walk, the two embrace. Dr. Boynton has a son again. Astro Boy has a father.

Over the next few years, Dr. Boynton teaches Astro Boy the ways of the world. Of course, he's a robot, so he picks up on things pretty quickly. Which leads us to


In one lesson, Astro Boy is told to draw a plate of fruit. Instead, he draws their molecular structure.

I wonder how many little Japanese kid heads this went over.

All is not well in the Boynton household, though. Over the last few years, Dr. Boynton has slowly realized that Astro will never be Astor. Astro Boy doesn't grow, and Boynton gets mad. Really mad. He starts blaming Astro Boy, and finally decides that he can't deal with an enternally young robot boy. So, in one of the most heart-breaking moments in animation history since Bambi's mom, Dr. Boynton disowns Astro and sells him. To this creep.

This is Caccitore, ring leader of a robot circus. Caccitore is famous for abusing his performers and throwing the broken or unpopular ones in the trash. What does he have in mind for Astro Boy? Does Battlebots ring a bell?

That's Zog. He looks like what the Satan would look like if there was a Michelin Man hell. Zog starts off beating the crap out of Astro Boy, but thanks do the rocket boots Astro Boy didn't know he had for some reason, he gains the upper hand. The crowd is behind him.


The man swinging his fist for Astro Boy

Astro Boy defeats Zog, but refuses to destroy the bigger robot. He just doesn't have the heart. This pisses Caccitore off to no ends. He runs a circus, not the Lifetime network! He throws Astro Boy in a room, promising to teach him a lesson.

Enter Dr. Packadermus J. Elefun, the new leader of the Ministry of Science after Dr. Boynton left town in a fit of madness. The joke behind Dr. Elefun is that every time he gets mad, he sneezes alot. And as a pro-robot hippy, he's sneezing a lot right now. He demands that Caccitore give Astro Boy back to the Ministry, by Caccitore tells him to bring to court.

Meanwhile, Astro Boy leaves his room to discover a pile of discarded robots outside. They're all out of power, and Caccitore doesn't want to bother recharging them, so it's off to the scrap heap. Astro Boy can't see these poor robots get junked, so he offers them some of his power so then can escape. This leads us to


To charge the robots, Astro Boy has to plug in a wire from his chest to each robot's charge port. One little boy robot has his charge port IN HIS LITTLE BOY ROBOT ASS.

And boy, does he get into it.

Anyway, Caccitore kicks Dr. Elefun out of the circus and the show resumes. We have a parade of oddball robots, follows a jumping ball robot that tries to jump through an electic hoop. He fails, and Kabloom!

I don't think this circus is up to code.

The once-junked robots show up the nick of time to escort the audience out, but it's up to now-powered-down Astro Boy to save Caccitore. Barely making it out in time, both Astro Boy and Caccitore are sent to the hospital. Dr. Elefun meets them there, and demands that Caccitore turn over Astro Boy. After refusing, Dr. Elefun breaks the news: A Robotics Bill of Rights have been passed, and all robots are free! Shocked, Caccitore passed out, and Dr. Elefun and Astro Boy leave for the Ministry of Science.

FINAL THOUGHTS: A very solid episode. The early stuff, with Astor's death and Astro Boy's disownment is some really emotional stuff for a kid's show. The circus stuff is less interesting, but all-in-all, very entertaining. Let's see if the rest of the series is this good.

SCORE: 4.5 out of 5

Offline RoninFox

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Re: I'm going to watch every episode of Astro Boy
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2008, 04:47:20 PM »
Wow, I never put it together how much the plot of A.I. took from just one episode of this series until you described it to me.  That's a real eye opener.
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Offline GregMcduck

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Re: I'm going to watch every episode of Astro Boy
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 02:28:41 PM »
Episode: #2 - Frankenstein (English Title: Colosso)
Original Air Date: January 8, 1963

We start off today's episode with our narrator teaching us more the world Astro Boy lives in. Robots are the number one product in the world right now, and demand just cannot keep up with supply. Prior to Astro Boy's construction, there were too many orders for robots and not enough workers to make them. One day, one factory manager came up with the bright idea to have robots build other robots.

I love it when my anime predicts the future.

Back in present day, Astro Boy spends a day off from research at the Ministry of Science at the local zoo. He spies a young horse with it's mother, and, still stringing from Dr. Boynton's disownment in the last episode, begins to wish he had a proper mother and father. And then he has a daydream about it that would make David Lynch go "huh?"

In his little fever dream, he runs across a number of robots that claim to be Astro Boy's mother, but Astro Boy demands a REAL mother. And he's walking around on graph paper for some reason. You'd think this would be a shoe-in for the WTF Award, but there's an even weirder moment coming up. Besides, he sees fruits as their molecular structures, I'm sure he dreams in graphs.

Astro Boy approaches Dr. Elefun. Elefun says "I've tried to be a father to you."

Astro Boy responds "A guardian isn't a real father."

Astro Boy is an asshole sometimes.

So, Astro Boy wants real parents and not robot parents. Obviously, the solution to this problem is to make ROBOT PARENTS.

I have no idea where the hypocrisy comes from, but Astro Boy is pleased as piss about his not-finished robot parents. Um, if you had the ability to construct your parents in any image you wanted, are you sure you'd go with the overweight balding Dad?

Is... Is this what the Japanese think our Dads look like?

Meanwhile, in the next room over, robot workers are busy constructing a heavy-duty robot for lunar exploration. However, there's a bug in the system or something, and before he's finished, Colosso awakens.

It seems that Colosso is missing a bit of programing that makes him friendly and smart. Instead, he's a dumb, super-strong monster of a roboman that quickly destroys everything in sight. The workers are no match for Colosso, so they quickly call for backup, which leads us to


The workers call for the armed guard. Here's who shows up:

But even the armed guard is no match for Colosso, who escapes from the factory and brings production to a halt. Which, of course, means Astro Boy's parents are going to be unfinished until this monster is stopped!

And to make matters worse, without his proper programming, Colosso will obey the first human he meets. So, naturally, the first people he meets in this crowded city is THE MOB

Namely, weak and cowardly mob member Monk. Now, you'd think if the weakest mob member got ahold of the best possible weapon that he'd try to take over the whole mob, but instead, things turn into a buddy comedy as Monk commands Colosso around and Colosso takes his orders a little too literally. Still, Colosso is handy at breaking into bank vaults, and soon the mob is making ten times as much cash.

That's the mob boss. He doesn't do much except occasionally shoot one of his own men.

I don't know. If I was the boss, I'd probably wouldn't threaten the guy with the giant killer robot, but that's just me.

Word gets to the mob that a rich old fat lady (a ROFL) is going to give an expenssive gift to the robot dancer pictured above... Guys, you're knocking down ten banks every hour with Colosso, I really don't think this is a big deal.

Colosso arrives to mess some shit up. As the ROFL makes an escape, the robot dancer attacks Colosso, but to no use. Colosso tears through her like a paper bag. No, really. Colosso fucking MURDERS THE DANCING ROBOT. None of that "Oh, we can fix her up good as new" shit. If robots have souls, she's FUCKING DEAD.

Colosso makes a getaway, and a crowd arrives to survey the carnage.


The guy on the right really wants to see what's going on

Enter this nameless detective. His pipe gives on question marks, and he's convinced that Astro Boy is being it. Why?...


Eh, I don't know.

I really like the character design in this series.

So, crime is on the rise, and at the worst time possible, because the local art museum is opening a diamond exhibit. Why and art museum would be interested in giant diamonds is beyond me, but then again, this is a pretty unorthodox museum.

Monk dressed like a museum employee and Colosso paints himself up to look like a statue. Top notch security here. Monk and Colosso make quick work of the diamonds, and get away right before Astro Boy shows up for... some... reason.

So, of course, Astro Boy takes the blame, and thanks to that new Robot Bill of Rights, gets sent to court, where we meet prosecutor Salvador Dali.

Did I mention I love the character design on this show?

Dr. Elefun shows up for the defense, and declares "You should be ashamed of yourselves. If Astro Boy is guilty, then so is the judge!" Donald Sutherland doesn't take too kindly to this.

Thankfully, Colosso steals a bunch more shit while Astro Boy is in court, proving Astro Boy's innocence. However, this doesn't stop the panic. Robots are getting attacked on the streets, all the humans are paranoid as shit! Colosso needs to be brought to justice.

Dr. Elefun announces that he'll be transporting a very expensive jewel via cruise ship. Of course, nobody asks why he's going via cruise ship instead of airplane. Of course, nobody asks why the head of the Ministry of Science is transporting a jewel by himself. But, nevermind, because the bait worked, and Colosso stows away on the ship. In the middle of the ocean, Colosso breaks out of the cargo hold, scaring the shit out everyone on board. Of course, nobody asks why Dr. Elefun put these helpless people in harm's way.

Dr. Elefun sends a signal to Astro Boy to come immediatly. Of course, nobody asks why Astro Boy wasn't already on the ship.

Ok, so here we go. Astro Boy is flying as fast as he can, but once he reaches the ocean, he decides to swim the rest of the way. Don't ask me why, I guess he thought it'd be faster. This leads us to


Ok, Astro Boy is rushing to the rescue, but he doesn't seem to be in that much of a hurry when he decides to BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF A SCHOOL OF SHARKS FOR NO REASON AT ALL



I'll have my anime with a cup of animal abuse, please!

Ok, so after Astro Boy terrorizes the ocean for a while, he finally reaches the cruise ship. And this is the real reason we watch Astro Boy. To see him fight other robots....

not sharks, robots.

Here are some fight highlights:

Finally, the fight moves from the cruise ship back to dry land, and Colosso finally calls it quits.

Monk is saddened by the defeat of his robobuddy, but unlike the robot dancer, Colosso can be repaired. So, Astro Boy helicopters in a robot doctor.

Did I mention I LOVE the character designs on this show?

Ok, so let's wrap things up. The doctor fixes Colosso, turns Colosso into a good robot, and shoots him off to the moon.

Astro Boy runs into the rest of the mob, but makes quick work of them.

Dr. Elefun gives a speech on how humans should be put back into the factories to make sure something like this never happens again.

And Astro Boy gets his loveless robot parents.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I have mixed feelings about this episode. On one hand, Colosso and Monk had a good buddy thing going. However, the Astro-Boy-getting-accused-of-crime stroyline was really confusing and didn't lead anywhere. Plus, between blowing of Dr. Elefun, deciding to have robot parents after having a daydream about how he doesn't want robot parents, and beating up HELPLESS SHARKS, Astro Boy comes off as a big dick in this episode.

I only keep myself a few episodes ahead, so I don't know how this roboparent angle is going to pan out. Let's wait and see.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 5

Offline Steve-O

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Re: I'm going to watch every episode of Astro Boy
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008, 03:09:21 PM »
To charge the robots, Astro Boy has to plug in a wire from his chest to each robot's charge port. One little boy robot has his charge port IN HIS LITTLE BOY ROBOT ASS.

My god!  It's the ancient origin of Boong-Ga Boong-Ga!