Anime DVD Review: Astro Boy Mini Set 2

Astro Boy Mini Set 2 is the second DVD mini-set that Right Stuf  released for the 1960s Astro Boy anime series. This set contains 27 episodes, even though the box claims there’s only 26 episodes. The first episode, “Don Tay’s Infernal Machine,” is not listed on the packaging; this is the episode that was listed on the packaging for Astro Boy Mini Set 1 that didn’t appear in that set.

Astro Boy Mini Set 2
English Publisher: Nozomi Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: October 6, 2009

At the beginning of each disc, there’s a disclaimer which explains that the original masters for these episodes were destroyed in 1975. The company conducted a worldwide search to find the best quality versions of the episodes as they could, but the disclaimer warns that the audio quality differs greatly from episode to episode. Unlike Astro Boy Mini Set 1, the episodes in this set overall had better audio quality. There were only two episodes on this set where the audio sounded more “muffled” than the others.

Another difference between Astro Boy Mini Set 1 and Astro Boy Mini Set 2 is the quality of the episodes included on these sets. While I enjoyed many of the episodes that appeared on the first set, I can’t say the same for the episodes on Astro Boy Mini Set 2. The episodes on this set either had concepts that were “out there,” even for the Astro Boy series, episodes that weren’t as well-written, or episodes that just weren’t logical (and the logic issues were primarily from the original Japanese story and weren’t introduced with the American dub).

One of the most memorable moments on this set for me is in the episode, “Astro Boy Goes to School.” In this episode, Astro Boy and his sister, Astro Girl, are sent to robot school. One of the other students in named Lala; later in the episode, it’s revealed her full name is Lala Palooza. While this would have just come across as a silly name when this dub was first aired on television in the 1960s, this name has become a joke to modern audiences thanks to the Lollapalooza music festival that started in the early 1990s. It did make me wonder for a moment if the founders of Lollapalooza were fans of this Astro Boy series and were inspired for the name by this character.

Unfortunately, I have a harder time recommending this box set as much as I did Astro Boy Mini Set 1. Personally, I would only recommend this set to die-hard fans of the 1960s Astro Boy series who want these episodes, but don’t want to purchase the more expensive box set that contains the entire series.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Astro Boy Mini Set 2 that my husband purchased as a gift.

Additional posts about Astro Boy:

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