Sony Pictures Is Streaming the 2003 Astro Boy Anime on YouTube

Sony Pictures Television began streaming the first episode of the 2003 Astro Boy anime series on its Throwback Toons YouTube channel on July 10, 2021. The channel previously streamed the seventh episode in June 2021.

Throwback Toons describes the anime as:

A new sci-fi action-packed television series starring Astro Boy, a heroic robot with charms of an adorable boy and one of the most symbolical characters in the world of anime. The original story was created by the “Father of Manga,” Osamu Tezuka, and is largely remembered to be his most popular work ever. A powerful mix of action, excitement and fantasy set in a futuristic robot-based civilization, Astro Boy follows the adventures of a jet-powered robot. Laser beam hands, searchlight eyes, 100k-horsepower strength and a superior yet human-like mind join together with an incorruptible heart and uncompromising bravery. Nothing can stop Astro’s mission to protect all that is good, both robot and human, from the forces of evil.

Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy manga inspired Japan’s first full-fledged half-hour television anime series in 1963, followed by a color television series in 1980 and the remake in 2003.

Source: ANN

RetroCrush Announces Debuts for June 2021

Digital Rights Media has announced the new titles and release dates for the anime titles that will stream on its RetroCrush streaming service in June 2021.

The titles will launch on consecutive Fridays in June 2021:

  • Puppet Princess – June 4, 2021
  • Galaxy Angel – June 4, 2021
  • Galaxy Angel Z – June 4, 2021
  • Princess Knight – June 11, 2021
  • Kimba the White Lion – June 18, 2021
  • Astro Boy (1960) – June 25, 2021

Puppet Princess, Galaxy Angel, and Galaxy Angel Z will stream with English subtitles and with an English dub. Princess Knight, Kimba the White Lion, and Astro Boy will only stream with an English dub.

RetroCrush is a free, ad-supported video-on-demand service available in the United States and Canada. The service has apps on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and smart TVs, in addition to being available on browsers. The service launched in March 2020.

Source: ANN

Cocoro Adds the 1960’s Astro Boy Anime to Its Service

The Fandom Post is reporting that the Cocoro streaming service has added the 1960’s Astro Boy anime to its service in its English dubbed form. According to the report, the anime is available in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

The story of Astro Boy (aka Tetsuwan Atom) is described as:

Creating a robotic boy in the image of his recently deceased son Tobio, Professor Tenma thought nothing could go wrong now that his beloved child had been “reborn”… that is, until he comes to realize that this invention could never replace his son. Before long, however, the robot is kidnapped and spirited away to a robot circus in America, where he is soon rescued by Dr. Ochanomizu, and taken into his care. Tobio is given the new name Tetsuwan Atom, and transforms into Japan’s crime-fighting hero, although his anti-violent pacifist views and overall childlike naivety tend to clash with his battles often.

Source: The Fandom Post

RetroCrush Announces Debuts for December 2020

Digital Rights Media has announced the new titles and release dates for the anime titles that will stream on its RetroCrush streaming service in December 2020.

The titles will launch on consecutive Fridays in December 2020:

  • Ramen Fighter Miki – December 4, 2020
  • Love Hina Again – December 11, 2020
  • Honey and Clover – December 11, 2020
  • Honey and Clover II – December 11, 2020
  • The Adventures of the Little Prince – December 18, 2020
  • Astro Boy (1980 version) – December 18, 2020

All the shows will be available with English subtitles and an English dub, but the English subtitled version of the Astro Boy anime will launch in early 2021. RetroCrush had originally announced in May 2020 that it would stream the anime at a later date.

RetroCrush is a free, ad-supported video-on-demand service available in the United States and Canada. The service has apps on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and smart TVs, in addition to being available on browsers. The service launched in March 2020.

Source: ANN

RetroCrush to Add Astro Boy, Black Jack, and More Tezuka Pro Anime Starting in June 2020

Digital Media Rights has announced that it has partnered with Tezuka Productions to release nine anime titles on its service starting on June 5, 2020. Black Jack and A Time Slip of 10000 Years: Prime Rose will launch on June 5, 2020, and the remaining titles will premiere from June 2020 to August 2020. RetroCrush has obtained the SVOD (subscription video on demand), TVOD (transactional VOD), AVOD (advertising-based VOD), and digital linear rights to these anime for the United States and Canada.

The titles coming to the service include:

  • Astro Boy (1980, 52 episodes)
  • Black Jack (1993 OVA, 12 episodes including Black Jack Final)
  • Ambassador Magma (1993 OVA, 13 episodes)
  • A Time Slip of 10000 Years: Prime Rose (1993 film)
  • Undersea Super Train: Marine Express (1979 film)
  • One Million-Year Trip: Bander Book (1978 film)
  • Dear Brother (1991, 39 episodes)
  • Jungle Emperor – The Brave Changes the Future (Jungle Emperor Leo, 2009 film)
  • Moby Dick – Great Whale in Space (Hakugei: Legend of the Moby Dick, 1997, 26 episodes)

RetroCrush is a free, ad-supported video-on-demand service. The service has apps on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and smart TVs, in addition to being available on browsers. The service launched in March 2020 with 12 titles, and added 18 more anime titles in May 2020.

Source: ANN

FUNimation Entertainment Announces the Addition of Nozomi Entertainment Titles to Its Streaming Library

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it will begin streaming the following anime from Nozomi Entertainment on February 18, 2020:

  • Astro Boy (1963)
  • Kimba the White Lion (1965)
  • Princess Knight
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena
  • The Adolescence of Utena anime film
  • Martian Successor Nadesico
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: Prince of Darkness anime film

The anime will stream in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, and Princess Knight will stream in English. The other anime will stream in English and in Japanese with English subtitles.

Source: ANN

Anime Box Set Review: Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Edition Box Set 2

Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Edition Box Set 2 contains 51 episodes of the series on 10 DVDs. There is also an 11th DVD in the set, which includes bonus features. Since this is a release of Astro Boy, the episodes only have an English dub.

Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Edition Box Set 2
English Publisher: Nozomi Entertainment / Lucky Penny
Format: DVD
Release Date: August 29, 2006

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 Ultra Collector’s Edition Box Set 1, the episodes in this set overall had better audio quality.

Another difference between the two sets is the quality of the episodes included on them. 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 Ultra Collector’s Edition Box 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 English dub).

On the episode discs, there are commentaries included for Episodes 53 and 82.

When it comes to the bonus disc, there are some bonus features included. This disc includes three original Japanese episodes. One of them was in color and had been meant as a pilot for a spin-off series. The spin-off never happened, and the episode ended up appearing in the original series (although when it appeared in the series, it was in black and white). Another episode was a collaboration with several manga artists doing the animation, and it’s obvious that different people did the animation due to the drastic change in styles. Unfortunately, this episode has commentary running through its entirety (with the commentary in Japanese, so you have to read subtitles the whole time). This was another episode that appeared in the box sets. The third episode was the ending episode for the series in Japan, which was never aired in the United States. After seeing it, there’s no way this episode would have ever made it to the U.S. broadcast, even if NBC had agreed to bring over all 193 episodes. It was simply a little too “dark” for a kids’ audience.

There are 30 minutes of “deleted scenes,” and this feature basically shows the version of the scene from the English dub, then the original Japanese version is shown right afterward. The deleted scenes primarily cut instances that could be seen as “too violent” for a kids’ television show, although later cuts were due to the English team deciding for some reason not to have Astro Boy use his butt lasers.

There’s another interview with Fred Ladd. It was shorter, and luckily, he didn’t ramble nearly as much as he did during the interview on the bonus disc in the first set. “Behind the Scenes at Mushi” was produced for a Japanese television audience, so it has Japanese audio with English subtitles. It shows what goes on in order to produce an episode of the series. There is also an original character art gallery and a merchandise gallery.

This set is also packaged with a booklet featuring “The Cinema of Osamu Tezuka,” original Astro Boy advertisements, line art, and an episode guide.

While the episodes included on this set may not be as strong as the episodes on the first set, this should still be in the anime home video library of an Astro Boy fan who wants to own all of the original English episodes of the series, as well as the various bonus features and the booklet.

Additional posts about Astro Boy:

Anime Box Set Review: Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Edition Box Set 1

Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Edition Box Set 1 contains 52 episodes of the series on 10 DVDs. There is also an 11th DVD in the set, which includes bonus features. Since this is a release of Astro Boy, the episodes only have an English dub.

Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Edition Box Set 1
English Publisher: Nozomi Entertainment / Lucky Penny
Format: DVD
Release Date: March 28, 2006

At the beginning of each disc, there is 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 it is warned that the audio quality differs greatly from episode to episode. While many of the episodes have a somewhat decent audio quality, there are also other episodes where the audio is extremely muffled or the audio sounds “tinny.” Unfortunately, for the viewer, these audio issues can diminish the viewing experience of this DVD set.

Many of the episodes in the original Astro Boy series are quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, I do have a bit of a gripe, because there is a contradiction that is introduced in the English dub. It’s established in the first episode that Professor Boynton’s son died in the year 2000, and Astro Boy was completed exactly a year after that. In other words, Astro Boy “came to life” in the year 2001. However, in later episodes, the announcer keeps announcing that Astro Boy’s adventures are taking place in the year 2000. I don’t know if this contradiction also existed in the original Japanese version of the series, or if this was introduced in the process of being dubbed into English.

Unfortunately, it’s clear by watching these sets that when the series was dubbed into English, they weren’t trying to make sure the episodes were done in chronological order. The most glaring example of this is seen through Astro Girl. In one episode, she suddenly appears out of nowhere with no explanation. However, in a later episode (“The Strange Birthday Present”), we are officially introduced to Astro Girl, who was created as a birthday present for Astro Boy so he could have a sibling. The way this episode is done, no one knew Astro Girl, so her appearance in the earlier episode as an already known character means it was out of order. I guess Right Stuf decided to present the episodes in their original English broadcast order, which works for viewers who remember the series from its original broadcast. But for those of us who didn’t watch Astro Boy when it was on the air in the 1960’s are left scratching our heads over the fact that episodes are not in chronological order.

The stories of most of the episodes on this set were enjoyable. Unfortunately, the audio issues really diminished my viewing experience. For some of the episodes, I had to spend so much time straining to hear the dialogue, that at times it made it difficult to follow the story.

On the episode discs, there are commentaries included for Episodes nine and 52.

When it comes to the bonus disc, there are some bonus features included. First, there are two original Japanese episodes with English subtitles (“The Birth of Astro Boy” and “Toxor, The Mist Man”). It was fascinating to watch these two episodes in the original Japanese, and to be honest, I liked these versions of the episodes better. While they still have the physical humor that Astro Boy is known for, the dialogue was more straightforward and serious than the tone used for the English dub. While I understand the English dub was being produced for a kids’ audience, the reliance on puns for the names and some of the hokey dialogue can get a little annoying at times. It’s too bad that Right Stuf will likely never acquire the rights for all the original Japanese episodes and releasing them on home video. From seeing these Japanese episodes, I see a lot of promise for the series as a whole, so it would be interesting to see how the entire series was like in its original version.

There is also a 19-minute interview with Fred Ladd, the man behind the English version of Astro Boy. Unfortunately, he had a tendency to ramble. He would go off on two to three tangents before eventually returning to what he was originally talking about. My husband commented that it was like watching Grandpa Simpson on The Simpsons, except for the fact that Grandpa Simpson is more entertaining. In addition to this, there is an original character art gallery and a merchandise gallery.

The set is also packaged with a booklet featuring “The History of Astro Boy” and a biography of Osamu Tezuka.

If you’re a fan of the original Astro Boy anime from the 1960’s, then this set would be worth getting for your anime home video library in order to have the first half of the series, as well as for the original Japanese versions of the two episodes on the bonus disc. The booklet is also nice as well.

Additional posts about Astro Boy:

The Black Jack, Astro Boy, and Phoenix Anime to Stream on Amazon Prime With English Dubs

Ammo Content recently added three Osamu Tezuka anime adaptations with English dubs to Amazon Prime:

  • Black Jack (2004): Episodes 1-52
  • Astro Boy (1980): Episodes 1-13
  • Phoenix (2004): All 13 episodes

Ammo Content confirmed that it licensed the episodes from Japanese distributor Trans World Associates. All three shows have aired in some countries through The Japan Foundation within the past two years. According to Anime News Network, Ammo Content is not working with The Japan Foundation at this time.

The English dub of Black Jack is new. While no company has officially announced work on the dub — Ammo Content licensed the series with its localization — several voice actors have announced their involvement on social media. Vancouver-based voice actress Sunni Westbrook, who plays Pinoko, said the dub was recorded “a few years back.”

Source: ANN

Live-Action Astro Boy Movie in Development

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that that Australia’s Animal Logic Entertainment has partnered with Tezuka Productions to develop a live-action film based on Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy. Animal Logic is known for its effects work on Happy Feet and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Astro Boy is part of the company’s effort to develop a slate of live-action, hybrid and special effects-heavy projects.

No director is currently attached to the project, but the producers are currently searching for writers.

Animal Logic wants to go after a comic book audience with this film. Producer Zareh Nalbandian says, “We’ve seen him as a manga, an anime and an animated movie but we’ve never seen him as a live-action movie or him as a superhero. We actually see him in the same league as an Iron Man.”

Source: Crunchyroll