Astro Boy (2003 TV series)

Astro Boy
Screenshot of the titular character, Astro Boy
(Asutoro Bōi: Tetsuwan Atomu)
Genre Action, Adventure, Science fiction
Anime television series
Directed by Kazuya Konaka
Written by Chiaki J. Konaka
Music by Takashi Yoshimatsu
Studio Tezuka Productions
Licensed by

‹See Tfd›

Network Fuji TV (2003–2007)
English network

‹See Tfd›

ABC (2004–2008)
Kids' WB (2004)
Cartoon Network (2004)
Jetix (2007)
Original run April 6, 2003 March 28, 2004
Episodes 50[2]
Anime film
Released July 15, 2005
Related works

Astro Boy (アストロボーイ・鉄腕アトム Asutoro Bōi: Tetsuwan Atomu, lit. "Astro Boy: Mighty Atom") is a remake of the 1960s anime series of the same name created by Osamu Tezuka, which was produced by his company, Tezuka Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan, Dentsu, and Fuji Television network. It was also shown on Animax, who have broadcast the series across its respective networks worldwide, including Japan, Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, and other regions.[3][4] It was created to celebrate the birth date of Atom/Astro Boy (as well as the 40th anniversary of the original TV series). Under the original English name (instead of Mighty Atom), it kept the same classic art style as the original manga and anime, but was revisioned and modernized with more lush, high-quality, near-theatrical animation and visuals. It combined the playfulness of the early anime with the darker, more serious and dramatic Science fiction themes of the manga and the 1980 series. The anime broadcast in Japan on the same date as Atom's/Astro's birth in the manga (April 6, 2003) across Animax and Fuji Television.[5] It was directed by Kazuya Konaka and written by Chiaki J. Konaka at the beginning of the series. Other writers included were Keiichi Hasegawa, Sadayuki Murai, Ai Ohta, Hirotoshi Kobayashi, Kenji Konuta, and Marc Handler, whom was also executive story editor.


The series consisted of fifty episodes. Though many episodes of the series can be regarded as "free-standing" in as much as they do not have anything to do with the series major story arcs, the 2003 series can be regarded as having a well-defined beginning, middle and end. Although the series appears to initially have two main plotlines - Dr. Tenma's eventual plans for Astro to evolve and another plotline about robot rights - these two story arcs dovetail toward the end of the series.

The show is set in 2043, where robots are common part of humanity's lives. In Metro City, the renowned Doctor Tenma disappears after trying to construct an AI robot using a new technology called Kokoro (which is Japanese for "heart"). Professor Ochanomizu replaces Tenma as head of the Ministry of Science and discovers a boy-like robot and brings it to life and names him Atom/Astro. He soon discovers he can fly via rocket boosters in his hands and feet, and has superhuman strength and other such abilities, and must deal with robots and villainous robot-hating humans who threaten his friends, fellow robots and Metro City, becoming a hero in the process. Astro quickly learns he is a robotic duplicate of Dr. Tenma's dead son Tobio, and was shut down after seeing how discarded robots were dealt with by his father, something similar that Tobio experienced before dying.

A new arc occurs with the introduction of the Blue Knight, a gallant robot who starts a campaign to free all robots from mankind. Another recurring character, Mr. Drake, goes slowly paranoid about the destruction of all robots and becomes a major antagonist of the series. In the final episodes, the Blue Knight declares a new nation for robots, Robotonia, located on Antarctica. Drake deceives the public into believing a house robot pushed a young girl down a flight of stairs (when he did not), and the girl's father, General Red, declares war on Robotonia. Most of the core cast becomes involved in the goal to stop the war between man and machine, until Astro convinces the Blue Knight that humans and robots can be friends. The Blue Knight departs Earth on Robotonia, which is revealed to be a spacecraft. However, Drake, who is still paranoid (despite the fact the robots have stopped their crusade against humanity), tries to destroy the spacecraft with a missile, but Astro blocks the attack and is seemingly taken offline.

Dr. Tenma manages to restore him, but erases his memories as Astro (so that he can remain "Tobio" forever). Eventually, his memories are restored by his friends from school and his sister, Zoran. In one final attempt to reclaim his lost son, Dr. Tenma goes to a laboratory in the Ministry and tries to convince Astro to join him in ruling the world but the latter refuses. Dr. Tenma tries to kill himself to end his suffering, but Astro embraces and forgives him, causing Dr. Tenma to break down and embrace his son. Professor Ochanomizu and the robotic police come to the rescue, and Dr. Tenma is willingly arrested and sent to prison. At the end of the series, Astro and Tenma and humans and robots start happily fresh and moving on. Humans and robots come closer together, and Astro appears to shed tears at the conclusion of the series.

Short films

A trailer from 2001 made for this series when it was in development presented several major differences from the final series: different designs for characters such as Atlas, the characters speaking in English (with voices completely different from the voices that would eventually end up in the US dub) and animation not found in the final series.

In 2005, an IMAX film was made titled Astro Boy/Tetsuwan Atomu Visits the person IGZA - 100,000 Light Years Away! that is based strongly on this series. It was distributed by Sarai Inc. and was never made into English. There was also a short film titled The Secret of Atom's Birth (アトム誕生の秘密),[6] shown only in Japan.

Other short films made were:



Japanese dub cast

English dub cast


Astro Boy is a 2005 3-chapter manga that roughly corresponds with the 2003 TV series of the same name. It was written by Japanese comic book artists Akira Himekawa. It was released in English in Singapore by Chuang Yi. This version uses the Japanese names for all characters, including Astro Boy (called "Atom" in this story).

Video games

Two video games based on the 2003 TV series were released by Sega. Astro Boy: Omega Factor is a beat 'em up video game developed by Treasure Co. Ltd for the Game Boy Advance receiving release worldwide between 2003 and 2005. An action video game, simply titled Astro Boy, was developed by Sonic Team and released for the PlayStation 2 in 2004 in Japan and North America and in 2005 in Europe.


The 2003 version of Astro Boy was extremely well reviewed by Zac Bertschy of Anime News Network, receiving a grade of A+ in every category and comments of "It's perfect."[8]

Anthony Brzenican of USA Today criticized the series for not having the same optimistic tone of the color 1980s version of the series and eliminating several or changing the personalities of several major characters.[9]

The show did not meet with commercial success the TV series is on Kids WB! and on Cartoon Network's Toonami[10] block, a fact that is hinted at during the review for the tie-in game Astro Boy: Omega Factor with comments such as "Astro Boy [didn't receive any] love here in the states". This has been largely attributed to the quality of the dub and the constant moving of the show between the two stations. It has been suggested the show was done in by removing the original's comical co-stars, particularly Mr. Pompous and Astro Boy's robot parents. That, plus the general switch of the show's visuals from childish simplistic to near 3-D complexity, and the name changes for so many of the main characters (Uran=Zoran, Dr. Elefun=Dr. O'Shay) were deemed by the older fans to be unnecessary for a formerly plot-driven show.

The series, however, had more success in the UK where it was picked up by the BBC for its children's block and digital only children's channel from 2003 to 2006. The show's first run lasted about as long as the US one (up to the 2-part episode featuring Pluto) after which the BBC stopped airing new episodes. This may be because (as one presenter commented after an episode) Astro was a darker show compared to the other cartoons CBBC aired (even in its edited state). The western dub has never been aired fully on TV in the US. Despite how well Astro may have fared in the UK airing and DVDs being advertised, the series has not been released on DVD in the UK. Interestingly enough, CBBC finished airing recently unaired episodes of Astro Boy, thus completing the entire series in the UK, making Astro Boy one of the rare anime that airs in the UK in its entirety while not doing so in the United States.

Astro Boy was released on DVD in one single boxset by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in North America. It was not the original uncut/unedited Japanese version. It is the edited for the US TV version. On May 5, 2015, Mill Creek Entertainment re-released the US edited complete series on DVD in Region 1.[1]


J# U# Title (English)
Title (Japanese)
Original air date (Japan) Original air date (U.S.)
11 "Power Up!" / "Power Up!"
"Pawā appu!" (パワーアップ!) 
April 6, 2003January 17, 2004
When Astro is activated the city's power starts to drain, and he must try and stop the robot Magnamite from destroying everything. Armed with Kokoro (the ability of free will) Astro discovers his purpose for being activated. 
22 "Rocket Ball" / "Robot Ball"
"Robotto Bōru" (ロボットボール) 
April 13, 2003January 24, 2004
When Astro makes new friends, a robot dog lures him to the Rocket Ball stadium and the Rocket Ball players challenge Astro to a game or they will destroy the human spectators under Dr. Tenma's orders. 
33 "Atlas" / "Atlas Birth"
"Atorasu Tanjō" (アトラル誕生) 
April 20, 2003March 10, 2004
Dr. Tenma builds Atlas, a robot just as powerful as Astro. When Atlas begins to destroy Metro City, Astro must find a way to stop him. Astro discovers his true origins and a new ability that might cause tension in a city where anti-robot sentiment continues to grow. 
44 "Astro vs Atlas" / "Atom vs Atlas"
"Atomu tai Atorasu" (アトムVSアトラス) 
April 27, 2003March 11, 2004
Astro faces his past when his memory circuits are reactivated, and he remembers how he was activated and ultimately rejected by Dr. Tenma. Tenma even rebuilds Atlas to be strong enough to defeat Astro. 
55 "Destination Deimos" / "Atom in Space"
"Atomu uchū he iku" (アトム宇宙へ行く) 
May 4, 2003March 15, 2004
On Deimos, one of the two moons on Mars, robot miners ignore the orders of their human foreman and mysteriously begin digging on their own. Dr. O'shay goes on a spacecraft to get to Deimos to investigate and finds out that Astro snuck aboard. 
66 "Into Thin Air" / "Thunderbolt"
"Denkō" (電光) 
May 11, 2003January 31, 2004
A gangster name Skunk tricks a special robot name Denkou to steal and do his evil bidding. It's up to Astro to save Denkou before Skunk does something terrible to her. 
77 "Rainbow Canyon" / "Save the Robot Farm!"
"nōjō wo sukue!" (ロボット農場を救え!) 
May 18, 2003February 7, 2004
A girl name Mimi needs Astro's help to save her farm at Rainbow Canyon because of her grandfather's weather tower and it's creating lots of terrible storms by someone Mimi trusted. 
88 "Neon Express" / "Neon Express"
"Robotto chō tokkyū" (ロボット超特急) 
May 25, 2003March 18, 2004
When a mysterious person name Kato hides a hyper-accelerator virus on the robotic super train Neon Express, it sends the train and it's passengers speeding out of control. Astro must rescue the passengers and prevent the train from crashing into the center of Metro City. 
99 "Franken" / "Franken"
"Furanken" (フランケン) 
June 1, 2003March 22, 2004
A mysterious robot terrifies humans as he hunts for scrap metal parts and uses them to rebuild his own malfunctioning system. 
1010 "The Venus Robots" / "Venus Robots Invasion"!
"Kanaboshi robotto shūrai!" (金星ロボット襲来!) 
June 8, 2003March 23, 2004
In order to take advantage of their special freezing powers, Dr. Tenma pretends to be the long-awaited leader of a group of advanced robots call The Venus Robots and use them to do his evil bidding. 
1111 "Jumbo Revived!" / "Reviving Jumbo"
"Yomigaetta Janbo!" (蘇ったジャンボ!) 
June 15, 2003March 31, 2004
1212 "Robot Hunters" / "Dark Robot Hunters"
"Yami no Robotto Hantā" (闇のロボットハンター) 
June 22, 2003March 23, 2004
1313 "The Rise of Pluto" / "The Strongest Ground Robot"
"Chijō saikyō no robotto" (地上最強のロボット) 
July 6, 2003April 1, 2004
1414 "The Fall of Acheron" / "The Dead Brute"
"Burūtou wa shinazu" (ブルートウは死なず) 
July 13, 2003April 1, 2004
1515 "Dragon Lake" / "Monster Lake"
"Mizūmi no kaibutsu" (湖の怪物) 
July 20, 2003April 5, 2004
1616 "Lost in Outland" / "Lost Memory"
"Ushinawareta kioku" (失われた記憶) 
July 27, 2003March 25, 2004
1717 "Deep City" / "Dr. Moshimo's Tears"
"Moshimo namida o nagasetara" (もしも涙を流せたら) 
August 3, 2003March 29, 2004
1818 "The Blue Knight" / "The Blue Knight Appears"
"Aokishi tōjō" (青騎士登場) 
August 10, 2003March 30, 2004
1919 "Hydra-Jacked" / "Crisis of the Universe's Plant"
"Uchū puranto no kiki" (宇宙プラントの危機) 
August 17, 2003April 6, 2004
2020 "Geo Raider" / "Exploring the Underground"
"Chitei tanken" (地底探検) 
August 24, 2003April 6, 2004
2121 "Secret of the Blue Knight" / "Secret of the Blue Knight"
"Aokishi no himitsu" (青騎士の秘密) 
August 31, 2003March 24, 2004
2222 "Robot Circus" / "The Robot Circus Arrives!"
"Robottosākasu ga yattekita!" (ロボットサーカスがやって来た!) 
September 7, 2003April 26, 2004
One of the members of a robot circus, Reno, is actually a human boy disguised as a robot. When this is discovered, the authorities try to take the boy away from his robot family. 
2323 "Little Sister, Big Trouble" / "The Birth of Uran"
"Uran tanjō ウラン誕生" (ウラン誕生) 
September 14, 2003March 25, 2004
2424 "Micro Adventure" / "Adventures of Micro"
"Mikuro no Daibōken" (ミクロの大冒険) 
September 21, 2003April 26, 2004
2525 "Only a Machine" / "Population's intelligence protection!"
"Jinkō chi nō wo mamori re!" (人工知能を守れ!) 
September 28, 2003March 29, 2004
2626 "Robot Boy" / "Robot Boy"
"Robotto Bōi" (ロボットボーイ) 
October 5, 2003April 6, 2004
2727 "Dawn of the Techno Revolution" / "Eternal Boy"
"Eien no shōnen" (永遠の少年) 
October 12, 2003May 26, 2007
2828 "The Legend of Tohron" / "Goodbye Princess"
"Sayonara Purinsesu" (さよならプリンセス) 
October 19, 2003March 30, 2004
2929 "March of the Micro Bears" / "Bear-chan"
"Bea-chan" (ベアちゃん) 
October 26, 2003June 2, 2007
3030 "Old Dog, New Tricks" / "Detective Higeoyaji"
"Mei tantei higeoyaji" (名探偵ヒゲオヤジ) 
November 2, 2003March 30, 2004
3131 "The Case Of The Phantom Fowl" / "The Detective and Uran"
"Uran to mei tantei" (ウランと名探偵) 
November 9, 2003June 9, 2007
3232 "Gideon" / "Gunon's Adventure"
"Gūnon no dai bōken" (グーノンの大冒険) 
November 16, 2003April 30, 2004
3333 "Fairy Tale" / "Fairy Tale"
"Yōsei monogatari" (妖精物語) 
November 23, 2003June 16, 2007
3434 "Shape Shifter" / "Deformation of Mupi"
"Henkei seimei mūpī" (変形生命ムーピー) 
November 30, 2003June 23, 2007
3535 "Firebird" / "Atom vs. Rock"
"Atomu tai Rokku" (アトムVSロック) 
December 7, 2003June 30, 2007
3636 "Space Academy" / "Robots in Love"
"Koisuru robotto" (恋するロボット) 
December 14, 2003July 7, 2007
3737 "Atlas Strikes Back" / "Atlas Strikes Back"
"Atorasu gyakushū" (アトラス逆襲) 
December 21, 2003July 14, 2007
3838 "Battle-Bot" / "Emily's Wish"
"Eimī no negai" (エイミーの願い) 
December 28, 2003July 21, 2007
3939 "Time Hunters" / "Time Hunters"
"Taimuhantā" (タイムハンター) 
January 11, 2004July 28, 2007
4040 "Escape from Volcano Island" / "Robot Hatred"
"Robotto-girai" (ロボット嫌い) 
January 18, 2004August 4, 2007
4141 "Avalanche!" / "Giant Record"
"Kyojin no kiroku" (巨人の記録) 
January 25, 2004August 11, 2007
4242 "Battle of Steel Island" / "Battle of Steel Island"
"Tekkō shima no tatakai" (鉄鋼島の戦い) 
February 1, 2004August 18, 2007
4343 "Undercover" / "Robot Longing for a Human"
"Ningen ni akogareta robotto" (人間に憧れたロボット) 
February 8, 2004August 25, 2007
4444 "Into the Dragon's Lair" / "To the Dragon's Forest"
"Ryū no mori e" (龍の森へ) 
February 15, 2004September 1, 2007
4545 "Night Before the Revolution" / "The Eve of the Revolution"
"Kakumei zenya" (革命前夜) 
February 22, 2004September 8, 2007
4646 "Robotonia" / "Founding Robotonia"
"Robotonia kenkoku" (ロボタニア建国) 
February 29, 2004September 15, 2007
4747 "Showdown in Robotonia" / "Decisive Battle! Robotonia"
"Kessen! Nankyokutairiku" (決戦!南極大陸) 
March 7, 2004September 22, 2007
4848 "Journey to Tomorrow" / "Journey to Tomorrow"
"Ashita e no tabidachi" (明日への旅立ち) 
March 14, 2004September 29, 2007
4949 "Astro Reborn" / "Atom's revival"
"Atomu fukkatsu" (アトム復活) 
March 21, 2004October 6, 2007
5050 "The Final Battle" / "Final Showdown"
"Saigo no taiketsu" (最後の対決) 
March 28, 2004October 13, 2007

Theme songs



  1. "True Blue" by Zone
  2. "Now or Never" by Chemistry meets M-Flo


  1. "Boy's Heart" by Fujii Fumiya
  2. "Mighty Atom" (鉄腕アトム Tetsuwan Atomu) (A remixed version of the original theme song.)



  1. "Astro Boy Opening Theme" by William Anderson


  1. "Astro Boy Ending Theme"



  1. "True Blue" by Rainie Yang, cover version of the Japanese one

Hong Kong


  1. "Fly" (滿天飛 Mǎntiānfēi) by Candy Lo, Cantonese cover version of "True Blue"


  1. 1 2 "Astro Boy DVD news: Announcement for Astro Boy (2003) - The Complete Series -". Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  2. "Astro Boy: The Complete Series". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on 4 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
  3. "Astro Boy (2004): Season 1, Episode 1 "Power Up!": Movies & TV". Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  4. "Astro Boy (2004): Season 2, Episode 1 "The Blue Knight": Amazon Video". Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  5. "アストロボーイ・鉄腕アトム 第9回 2003年6月1日放送 #9 フランケン - フジテレビ". Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  6. "Theatrical : ANIMATION/Film :". Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  7. Battaglio, Stephen (January 6, 2004). "RETURN OF THE RISING SON WB 'Astro Boy' based on first anime series". New York Daily News.
  8. Bertschy, Zac (2003-06-06). "Astro Boy (2003) review". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-10.
  9. Breznican, Anthony (2009-07-21). "Astro Boy will fly into theaters in a blast from cartoon past". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  10. "FOR YOUNG VIEWERS; An Icon of Animation and His Atomic-Powered Adventures Boy'". New York Times. 2004-02-08. Retrieved 2010-08-12.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.