In an exclusive Variety (entertainment news website) report it was announced that Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy (1963) is getting a 3DCG reboot series directed by Thomas Astruc (creator of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir) and produced by Monaco-based Shibuya Productions and Mediawan’s Method Animation.
The ambitious series will have a whopping 52 episodes and Astro Boy’s world will be updated to include things like the Internet and Social Media, and also have episodes focusing on current issues, such as climate change/global warming.
Important themes, including the relationship between man VS nature, and values such as pacifism and respect that the manga is known for, will also be a part of this new anime reboot. The reboot boasts a crew of animators from around the world, including Japan and France.
It is a huge responsibility to revisit the legendary character of Astroboy. The people working at Method Animation are an ambitious and passionate team that will allow us to take this series to new heights.
Cedric Biscay, the president and CEO of Monaco-based banner Shibuya Productions said in a Variety Interview (Variety.com)
Astro Boy, known in Japan by its original name Mighty Atom, is a sci-fi fantasy Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka. From 1952 to 1968, the manga was serialized in Kobunsha’s Shonen magazine. The manga’s 112 chapters were collected into 23 tankobon volumes by Akita Shoten.
The combined volumes have sold over 100 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time! In 2002, an English version of the manga was published by Dark Horse Comics.
A robot boy struggles to discover what it means to be human
Astro Boy’s story begins when Dr. Tenma’s son dies in a car accident and he decides to create a robot to replace him. The doctor becomes disillusioned by the fact the robot boy never ages and has trouble controlling his robotic powers. This leads Dr. Tenma to decide to sell Atom to the owner of a Robot Circus. Luckily, Atom is soon rescued by the kind-hearted Dr. Ochanomizu.
With Dr. Ochanomizu’s help, Atom begins to find his true purpose in life as a hero. He helps deal with rogue robots, criminals, goes on space missions, and even finds the time to go to school. Atom is guided by his teacher Shunsaku ‘Higeoyaji’ Ban, his friends, his sister Uran, and the rest of his robot family.
Thomas Astruc will bring a new and innovative take on Tezuka’s work. Astroboy is so universal and contemporary that we are not only developing a reboot, but a consistent continuum in the full respect of the original universe.
Aton Soumache, founder and president of Method Animation said in a Variety Interview (Variety.com)
Astro Boy embodied the aesthetic that later became known as “anime”
In 1963, the Astro Boy manga inspired Japan’s first full-fledged half-hour television anime series by Mushi Productions (later known as Tezuka Productions). Also in 1963 Fred Ladd re-edited and re-dubbed the Tetsuwan Atom anime and this was the first anime to air in North America. Astro Boy embodied the aesthetic that later became familiar worldwide as “anime”.
In 1980, a color television series adaptation titled New Mighty Atom (known as Astroboy in some countries) aired. Later, in 2003, there was an Astro Boy remake. In November 2007, pop-culture icon Astro Boy was dubbed Japan’s “envoy” for overseas safety. On October 23, 2009, an American computer-animated film based on the original manga series was released.
In October 2019, a French-Japanese animated spin-off series titled Go Astro Boy Go! premiered. In 2014, a joint production between Tezuka Productions and Nigerian television station Channel TV created a television animation project.
The success of the manga and anime series Astro Boy led to it becoming a major media franchise that spawned films, soundtracks, video games, and a variety of merch: action figures, collectible figurines, food products, clothing, stamps, and trading cards. This would set a trend for other anime to follow in its footsteps. The franchise generated $3 billion in merchandise sales by 2004.
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