Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tokyo Anime Fair Tezuka Cosplay

Thanks to Anime News Network, take a look at these pictures from the 2009 Tokyo International Anime Fair of some Tezuka character cosplayers. I'm not sure, but I think these are promotional costumes, not fans dressed up. Above you can see a female Black Jack, and there are a few other cool characters as well. Click the link below to read on for more.

Black Jack Again.

Dr. Kiriko

Princess Sapphire.

Melmo. Take a close look at the flier she's handing out.

Continue reading "Tokyo Anime Fair Tezuka Cosplay"...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Official Movie Website Updates

Some major new additions have been made to the Official Astro Boy movie website. A high quality version of the second teaser trailer is available for viewing there, as well as HD and iPod versions.

Also new is a whole bunch of cool stuff in the Download section. There are new wallpapers in many sizes, animated icons, and a screen saver.

This illustrated design on the wallpaper to the right is an image from the Astro Boy movie style guide, which means you will probably find it and others like it on things like shirts, bed sheets, or other licensed products that tie in to the movie's release.

Continue reading "Official Movie Website Updates"...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


What a way to start a new day with some HUGE updates on the upcoming CG Astro Boy movie by Imagi.

First off, we've got a new poster for the US market. Very mysterious and cool. Makes the film look like something more than just another animated kids' movie. It's very classy and I like it!

Next, we've got a brand new trailer. This one gives us more of a look at the story, the setting, and some of the characters. There is some narration and we also get to hear a bit of the voice acting too! It's much more robust than the original teaser trailer.

Right now the trailer is streaming in the US via Hulu, but is unavailable there for international viewers. But, I found an alternative source!

Thanks to Cinema Beacon! This is the only screen resolution I can find right now. I'll update when higher quality versions come out.

There's lots of imagery to take in here, but something special stood out to me right away. Look at around the 1:00 mark. Notice a familiar face? That's a CG version of Osamu Tezuka! Imagi's Felix Ip tells me that he's one of the scientists who works with Dr. Tenma and Dr. Elefun. It was a hope of mine that Tezuka would be seen as a character in this movie, and there he is!

This new poster and trailer are generating a lot of buzz! More updates as they develop!

UPDATE: Yahoo Movies now has high quality versions of this trailer up for viewing. Thanks to Nekrosoma for the tip.

Continue reading "NEW TRAILER AND POSTER"...

Early Astro Marketing in Asia

Felix Ip of Imagi brings us a look at how the upcoming CG Astro Boy movie is being promoted at special industry events in Asia.

Here are images of Imagi's set up at the Hong Kong Film Mart.

And here is the display for the movie at the 2009 Tokyo International Anime Fair.

Plus, also from the Tokyo International Anime Fair, here's a peek at Imagi's Gatchaman movie!

Continue reading "Early Astro Marketing in Asia"...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I guess I have to write about "Twilight"

Never thought I'd have to do this, but here we are.

The DVD of the film version of "Twilight", the apparently popular, somewhat vampire-esque story, is now available in North America.

I'm sure you're all so excited!

But why am I posting about this here? Well, Astro Boy is listed as one of the previews included in this release. The upcoming CG animated film from Imagi is being distributed by Summit Entertainment, which also distributes Twilight.

So, now when you buy or rent your sparkly copy of Twilight so you can have a slumber party and gossip about the Jonas Brothers or whatever it is you kids do these days, you can watch a preview for Astro Boy too. It might just be the best thing you see for awhile.

Continue reading "I guess I have to write about "Twilight""...

Who is Strongest?

A poll held by Japanese web portal "goo" recently tried to answer the epic question of who is the strongest character in the world of anime and manga.

Of course, to no one's suprise, the highest ranking character was Goku from the Dragon Ball series. But, not to be denied, Astro Boy ranked in at a respectable 6th place. Other high ranking characters include Doraemon, Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star, Goku's son Gohan, Luffy from One Piece, and Golgo 13.

You can see the results of this poll in English thanks to Gigazine.

One could analyze and over-analyze the results of this poll (like how Goku could rank higher than Gogeta, who should logically be more powerful), but I don't particularly care enough to do that. I do think it's cool that Astro, as well as other classic characters, are still considered to be powerful despite being created many years ago.

Continue reading "Who is Strongest?"...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Diego Jourdan ROCKS!

Check out these 3 preview pages from the upcoming Astro Boy movie "prequel" comic set to be released by IDW with artwork by Diego Jourdan (although Diego tells me it's not actually a prequel, but whatever).

Looks like this is shaping up to be real fun book! I am loving the look of this!

These images originally come from Diego's Webpage, so be sure to check it out. Thanks to Al for the tip!

Continue reading "Diego Jourdan ROCKS!"...

Bill Nighy Talks Astro

The Japan Times has an interview with British actor Bill Nighy, who is promoting the film "Valkyrie" for its Japanese release. Of course, Mr. Nighy is also a cast member of the upcoming CG animated Astro Boy movie from Imagi, and will be preforming the part of Dr. Elefun (Ochanomizu). Here is a segment from the interview of about his involvement in the film.

Possibly Nighy's best-known role internationally is as the pirate captain Davy Jones in two of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. For Nighy, though, such high-profile Hollywood forays into "foreign" territory are by no means over yet.

That's because, in October, 2009, Columbia Pictures (a unit of Sony Entertainment) will release the movie version of Japan's boy hero, Astroboy, in what's currently titled "Metro City."

A reported combination of animation and live action, the film will feature Freddie Highmore as the voice of Astroboy, who debuted in a 1951 comic strip by "father of manga" Osamu Tezuka. Then, in 1963, a Japanese TV cartoon version enjoyed international success, and Astroboy was brought back in the 1980s — by then as an anime (Japanese animation) icon — and also in 2003.

After that, Sony paid a hefty fee for the right to make a film of the story of the boy robot who was created to replace a scientist's son who was killed in a car accident. Like any comic strip superhero, Astroboy spends his time fighting bad guys, mostly other robots and also aliens from outer space.

How did Nighy get involved in this unusual project?

"Sometimes I ask myself the same question. You absolutely cannot plan your career in the movies. If you try, you'll be constantly frustrated. But every now and then, someone comes knocking on your door, not literally, but you receive an offer for a project — the Astroboy, 'Valkyrie' — and you have to wonder. And you're thankful, because it turns out to be something rather stupendous."

However, the actor is barred, along with the rest of the cast, from giving away hardly anything about the Astroboy project. But he did say: "This film isn't just for children, although most of them will be delighted by it. I think adults will have a very good time watching this, according to what I've seen of it, whether or not they view it with a child in attendance."
I think there may be some mistakes in this article. Sony was once attached to an Astro Boy movie, but to my knowledge is not involved in either the production of this film nor its distribution in Japan. And I haven't heard anything about the film being called "Metro City" anywhere, so I don't put much stock in that. Despite these errors on the part of the original writer, It's a decent interview with a great actor, and I'm really looking forward to hearing what the good Doctor sounds like!

You can read the entire article on The Japan Times Online.

Continue reading "Bill Nighy Talks Astro"...

Monday, March 16, 2009

JUSTICE Returns!

Here is some artwork I did a few months ago as a sequel to my "Justice League of Anime" piece, this time using my own composition. Of course, Astro appears with other famous anime characters as my own interpretation of the classic super hero team concept!

ANIME JUSTICE LEAGUE RETURNS by ~ninjatron on deviantART

Please leave your comments if you like it, and check out my original Justice League of Anime artwork if you haven't seen it already.

Due to popular demand, I will be drawing an Anime Injustice Gang piece as well some day, and I'm looking for suggestions as to which evil anime characters you'd like to see! Read my deviantART Journal post for more info.

If you like my artwork and want to see what else I'm up to, check out my personal website, SykoGrafix.com

Continue reading "JUSTICE Returns!"...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tokiwa-so Monument

Did you know that some of the most famous and influential manga artists of all time actually lived in the same place? It's true!

It was an apartment building called Tokiwa-so, and among its inhabitants were Osamu Tezuka, Cyborg 009 creator Shotaro Ishinomori, and Doraemon creators Fujio Akatsuka and Fujiko Fujio. They would share their work and push each other to become better artists in the creative environment.

The picture at the right is a drawing of some of the creators who lived at Tokiwa-so. I scanned it myself from the book "Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics" by Fred Schodt, which has a lot of information about this time period in manga history.

Now, although the building no longer exists, a monument is being set up near the sight where it once stood, which will honor the creators who once lived there.

The Yomiuri Shimbun has the story. You can read "Ward to erect monument at site of famed manga artists’ home" at the Daily Yomiuri Online or click the link below for an archived copy

TOKYO / Ward to erect monument at site of famed manga artists' home

The Yomiuri Shimbun

A sign stating that the Tokiwa-so building once stood in the area

A Tokyo ward plans to celebrate the achievements of such manga giants as Osamu Tezuka, Shotaro Ishinomori and Fujio Akatsuka by erecting a monument at the site where an apartment building where they lived once stood.

Tokiwa-so, which formerly stood in the Minami Nagasaki area in Toshima Ward, was home to many young manga artists keen to learn from their peers and attracted by the presence of Tezuka--who moved into the building in 1953.

Tokiwa-so was demolished in 1982 due to age, and new buildings were developed on the site.

"We haven't done much to publicize Tokiwa-so until now," an official of the ward's culture and tourism division said.

Besides erecting a monument, the ward plans to hold an exhibition.

To celebrate the many famed manga artists who once lived in Tokiwa-so, many related municipalities, including Takarazuka in Hyogo Prefecture, Tezuka's hometown, have built museums and memorials.

Toshima Ward has held several manga-related events at local museums, but has never considered such a memorial until now.

However, the ward official said the current fiscal climate made it financially unfeasible to profile the achievement of each of the manga artists.

Following a request from a local community association in December 2007, the ward decided to erect a monument at a cost of about 6.2 million yen.

The monument, which will be erected in a park near the Tokiwa-so site, is scheduled to be unveiled April 4.

It will be 1.7 meters high and 1.3 meters wide and feature autographs and self-portraits of 10 artists and a picture of Tokiwa-so prior to its demolition.

The top of the memorial will depict a miniature reproduction of the apartment building based on residents' recollections.

"There probably aren't that many municipalities which have been fortunate enough to have such a collection of famous manga artists," a ward official said.

The ward also plans in late October to hold an exhibition to re-create a Tokiwa-so room to display fusuma sliding doors featuring the writing of many artists, including Akatsuka.

The ward hopes to differentiate its activities from other similar ideas by concentrating on the lives of the artists themselves, rather than focusing on the characters they created.

It also is considering the possibility of developing the Zoshigaya area to publicize the apartment where Tezuka lived after moving out of Tokiwa-so in 1954.
(Mar. 15, 2009)

Continue reading "Tokiwa-so Monument"...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Astro Anime Short

Yeah, there's going to be a brand new Astro Boy anime. But before you get too excited, understand that it's only going to be 18 minutes long, and it basically a vehicle to sell music. Anime News Network says:

The Daily Sports newspaper reports on Thursday that ravex, a new musical unit attached to the Avex label, will ship a special 18-minute Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom/Mighty Atom) anime short with its debut album, trax, at the end of April. Tezuka Production is collaborating on this anime based on the robot boy created by the studio's namesake, manga and anime pioneer Osamu Tezuka. The anime short will be on a special extra DVD bundled with the trax album.

As "another story" set after the end of the original manga, this what-if "Return" plot depicts what happens to the title character after his final act to save Earth. After drifting in space, the robot boy is rescued by the three members of ravex, and he is miraculously revived — not by Tezuka's Black Jack surgeon character, but by "Space Jack." The newly evolved robot boy will be named "Ratom." The Princess Knight and other Tezuka characters will appear in this all-new story. Musical artists BoA, Maki Goto, Anna Tsuchiya, Tohoshinki, and TRF are contributing to the album, and an event is planned at Tokyo's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation on April 10. The album marks Avex's 20th anniversary and what would have been Tezuka's 80th birthday.
A preview of the anime is now streaming on the ravex website. You can see many characters including both Atom and the redesigned "Ratom", Melmo, Sapphire, Tink, and more. Here's a YouTube copy I put up for posterity.

There are some clips of music videos on the ravex visual page, some of which are using classic Tezuka animation.

I had heard about some kind of crossover between the Avex music label and Tezuka Productions some time ago, but couldn't really figure out what it was exactly. Even disregarding the fact that all the info is in Japanese, I just don't get it. I'm out of my element on this one.

Anyway, I don't like to editorialize in my news posts, but I have to say that as cool as it is to see a new Astro anime being released, it seems more like a marketing ploy to me. That in itself isn't necessarily so bad, as I'm sure the intention is to get the music loving audience and the Tezuka fanbase to cross-pollinate, but this case leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Piggy-backing off of the end of the Astro Boy manga to introduce a musical act with a bunch of Tezuka characters in what basically looks to be a big dance-athon is kind of tasteless, in my book. It could have been done without bringing in an established storyline like that. But I'll watch it anyway and hopefully it'll be entertaining.

Astro Boy Returns in 'Another' Anime After Manga's End
Astro Boy/Ravex Anime Short's Promo Video Streamed

Continue reading "New Astro Anime Short"...

Uran Tin Toy. Probably.

Here is what looks like a large, classic tin toy of Uran. Or a cross dressing Astro. The face doesn't really look like Uran, but I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be her. What with the dress and all.

This is on display at the "Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys" Museum in Singapore.

Picture found at The Likkle Girl Who Wurves Pwetty Things blog. There are more interesting toy pictures there, but be warned, some of them are not "Politically Correct".

I'm not posting about that freaky unlicensed Astro costume. If you don't know what I'm talking about, be glad. Be very, very glad.

Continue reading "Uran Tin Toy. Probably."...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Report from WonderCon

Sci Fi Wire brings us the details on the Summit Entertainment panel at WonderCon this past weekend, where a clip from the upcoming CG animated Astro Boy movie from Imagi was screened. Basically it was the same clip that played at NYCC a month earlier.

The clip began with Astro Boy falling (apparently out of a window), plummeting quickly toward Earth. As he falls, flames shoot out of his feet. He has a bit of difficulty adjusting to his new power but quickly masters it (it will remind you of the scene from Iron Man when he first tries out his suit). He flies all over town, the flames from his feet cooking an underdone steak at a restaurant. As he bursts through the clouds (in a scene that recalls another superhero film about a man in a cape) and revels in his new ability, he says, "Wow! This is cool! I have to show Dad."
Read "Astro Boy trailer unspools at WonderCon" via Sci Fi Wire for the whole story.

Continue reading "Report from WonderCon"...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

AstroBoy World - 1st Anniversary!

It was on this day, March 1st, one year ago, that AstroBoy World first opened! Hard to believe that a year has already past, but it's been an exciting and fun journey thus far.

When I started this blog, it didn't occur to me at the time just how much there would be to post about. I figured I'd be posting news every once in awhile and write some other content to pad things out. Well, there has been a lot more to write about than I ever would have expected! It just goes to show you how important and relevant the work of Osamu Tezuka still is today. Even if we were to ignore any news about the upcoming animated Astro Boy movie, there's still plenty of new information about Astro and Tezuka coming out all the time!

To celebrate the occasion, I have added 5 new random title images, for a grand total of 20. See if you can discover them!

Thanks to everyone who has visited AstroBoy World. I invite you all to continue to visit and to leave your comments. I might not be able to respond to them all, but I do read them and I appreciate every single one. I also want to give a special thanks to Felix Ip from Imagi for supporting ABW since day one.

I started ABW because I thought that the Internet was missing a one-stop Astro Boy fan-site that was updated often. I'm not an expert, and I don't have access to top-secret info, but since I love the subject of classic anime, I figured I should try to fill that gap myself. I hope that I've been able to to that, and that it's been fun and entertaining for all of you. These next few months leading up to the release of the film promise to be very interesting, and AstroBoy World will be there every step of the way. There might just be a few special surprises too!

Continue reading "AstroBoy World - 1st Anniversary!"...