Monday, April 27, 2009

Post #200!

In just over 2 years, AstroBoy World has hit 200 posts!

I hope I've managed to both inform and entertain you all. Big thanks to everyone who reads the site frequently and to those who have left their comments.

Things have been quite busy for me lately, and will continue to be busy for the next little white, so sometimes it's tough to find the time to post. This past month I've been occupied with some artwork for TFCon, the Canadian convention celebrating those other awesome robots, Transformers. Now that the convention is over, I turn my attention to my jobs teaching drawing and trying to put a portfolio together while juggling some other responsibilities, while preparing for the next convention, Anime North in Toronto (where I will be speaking as a panelist. More on that later). So if there are some weeks where posting is sparse, I apologize. I've done my best to keep up with everything but sometimes I can't get to something right away or might miss out on something entirely. I'll do my best to catch up.

However, I do have some very cool stuff to post soon, including an interesting exclusive, so stay tuned for more.

Let's go for 300!

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Tezuka's Buddha and Princess Knight Anime Movies!

More Tezuka movies are on the way!

Tezuka Productions has announced that both Tezuka's Buddha and Princess Knight (Ribbon no Kishi) will be getting the feature film treatment in the form of two new anime movies. These films could be released as early as next year.

Princess Knight has been animated before through a 1960's anime series as well as an earlier movie in 1994. But Tezuka's manga interpretation of Buddha has never been animated. It will be very interesting to see how these films turn out. I'll be keeping an eye on them!

Source: Japantor - Anime News Network

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Astro hits YouTube in a Big Way

Haven't seen any Astro Boy anime yet? Well, now you might not have an excuse!

Every single episode of the English version of both the 1980's and 2003 Astro Boy anime series is now officially avaiable on Youtube, for free and 100% legal. These aren't bootlegged episodes uploaded by fans and split into 3 parts. These are the real deal, in good quality, strait from the legitimate source. You'll just have to suffer through the mild discomfort of watching some ads to enjoy them.

You can watch watch the 80's series here thanks to Manga Entertainment and the 2003 series here thanks to Crackle. Both of these series seem to be based directly on their respective R1 DVD releases.

As is the often the case with streaming video, there may be region lock-out issues preventing you from watching. I am in Canada and I can watch the 80's series perfectly, but can not watch the 2003 series at all (same as with Hulu). But, for those of you who can watch, you're in for a treat.

Thanks to Dragonrider1227 from the Astroboy Online Forums for the tip!

Now, who will complete the trifecta and bring us an official way to watch the 60's Astro Boy anime too?

Continue reading "Astro hits YouTube in a Big Way"...

Look who's Twittering.

Astro Boy animated movie director and all around English guy David Bowers has got a page on Twitter. He hasn't dropped any huge bombshells about the movie that I can find, but he does occasionally mention it as well other topics that are on his mind.

To celebrate I have included with this post a potentially embarrassing photo of a somewhat grumpy looking Mr. Bowers with a CG Astro. I found it some time ago and have been saving it for a special occasion. Does this guy ever smile or what?

(Just kidding, David. Don't hurt me.)

Thanks to Astroterry on the AstroBoy Online Forums for the tip.

Continue reading "Look who's Twittering."...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Japanese Movie Official Website

For those who have not seen this yet, make sure you check out the official Japanese website for the CG animated Astro Boy movie by Imagi. The film will be released in Japan by Kadokawa and is simply called "Atom".

There is a different trailer that is very unique in tone when compared to what we've seen thus far. It certainly has a subtle, understated, Japanese flavor to it. Can anyone translate? Kanji o yomimasen. Gomen nasai.

Not much else there yet but it's something to keep an eye on as we move ever closer to the film's anticipated release!

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More about Tezuka's Desk

Japan Today beings us another new article about the exhibition in Tokyo featuring Osamu Tezuka's work desk. Other items will be featured as well, including a drawings done on a ceiling panel from the famous "Tokiwa So" apartment.

Despite all the coverage of this event, I have yet to actually find any pictures, so I am once again forced to resort to this manga drawing of Tezuka and his desk, drawn by Tezuka, possibly at the very desk everyone is talking about.

You can read "Astro Boy creator Tezuka's sketches in spotlight at Tokyo exhibition" at the Japan Today website or by clicking the link below for an archived copy.

Astro Boy creator Tezuka's sketches in spotlight at Tokyo exhibition

Saturday 18th April, 04:31 AM JST


Memorial sketches by legendary Japanese ‘‘manga’’ comic artist Osamu Tezuka and his work desk will be among the items on display to the public for the first time at a commemorative exhibition commencing Saturday in Tokyo. The exhibition comes as the work of Japan’s pioneering postwar manga artist is drawing attention prior to the release this October of ‘‘Astro Boy,’’ a computer-generated Hollywood film featuring Tezuka’s signature creation.

Tezuka used the steel work desk at his home in Tokyo to draw a number of manga stories, according to Tezuka Productions Co, an atelier he set up.

Another item on display is a wooden board bearing Tezuka’s sketches telling a little-known story about Tezuka’s friendship in the 1980s with a news reporter who was covering the police beat at the time, according to Mika Suzuki of the atelier.

Suzuki is producing the exhibition titled ‘‘The 80th Anniversary of Tezuka Osamu: Messages to the Future’’ at the Edo Tokyo Museum.

The board used to be a ceiling panel in Tezuka’s now demolished ‘‘Tokiwa So’’ apartment, where he lived in 1953. The apartment provided a home for Tezuka and other manga giants such as Fujio Fujiko, who authored the popular comic featuring feline robot Doraemon, and Shotaro Ishinomori.

After Tezuka and the reporter learned that the apartment was going to be demolished, the reporter took the ceiling panel as a memento and Tezuka drew some sketches of the main characters from his manga stories on it.

The whereabouts of the ceiling panel had been unknown but the organizers of the exhibition recently learned that it was in a workroom for the press at Ikegukuro Police Station, Suzuki said.

The exhibition also features Tezuka’s early works such as ‘‘Diary of Ma-chan,’’ which he wrote while attending university, and a comic he drew during his childhood called ‘‘Pinpin Sei-chan.’’

‘‘We’re hoping that at least 120,000 people will visit the exhibition (during the two-month period),’’ said Yuko Eriguchi, curator of the museum.

Tezuka, who was born in November 1928 and graduated from Osaka University with a medical degree, left a rich legacy as a manga master, animator and producer before his death in 1989.

Continue reading "More about Tezuka's Desk"...

13th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Winners Announced

The Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, given to manga in Japan that best exemplify Osamu Tezuka's approach, has been awarded for this year, and history has been made. For the first time ever, there are two Grand Prize winners. They are Ōoku: The Inner Chamber by Fumi Yoshinaga and A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. As previously reported here, Drawn & Quarterly has published an English version of A Drifting Life and you can read a preview of it, capturing a scene where the author meets Osamu Tezuka, thanks to Words Without Borders.

Read the rest of Tezuka Cultural Prize winners and nominees thanks to Anime News Network.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

iPhone gets Tezuka Manga

Exciting news for Japanese speaking iPhone owners. Read on!

The software distributor Yappa has announced on Monday that it is releasing an application for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch mobile devices to distribute its Weekly Tezuka Osamu Magazine. Every Tuesday, the application will update with about 100 pages from Mighty Atom (Astro Boy), Phoenix, and other titles from the manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka. The application and the manga installments themselves are in Japanese, but the application is available in Apple's App Store outside Japan. The application and the weekly issues will be free for six months. A version compatible with Microsoft Windows Mobile devices is planned for the future.

The first weekly issue includes manga installments of Mighty Atom, Phoenix, Black Jack, Dororo, and Under the Air. The next issue will go online on April 21 with Princess Knight, The Crater, and Rainbow Parakeet. Despite Tezuka Productions' recent efforts to add color to its founder's manga in free digital form, Yappa's initial manga lineup is in the original black-and-white except for the "cover" pages. The online magazine is part of the ongoing 80th anniversary celebration of Tezuka's birth. Dark Horse Comics, Vertical, and Viz Media have all released Tezuka's manga in North America. IMAGI's computer-animated film adaptation of the Astro Boy manga is slated to open in North America on October 23.
Source: TezukaOsamu LiveJournal via

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Tezuka's Desk

Ever wanted to see where a genius worked? If you're in Tokyo, you've got your chance! Osamu Tezuka's desk is going on display! Read this article from the The Yomiuri Shimbun for more.

Tezuka's work desk to be displayed for 1st time

The work desk at which legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka is believed to have drawn some of his classic works, such as "Black Jack" and "Hi no Tori" (Phoenix), will go on public display for the first time at an exhibition that starts in Tokyo next week.

Tezuka used the regular steel office desk for 20 to 30 years until his death in 1989. Inside the desk drawers were his favorite pair of glasses, notebooks and a vintage stethoscope--a reminder that Tezuka was a qualified physician.

The desk had been left in Tezuka's eight-tatami-mat workroom on the second floor of his home in Higashi-Kurume, western Tokyo, where he had lived since 1980.

According to Tezuka's son Makoto, Tezuka did much of his work at home, and would pull out a futon when he got busy and draw while lying on his stomach.

"When my dad was young, he wasn't very picky about his tools--he even drew on mikan boxes," Makoto said. "I think the simplicity of his beloved desk shows that he lived his life without being too hung up on his tools."

The desk will go on display beginning April 18 as part of an exhibition on Tezuka's work at the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Sumida Ward, Tokyo. The Yomiuri Shimbun is a cosponsor of the exhibition.
Hmm, simple tools, huh? That almost makes me feel bad about buying one of these. Almost, but not quite!

Continue reading "Tezuka's Desk"...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mushi-Pro secretary @ Anime Punch!

The Anime Punch! convention, happening this weekend in Columbus, Ohio has just made this announcement about a very special guest!

COLUMBUS, OH - April 7, 2009

Haruko Nogawa worked for over a decade as a personal secretary to the legendary Osamu Tezuka, the man granted the title of "God of Manga". This weekend at Anime Punch, an anime convention in Columbus, Ohio, she will be sharing her experiences as part of the Tezuka panel hosted by staff of the convention. Although she is unfamiliar with American fandom, and has never been to a convention before, she is excited to talk about her time with Tezuka at Mushi Productions. She will be providing both professional and personal insight to a man who practically founded anime and many of the traditions we still see today. For most American fans this will be a once in a lifetime experience.
Wow, some lucky convention-goers are going to get a chance to meet Osamu Tezuka's secretary. This is a rare chance to get a first hand account of the most important man in the anime and manga history. I hope someone attending can report back about this panel. See more info on the Anime Punch! Guests Page.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Astro. Now let's get CAKE!

April 7th, 2003 is officially recognized as the day when Astro Boy was first activated by Dr. Tenma. That would make him 6 years old today!

You know what that means, don't you?

That means cake!

Last year at around this time I scoured the net looking for images of Astro Boy themed cakes. I can't believe it, but I actually found even more this year in preparation for today. Click the link below to read on and take a look at the wide and often hilarious assortment of Astro-cakes!

Here's a wider shot of the cake with the Astro decoration seen in the image above.

Many more pictures found here.

A simple but well done cake of Astro's face.

Found here.

Now THIS is an Astro-cake! Awesome job, and the space-background is a nice touch!

Found here.

These ones though, not so much. The plastic Astro figures are cool and all, but they're just standing on a blank cake. And what's the deal with the piles of green goo?

Found here.

Now this just might be an ordinary cake, but the clear chibi Astro and the addition of the Uran figure at the top makes it extra special!

Found here.

Why hello there. Just waking up, are we? This one just might be the best realized figural Astro cake I've seen.

Found here.

Cupcakes are cakes too! Tiny cakes.

Found here.

Now this is a very creative and highly detailed cake that features Astro and Uran hanging out with some... fruits and vegetables for some reason. Are all of those things baked into the cake?

Found here.

And finally, I'm just not sure that I could ever bring myself to bite into these tiny little works of art. Astro and Uran cupcakes!

Found here.

I'm pretty sure I've found every Astro Boy cake on the Internet right now. Will I be able to to a feature like this again next year? There's only one way to make sure, and that's for all of you to get baking!

Continue reading "Happy Birthday, Astro. Now let's get CAKE!"...