Monday, June 29, 2009

60's Astro & Kimba DVD Mini-Sets This Fall

Just in time for the upcoming Astro Boy movie animated movie from Imagi, the classic 1960's anime that started it all will be making its return to DVD, this time in the form of affordable mini-sets. 2 sets, each containing 5 disks, will be released this fall. But they won't be alone! Also set for release at the same time is a mini set for Tezuka's Kimba the White Lion anime.

Each set contains at least 25 episodes and retails for about $50 US. They feature the same remastered footage that was found in the previously released Ultra Edition DVD collections, but will likely not contain any of the special features. These episodes are in English only, so there is no Japanese audio with subtitles, however that can be forgiven in this case because the original Japanese episodes are pretty much impossible for anyone to obtain.

The original release date was going to be September 29th, but now all 3 of these DVD-Mini sets are currently scheduled for release on October 6th. Start saving your pennies now for a major does of retro Tezuka anime this fall from The Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment!

Click the link below for full press releases, including cover art, UPC codes, and all the details on these sets.

ASTRO BOY DVD Mini Sets 1 & 2 for October 6, 2009

GRIMES, IA, June 23, 2009 – Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and Nozomi Entertainment are pleased to announce ASTRO BOY DVD Mini Set 1 and ASTRO BOY DVD Mini Set 2 will be released on October 6, 2009.

One of the “50 Best Anime Ever”
“as entertaining now as when it first aired”
- Anime Insider

Based on Osamu Tezuka’s acclaimed manga (comic), Astro Boy was both the first modern, 25-minutes-per-episode anime series created specifically for television and the first anime series to air on TV in the United States, during the 1960s. The original boy-robot continues to be an icon to fans wordwide and also inspired the new CG-animated Astro Boy movie, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters on October 23, 2009.

Frederik L. Schodt – Order of the Rising Sun recipient and author of The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution – describes the series’ everlasting appeal among fans of all ages:

“It all started with Astro Boy. By animating his hugely popular “Mighty Atom” manga in 1963, Osamu Tezuka created the template for Japan's modern and gargantuan manga/anime industry. Today the series is still entertaining, charming, and fascinating for the sophistication of its ideas. But it also reveals how the anime boom began, and is a must-watch for all true anime fans.”

Each mini set features episodes from the original 1963 Astro Boy series, as it aired on television, with an English-language audio track.

Visit for more information about Astro Boy and to view the trailer, download desktop wallpapers, and listen to an interview with Mr. Schodt about the significance of Dr. Tezuka’s works worldwide, the differences between the Astro Boy manga and its anime adaptations, and Tezuka’s relationship with his best-known creation.


In a future where science fiction is reality, Dr. Boynton creates a super-robot in his deceased son’s image. Named Astro Boy, the robot can swim oceans, leap over mountains and even fly into space – but he can’t replace the doctor’s son. Abandoned and disowned, soon Astro Boy is befriended by Dr. Packadermus J. Elefun of the Institute of Science, and together, they embark upon an amazing adventure. With super strength, rocket-powered flight, a selfless heart and a kind demeanor, Astro Boy fights a never-ending crusade against the forces of evil!

Pre-Book: 8/25/2009
Street Date: 10/06/2009
Runtime: Approximately 550 minutes, Mono, Black and White
Genre: Adventure / Sci Fi / Retro Television
Suggested Rating: All Ages

Format: DVD (English Audio)
Catalog #: RSDVD0715
ISBN: 1-57032-773-4
UPC: 7-42617-0715-2-2
SRP: $49.99

Discs/Set: 5
Case Qty: 16

DVD Features:
Contains episodes 1-25 of the original Astro Boy series! Scene access and English-language audio.

* Cover Art:

ASTRO BOY © Tezuka Production Co., Ltd./Mushi Production Co., Ltd.

Pre-Book: 8/25/2009
Street Date: 10/06/2009
Runtime: Approximately 594 minutes, Mono, Black and White
Genre: Adventure / Sci Fi / Retro Television
Suggested Rating: All AgesFormat: DVD (English Audio)
Catalog #: RSDVD0727
ISBN: 1-57032-770-X
UPC: 7-42617-0727-2-7
SRP: $49.99

Discs/Set: 5
Case Qty: 16

DVD Features:
Contains episodes 26-52 of the original Astro Boy series! Scene access and English-language audio.

* Cover Art:

ASTRO BOY © Tezuka Production Co., Ltd./Mushi Production Co., Ltd.

** Product specifications and content may be subject to change.

Currently celebrating its 21st year in business, Right Stuf, Inc. was one of the first players in the U.S. Japanese Animation ("anime") industry, as both an anime producer/distributor and a retailer. Right Stuf works to promote knowledge of its own products, as well as the anime and manga industry, in general, through its online storefront at and a variety of media including podcasts and special publications.

Nozomi Entertainment, Right Stuf’s production division, is dedicated to the highest quality releases. True to the Japanese word that inspired its name, Nozomi’s focus is on “what fans want.” By focusing on a limited number of anime properties each year, the Nozomi production team ensures each release receives the care and attention to detail it deserves.

From anime classics like Astro Boy, Kimba and Gigantor to modern comedies, dramas and favorites such as The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, His and Her Circumstances, Gravitation, Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars, Ninja Nonsense, To Heart, The Third: The Girl With the Blue Eye, Emma: A Victorian Romance, Maria Watches Over UsARIA, Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment produce quality programming for fans of all ages and interests. For more information, visit and


KIMBA: THE WHITE LION DVD Mini Set 1 for October 6, 2009

GRIMES, IA, June 23, 2009 – Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and Nozomi Entertainment are pleased to announce the KIMBA: THE WHITE LION DVD Mini Set 1 will be released on October 6, 2009.

“truly worth watching” – Anime News Network
“Justifiably beloved by many” – Anime on DVD at

The mini set features the first 25 episodes of Kimba: The White Lion, as it aired on television in the United States, with remastered video (from the previous Ultra Edition collection) and an English-language audio track.

From Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy and one of Japanese animation’s great pioneers, Kimba: The White Lion was one of the first anime classics to air on American television, in the 1960s, and the very first Japanese animated series to be broadcast in color.

Visit for more information about Kimba and to view the trailer and download desktop wallpapers.


Kimba's enchanting adventures of friendship, jungle survival and harmony return… Ready to be introduced to a whole new generation of fans! Join Kimba along with his pals Pauly the Parrot, Daniel Baboon, and a charming assortment of other loveable characters, as he follows in the footsteps of his late father, the great lion king, making the jungle a safer, better place for everyone to live. Each masterfully restored episode is presented in order according to Osamu Tezuka's original storyline. Contains episodes 1-25 of the original Kimba series!

Pre-Book: 8/25/2009
Street Date: 10/06/2009
Runtime: Approximately 550 minutes, Mono, Color
Genre: Adventure / Retro Television
Suggested Rating: All Ages

Format: DVD (English Audio)
Catalog #: RSDVD0716
ISBN: 1-57032-774-2
UPC: 7-42617-0716-2-1
SRP: $49.99

Discs/Set: 5
Case Qty: 16

DVD Features:
Scene access and English-language audio.

* Cover Art:

KIMBA © Tezuka Production Co., Ltd./Mushi Production Co., Ltd.

** Product specifications and content may be subject to change.

Currently celebrating its 21st year in business, Right Stuf, Inc. was one of the first players in the U.S. Japanese Animation ("anime") industry, as both an anime producer/distributor and a retailer. Right Stuf works to promote knowledge of its own products, as well as the anime and manga industry, in general, through its online storefront at and a variety of media including podcasts and special publications.

Nozomi Entertainment, Right Stuf’s production division, is dedicated to the highest quality releases. True to the Japanese word that inspired its name, Nozomi’s focus is on “what fans want.” By focusing on a limited number of anime properties each year, the Nozomi production team ensures each release receives the care and attention to detail it deserves.

From anime classics like Astro Boy, Kimba and Gigantor to modern comedies, dramas and favorites such as The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, His and Her Circumstances, Gravitation, Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars, Ninja Nonsense, To Heart, The Third: The Girl With the Blue Eye, Emma: A Victorian Romance, Maria Watches Over Us and ARIA, Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment produce quality programming for fans of all ages and interests. For more information, visit and

Source: ToonZone - TV Shows on DVD

Continue reading "60's Astro & Kimba DVD Mini-Sets This Fall"...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Astro Boy 2003 DVD Singles Delayed

Gasp! Oh no! Whatever shall we do? The effortless repackaging of Sony's 2003 Astro Boy anime on single DVDs has been delayed from its originally scheduled August 18 release date.

While a new date has not been officially announced, a distributor is currently listing September 15 as the day these disks will go on sale.

Anyway, don't expect the delay to be because of any legitimate reason, like adding the original Japanese audio or resorting the full picture to widescreen. It's more likely they are just delaying these disks to gain better market positioning for the upcoming animated movie by Imagi.

Thanks to TV Shows on DVD, we have a look at the front and back cover art for these disks. I've mirrored the images right here in the link below. As you can see, the specs indicated that there is no Japanese audio, no widescreen, and thus there shall be no buys from this ninja. Oh well.

Click for larger views.

Continue reading "Astro Boy 2003 DVD Singles Delayed"...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Soaring to New Heights

A great new article about the upcoming Astro Boy animated movie from Imagi has hit the web. It seems to have a unique focus meant for readers in Brazil and Argentina.

There is some discussion of how dark the movie is going to be, the challenges in getting it right, and some of the technical issues used in bringing Astro Boy to the world of animated film.

You can read "Animation to soar to new heights with 'Astro Boy'" on Google News or click the link below for an archived version right here.

Animation to soar to new heights with 'Astro Boy'

By Paula Bustamante

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Astro Boy, the mythical Japanese cartoon character that has captivated generations of young people worldwide, will come out this year as an animated film by British director David Bowers.

"Without a doubt, this experience has been one of greater creative freedom. A lot of my robots, for example, were inspired by pre-Colombian characters," said Luis Grane, the film's Argentine character designer.

The animated feature is based on the popular Japanese cartoon series by Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989), known as the "god of manga" in its heyday in the 1960s.

"The biggest challenge with recreating Astro Boy was the protagonist, because he had to meet the approval of not only the director, but also Tezuka's son," said Grane, who worked for six years at US film studio DreamWorks before collaborating on "Spider-Man 2," "The Matrix" and animation powerhouse Pixar's "Ratatouille."

"Without a doubt, Astro Boy required more time. We had to negotiate with Tezuca's people, the size, the clothes, everything," added Grane, who jokingly did not rule out creating a cartoon in the future on Argentine football star Diego Maradona, known as the "Hand of God."

The Astro Boy film is being crafted at Imagi Animation studios on the outskirts of Los Angeles, where a few scenes were shown to reporters from the project, the largest animated feature undertaking since "TMNT," the 2007 Ninja Turtles blockbuster.

Bowers, of "Flushed Away" fame, said the feature, which debuts on October 23 in the United States and between January and February 2010 in Argentina and Brazil, follows the original story.

"With Astro Boy we're being really faithful to the story, we're working with Macoto Tezuka, Osamu Tezuka's son, who we brought on to make sure we're doing everything right," Bowers said.

"To me it's a family film and like a lot of family films has darker elements, because the story of Astro Boy is pretty sad and dark.

"We worked very, very hard to make sure that it was emotionally, dramatically terrific and as well to be respectful with this important Icon for the Japanese culture."

While Bowers and Timothy Harris took just six weeks to complete the screenplay, production has been underway since 2007 in co-operation with hundreds of animators in Hong Kong, who help the team work 24 hours a day.

Like Grane, Spain's Pepe Valencia joined Imagi Animation in 2007 to work exclusively on "Astro Boy," for which he serves as director of photography.

"With fewer technological resources than the major studios, 'Astro Boy' allowed me to create my own style, my own visual language to help bring the same rhythm as an action film, said Valencia, who headed digital design for "The Polar Express," "Monster House" and "Superman."

The cinematographer's technical acumen is on display in "Astro Boy," with scenes showing the protagonist flying at full speed, facing villains or disappearing in the skies, all executed with camera movements often facilitated by meticulous computer work.

"I have not been inspired by anything or anyone in particular. I just wanted to test my new experiences and techniques learned on the job," said Valencia, who is launching his own preview film studio.

The film recounts the beginnings of the boy robot with human feelings who undertakes a journey in search of his identity before returning to futuristic Metro City to reconcile with his estranged creator, genius scientist Tenma, who is voiced by Nicolas Cage.

Joining Cage in the cast are Kirsten Bell (Cora), Nathan Lane (Ham Egg), Donald Sutherland (General Stone) and 17-year-old Freddie Highmore, known for his title role in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," as Astro Boy.

Continue reading "Soaring to New Heights"...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

High Voltage Astro Game Interview

Here is a great video interview from E3 with a producer from High Voltage Software, who is talking about the upcoming Astro Boy video game, which is set for release this fall from D3 Publisher.

There is a fair bit of detail about the game's features, inspirations, and challenge level here. One thing that's quite interesting is that Astro will have the ability to absorb his enemies' projectiles, which he uses to heal himself.

Check out the video below! Thanks to TRUEGAMEHEADZ!

Source: Nintendo Raw

Continue reading "High Voltage Astro Game Interview"...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dr. Tenma

Hey, today was Father's day, after all.

Dr. Tenma is the scientist who created Astro to replace his dead son. He's portrayed differently in different versions of the story. Sometimes he is a cruel father who purposely abandons Astro after realizing that a robot can never replace a human child. Other times he is shown in a more regretful light, accidentally losing Astro after getting frustrated with him. In the 2003 anime series, Tenma is the main villain, and a very over-the-top one at that. His portrayal develops into a truly crazed mad scientist who wants robots to conquer the world, and wants Astro to lead them. He even plays the pipe organ in his secret lab! That's pretty evil right there.

It is said that in the upcoming CG animated movie from Imagi, the story is set up so that Dr. Tenma doesn't come across as that bad, and will have a more sympathetic tone in his portrayal. So I wouldn't expect any pipe-organs in that (though they could surprise us, I suppose).

My personal favorite portrail of Dr. Tenma is the "Astro Boy: Omega Factor" video game for Game Boy Advance. In it, Tenma starts out as something of a mysterious villain who makes Astro fight other robots, but eventually Astro discovers that Tenma abandoned him because he knew that Astro was destined for greater things, to act as the bridge between robots and humanity, going much further than just acting as a replacement for his dead son. But you'll have to play the game to see how that happens!

You can read more about Dr. Tenma on Wikipedia.

What is your favorite take on Dr. Tenma? Should he be a misunderstood genius who made a mistake, a mean old scientist who doesn't care about his own creation, or a crazy supervillain who wants to see the world burn? Perhaps you'd like to see other takes on the character. I'm interested in reading what you thinj, so hit up the comment section below and leave your feedback!

Continue reading "Dr. Tenma"...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Astro Movie Images

Two new images of the upcoming CGI Astro Boy movie from Imagi have hit the Internet in a big way. Click for a closer look.

Here's a close up of Astro trying out his arm cannons.

And here we see the Peacekeeper, looking like he's crashing President Stone's press conference.

It's looking good!

Source: Sci-Fi Wire

Continue reading "New Astro Movie Images"...

Tezuka's Dark Masterpieces

I recently stumbled upon this great article about two of Osamu Tezuka's darker, more adult works of manga, Apollo's Song and MW. It's a great introduction to who Tezuka was and to the nature of these mature stories, which have now become available in English.

The article is from last year and for some reason has only now popped up on my radar, so it's a little outdated. No matter because the information within it is a great read.

Check out "Dark Masterpieces: Classic Works by Tezuka Now Emerge in English" on or click the link below to read an archived version.

Dark Masterpieces: Classic Works by Tezuka Now Emerge in English

Osamu Tezuka played such a central role in Japanese comic books (manga) and animation (anime) that he is often called the Asian Walt Disney. Tezuka himself cited "Bambi" and other Disney works as inspiration, while his most famous creation, "Astro Boy" (1952-68), bears an uncanny resemblance to Mickey Mouse.

Fair enough. But if you pick up either "MW" or "Apollo's Song," both among this year's Eisner Award nominees, don't expect "Snow White" or "Little Mermaid" with a Japanese accent.

Instead, expect a revelation. Read separately or together, these graphic novels make a case for Tezuka as Disney's superior in producing page-turners that are also provocative morality tales.

Tezuka (1928-1989) died almost 20 years ago, but the bulk of this prolific artist's work has yet to be translated into English. His dozens of manga series ran the gamut from science fiction to historical epics, from works aimed at children to the risque "Cleopatra: Queen of Sex." His eight-volume "Buddha" is a triumphant master class in how to weave religious themes into a suspenseful, fast-moving biography. He could be a man of his times in the worst ways: The "African" characters in his early works are embarrassments — and in the best: His World War II childhood informs the five-volume "Adolf," a fierce critique of Japan in the 1930s and '40s.

But Tezuka could also be ahead of his time, as we see in "MW," written between 1976 and 1978, but only now published in English translation. Father Garai is a Tokyo-based Catholic priest with a male lover, Michio Yuki, a bank executive who moonlights as a mass murderer. Garai is guilt-stricken about betraying his vows of celibacy — but even more by his inability to halt his lover's crimes, which may be rooted in nerve damage caused when both men were exposed to a chemical weapon, MW.

"MW" is as melodramatic as a soap opera, but one told with Dickensian sweep. Chapters delve into office intrigue, party politics, Shinto ceremonies, Catholic theology and love affairs, both straight and gay. Garai, wavering between duty and desire, is a complex character, at once frustrating and sympathetic.

While Tezuka is often lauded for his universalism, "MW" also reflects the resurgent nationalism that led many to question Japan's subservience to the United States.
The chemical weapon of the title is stockpiled on Japanese soil by Nation X "to inflict mass casualties in Vietnam and Laos." At the story's climax, Yuki steals MW and hijacks a jet, intending to kill millions. Police track Yuki to Nation X's Japanese base, but are turned away by a general whose uniform looks suspiciously American.

"Forget it!" the general snarls. "The base is our jurisdiction! I can't let you enter!"

"Where's our sovereignty!" cries a Japanese detective.

While not as radical in its plot line or politics, "Apollo's Song" will never inspire a Disneyland ride. The book begins with millions of anthropomorphic sperm racing to reach "the queen." This 1970 work is about the long odds against perfect love — and the never-ending quest for the ideal partner.

The son of a bar girl and one of her casual liaisons, Shogo Chikaishi is a sadist who delights in tormenting couples. In a dream, a goddess reveals that Shogo will lose his heart to a woman, but death will prevent the consummation of their love — a fate they will suffer over and over, as they are reincarnated through the ages.

Shogo and his beloved, Hiromi, meet in a Nazi concentration camp. They are castaways on a remote island in present-day Tokyo, and in the not-too-distant future. When Shogo insists he cannot continue loving and losing, the goddess' words reveal that Tezuka sees his doomed characters as bittersweet stand-ins for all of us.

"Thou shalt see her again soon. In every era, in every world, she shall await you."

Vertical is the latest American publisher to sample Tezuka's wares (Dark Horse and Viz are other members in this fraternity). These are handsome editions, most featuring covers designed by Chip Kidd, a graphics guru for books. Earlier this year, Vertical expanded its Tezuka offerings with the first two volumes of "Dororo," a samurai-and-sorcery tale. The final "Dororo" is due next month, while "Black Jack," tales about a renegade doctor, will begin appearing in September.

Tezuka's work has some dated touches, and this may prevent "MW" or "Apollo's Song" from winning Eisners. But for crafting entertaining tales with strong, adult plots and characters, he deserves (and seems to have won) the ultimate prize: an enduring readership.

To find out more about Peter Rowe and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


Continue reading "Tezuka's Dark Masterpieces"...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CG Astro Movie Promo Video

Hey, It's my birthday! And look what I got for a present. It's a new promotional video for the upcoming Astro Boy animated movie from Imagi. Here we get a brief overview of Astro's history and enduring popularity, a look at the film's cast, some work-in-progress animation, and a short interview with the voice of Dr. Tenma, Nicolas Cage, who explains why Astro is such an important character.

Please keep in mind that this video was likely never meant to be viewed by the general public. In all likelihood this is a promotional video used to drum up interest with potential license partners, or something along those lines. There is some copyrighted music that is, quite obviously, not going to be in the movie. I think I heard some of the score from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and a little Star Wars too.

The part that says "As Iconic as Mickey Mouse" is missing the following bit of text that should be there. It should say "...but 1 billion times cooler because he shoots lasers out of his fingers." Just thought I'd add that here to make up for this clear omission in the video.

Source: Twitch

EDIT: My YouTube copy of this video got taken down due to copyright claim by Imagi. It may or may not still be viewable here. If not, you can probably still find it elsewhere. Sorry!
I'm not in business to break any copyrights or make anyone mad. But if there's a story that's already out there, then I have to report it.

Continue reading "CG Astro Movie Promo Video"...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

2003 Single Disk Press Release

Following up on the news that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will be releasing the 2003 Astro Boy anime again, this time as 5 single disks, here is the press release, straight from the source.

You'll notice how they go out of their way to make it sound all cool and new, when it's really just the same content as the 5 disks that comprised the previously released box set, which they didn't do a very good job on in the first place. The press release even says "Debut on DVD". What...? Are you kidding?

Anyway, click the link below to read the whole thing. It has the episode listings and UPC numbers, so maybe that'll be helpful to someone who's looking to pick these up.


Popular Anime Series Based on the Original Comic By The Father Of Manga, Osamu Tezuka. All Five Volumes of the Anime Series, Each with 10 Action-Packed Episodes, Debut on DVD August 18

CULVER CITY, CALIF. (June 15, 2009) – Blast off with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment when Astro Boy™: The Anime Series, Volumes 1-5 come to DVD on August 18. The anime series based on the legendary Japanese comic series by Osamu Tezuka, known as the Japanese Walt Disney, is now available in five separate collectible volumes and priced to own just in time for the new feature film. Astro Boy™: The Anime Series, Volumes 1-5 follows an atomic-powered robot who is a reluctant superhero possessing super strength, jet-rocket feet and the ability to fly. Inspired by the anime series that originally aired in Japan in 1960, Astro Boy™: The Anime Series, Volumes 1-5 was updated and modernized in 2003 with state-of-the-art animation and visuals that kept the same classic style as the original “Astro Boy” manga and anime. The series debuted on the Kids WB Network in 2004. Each volume, sold separately, contains ten episodes priced at $14.94 SLP.

Astro Boy is a clever and resourceful atomic-powered robot. A reluctant flying superhero with super strength and jet-rocket feet, he possesses a human-like personality and fights for justice and peace for humans and robots alike.

Episodes Included in Astro Boy™: Volume 1:
Power Up!
Rocket Ball
Astro vs. Atlas
Destination Deimos
Into Thin Air
Rainbow Canyon
Neon Express
The Venus Robots

Episodes Included in Astro Boy™: Volume 2
Reviving Jumbo
Robot Hunters
The Rise of Pluto
The Fall of Acheron
Dragon Lake
Lost in Outland
Deep City
The Blue Knight
Geo Raider

Episodes Included in Astro Boy™: Volume 3:
Secret of the Blue Knight
Robot Circus
Little Sister, Big Trouble
Micro Adventure
Only a Machine
Robot Boy
Dawn of the Techno-Revolution
The Legend of Tohron
March of the Micro Bears
Old Dog, New Tricks

Episodes Included in Astro Boy™: Volume 4
The Case of the Phantom Fowl
Fairy Tale
Shape Shifter
Space Academy
Atlas Strikes Back
Time Hunters
Escape from Volcano Island

Episodes Included in Astro Boy™: Volume 5
Battle of Steel Island
Into the Dragon’s Lair
Night Before the Revolution
Showdown in Robotonia
Journey to Tomorrow
Astro Reborn
The Final Battle
Featurette: “Remaking of Astro Boy”

Astro Boy™: The Anime Series, Volumes 1-5 each have a run time of approximately 240 minutes and are not rated.Visit Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on the Web at

DVD Special Features on Each Volume:
- Full Screen Presentations
- Audio: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Stereo)
- Closed Captioned

Astro Boy : Volume 1
DVD Catalog: # 32237
UPC Code: 0-43396-32337-0
Order Date: 7/16/09
SLP: $14.94

Astro Boy : Volume 2
DVD Catalog: # 32238
UPC Code: 0-43396-32338-7
Order Date: 7/16/09
SLP: $14.94

Astro Boy : Volume 3
DVD Catalog: # 32239
UPC Code: 0-43396-32339-4
Order Date: 7/16/09
SLP: $14.94

Astro Boy : Volume 4
DVD Catalog: # 32240
UPC Code: 0-43396-32240-0
Order Date: 7/16/09
SLP: $14.94

Astro Boy : Volume 5
DVD Catalog: # 32240
UPC Code: 0-43396-32241-7
Order Date: 7/16/09
SLP: $14.94

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. SPE is a division of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in more than 100 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at For more info on Blu-ray Disc™, visit

Continue reading "2003 Single Disk Press Release"...

Yet More Astro Game info: Who is Player 2?

The fallout from E3 is still in effect. Siliconera brings us their impressions on the Astro Boy video game, set for release this fall from D3 Publisher and based on the upcoming animated film by Imagi. There is some clarification on how the different ground and air modes will play like, and confirmation that the classic GameBoy Advance game "Astro Boy: Omega Factor" is in an influence on this new game. Some light is shed on the 2 player mode as well.

Here are the highlights.

“Omega Factor was a big influence,” a developer explained. He also cited Ikaruga and Einhander as other games that the team examined when planning Astro Boy: The Video Game. In the air Astro blasts mechs with his finger laser. On the ground Astro has his butt machine gun. I mostly saw the sky stages where enemies flew at Astro in patterns that reminded me of Gradius.

D3’s game also has a cooperative two player mode. Instead of making player two Uran or Astro’s doofus brother Cobalt, both players control Astro. So, I guess one player gets Astro’s long lost clone brother.

So, by the sounds of this, it looks like there will be two Astros in this game. It's probably best not to think about the logistics of that.

Read "D3’s Astro Boy Game Inspired By Omega Factor" on Siliconera.

In other news, D3 Publisher now has a small Astro Boy section on their website.

Continue reading "Yet More Astro Game info: Who is Player 2?"...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Astro Game Video Interview

Gametactics managed to score some face time with a representative from D3 Publisher at E3 last week and get a first hand look at the upcoming Astro Boy video game, based on the animated movie by Imagi set for release this fall. Check out the video interview below.

"A classic game for a new audience" - Sounds good to me! I absolutely think that is the best approach for this character.

Check out the full scoop at the Astro Boy preview.

Continue reading "Astro Game Video Interview"...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tezuka Art Biography - This Fall!

All I can say is: It's about time!

Finally, an Osamu Tezuka art biography book for English speaking fans is on the horizon, thanks to publisher Abrams ComicArts and writer Helen McCarthy. Here is the official description.

Osamu Tezuka has often been called “the god of manga” and “the Walt Disney of Japan,” but he was far more than that. Tezuka was Walt Disney, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Tim Burton, and Carl Sagan all rolled into one incredibly prolific creator, changing the face of Japanese culture forever. Best known for Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion, Tezuka was instrumental in developing Japanese animation and modern manga comics.

The Art of Osamu Tezuka is the first authorized biography celebrating his work and life and featuring over 300 images—many of which have never been seen outside of Japan. With text by respected manga expert Helen McCarthy, The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga pays tribute to the work of an artist, writer, animator, doctor, entrepreneur, and traveler whose curious mind spawned dozens of animated films, and over 170,000 pages of comics art in one astonishingly creative lifetime.

The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga also includes an exclusive 45-minute DVD documentary covering Tezuka’s prolific career, from his early manga characters to his later animation work.

About the Author
Helen McCarthy is the author of eight books about Japanese animation and comics, including the first book in the English language devoted to anime: Anime! A Beginners Guide To Japanese Animation (1993). She is also the curator of the Osamu Tezuka Film Festival at London’s Barbican Centre.
To say that something like this should be on the shelf of every serious fan of anime and manga would be a huge understatement. Let's hope that the final product will be as good as it aught to be. Considering the people involved, I see no reason why it shouldn't be. The additional DVD is an incredible bonus, especially since there really isn't much of anything else out there in terms of English-language video about Tezuka to fill that gap.

The book is set to be available this October and will retail for about $40 US. You can get a jump on securing your copy of the book, possibly save some money, and help support this website by clicking on the Amazon link to the right to pre-order your copy now.

Continue reading "Tezuka Art Biography - This Fall!"...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2003 Anime Single Disk Re-Release

The 2003 Astro Boy anime is being released again on DVD in North America to capitalize on the interest in the character being generated by the upcoming animated movie by Imagi. The initial 2005 release contained the complete series in one box set. This time, each of the 5 disks comprising the box set will be available individually for a SRP of $14.94 US a piece. It seems that the complete box set may also be offered to retailers again as well.

TV Shows on DVD has the scoop. The image to the left is intended for retailers, not actual customers.

These 5 individual volumes are likely not going to be any different from the 5 disks that comprised the box set. No Japanese language option and no widescreen equals fail in my book. But if any kids see the movie and really like the character, these could be a great gift. Expect to find them on store shelves August 18th of this year.

EDIT: I just noticed that the ad mentions the Astro Boy movie is "from the people who brought Twilight to theaters. UGH! While technically true, it seems like a completely random point to bring up! That's just... why?

Continue reading "2003 Anime Single Disk Re-Release"...

More Astro Movie-Buzz

Trendhunter Magazine and Clevver TV have recently given the upcoming Astro Boy animated movie some attention. There's nothing really new here but it's cool to see a bit of mainstream coverage of the film months before the real hype machine will likely start rolling.

Trendhunter has this to say about the Astro movie posters.

Blasting off on October 23, 2009, Astroboy (the movie) is coming to a theatre near you.

Created in 1952 by Osamu Tezuka, and later becoming a Japanese TV show in 1963, Astroboy is considered by some to be the first anime.

These ambiguous movie posters were a great idea because there are generations of people who are familiar with the character. We all know who he is!
And here is a video from Clevver.

Continue reading "More Astro Movie-Buzz"...

Astro & Gatchman at Licencing Expo

Thanks to IGN, here are a few pictures of a booth promoting Imagi's upcoming animated Astro Boy and Gatchaman films at the Licensing International Expo, which was last week in Las Vegas.

You can read a short article about Imagi at the Licencing Expo here. It focuses on Gatchaman, which is now slated for theatrical release in 2011.

Continue reading "Astro & Gatchman at Licencing Expo"...

Friday, June 5, 2009

More E3 Astro Video Game Coverage

Check out the trailer for the upcoming Astro Boy video game, developed by High Voltage Software and set for release this fall from D3 Publisher.

The game has been getting quite a bit of coverage, mostly with a positive outlook on it, which is suprising for a movie tie-in game. We can now confirm that this game is indeed being influenced by "Astro Boy: Omega Factor". Here are some of the gaming sites that have covered the game thus far. You may find some screen shots or new tidbits of information there.

Digital Chumps

All the coverage I've found has been for the Nintendo Wii version of the game. The PS2 and PSP versions are likely to be much the same, gameplay wise. However, I have yet to find any new info on the Nintendo DS version, which is developed by a different company and will likely be a completely different game entirely.

I am glad to see that the game will be a simple 2D platformer rather than anything else. Not only does that style of game lend itself well to Astro Boy's personality, but every year there are so many licensed games that try to be too much, totally miss the point, and don't turn out very good. It remains to be seen how good this game will wind up being, but at least this way there's a pretty good chance that we'll be playing a decent game this fall.

Continue reading "More E3 Astro Video Game Coverage"...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Astro Boy Video Game at E3!

The Electronic Entertainment Expo is happening right now in LA, and the world of video games is abuzz with all of the bombshell announcements and playable demos that have come out of the show.

D3 Publisher is on hand with our very first look at the Astro Boy video game, and it is looking good! 30 levels of 2.5D, left-to-right platforming and shooting action on the Wii. From the look of the screen shots, it's looking like the now classic GameBoy Advanced game "Astro Boy: Omega Factor" may have been a big influence. This new game also uses the same engine as High Voltage Software's anticipated release "The Conduit", so you know it's going to look great on Nintendo's little white box. There's even a 2 player mode!

Most movie-based games don't turn out very well, but Astro Boy certainly has some promise. It'll be released in October, right along with the movie. You can read more info and see some some screen shots thanks to Gaming Nexus E3 2009 coverage, or by clicking the link below for archived coverage right here.

E3 2009: D3
Posted by: John at 6/3/2009 12:53 AM
At the D3 area in the Namco booth, I was shown a few titles that tied into movie and TV shows. Astroboy is a movie coming out in a few months and High Voltage was brought in to bring the game based off the movie to life. The game, which is slated for the Wii, PS2, PS3, and DS, uses the same engine as The Conduit but turns it into a side scrolling platform game. It’s a 2.5D game where you have a left to right action but set in a 3D environment.


Astroboy is easy to pick up so it’s accessible for all range of age groups and gamer experience. Besides melee attacks, Astroboy also has a drill attack, arm cannon, finger laser, and the popular butt machine gun. Yes, Astroboy shoots bullets in a circular motion from his butt. It’s always a crowd pleaser.

The game has four difficulty levels ranging from easy and for those that are hardcore gamers wanting a challenge. There are 30 levels comprised of both material inspired by the movie and all new content. The levels aren’t just side scrolling platform style game as I was shown an R-Type like flying sequence with Astroboy. The one really unique feature of the flying sequence was seeing Metro City rotate around in the background. It was really smooth and unique looking to a side scrolling shooter.

When you encounter enemies in Astroboy, some may look the same but the color they exhibit tell you what kind of attack they can do. For example, an enemy with green will throw grenades while those same enemies in blue will carry a machine gun. It’s a system that can benefit kids who will know what kind of enemies they are based on the color scheme.

If you got a friend, the person can pick up a controller and join in as a second Astroboy. It’s nice to be able to cooperatively play with someone. While there aren’t any hard-coded team attacks, you can use Astroboy’s basic abilities to setup some tag teaming.

High Voltage as taken great care to keep the iconic image of Astroboy. No matter which way he’s facing, you’ll always see the two spikes of his air. They also worked hard to make sure the game is easy to play for everyone and to pay homage to the manga and anime. Look for Astroboy in October to be released with the film.

Source: Gaming Nexus

Continue reading "Astro Boy Video Game at E3!"...

Animation Upstarts

The New York Times has a new article about the next wave of globally produced animated feature films being created by smaller companies will smaller budgets, but are still making big waves.

Of course, among these so-called animation upstarts is Imagi, and their upcoming animated Astro Boy movie gets a great mention in the article.

One interesting tidbit of info is revealed here. McDonald's will have a promotional tie-in with the Astro Boy movie. Get ready for Astro Happy Meals this fall!

You can read "Animation Upstarts Are Joining the Fray" on the New York Times website (registration required) or by clicking the link below for an archived version.

LOS ANGELES — “Planet 51,” a forthcoming computer-animated movie about an astronaut who discovers happy green people, has the game maker Sega and HarperCollins signed up as promotional partners. Hollywood stars (Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel) lend their vocal talents. Online chatter about the film is notably positive.

The latest from Pixar? Try the inaugural effort from Ilion Animation Studios, an upstart film company in Spain. Hardly anyone in Hollywood has heard of Ilion, but here it comes with a big-time distributor (Sony), a high-profile release date (Thanksgiving) and a kids’ meal tie-in (Burger King).

Computer animation, once one of the most isolated corners of Hollywood, is rapidly becoming one of the most crowded. With the cost of computer animation coming down because of advances in technology and soaring box office receipts for family films, a broad range of new animation players are entering the multiplex.

In 2009 14 animated movies — most of them computer-generated — will have a wide release, compared with 8 such films in 2005. Pictures from independent producers like Imagi Studios, which has “Astro Boy” lined up for an October release, are competing with the likes of “Up,” from Pixar, and “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” set for release on July 1 by 20th Century Fox. Sony’s own computer-animated movie, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” is scheduled to open on Sept. 18.

“I have lots of respect for Disney and DreamWorks, but I think we are going to easily compete in this marketplace,” said Erin Corbett, president of Imagi Studios USA. “Astro Boy,” based on the popular Japanese manga and television series, is about a young robot with incredible powers.

Even the big boys are ramping up production. Last week DreamWorks Animation said it would increase its output by 20 percent, delivering five films every two years. Coming titles include “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Puss in Boots,” a prequel to the “Shrek” franchise.

When “Toy Story” had its debut in 1995 as the first feature-length computer-animated movie, the new look of the medium was captivating in and of itself. But this filmmaking style is becoming less special as more of it hits the big screen, movie executives say, forcing giants like Pixar and DreamWorks to keep inventing to stand out.

Few would confuse “Planet 51” with one of Pixar’s films — noted for their highly original stories and lavish production values — or a DreamWorks release, which boast A-list stars and dazzling action sequences. “Planet 51” cost about $70 million to produce, according to Ilion, compared with $160 million for the average DreamWorks title.

The independent production companies entering the market just don’t think computer-animated films need to cost that much.

“Pixar and DreamWorks films end up being very expensive because they have to invent it,” said Keith Calder, president of Snoot Entertainment, whose first animated film, “Battle for Terra,” was released in May. “What they do — breakthroughs in rendering hair and water — trickles down to us at reduced cost.”

In addition to leading the way in technology, the Walt Disney Company has inadvertently given a boost to newcomers by eliminating its Happy Meal partnership with McDonald’s as part of a children’s health initiative. So guess who has a major partnership with the fast-food chain? “Astro Boy.”

It’s easy to see what all these upstarts are chasing. In 2008 4 of the top 10 movies at the box office were computer-animated films (“Wall-E,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” and “Horton Hears a Who!”), which are easier for studios to control than their live-action counterparts.

And the medium is showing signs of expanding beyond the kiddie market. The success of video games has resulted in a generation of adults who are comfortable consuming animated entertainment, Hollywood executives say. One indication: “Coraline,” the sophisticated 3-D picture about an adventurous girl, found an adult audience, so far selling $85.2 million in tickets.

Disney will test this part of the market with “Ponyo” on Aug. 14. This Hayao Miyazaki film is centered on a 5-year-old boy’s friendship with a goldfish that wants to be human. “Sophisticated stories coupled with powerful imaginations and beautiful animation appeals to everyone,” said Kathleen Kennedy, who is co-producing the English version of the film.

Ignacio PĂ©rez Dolset, the chief executive of Ilion, is well known in Europe for his work with video games. Mr. Dolset, via Pyro Studios, introduced its first game title, “Commandos,” in 1998. It reached No. 1 in 17 countries, selling more than 1.5 million copies. He formed Ilion in 2002 and announced “Planet 51” three years later, developing more than 100 computer applications along the way. About 400 people, based mostly in Madrid, have been toiling on the movie.

“Planet 51” tells the story of a cheery American astronaut who lands in a world filled with characters, landscapes and attitudes that bear a humorous relation to the 1950s. Joe Stillman (“Shrek” and “Shrek 2”) wrote the script; Jorge Blanco directed with Javier Abad. (The title is a nod to the secretive military base in Nevada known as Area 51.)

“The film is a recognizable world, yet one that is so unique that we see franchise opportunities everywhere,” Mr. Dolset said. “Around every corner is a new piece of business.”

George Leon, the studio’s executive vice president for worldwide consumer marketing, said, “The quality of animation is truly extraordinary, and we are blown away by the storytelling.”

Of course breaking into this market is easier said than done, something Mr. Calder knows all too well. “Battle for Terra,” distributed by Lionsgate, sold a disastrous $1.6 million in tickets — total — for its theatrical run, even though it got some positive reviews. Mr. Calder blamed the competition. “We learned it is very hard to open against an X-Men sequel,” he said.

“Igor,” the first feature from Exodus Film Group, opened last September to better results, making $29.5 million in its run, but still fell far short of a hit, although DVD sales were stronger. Exodus will try again this year with its forthcoming “Bunyan & Babe,” a computer-animated film based loosely on the Paul Bunyan folk tales.

“We learned with ‘Igor’ that a long and consistent and strong marketing campaign is a requirement for a family title,” said John D. Eraklis, chief executive of Exodus. “The nag factor is a very real thing.”

Continue reading "Animation Upstarts"...