Friday, March 26, 2010

Save the Alphabets!

Guys, the Alphabets are in danger! We need to help Astro Boy save the alphabets!

Ahh, ok, not really. It's an unofficial online game where you find hidden letters embedded in Astro Boy images. Fun little diversion. Here's a description.
AstroBoy - Find the Alphabets is another point and click find the alphabets type hidden object game from 123peppy. Analyze your power of observation by finding out the alphabets. For each accurate click, score will get increased and for wrong click, score will get reduced. Good luck and have fun!
You can play Astro Boy: Find the Alphabets here.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Original Tezuka Princess Knight Illustration

This original piece of color artwork illustrated by Osamu Tezuka, made in 1978 and featuring Princess Knight, was recently put up for auction on eBay. The bids went all the way past $1000 US but the reserve was not met and thus nobody won the auction.

What an incredible slice of history. Open up those pocketbooks a little wider next time, folks!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Classic Anime to become CG Movies!

Wow! This is huge news!

Powerhouse anime studio Toei has announced plans for 2 CG animated feature films based on some very famous Japanese anime franchises. They are the super robot Daikuu Maryuu Gaiking, and the esteemed individual at the right, Space Pirate Captain Harlock!

Only two words sum up this preliminary image of Captain Harlock: Absolutely Badass! You can see more of Harlock here along with the awesome Gaiking here and the original news here all thanks to Anime News Network.

They are shooting for a wide release including North America and Europe as well as Asia, and are hoping for these projects to spark new life into the anime business. More info will be available at this week's Tokyo International Anime Fair, where the short pilot films will debut to drum up interest.

While this is pretty much unrelated to the Astro Boy movie, as I doubt that film had anything to do with the decision to make these characters into movies, I can't help but to smile a the prospect of more legendary anime series being released as CG features. And if they're looking for more to do after these two, I happen to have a suggestion!

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New Q&A with Freddie

The Ampersand @ The National Post Network has posted a brief question and answer session with Freddie Highmore, the voice of Astro Boy in the movie. There's not much new ground covered here but it's still pretty interesting to read even now that the film is out on video. Here's a sample:
Q: How did you research the role?
A: David Bowers, the director, was very helpful. I took a look at the original comics and met with the film's artists. As the visuals were pretty much in place before I got to add the vocals my job was to bring life to what was already on the screen. If I can make the character real even the action sequences become so much more involving for the audience. At heart, Astro Boy is a robot with amazing super powers who dreams of the human emotions that we all take for granted.
You can read the whole thing here.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Pluto Final Volume

Here's the press release from Viz for volume 8 of Pluto, the final volume of the Astro Boy inspired robot thriller.

VIZ Media Announces the Exciting Finale to PLUTO: URASAWA × TEZUKA Manga Series

VIZ Media will be releasing the much anticipated final volume (Volume 8) of NAOKI URASAWA’S manga masterpiece PLUTO: URASAWA × TEZUKA on April 6th

(Vocus/PRWEB ) March 17, 2010 -- PLUTO: URASAWA × TEZUKA is a modern reinterpretation of the work by the master of Manga, Osamu Tezuka. In an ideal world where man and robots coexist, someone or something is after the seven great robots of the world. Interpol assigns robot detective Gesicht to this most strange and complex case – and he eventually discovers that he is one of the targets!

PLUTO © Naoki URASAWA/Studio Nuts, Takashi NAGASAKI and Tezuka Productions Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan. Based on “Astro Boy” written by Osamu TEZUKA.
PLUTO © Naoki URASAWA/Studio Nuts, Takashi NAGASAKI and Tezuka Productions Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan. Based on “Astro Boy” written by Osamu TEZUKA.
In the final volume Atom is back, and the fate of the earth is in his hands! Now that Atom has all the answers to the unsolved mysteries around Pluto, Bora and more, he's prepared to put everything on the line. With the memory of his fallen brethren – Gesicht, Mont Blanc, North No. 2, Brando, Hercules and Epsilon – etched deeply into his heart, Atom is headed for one last battle to save the world!

Naoki Urasawa's career as a manga artist spans more than twenty years and has firmly established him as one of the true manga masters of Japan. Born in Tokyo in 1960, Urasawa debuted with BETA! in 1983 and hasn't stopped his impressive output since. Well-versed in a variety of genres, Urasawa's oeuvre encompasses a multitude of different subjects, such as a romantic comedy (Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl), a suspenseful human drama about a former mercenary (Pineapple ARMY; story by Kazuya Kudo), a captivating psychological suspense story (Monster), a sci-fi adventure manga (20th Century Boys) and a modern reinterpretation of the work of Osamu Tezuka (Pluto: Urasawa × Tezuka; co-authored with Takashi Nagasaki, supervised by Macoto Tezka, and with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions). Many of his books have spawned popular animated and live-action TV programs and films, and 2008 saw the theatrical release of the first of three live-action Japanese films based on 20th Century Boys.

No stranger to accolades and awards, Urasawa is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award, a two-time recipient of the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, and has received the Kodansha Manga Award. Similarly, MONSTER has been nominated three times for the Eisner Award in America. Urasawa has also become involved in the world of academia. In 2008 he accepted a guest teaching post at Nagoya Zokei University, where he teaches courses in, of course, manga.

PLUTO: URASAWA × TEZUKA is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and has a MSRP $12.99 U.S. / $16.99 Canada. For more information on this and other titles from VIZ Media, please visit www.viz.com.
You can buy the entire Pluto manga series here and help support AstroBoy World in the process.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Astro Boy Astro, Apparently.

Wow, this place has lit up ever since the Astro Boy movie was released on DVD and Blu Ray earlier this week. At one point the Visitor Map was glowing with traffic coming from every corner of the globe. I'm glad to see so many people interested in Astro and I hope that the film gets its proper dues now that it has hit the home video market.

Watching it again on Blu Ray has actually surpassed my experience watching it in theaters. I enjoyed it even more seeing it again all these months later. I'll talk about that another time.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to take screen shots from a Blu Ray, and I'd really like to do that so I can make use new images for the site. Can anyone help with a workaround? The only thing I can do right now is actually take a picture of my monitor.

But now, time for a rant.

One thing I'm really not fond of though is the Canadian releases' insistence of adding French text to the box. Not only is the packaging cramped and ugly, but there's a separate menu where the user picks what language to watch the film in. This menu appears BEFORE the main menu! Why? Well, because Astro Boy isn't called Astro Boy in French. No, the movie has an entirely different name all together.


Yes, that's right. Astro Boy in French is called Astro. And so there has to be a separate menu with its own logo. This logo also appears on the cover and spine of the case. Because, obviously, the titles of this movie are just so totally different when you compare the two languages. Ugh.

Don't mean to offend anybody who speaks French (or who enjoys the sight of cramped text on their movie packaging). It's just a pet peeve of mine. The name of the movie is Astro Boy, not "Astro Boy Astro". The new menu is redundant but it doesn't bother me too much. However, I like collecting movies and I care about these things, so I feel that this should have no permanent place on the packaging artwork if I so decide. And that's not the worst example I've ever seen. Did you know that "Hulk" in French is "Hulk (Version fran├žais de The Hulk)"?

US buyers should count themselves lucky that they don't have to deal with this. Other than that, it's a good release.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Astro Boy DVD and Blu Ray TODAY!

The animated Astro Boy movie from Imagi should now be available for purchase in North America at most major retailers and online stores today. If you liked the movie as I did, then make sure you go buy it! There is no better way to show your support for the home video release for a movie than to purchase it during the first week of release.

You can help AstroBoy World by purchasing your copy on DVD or Blu Ray through the AstroBoy World Store. If you insist on visiting your local brick-and-mortar, there are some instant savings coupons available on Red Plum.

There are lots of big DVD and Blu Ray releases this week, but let's make sure Astro gets his due and isn't lost in the shuffle. Check back right here on ABW in the near future for a chance to leave your thoughts on the home video release.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Chew on This

Here is a recent commercial for a brand of chewing gum available in Japan called POs-Ca, made by the famous Gilco company, which is featuring Astro Boy in their marketing campaign.



I guess the idea here is that this chewing this gum will give you mighty teeth. I bet swallowing it is bad idea though, especially if you're a robot.

Thanks to TokyoOn Blog

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

30 Various Astro Artworks


Tetsuwan Atom by *OptimusPraino on deviantART

YouTheDesigner has posted a collection of 30 pieces of artwork made by various artists, all featuring Astro Boy. Many different styles and interpretations are featured, showcasing the popularity and versatility of the character and the talent of his fans. Surprisingly, one of the pieces included in the collection is mine! How about that?

Take a look at "30 Various Artworks of Astro Boy" on YouTheDesigner. You will definitley want to check this out!

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Weekly Astro Boy Magazine Expands

Now, more iPhone and iPod Touch owners around the world have a big reason to celebrate, as the Weekly Astro Boy Magazine has officially become available for download in more countries.

The app can now be found in iTunes stores for users in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand. Some countries may get different content than others, but the UK version is the same as the one available in the US.

You can read the full story on Anime News Network.

More Osamu Tezuka manga being made available to more people in more counties in new ways is always a great thing!

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

More Piano Astro

Here's another cool video I found of some Astro Boy music played on the keyboard. I really like this unique interpretation of the original theme song.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tezuka Month at Ani-Gamers

Ani-Gamers is devoting the month of March to the works of Osamu Tezuka. Book reviews, guest articles, giveaways, and a podcast are all on the itinerary. Be sure to keep checking their Theme Months page for more new stuff as it's added.

Always awesome to see more Tezuka coverage on the net! Be sure to give them your support this month.

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Astro Boy Landing This Month

The animated Astro Boy movie will be coming home very soon as the film will be released on DVD and Blu Ray in North America on March 16th.

IGN has a more detailed listing of the deleted scenes and featurettes included as bonus features. They are:

-- "Astro vs. The Junkyard Pirates" Animated Sequence
-- "The RRF In: The New Recruit" Animated Sequence
-- "Designing A Hero" featurette
-- "Building Metro City" featurette
-- "Getting The Astro Boy Look" featurette
-- "Inside the Recording Booth" featurette with the all-star cast
-- Astro Boy Image Gallery: Creating a Global Icon
That actually seems pretty good! Still disappointed over the lack of director's commentary, but all things considered it looks like a solid release.

Remember you can order the DVD or Blu Ray from Amazon.com and help support AstroBoyWorld in the process.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Naughty New Book of Tezuka Drawings

We all know Osamu Tezuka from his creations like Astro Boy, Black Jack, and Princess Knight, but those of us who have really looked into the history of anime and manga know that the scope of his work stretches far beyond that. Far, far beyond!

As if to prove this very point, a new book has been released in Japan collecting 1000 pages of Tezuka's manga that feature erotic adult content. It's called "Tezuka Osamu Eros 1000 Page", and you'll probably want to keep this one out of reach of children!

What's really, shall I say... interesting about this collection is that it's been edited by Osamu Tezuka's own daughter Rumiko. Wow, talk about awkward.

You can read more about this book, as well as see the uncensored cover image, at Anime Vice.

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