Friday, April 30, 2010

Astro's Number Finding

What's more exciting than finding the alphabets? Finding numbers, of course! Here's a game I found that challenges players to find numbers hidden within an Astro Boy related image. This time the cursor works as a magnifying glass, making identifying the numbers much easier. There's still a challenge to it! Here's the description.
Hidden Numbers-AstroBoy is another point and click type hidden object game from Games2dress. Examine your observing skill by finding the listed numbers which are in different forms. Avoid clicking unnecessarily as otherwise your score will get reduced. Good luck and have fun!
You can play Hidden Numbers - Astro Boy here.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Four Funny Fella Figures

Found these awesome guys on eBay awhile back and had to save a picture to share here. Figures of Ham Egg, Ban Shunsaku, Lamp, and Dr. Ochanomizu, each sharply dressed in their suits. Pretty rare to find much of any sort of merchandise based on the Astro Boy/Tezuka supporting cast, let alone in a group like this. I don't have any other information about where they are from or what they are made of. One has to wonder if there are any more figures in this range!

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Buddha Movie

I think I reported on this some time ago, but now it's official. Warner Bros. Japan has announced that an animated film based on Osamu Tezuka's "Buddha" manga will be released in Japan on May 28th, 2011.

See the official website here!

Tezuka Productions has partnered with Toei Animation to produce this movie. More information, including staff members, is available at Anime News Network.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tezuka Mural in Takadanobaba

Thanks to Kirai, I found these awesome photos of a mural featuring Osamu Tezuka's characters. It's a permanent fixture in Takadanobaba, a neighborhood in Tokyo were Tezuka spent most of his life (and the apparent fictional birthplace of Astro Boy). You can see more pictures and read more information about the mural and other nearby Tezuka related items here.
This part ammuses me. What is Pluto doing in that car? He looks happy for some reason.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Goodbye, Carl Macek

Shocking news rattled the world of anime this weekend. American anime producer Carl Macek suddenly passed away due to heart attack. Carl was probably best known as the man behind Robotech, the epic science-fiction TV series that was constructed from 3 unconnected anime. Robotech was a gateway for many fans into the larger world of Japanese animation, and it's completely fair to say that if not for that show, the scope of the anime business and fandom outside of Japan would just not be what it is today. He was also a part of Streamline Pictures which released several important anime films in English including Akira and Fist of the North Star. Although he did not, as far as I can tell, work on any Tezuka projects, his work was so important in marketing anime to a mainstream audience in the generation that came after after shows like Astro Boy and Speed Racer. He was a controversial character, and was perhaps unfairly vilified in some ways, but was certainly a knowledgeable figure in this business who enjoyed speaking with fans. Both his insight and his friendly attitude will be sorely missed.

I did not grow up watching Robotech and came about knowing of anime through other ways. When I did watch Robotech it was only after its DVD release, as an adult. The show struck all the right chords with me and I loved it. The fact that it was made by combining 3 other shows didn't bother me at all, because what I saw was a multi-generational epic, bigger than any one show could offer. I could certainly see what made it so important at it's time, but I also appreciated it in a modern context. I consider it to be a must see for any anime fan, and there are a number of easy ways that one can see it, including legal online streaming.

I also highly recommend everyone give a listen to this recent Anime News Network Podcast that features a long interview with Carl. It's an amazing history lesson into the state of anime in the early 80's and a huge reality check regarding why certain decisions were made. With the state of the anime business being what it is today, there is certainly a lot we can learn from this.

While I am sure there are still purists out there who don't understand the reasoning behind some of the edits and changes that happened under Carl Macek's watch, he really was an interesting guy who just did his job and wanted people to watch anime. You can read some great tributes to Carl on

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Tezuka and the 2010 Eisner Awards

The Comic Book industry's highest honor, The Eisner Awards, take place on Friday, July 23rd as part of the San Diego Comic Con. There are a number of Osamu Tezuka-related works in this year's batch of nominees. The Art of Osamu Tezuka has been nominated for Best Comics-Related Book and Naoki Urasawa's Pluto is up for several awards.

You can read the complete listing of nominees on the Comic Con website, and a list of all manga-related nominees thanks to The Manga Curmudgeon.

Also, Art of Osamu Tezuka author Helen McCarthy has posted her thoughts on her book's nomination on her blog.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Astro Boy iPhone Case

Geek Stuff 4 U has these new Astro Boy themed protective cover cases for iPhone 3G/3GS. Very interesting graphic style for the artwork. There's a black one and a white one. They're expensive but they're limited editions so if you want one, don't delay!

Perfect for reading Astro Boy Magazine!

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Wagaya no Rekishi featuring Tezuka

In this month's Fuji Network TV drama series "Wagaya no Rekishi" (Our Family's History), viewers are treated to a nostalgic look back at major Japanese events and celebrities from the early postwar Showa era (1926-1989) through the eyes of a family. Several guest stars make brief cameo appearances playing historical figures over the course of the 3-part series, including actor Tatsuya Fujiwara who plays Osamu Tezuka.

You can see the Japanese language Wagaya no Rekishi webpage here and the page about Osamu Tezuka here.

I'd like to find a way to watch this. Not only will be be fun to see an actor playing Tezuka, but the story seems interesting.

Source: Daily Yomiuri Online

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Ani-Gamers' Tezuka Month Wrap-up

Last month was Tezuka month at Ani-Gamers, and I want to take this moment to congratulate them on a job well done in presenting several new pieces of diverse content on their site inspired by the greatest manga creator of all time. If you missed out, you can check their Osamu Tezuka Month archive page for links to all of their Tezuka content.

Looks like I won a few contests too. Right on! I think I recognized the names of a few other winning participants, so go check if you won anything, and check out another contest only available to listeners of their podcast.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Astro's Birthday!

It's that time of year again! Time to celebrate the birth of our favorite Superstar Anime Robo-Kid! Yes, Astro Boy was born on April 7th in the futuristic year of 2003, making him 7 years old today! You remember 2003, don't you? We were still using flying cars and we all had robot butlers. But we listened to our music on audio cassettes, no fancy iPods here!

All kidding aside, obviously the year 2003 seemed to be in the far-flung future back when Osamu Tezuka was first creating The Mighty Atom as a manga. Subsequent versions of the story moved the year up further as, clearly, technology still hasn't been able to catch up with the awesome imagination of Dr. Tezuka. But even the recent Astro Boy animated movie pays homage to the original birthday, as seen when Astro jets around Metro City the day Dr. Tenma brings him home.

There it is, April 7th!

I wasn't able to look for any more Astro Birthday cakes this year (let me know if you find any) but if you haven't seen them yet, you can read my posts for Astro's 2009 and 2008 birthday's and find lots of cakes.

Everyone go celebrate now! The fact that he's a fictional character shouldn't stop you from celebrating the birth of the coolest 7-year old robot kid on the planet. Happy birthday Astro!

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