Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Live Action Atomu

Yes, it's true. In 1959, 4 years before the original classic anime series, there was a live action Tetsuwan Atomu television drama! The opening footage featured a brief animated introduction to set up the futuristic scenario, which abruptly switched to footage of a kid in a plastic costume flying around with smoke coming out of his legs.

There was also a re-edited movie length version, as was often done with Japanese shows at the time. Here's a sample I found of "Fuhrer ZZZ". Behold!

Well, that's sure something else! What fascinates me is that the costume seems to be an attempt to make Atomu look more realistic, with rivets and shiny armor sections, and yet he's still got these round, chubby hands that look like they were drawn!

This is a very obscure part of the Astro Boy history, and much is known about these episodes, but that is about to change. For the first time ever, this series will be released on home video in Japan. Only 58 out of the 65 total episodes have survived the ravages of time and are still viable for release, but they'll be included in an 8 disk DVD box set, coming out in Japan on October 23rd.

Importers, be on the lookout! This could be the only chance to obtain this rare, unique version of the Astro Boy mythos!

Source - Anime News Network.


Mr. Hentai said...

I've got a less than pristine copy of the edited-down movie, but with no subtitles. It's mesmerizing in a low-key way. Very curious about this set ...

Ninjatron said...

Yes, it would be interesting to see what other storylines, if any, got adapted.

There is this whole world of live action Japanese shows that is pretty much lost to time, for the most part. Shows of the era of Ultraman and afterwards have been documented well enough, but before that remains much of a mystery! The best known one is probably Gekko Kamen, but there have got to be more.