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Astro Boy, Vol. 1 Paperback – April 9, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
Book 1 of 23 in the Astro Boy Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Astro Boy (Dark Horse) (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Manga (March 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569716765
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569716762
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,144,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I haven't picked up a comic book in quite a few years, and read the inside cover of one of the later volumes of Astro Boy, which piqued my interest.
Astro Boy Vol. 1 is the background story of how Astro Boy was created. However, when Tezuka-san put together these volumes, he mixed and matched different stories, created in different times, to best tell the story. For example, Tezuka-san created the series in 1951, but the first story in the volume was published in 1975. It also has Tezuka-san, interject some of his own personal insights into the book, so the reader better understands the story.
There are three stories about AstroBoy, who is the epitome of all that is good. The first, describes how Astro was created. The second, called Hot Dog Corps, is a strange story of how an army of robots, created from dogs, are ruled by a Princess who is ardent about keeping anyone from coming to the moon. The underlying story, is that good prevails.
The drawing, which is simple, yet interesting, is no too destracting.
I loved this Manga, and can't wait to read all of them. Like candy, they are little treats, that don't take a very long time to digest or consume.
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Format: Paperback
"Astro Boy Vol. 1" is a great introduction to Tezuka Osamu's famous flying boy robot. Included is the origin story of Mighty Atom/Astro Boy, a longer tale which takes up 2/3's of the book, about cyborg dogs called the Hot Dog Corps, and a third tale about living plants. The stories are in no particular chronological order, and are selected more for feel and quality than anything else. Tezuka has included a few self-introductions featuring himself as a cartoon character.
Of good interest also are an introduction to the series, including notes on translation and selection. The translator attempted to preserve the Japanese names as much as possible, including nicknames, keeping only the Americanized Astro Boy instead of the direct translation Mighty Atom, as Astro Boy is the more familiar name.
Astro Boy is a lot like the Mickey Mouse of Japan, and his good-natured adventures are as much fun to read as the early Mickey Mouse comics. The difference comes in social issues, as Tezuka clearly uses his character to tackle ethical/political issues that interested him at the times, raising the comic up several notches.
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Format: Paperback
The White-Hot Being [January to March 1961] Astro and Cobalt are curious about a new robot being created by Professor Ochanomizu called Bron-X. Bron-X is being created at the behest of a wealthy gentleman named Mr. Gaston but when Cobalt foolishly activates Bron-X the two discover that he’s much more powerful than expected. Ochanomizu explains that Bron-X was actually created based on discovered alien blueprints. Human built robots are bound by the laws of robotics to serve human’s but the alien robot has no such restriction. Seeing a potential disaster, Astro steals Bron-X’s head so he cannot be completed and hides it in a remote village where the residents use the head for illumination.

This is an interesting story with a few surprising twists. The ending is classic Tezuka strangeness with Astro fighting Bron-X. If he wins Astro gets to give the head back to the villagers so they continue to use the light. There MUST be a better light source Astro could have offered than the incredibly dangerous head of Bron-X but such is the strange routes the mind of Osamu Tezuka travels.

Uran [Aug to Sept 1960] I take it this is the first appearance of Astro’s “Little Sister” Uran. It’s interesting that Astro’s siblings (who are simply robots with his same specs) were created as immature children. Both Cobalt and Uran act naïve, meanwhile Astro’s robot “parents” mention that they were created as adults. When Astro, Cobalt and Uran are at a robot fighting tournament Uran decides to jump into the ring and clobbers a robot with her 100,000 HP strength. Later, for reasons that are hard to explain, she is compelled to continue fighting in the tournament. She finds herself torn between school and robot fighting so a scientists offers to give her the ability to split in two.
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Format: Paperback
First of all, let me say I love Astro Boy (nee Tetsuwan Atom). The stories are fun, action packed and don't feel "dated" at all considering the material is 30+ years old. If you're looking for a good solid series, a classic manga, or something for your kids you really should give Astro Boy a try...
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Format: Paperback
In his home country of Japan Osamu Tezuka is regarded as the "God of Manga" and Astro Boy (Mighty Atom) is his most famous creation so I don't think it would be unreasonable to expect big things from the stories here. Volume 1 opens with a rapid run through of Astro Boy's origin and I'm really not sure when this was drawn. Astro Boy was created in 1952 but in at least part of the origin story Tezuka steps in and mentions the date as the early 80's. He makes some predictions about the future of robotics that with the advantage of hindsight show Tezuka to be a bit overconfident about the rate of progress. The first main story in the book was written in 1961 so there is around a 9 year gap between the creation of Astro Boy and the first story presented. It's pretty clear this collection is far from complete.

One of Osamu Tezuka's big influences was Walt Disney. When I compare Tezuka to some of the legendary Disney artists like Floyd Gottfredson and Carl Barks I have to give the nod to Disney. In my opinion Gottfredson and Barks were better storytellers and had more consistent artwork. What sets Tezuka apart is the philosophical and emotional depths of his stories. Unlike Gottfredson and Barks, who were Disney employees and constrained by company standards, Tezuka had full reign to express his own views and his stories were entirely his own vision. He might, for instance, break into the story and explain how he felt it was wrong that American censers disapproved of many of his stories and then scold westerners for propagating the myth that Japanese eat dogs. Tezuka has the freedom to explore topics that a Disney artist would never touch like a Dr. Moreau type scientist creating killer cyborgs from the nervous system of dogs. The stories feel much more personal and unconstrained.
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