Customer Reviews: Astro Boy, Vol. 3
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on July 27, 2008
Volume 3 of Astro Boy is special for a couple of reasons.

First, as Tezuka tells us himself in the introduction, the novel-length story "The Greatest Robot on Earth" that comprises most of this volume is one of his most popular Astro Boy stories. It's a children's comics classic about the world's seven strongest robots, and like all Tezuka works has a number of themes and messages buried beneath the surface. It's excellent reading for kids, Tezuka fans, and adults interested in the comics medium in general.

Second, "The Greatest Robot on Earth" inspired a recent manga called Pluto, which has been running in Japan since 2003, won numerous awards and is drawing comparisons to such graphic novel greats as Alan Moore's Watchmen. Pluto is by Naoki Urasawa, famous for his long, intelligent and realistic mystery and sci-fi thrillers Monster and 20th Century Boys. Viz is scheduled to start publishing Pluto in English in February 2009. Having read most of Pluto myself, I can say that it is a marvel of modern manga storytelling that re-imagines "The Greatest Robot on Earth" and makes it darker, more adult, and more complex. It's fascinating to read this volume and Pluto together to see how Urasawa took inspiration from Tezuka's adventure story and expanded on its characters and universe (Pluto has run 50-odd chapters as of mid-2008).

If you only ever buy one volume of Astro Boy, make it this one.
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on June 26, 2015

“Astro Boy, Vol. 3” by Osamu Tezuka, a legendary manga master, is the third volume in a twenty-three-volume manga series Astro Boy. The Astro Boy series, a three-decade project that became a worldwide phenomenon and an inspiration for countless manga artists, features an extremely advanced android named Astro Boy that fights villains and their destructive creations to protect his friends, save the Earth and preserve the peace.

This volume contains two stories: “The Greatest Robot on Earth” (1964) and “Mad Machine” (1958). In “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” the most popular story arc in the whole Astro Boy series, a villainous sultan creates a giant robot that is programmed to destroy the seven great robots of the world, including Astro Boy, and to become the king of all robots. In a much shorter story, “Mad Machine,” Dr. Foola invents a device that causes all other machines to go crazy.


1) Entertaining, thought-provoking and skillfully drawn.
Just like in “Astro Boy, Vols. 1 & 2” (, the stories in the third volume, especially “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” are action-packed, entertaining and funny in a silly-cute way but at the same time quite touching and thought-provoking as they raise quite a few philosophical and moral questions about technology and our shared humanity. Plus, the illustrations, which are strongly influenced by the works of Walt Disney, are very dynamic, detailed, entertaining and simply endearing.

2) Likable villain.
Although most of the characters in the Astro Boy series are rather two-dimensional, Pluto, the destructive robot in “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” is a powerful exception; he is complex, relatable and, above all, extremely likable.

3) Inspiration for the Pluto series.
“The Greatest Robot on Earth” is the base for Naomi Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki’s science fiction manga series Pluto ( Although the Pluto series is much more thrilling and suspenseful, way more thought-provoking and emotionally powerful, and the characters are much more complex, realistic and relatable, it is definitely worth reading this original version as it makes you appreciate Urasawa’s story even more. However, I do recommend reading “The Greatest Robot on Earth” first as it might seem a little bit disappointing otherwise.


1) Two-dimensional characters.
To avoid spoilers, I read “The Greatest Robot on Earth” after I finished the Pluto series. As a result, I was slightly disappointed as the original story is quite childish, and most of the characters are rather two-dimensional. For example, I absolutely hated Tezuka’s version of Astro Boy’s little sister Uran - such a spoiled brat! She is definitely not the same cute, lovable and smart girl I’ve met in the Pluto series.

2) Overly simplistic and too goofy.
Although “The Greatest Robot on Earth” is more compelling and thought-provoking than the other Astro Boy stories I’ve read, “Mad Machine” reminded me why I gave the previous volumes only two stars: it’s overly simplistic and way too goofy for my liking.

VERDICT: 3 out of 5

Just like the previous volumes, “Astro Boy, Vol. 3” by Osamu Tezuka is entertaining, quite thought-provoking and skillfully drawn but also overly simplistic and too goofy. Plus, the characters are rather two-dimensional. However, this volume contains the most popular story arc in the whole Astro Boy series, “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” that inspired Urasawa’s manga series Pluto, and therefore, it is a must-read for the fans of the latter.
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VINE VOICEon May 8, 2012
I was inspired to read through Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy after rewatching the amazing Metropolis based on one of his earliest Manga's from 1949. The truth is I bought the first three Astro Boy volumes years ago and after reading them didn't feel inspired to purchase more. Rereading them now I don't even remember many of the stories I read just a few years prior. I would compare this to the experience I had recently rereading a book of Carl Barks comics I had owned since I was a child. After 25 to 30 years I still remembered details from many of the comics. I think I'm getting a better appreciation now for Tezuka's work but I still can't place these stories among the all time great or most memorable comics I've read. Tezuka is famous for having produced over 150000 pages of manga or about 10 pages a day for 40 years (he died at 60). Something has to give when you produce at that pace and generally the higher the quantity the lower the quality. Tezuka was amazing in that the quality is high but probably could have been more if his pace hadn't been so extreme

Volume 3 has one of the biggest stories of the Astro Boy series, `The Greatest Robot on Earth' featuring the robot wrecking machine Pluto. Pluto is the reluctant protagonist designed to destroy the seven strongest robots in the world including Astro Boy. Although he dutifully obeys his master, Sultan Chochi Chochi Araba, Pluto clearly takes no pleasure in destroying robots and refuses to harm ones not on his list. After surviving a losing battle with Pluto Astro Boy decides he must increase his power from one hundred thousand horsepower to one million but Professor Ochanomizu's nose literally flies off his face at the prospect of such an upgrade. After a second failed encounter with Pluto readers are treated to the return of Astro's creator Dr. Tenma who agrees to do what Ochanomizus refused, boost Astro to one million horsepower. This is the most action packed and emotional story I've yet read in the series. Tezuka introduces the story by telling how much he enjoyed creating it and it really shows. This is Tezuka at his best.

Once again I want to bring up that this is not a complete collection. The last big story in volume 2 ended in January 1962 and first story here was produced in June 1964 which leaves a gap of around a year and a half. Astro's little sister Uran has a larger roll in this book after simply appearing in the previous volume with no introduction and we still don't know who built her. The reintroduction of Dr. Tenma is the first we've seen him since he sold Astro in disgust back in volume 1 but based on the reaction from Astro I suspect this is not his first reappearance. I also have the feeling that some of these pages were originally in color and were reproduced in black and white. The final story, "Mad Machine" is from 1958 and the first story I've seen out of chronological order. I do recommend the book but wish the presentation could have been better.
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on April 20, 2016
I never get tired of this series. Osamu Tezuka did a great job on Astro Boy and has a distinct artwork style. It's cute to follow along with and can be a story for eveyone to enjoy. I definetly plan on buying them all!
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"Astro Boy (Volume 3)" reprints one of the most popular stories in the Astro Boy saga, that of his struggles against the mighty Pluto, a super-robot designed to duel and destroy Earth's seven most powerful robots. Astro Boy, or course, is number seven on the list.

Pluto has long been depicted as Astro Boy's Arch Enemy, and any action shots of Astro Boy are likely to be seen in battle with this mighty horned robot. One by one, Pluto tackles and destroys the greatest robots from several countries, such as Mont Blanc from France, Hercules from Greece, as well as champions from Australia, Germany and Scotland. In order to challenge Pluto, Astro Boy has his power increased to 1 million horsepower. Will it be enough?

As well as a good story, "Astro Boy (Volume 3)" is a glimpse into Tezuka Osamu's soul. Unable to make Pluto completely evil, he redeems the murderous robot with a sense of honor and responsibility, as well as a desire for the friendship of Astro Boy's sister, Uran. As with all of Tezuka's stories, there is more going on under the surface, as the struggle to build a more and more powerful robot becomes a metaphor for the nuclear arms race of the 1950s Cold War.

Also included in this volume is a short story, "Mad Machine," where an evil scientist creates a device that makes all machines, from clocks to Astro Boy, go berserk. He uses the machine to extort 2 billion yen from the robots of the world. Of course, such a scheme could never work with Astro Boy around!
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on August 17, 2010
In the early 1960's, Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy was at the height of its popularity. During this time, he wrote the story," The Greatest Robot on Earth", a story about a former sultan trying to use a super robot named Pluto to destroy the seven most powerful robots in the world. It was up to Astro Boy to save the day, but this time it was different. It is hard to distinguish the ending as happy or sad, since elements of both are present. Still, Takashi Nagasaki said in his postscript at the end of "Pluto" that he thinks that the ending shows that Astro is the first robot to realize how meaningless war is. Overall, that sums up the ending very well. The beginning and middle of the story is equally well done.
At the end of the volume, there is an extra story, "Mad Machine", that is about an evil scientist who makes a machine that can make robots go haywire. During the machine's 3-minute break, Astro needs to destroy it. This is a nice short story to round out the volume. Overall, this is one volume you can't miss.
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on November 29, 2010
In this volume, you will find two stories. The first, 'The Greatest Robot On Earth', takes up most of the book and forms the basis for Naoki Urasawa's 'Pluto' (you have to start here, if you don't already know of this masterpiece Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Vol. 1). In the 'Greatest', a mad dictator helped by a mad scentist builds Pluto, what he thinks will be the 'Greatest Robot On Earth'. Pluto has to kill 7 robots that could pretend to the title of 'Greatest Robot On Earth'. Will Astro Boy, who is among the 7 others robots, survive the challenge and if yes, at what a price? The second story also deals with science gone mad: someone has built a device to drive all machines crazy. How will Astro Boy, himself a machine, manage to put everything right? Tezuka's Astro Boy is considered a masterpiece and laid the foundations for mangas as we now know them. If you have but a fleating interest in comics, do not miss this volume (and Urasawa's 'Pluto').
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on March 8, 2010
This is one of the most loved Astro Boy stories in the sieres, that goes for Japan and America, however The characters in this story are extremely flat. Its easy for the reader to see that Pluto is conflicted about whether his mission is right, but the emotions are hardly convincing. The plot in itself is also rather bland, especially at the end when the scientists reveals that he built Bora and had him fight Pluto to show the Sultan that fighting was not the answer. It left me thinking "Wait.. What?". I'd hate to say it given Tezuka's status and all, but if you want the same story told the right way, Get ahold of the "Pluto" sieres. Its based off of this Manga and done in a much more convincing and lively manner.
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on December 13, 2006
Q: Do you have a male preteen, who likes Pokemon, Yugioh, cartoons, owns at least two game systems (handhelds count) and knows what anime is?

A: Yes.

Stop here and buy the series. Don't ask why, or is it valuable, beneficial or even engage in the debate about the academic merits of comic books, or graphic novels. I could tell you it is a Japanese classic, on par with Superman, that it may be a collectors item in the future or it is an engaging series with complex subplots for this age group.

That doesn't matter.

You only need to know that if you buy it:

1. He is reading

2. He is reading

3. He is not playing a video game

4. He is reading

5. He is not arguing or fighting with a sibling

6. He is not watching TV like a mindless drone

7. He is reading

8. He will want to read other graphic novels.
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on September 1, 2004
This is one of the best Astro Boy Managa.The Astro Boy managa our good for kids and are funny.This one about Astro Boy fighting Pluto and Pluto fighting 7 other robots.
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