Set in a future where machines have advanced to the point of autonomy and become a point of major contention in the political and social realms, Astro Boy (1980) chronicles the struggles of a crime-fighting young robot named Atom. Created in the image of his enigmatic inventor's deceased son, Atom survives rough beginnings, getting saved and adopted by the benevolent Dr. Ochanomizu. In his pursuit of justice, Atom finds himself in the midst of numerous clashes with various factions, and is often faced with the harsh realities of the world.
This particular incarnation of the anime is probably the best of the bunch in terms of overall enjoyment - it's far less dated than the original 1960s launch and has none of the soul-less feel of the 2003 series. This said, one should be prepared for what can perhaps best be described as a cliché 80's series: it's horrendously violent.
The entire show revolves around the mighty Atom (Astro Boy), a robot boy with 100,000 horsepower, a built in phone, butt-cannons, arm cannons, rocket boosters, super-hearing, and flashlight eyes. The scene is set in futuristic world where robots are
in the process of (finally) acquiring their civil rights. True to American history, this is far from an easy process, and of course, this having aired in the 80's, killing off robot characters in terrible violent ways is par for the course (as long as they're not actually human, it was A-Okay!). Deaths of secondary robot characters are often pointless and under-whelming, but certainly interesting. This show (and the original 1960s incarnation) are a must watch for anyone who enjoys the classics!
I never intended to watch this series when I first got into to Astroboy; but I caught a glimpse of the series on youtube and from then on I was hooked. My liking for the 1980's series of Astroboy is from its sheer uniqueness. It features the same story telling element of the 1963 series, but with a more dominant futuristic setting, such as in the 2003 series. Not known by many, the 1980 series was broadcast in the US in 1982. The recent DVD release features a combination of the Japanese Kanji character opening and closing sequences, along with the original english dub from
1982. The over-all presentation of the series is excellent. As a fan of old-school anime, this is definitely one of my favorite series, and I recommend it for any other old-school anime fans.
Ever wonder why anime and manga feature characters with freakishly huge anime eyes so often? Well, here's a bit of information on why and how such a signature style choice is part of what makes this art form so awesome!