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Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム, Tetsuwan Atomu; lit. "Mighty Atom") is a Japanese manga series first published in 1952 and television program first broadcast in Japan in 1963. The story follows the adventures of a fictional robot named Astro Boy and a selection of other characters along the way.
Astro Boy is the first Japanese television series that embodied the aesthetic that later became familiar worldwide as anime. After enjoying success abroad, Astro Boy was remade in the 1980s as Shin Tetsuwan Atomu, known as Astroboy in the United States and other Western countries, and again in 2003. In November 2007, he was named Japan's envoy for overseas safety. An American computer-animated 3-D film based on the original manga series by Tezuka was released on October 23, 2009.
Astro Boy is a science fiction series set in a futuristic world wherein androids co-exist with humans. Its focus is on the adventures of the titular "Astro Boy" (sometimes called simply "Astro"), a powerful robot created by the head of the Ministry of Science, Doctor Tenma, to replace his son Tobio, who died in a car accident. Dr. Tenma built Astro in Tobio's image and treated him as lovingly as if he were the real Tobio, but soon realized that the little android could not fill the void of his lost son, especially given that Astro could not grow older or express human aesthetics (in one set of panels, Astro is shown preferring the mechanical shapes of cubes over the organic shapes of flowers). In the original 1960 edition, Tenma rejected Astro and sold him to a cruel circus owner, Hamegg.
After some time, Professor Ochanomizu, the new head of the Ministry of Science, noticed Astro Boy performing in the circus and convinced Hamegg to turn Astro over to him. He then took Astro as his own and treated him gently and warmly, becoming his legal guardian. He soon realized that Astro was gifted with superior powers and skills, as well as the ability to experience human emotions.
Astro then is shown fighting crime, evil, and injustice. Most of his enemies were robot-hating humans, robots gone berserk, or alien invaders. Almost every story included a battle involving Astro and other robots.