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Manga Entertainment Announces Astro Boy

posted on 2002-03-08 16:08 EST
With the heading, "The Return of the World's Favorite Boy Robot Astro Boy," Manga Entertainment has sent out a PR announcing the upcoming release of the 1983 Astro Boy TV series on Home Video on May 28th.

With the heading, "The Return of the World's Favorite Boy Robot Astro Boy," Manga Entertainment has sent out a PR announcing the upcoming release of the 1983 Astro Boy TV series on Home Video on May 28th.

Excerpts from Press Release:

From Japan's “God of Comics,” Osamu Tezuka - one of the seminal forces behind the advent of Japanese comic art and animation, Manga Entertainment is proud to bring ASTRO BOY to American audiences on home video May 28, 2002. Manga Entertainment is cross-promoting the release of Astro Boy with Dark Horse Comics as they publish (for the first time in the US) the original manga comic book in English. www.Astro Boy.net

Astro Boy wowed American audiences in 1963 when the original black & white episodes first aired on NBC, finding their way into the highest rated time slot (6:30pm–7:00pm) for the New York metropolitan area. The show had a tremendous impact on American children and was extremely influential in establishing the popularity of robot heroes in the US. In 1983, Tezuka Productions, in cooperation with the Nippon Television and Network Corporation, created a higher-quality color version of Astro Boy. This updated 51 episode children's series begins with the origin of Astro Boy and will be available on home video in the US for the first time through Manga Entertainment in 2002.

Contributing to the resurgent popularity of the character will be the forthcoming Astro Boy film from Hollywood - the first ever translation of a Japanese animated series into a feature film. Currently in production with Sony Films and Jim Henson's Pictures, Columbia Pictures'' big screen version of the robot hero is slated for release in 2004 and will be directed by Eric Leighton, who's directorial credits also include Disney's “Dinosaur.”

Manga Video will release the first 3 VHS volumes, each containing five 30-minute episodes of the series, on May 28, 2002. Volumes 4-6, each containing 6 episodes, will follow on August 27, while the final three volumes will have and November 26, 2002 street date. At a retail cost of $19.95 per volume, Manga's Astro Boy series will make all 51 eagerly sought-after color episodes available for the first time to US fans and new viewers alike in an affordable format. A multi-volume DVD series will be released in 2004.

Broadly speaking, the Astro Boy series conveys a timely message about the triumph of kindness, compassion and selflessness in the face of discrimination and human prejudice – a message Tezuka tries to communicate not only to the children of the world, but also to their parents. With the massive success of other Japanese animated programming currently broadcasting on U.S. television (Speed Racer, Pokeman, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z), Astro Boy is sure to find a welcome home as a role model among children eager to enjoy Astro's exciting adventures and embrace the value of aiding humanity.

The story of Astro Boy takes place in April 2030, when a brilliant robotics engineer named Doctor Boynton looses his son Toby in a tragic car accident. Distraught over his death, the dedicated but heart-broken scientist uses his technical expertise to construct a robot in the boy's image. But all was not as he'd hoped, for the scientist soon realized that the robot could never grow into a human being capable of filing the void in his heart.

Abandoned to the care of Hamegg – the cruel ringmaster of a carnival where androids are forced to fight each other, Astro Boy is rescued by the kindly Doctor Elefun – an “android's rights” activist who adopts the boy robot and guides him in the use of his special powers to aid and protect mankind.

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