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Astro Boy Anime's Unused Episode 1 Story Draft Discovered

posted on 2017-11-14 00:20 EST
Astro Boy battles Frankenstein robot in treatment for 1st ever half-hour anime show

Eiji Ōtsuka, a 59-year-old professor at the International Center for Japanese Studies, reported that he discovered an unused 36-page scenario for an unaired first episode of Osamu Tezuka's landmark television anime Astro Boy (Mighty Atom). Film historian Mamoru Makino had written the scenario through an invitation and contract with Tezuka, and Makino had been storing the scenario at his home in Tokyo. Makino had been working as a documentary filmmaker at the time.

The scenario, titled "Frankenstein," is handwritten on 36 pages of manuscript paper (seen right), with editing and revision notes by Tezuka himself. The episode sees the titular robot hero Astro Boy facing off against Frankenstein, a robot controlled by evildoers. The story treatment opens with the staff in a robot factory conversing, and Tezuka hand-wrote a comment in the treatment: "Wouldn't this opening scene be better without spoken lines between the mechanics?"

The scenario remained unused for reasons that remain unclear. The show's first episode ended up being "The Birth of Astro Boy" episode.

The 1963 Astro Boy anime adapted Tezuka's manga of the same name, and it became Japan's first half-hour animated series. Tezuka himself helmed the anime's production at his Mushi Production studio. The show pioneered animation techniques and production methods that gave rise to the earliest aesthetics and styles of television anime.

Tezuka Productions, France's Caribara Animation, and Monaco's Shibuya Productions are collaborating on an Astro Boy reboot project planned for 26 episodes. Tetsuro Kasahara's Atom The Beginning prequel manga recently inspired a television anime adaptation in April. Naoki Urasawa's Pluto spinoff/re-imagining has an anime adaptation in the works.

Source: Sankei News


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