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July 03, 2006

Broken Machine


As a fan of Osamu Tezuka's  Astroboy, I couldn't help but love these photos by Hiroshi Araki. It's not Tezuka's artwork or even Astroboy's personality that makes the manga so fascinating. It's the fact that Tezuka managed to create an empathy for entire society of self-aware robotic beings... beings enslaved by humans.


Though Tezuka's inspiration was Disney, his children's stories were usually more forcefully provoking than his American counterpart. Though it was Walt Disney who said "don't ever talk down to a child," it was Osamu Tezuka who lived up to this statement by never shying away from topics like war, death, loss and then even some of the greater questions. What are we? Who are we? What is consciousness?


A few years back a film adaptation was made of Tezuka's Metropolis manga. It actually share very little in common with the manga but it is great looking. And it does display Tezuka's enslaved society of robots. I recommend it, especially as an introduction to Astroboy.

July 3, 2006 | Permalink


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I never really heard alot about Astroboy until I was older. I think I was aware that something called Astroboy existed, but I was more transfixed on G.I. Joe, Transformers and Star Wars to really explore out of the mainstream as a child.

Actually, what the hell am I talking about, I don't really explore out of the mainstream right now...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 4, 2006 10:29:00 AM

STAR WARS! You said _Star Wars_!

If you ever need to get me in an excited state, mention those two words (or "George Lucas").

Astroboy? Ahem... I'm sorry. Similar to Mr. Wilmer, I can't say I know much about Astroboy. It looks really familiar on some subconscious level, but I have no idea where from.

Posted by: Joelson Carl | Jul 4, 2006 4:46:58 PM

Astroboy was on all the time in my childhood. I think I must have found it very moving, because vague images from it continued to haunt me. (A few years back there was a real fashion for retro-looking astroboy t-shirts, so perhaps others also experienced this nostalgia).
Recently I borrowed a tape of the first few episodes - must have been the first time to have seen it for 20 years or so. It still looks good, and I appreciate now the deep philosophical stuff which as a child produced rather disorienting emotions.

On the topic of anime, and the ethics of robot consciousness... anyone else seen Ghost in the Shell? Ghost in the Shell 2 came out a little while back, and it is one of the most visually stunning animations I have seen for a while.
Check out http://www.gofishpictures.com/GITS2/main.html
select 'gallery'. For the most impressive shots, chose the ones with lots of background, (eg. the first and last three pics especially). Go and see the film, especially if you like confusing plots.

Posted by: Mark | Jul 5, 2006 10:36:12 PM

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