Osamu Tezuka created the character Mighty Atom (or Tetsuwan Atomu in Japanese), a boy-like robot with superhuman powers. Renamed Astro Boy for the Western audience, the character first appeared in the Japanese manga (comic book) in 1951. "Comics are a bridge between all cultures," Osamu Tezuka explained. Promoting the 'Tezuka: The Marvel of Magna' exhibition at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum in 2007, Australian artist Philip Brophy told the 'Los Angeles Times', "Tezuka was dealing with quite dense philosophical concepts. These were very complicated ideas to put into children's books." It was reported the exhibition "which originated at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. San Francisco is its only US stop."

In 1951, Osamu Tezuka looked some 50 years into the future to come up with Astro Boy birthdate: April 7, 2003. A friend told 'The Japan Times', "I think Mr. Tezuka cited the date simply to give the image of the early 21st century, the message he conveyed (in the series) was more important." Yoshihiro Shimuzu of the Tezuka Production Company elaborated, "In 1951, there were still ruins in Japan (after the end of World War II). People made efforts to create a bright future and better Japan. Astro Boy became the symbol of their dream."

Astro Boy first appeared on American television in 1963 in the black-and-white animation. The series was relaunched in color in 1982 and in 2003 which 'The Japan Times' reported, "Fuji Television budgeted about 1.5 billion yen for 50 segments, about three times the amount it usually spends on a program." And in 2009, the box office version was released.

"His stories are far deeper than novels," Takayuki Matsutani of Tezuka Productions believed. In episode 7 of the 1982 TV animation, the number 1313 was explored, "A visitor abroad coming to our city in this year of 2031 (set 50 years ahead of time) is always startled at how the electronic civilization has blended in with the tradition of 20th century." In episode 10, viewers were introduced to the world's first robot president. At that time, robots were said to have the same rights as humans.

Episode 3 discussed about a robot declaration that stated a robot was entitled to the same education as human and democracy was briefly touched upon when students in the class Astro Boy attended started voting in an election to decide a new class president. In episode 2, the international robot rights were mentioned. The story of Astro Boy began as Shane Green recounted, "when the son of an industrialist is killed in a car accident. His father is determined to bring him back to life and creates the boy robot. Depending on the version, Astro Boy is either separated from or rejected by his father. He is adopted by a professor, who refits him with special powers. For Japan, the boy robot became a symbol of the nation's resurgence."

Fred Ladd was in Melbourne, Australia in 2005 to promote the DVD release of the 1960s 'Astro Boy' episodes, told John Mangan of 'Fairfax Media', "The early overnight ratings were spectacular. They won their timeslot just after school in New York City, swept the ratings, so it was easy then to go to places like Chicago, Denver, Washington and Los Angeles. The difference between Pinocchio and Astro Boy was that Pinocchio didn't know right from wrong, and Astro Boy did."

In episode 44, the sister of Astro Boy, Uran took viewers on a journey to find the gods of the world. In the end, their creator Dr Elephun disclosed, "God is invisible Uran. He means many things to many people. Nobody can completely understand what he is. He is a mystery." Frederik Schodt who wrote 'The Astro Boy Essays' remarked, "The original stories are much more sophisticated than the animated series.

"It's fascinating to see how Tezuka foresaw some of our problems with artificial intelligence, ecology - even suicide bombing and terrorism. There are stories that address racial discrimination in the United States and discrimination within Japan. He even had Astro Boy go to Vietnam and protect the villagers from American bombers. It's hard to believe all that's built into a story designed for 10-year-old boys. In Japan and to a certain extent in the United States, the popularity of Astro Boy is dependent on the appeal of the character. Tezuka hit a sweet spot in terms of appealing character design."

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