The Amazing 3

The Amazing 3 (Japanese title:W3 - Wonder 3) is an Osamu Tezuka manga and a black and white anime series. It involved the adventures of three agents from outer space who were sent to Earth to determine whether or not the planet should be destroyed due to its potential threat with a device resembling a large black ball with two antennae that is variously called an anti-proton bomb, a solar bomb, and a neutron bomb. Although the three agents (Captain Bokko, Nokko, and Pukko) are originally humanoid in appearance, upon arrival on Earth they take on the appearances of a rabbit (Bokko), a horse (Nokko), and a duck (Pukko) that they had captured as examples of Earth life forms. While on Earth they travel in a tire-shaped vehicle capable of enormous speeds called the Big Wheel, which can travel on both land and water (and, with modifications, through the air).

The series tackles a number of issues which were surprisingly progressive for an animated cartoon of that period; particularly ecological concerns and poverty.

The Japanese version of this series was first released on DVD in Japan in two volumes in 2002 and 2003, which are now out of print. A complete single-volume 10-DVD set was released in 2005. Though the negatives for the series were damaged in a warehouse flood, the episodes on the Japanese DVDs were taken from the best existing sources.

During the 1990s the series was also available both on two sets of laserdiscs and on a series of thirteen VHS videocassettes. These are, of course, now out of print.

The American (English-dubbed) films are rumored to have been either lost or destroyed, so an official DVD release in the United States seems unlikely, though bootlegs of varying quality exist which were taken from videotaped 1974 KCOP broadcasts of the series using an early pre-Betamax home video recorder, the Sanyo V-Cord. Approximately half of the series' episodes exist in this format.

The English-dubbed version of the series also aired on Australia's Channel 9 beginning in 1969, so the possibility exists that English dubs of the series might be found there.

The series is also known to have been dubbed in Spanish and broadcast in Spanish-speaking countries as Los tres espaciales.

The complete Japanese-language manga is available in two volumes. A late '70s three volume set can also sometimes be found. The manga has never been released in English.

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