Brave Reideen


Brave Reideen (Yūsha Raidīn) is a Super Robot anime series. Produced by Tohokushinsha, Asahi News Agency and Sunrise, it aired on NET (now TV Asahi) from 4 April 1975 to 26 March 1976, with a total of 50 episodes. It has also been loosely translated to Heroic Rydeen.

After a slumber of 12 millennia, the Demon Empire returns to seize control of the Earth. Reideen, the giant robot-like protector of the lost continent of Mu, senses the evil presence and awakens within its golden pyramid, revealing to young Japanese boy Akira Hibiki that he is the one descendant of the ancient Mu people who must help Reideen save Earth.

He was assisted by his friends, token girl Mari Sakurano (daughter of a scientist fighting the Demon Empire) and several members of his high school soccer team.

The Brave Reideen series is renowned in Japan as the first to include a giant machine of mysterious and mystical origins. Reideen is in fact portrayed as a sentient being. Also, the inclusion of the Mu myth would be imitated in other anime, such as Super Atragon, and more recently in RahXephon. It was also the first anime mecha work of anime director and writer Yoshiyuki Tomino, better known as the creator of Gundam. The latter half was directed by Tadao Nagahama, and may be seen as a predecessor to his famous Romantic Trilogy, consisting of Combattler V, Voltes V and Daimos.
This series was the second collaboration between writer/director Yoshiyuki Tomino and artist Yasuhiko Yoshikazu. The first work to feature both men was Wandering Sun (Sasurai no Taiyō) (1971). The two would later team up again for both Mobile Suit Gundam and Gundam F-91.
The series is also considered the first super robot anime to reach a large US audience directly. It was shown on the New York Japanese community channel 47 with subtitles produced by Hawaii's Kiku TV. The series first appeared on US television in June 1976, Sunday nights at 8:00 P.M. on San Francisco, CA's KEMO TV-20. Later in 1976, the series began running on KMUV TV-31 in Sacramento, CA . The show was also distributed to Japanese-American television stations in Los Angeles and Chicago, and was sponsored by Honolulu-based Marukai Trading Company, who distributed Japanese-produced merchandise to local retailers in localities airing Raideen - according to author August Ragone.
In the 1990's the series was remade as Reideen the Superior (Chōja Raidīn), directed by Toshifumi Kawase.
According to RahXephon director Yutaka Izubuchi, the similarity of designs and powers of the title robots and the basic plots of RahXephon and Raideen are intentional.

The original toy figures of Reideen (renamed "Raydeen") were introduced to the U.S. market as part of the Shogun Warriors during late 1970s under the Mattel brand. Raydeen was one of the robots featured in the licensed comic book based on the toys.

Blocker Gundan 4 Machine Blaster


Blocker Gundan 4 Machine Blaster was an anime series aired from 1976 to 1977 in Japan. There were 38 episodes aired at 25 minutes each. It is also known as "Blocker Army IV Machine Blaster", "Blocker Corps IV", "Blocker Army IV", "Blocker Corps", "Machine Blaster".

Earth is being attacked by the Moguru civilization, a super advanced peoples that live beneath the ocean. Professor Yuri, having studied the ancient super-technology in Astro base, anticipated such an invasion would take place. Using what he had learned of rheir technology, he created a series of super robots to help repel any such invasion, known as the Machine Blaster Corps. Led by the pilot Ishida, the Blocker Corps stands firm against the attack of the Moguru rulers, Hellqueen V and Kaibuddha.

The number 4 comes from the team of 4 robots. The robots individually have their own weapon, but they can also be combined to form a fire ring which cuts through the enemies. It was not the most popular show since anime powerhouses Gaiking and Combattler V, which featured more creative combinations and designs, were ruling the airwaves.

Barefoot Gen


Barefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gen) is a manga novel written and illustrated by Keiji Nakazawa. It begins in 1945 in and around Hiroshima, Japan, where the six-year-old boy Gen lives with his family. After Hiroshima is destroyed by atomic bombing, Gen and other survivors are left to deal with the aftermath. The story is loosely based on Nakazawa's own experiences as a Hiroshima survivor.

Hadashi no Gen was originally serialized beginning in 1973 in the mass-market manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump (Shūkan Shōnen Jampu), which had earlier published Nakazawa's autobiographical Hiroshima story "Ore wa Mita" ("I Saw It"). It was cancelled after a year and a half, and moved to three other less widely distributed magazines: Shimin (Citizen), Bunka Hyōron (Cultural Criticism), and Kyōiku Hyōron (Educational Criticism). It was published in book collections in Japan beginning in 1975. A volunteer organization, Project Gen, formed in 1976 to produce English translations, which were released in four volumes.

The first volume was published in Norwegian in 1986 by GEVION norsk forlag A/S. The Norwegian title is "Gen, Gutten fra Hiroshima" (Gen, the Boy from Hiroshima).

The first volume was published in Finnish in 1985 by Jalava, but publishing was likewise abandoned. The Finnish title is "Hiroshiman poika" (The Son of Hiroshima), and Finnish translation was done by Kaija-Leena Ogihara. In 2006 Jalava republished the first volume (with its original translation) and has continued with publication of later volumes.

A new English translation has been released with an introduction by Art Spiegelman, who has compared the work to his own work, Maus. Last Gasp Publishers will eventually release ten volumes.

Babel II


Babel II (read Babel the Second) is a relatively early manga series by Mitsuteru Yokoyama (who also did Gigantor and Sally, The Witch) that was later adapted into an anime series. In it, a Japanese schoolboy discovers that he is the heir to supernatural powers from outer space. He uses these powers to attack an organization akin to the group of mutants headed by Magneto in Marvel Comics.

But also he has three "protectors"/"servants" akin to the kaiju or giant monsters of Japanese film. One is Rodem, a shape-shifting black panther, and another is Ropross, a Pteradactyl-like flying creature. The third, named Poseidon, is a giant robot that always rises from the depth of the ocean when summoned. The boy hero commands these creatures to inflict mayhem on the machines of his enemy at their bases.

The distinction between Japanese and American super-powered beings is discernable from this story. American superheroes have carefully explained and prescribed powers, though in some people's minds, they be extended to the absurd. The super-powered beings in this series have a set of basic powers which they are all expected to possess and certain ways in which they are accustomed to manifest these, such as leaping to stand atop lampposts. For variety, a few have specialities, but there is no explanation nor matching up one set of powers against another.

Video game developer Yu Suzuki of Sega says Babel II was his main inspiration in the creation of the arcade game Psy-Phi

Attack on Tomorrow


Attack on Tomorrow (あしたへアタック!, Ashita he Ataku?) was an anime series that aired in 1977 in Japan. There were a total of 23 episodes aired at 25 minutes each. It is a spinoff of Attack No. 1. It was also known in Europe as Smash (French) and Mimi e le ragazze della pallavolo (Italian).
The story is about Mimi Hijiri, a student with only one school year remaining, who decides to revitalize a volleyball team low on morale from the death of one of its team member from an accident.
The series was created as a tribute to the gold medal Japanese women's volleyball team in the 1976 Olympics.
While the show would eventually air in the European market in the 1980s in countries such as France and Italy, the plot and concept was too similar to its predecessor Attack No. 1. The show ceased production after only 23 episodes. Another of Shiro Jinbo's works, Hana no Ko Lunlun, was much more successful globally as an anime a few years later
In the French version "Smash", Mimi is Virginia Tessier. In the Italian dub, she is Mimi Miceri. In both languages, most of the other character names were changed as well.
Mitsuko Horie performed both the opening and ending theme songs in the original Japanese version.

Arrow Emblem Hawk of the Grand Prix


Arrow Emblem Hawk of the Grand Prix was an anime series aired from 1977 to 1978 in Japan. There were 44 episodes aired at 25 minutes each. It is also known as "Arrow Emblem Grand Prix no Taka". In the US, it was re-edited to a short movie called "Super Grand Prix".

The story is about a young boy named Takaya Todoroki who dreams of becoming a F1 racer. He puts all his energy into winning a beginners heat, but causes a massive pile up due to an error of judgement. Initially swearing to give up racing. Then a masked stranger appears by his bedside in the hospital who turned out to be world-famous driver Nick Lambda. He encourages him to dust himself off and try driving a new prototype. Before long, he is a team member of "Katori Motors", hoping to become a world F1 champion, driving the "Todoroki special", a car built to his own design.

The name "Taka" comes from the main character's name Takaya. In the US the 44 episode series was significantly shortened to form a 90 minute movie for children called "Super Grand Prix" released by Liberty International on August 12, 2003. The story is essentially the same, except Takaya is now known as "Sean Corrigan" and nicknamed "Crash Corrigan" for the crash.

There were a number of Arrow Emblem race cars released under the Popynica toyline by Popy Pleasure in 1978 and 1979. Two things made these cars unique. The first is that the Arrow Emblem toy car designs carried heavy paint or stickers that made the F1 cars seem flashy and almost appear to be "tricked out". This is in the 70s when the best toy car line in the west, Matchbox, sold very simple scaled models of average street cars and occasional hotrods. The second is that the cars are derived from a successful TV series following, something Matchbox do not have.

The Adventures of Piccolino


The Adventures of Piccolino (Pikorīno no Bōken) is a 52 episode anime series by Nippon Animation first aired in 1976.

The story is based on the novel "Pinocchio" by Italian author Carlo Collodi.

Ace o Nerae!


Ace o Nerae! (エースをねらえ!, Eesu wo nerae!?, lit. Aim for the Ace!) is a shōjo manga by Sumika Yamamoto begun in 1972 and serialized in Margaret. Hugely successful, it was adapted into a TV anime series in 1973, and more recently a live-action drama series in 2004. The anime series was made by Tokyo Movie Shinsha with the Madhouse animation studio (its first major production), and was originally aired on Mainichi Broadcasting. There was also a movie which consisted of several compiled episodes. Another TV anime and two OAVs would soon follow in the 1970s and 1980s. The original TV anime has been distributed in Europe, with the titles Jenny la tennista (Italian), Jeu, Set et Match (French), and Raqueta de oro or "Golden Racket" (Spanish).

3000 Leagues in Search of Mother


3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (Haha wo Tazunete Sanzenri) is an anime series directed by Isao Takahata and aired in 1976. It is (very) loosely based on a small part of the novel Heart (Cuore) by Edmondo De Amicis, widely expanded into a 52-episode epic.

The series was broadcast on the World Masterpiece Theater, an animation staple that showcased each year an animated version of a different classical book or story, and was originally titled "From the Apennines to the Andes". Nippon Animation, producers of the World Masterpiece Theater, would adapt Cuore into a second TV anime series in 1981, although this second series was not part of the WMT.

A summarization movie was released in the 1980s using edited footage from the TV run. Nippon Animation also re-animated 3000 Leagues as a feature-length film in 1999, with a theme song performed by Scottish pop superstar Sheena Easton ("Catch a Dream").

The series was dubbed into several languages and became an instant success in some countries, such as Portugal, Brazil, Spain and Israel. In Hebrew, the series is called HaLev, meaning The Heart (the name of the novel which the series is based on). In some European and in Latin American countries the series is simply known as Marco.

Wanpaku Ôji no Orochi Taiji


Wanpaku Ôji no Orochi Taiji (Japanese: わんぱく王子の大蛇退治 - literally "The Naughty Prince Slays the Giant Serpent") is an anime film produced by Toei Animation and released in Japan on March 24, 1963. English-dubbed versions were released under several titles, including The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon, Prince in Wonderland and Rainbow Bridge.

This is one of the few anime films to have music by famed composer Akira Ifukube. Ifukube was given more time to write his score for this film than most of the other films he had composed for. Some of this film's music was also featured in two episodes (including the first episode) of the anime series Mazinger Z.

ActiveAnime.com :: RIGHT STUF’S ANIME TODAY FEATURES “10 QUESTIONS” WITH GREG AYRES

ActiveAnime.com :: RIGHT STUF’S ANIME TODAY FEATURES “10 QUESTIONS” WITH GREG AYRES:

"GRIMES, IA, February 16, 2007 – Anime producer and mega-online anime retailer The Right Stuf International closes out Valentine’s week by welcoming Greg Ayres – the voice of “Negi Springfield” in Negima!, “Hideki” in Nerima Daikon Brothers and “Koyuki” in the upcoming release of BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad – to the latest episode of ANIME TODAY.

In this “speed-round” interview, Ayres reveals which roles are closest to him, talks about his favorite anime series (as a voice actor and as a fan) and shares some details about his current and future projects."

Three Tales

Three Tales (Japanese: 新しい動画 3つのはなし) was a black and white Japanese anime aired in 1960. It was the first domestic anime ever televised.

The show was an experimental anthology broadcast on the NHK channel. It was divided into 3 parts featuring individual short fairy tales. The first part of the show titled "The Third Plate" is technically the first anime segment ever televised. In total, the show was 30 minutes long.Though it is questionable as to how wide spread the anime actually was, since NHK was only broadcasting to 866 TV sets as of 1953. There is no known estimate as to how much their infrastructure scaled just 7 years later. Though the best evidence pointing to the anime as being black and white comes from the NHK station record, which indicated they did not make their first analog color broadcast until September 10, 1960 at 8:55pm 9 months later in Tokyo and Osaka.

The stories were by Kenji Miyazawa (Oppel and the Elephant),Kosuke Hamada (Third Blood),Mia Ogawa (Sleepy Town).

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.

Star of the Giants


Star of the Giants is the first sports anime series televised in Japan in 1968. It was adapted from the classic 1966 manga series of the same name and later spawned different movies. It is also referred to as "Kyojin no Hoshi", "Hoshi of the Giants".

The story is about Hyuma Hoshi, the promising young baseball pitcher who dreams of becoming a top star like his father Ittetsu Hoshi in the professional Japanese league. His father was once a 3rd baseman until he was injuried in World War II and was forced to retire. The boy would join the ever popular Giants team, and soon he realized the difficulty of managing the high expectations. From the grueling training to battling the rival Mitsuru Hanagata on the Hanshin Tigers, he would have to take out his best pitching magic to step up to the challenge.

The manga appeared in Weekly Shonen Magazine about the actual baseball team Yomiuri Giants using fictional characters. It was launched by the "Yomiuri Group" which at the time owned not only the actual baseball team, but the TV network Nippon Television, the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun as well as Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation. The show targeted young audiences expanding the imagination of what is physically possible by dramatizing pitches and wind-up sequences. While staying true to being a sports anime, the contents are not simulated like real baseball. It was closer to fantasy surreal anime, though that was the norm within manga publications at the time.

The first Star of Giants movie was debuted in 1969 as part of the vacation anime festival on large screen theatres in color. The draw is the most people had black and white TVs at the time. The Star of Giants vs Mighty Atoms TV special reached the U.S and was renamed to "Astro Boy vs the Giants".

"Kyojin no Hoshi (The Anime Super Remix)" was released for the Playstation 2 by Capcom on June 20, 2002. There were also a number of other games on the same platform.

Speed Racer, Part 3


Speed Racer had a younger brother named Spritle (Kurio Mifune) who, along with his pet chimpanzee Chim-Chim (Senpei), constantly got into mischief by hiding in the trunks of cars.

Other regular characters included Sparky (Sabu ??), the company mechanic; Speed's father, Pops (Daisuke Mifune), a former wrestler-turned race car owner and builder; and his mother, (Aya Mifune); and also Speed's chaste girlfriend Trixie (Michi Shimura, ???? Shimura Michi). She flies around in a helicopter during each race and advises Speed Racer via a radio link to the Mach Five.

A frequent recurring character, driving car number nine (the "Shooting Star"), is the enigmatic Racer X (Fukumen (Masked) Racer), a mysterious soldier of fortune whose secret identity is that of Rex Racer (Ken'ichi Mifune), Speed's older brother, who years earlier had a falling out with the family and exiled himself. Rex left home estranged from his family and assumed the Racer X identity to pursue his racing career after arguing with Pops about it. He stayed in the background looking out for Speed Racer, often rescuing or assisting him. Racer X always left the scene unnoticed, receding into his secret life.

Speed Racer, along with Astro Boy, was one of the first truly successful anime franchise in the United States. The pivotal episode in which Racer X reveals his identity to Speed (The Trick Race) was selected by TV Guide as one of the most memorable moments in TV history. Many real-life race car drivers became fans of the show.

The title character was "interviewed" in a humorous series of promotional ads for auto racing that ran on ESPN. The Speed Racer characters even appeared in an animated commercial for the Volkswagen GTI. In the ad, entitled "Sabotage", Speed drives a GTI to victory after the Mach Five is disabled. The ad also incorporated the Matrix-style rotating freeze frame shot from the cartoon's ending credits, with the GTI replacing the Mach Five in the shot.

Speed, Trixie, Spritle and Chim-Chim currently appear in a North American TV commercial for the car insurance company GEICO. The commercial makes use of the show's original footage.

In the 1977 film Slap Shot, after arriving at their hotel room in Charlestown, one of the Hanson Brothers ask when is Speed Racer on in the city. It should be known that the Hansons, when they're not playing hockey, play with toy racecars.


Speed Racer, Part 2


And now the baddest car this side of the Batmobile.......

The Mach Five (lit. the "Mach") is the racing car Speed Racer (Go Mifune in the Japanese version) drives in the anime series of the same name (known as "Mach Go! Go! Go!" in Japan). It was designed, built, and created by Pops Racer, Speed Racer's father. It features a set of special devices which Speed Racer uses throughout the series. In the original 1966 series, the Mach Five is a white racing car with an 'M' written on its hood. In the 1993 American remake, the design was completely changed.

Its name probably derives from the fact that speeds above Mach 5 are known as hypersonic. However, the Mach Five cannot reach Mach speeds. The name is also a pun in two languages: the word for "five" in Japanese is "go". However, the "go" used for the car's name is a suffix attached to the names of ships, etc. Thus, the car is known in the Japanese version as simply the "Mach".

An actual race car that most closely resembles the Mach Five would be the Chaparral, which has a similar cockpit and fender flares.

It should be noted that the design and features of the car are comical in any real context. Obviously the car is designed to compete in some type of "open formula" racing, where cars are usually built with the maximum power and minimum of weight. Almost all of this car's features are totally pointless in the context of a race. The car itself would also be vastly overweight and overpowered. (For example, the car's special traction mode which puts 20,000hp through the wheels is totally unrealistic - even modern tires far wider than those shown on the car are incapable of transmitting such power to the ground without spinning).

The car has seven mechanisms triggered by buttons labelled from A to G on the steering wheel hub. Their functions (and names, taken from the Japanese production) are:

Button A, Auto Jack: Releases four jacks to boost the car up so that it can be repaired. Although designed for this function, the auto jacks are more often used to leap the car short distances at high speeds, as a wedge to prevent the car from toppling over a waterfall, as alternative braking systems, and as a tool to crush cars in a car-wrestling match. The spring-like sound the jacks make is distinctive to the show.

Button B, Belt Tires: Sprouts special grip tires for traction over any kind of terrain (firm, icy, or unsteady ground; ocean floor; vertical mountainsides). At the same time, 5,000 horsepower (3.7 MW) is distributed equally to each wheel by auxiliary engines.

Button C, Cutter: Powerful rotary saws protrude from the front of the Mach Five to slash and cut any and all obstacles. Mostly used for racing in wooded areas (especially when Speed gets forced off the road), the rotary saws have also been used as a means of self-defense.

Button D, Defensor: Releases a powerful deflector which seals the cockpit into an air-conditioned, bullet- and crash-proof, and water-tight chamber. Inside it, the driver is completely isolated and shielded. The deflector also protects against sleeping gas, as it has its own air supply.

Button E, Evening Eye: The control for special illumination which can be traversed singly or in tandem, and which enables to see much farther and more clearly than with ordinary headlights. When used with the “night shades” attached to Speed’s helmet, his vision is enhanced with infrared light.

Button F, Frogger Mode: Used when the Mach Five is under water. First, the cockpit is supplied with oxygen. Then, a periscope is raised to scan the surface of the water. Everything that is seen is relayed down to the driver's seat by television. The 100 pound [45 kg] auxiliary supply of oxygen is enough to last for thirty minutes.

Button G, Gizmo Rocket: Releases a homing robot from the front of the car. The homing robot can fly and can carry pictures or tape recorded messages, handwritten messages, X-ray film, rope, and small Egyptian statues, and it has been used as a means of defense. The bird-like device is operated by a built-in remote control within the cockpit.

Button H, Homing: This button is, unlike the other buttons, part of the Gizmo Rocket's controls, and it simply sends the robot "home” to a pre-programmed location, usually Speed's house.

The Mach Five also has a small trunk, which is unusual in a race car but was featured in many episodes, often as a hiding place for supporting characters Spritle and Chim-Chim.

In the 1997 series (not to be confused with the 1993 Fred Wolf remake), the buttons had name changes, and sometimes function changes:

Button A, Aero Jack ( Aerojyakki): Similar to the Auto-Jacks, but uses compressed air and rocket thrusters to propell the car into the air, rather than actual metal jacks (making "Aero Jack" a bit of a misnomer). Unlike the original series, this can only be used to make the car jump.
Button B, Balloon Tire (Barun Taia): Inflates the tires like balloons, giving them better traction (similar to monster truck tires), as well as allowing the Mach 5 to float on water.
Button C, Cutter Blade (Katta Buredo): Instead of saws, this button activates laser "blades" to cut through obstacles.
Button D, Defense Shield (Difensu Shirudo): Closes the cockpit in a bulletproof protective dome, like the original series.
Button E, Emergency Wire (Emajyenshi Waia): Completely different from the original series, this shoots out a rope and grappling hook to snag objects, either to keep the Mach 5 from falling into dangerous situations, or to hoist itself out of them.
Button F, Fish Diver (Fisshu Daiba): Functionally identical to Frogger Mode, but causes a M.A.S.K.-like physical transformation in the car, the wheels folding in and maneuverability fins sprouting.
Button G, Gallant Go (Gyaranto Go): Again, identical to the Gizmo Rocket, but with a new name. (The kanji in its name is the same kanji used in the car's name, so the name literally means "The Gallant").

In The New Adventures Of Speed Racer, the steering wheel of the Mach 5 in this series had eight unmarked rectangular buttons, arranged in two columns of four on either side of the steering wheel's center. The car appeared to have the same functions as the Mach 5 in the original series, but the buttons Speed pressed to activate them seemed more or less random, with the same button activating different abilities (or different buttons activating the same ability) in different episodes.

Speed Racer, Part 1


Speed Racer is the title of an English adaptation of the Japanese cartoon Mach Go Go Go which centered around automobile racing. The series is an early example of an anime becoming a successful franchise in the United States.

The characters and storylines originated in Japan as the manga and anime series Mach Go Go Go (マッハGoGoGo) from the anime studio Tatsunoko Productions.

Mach Go Go Go was first created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida (1933–1977) as a manga series in the 1960s and made the jump to TV as an anime series in 1967. The central character in the anime and manga was a young race car driver named Gō Mifune (三船剛 Mifune Gō). Yoshida selected the names and symbolisms in his creation very carefully. The M logo on the hood of his race car and the front of his helmet stood for his family name Mifune, an homage to Japanese film star Toshiro Mifune (and not "Mach 5" as the dub would suggest). His given name Gō is also a Japanese homonym for the number 5 (the number on his race car). This is also represented by the letter G embroidered on his shirt. The names themselves constitute a multi-lingual wordplay of the kind that started to become part of the Japanese popular culture of the time.

The English rights to Mach Go Go Go were immediately acquired by American syndicator Trans-Lux. The main character Go Mifune was given the name "Speed Racer" in the English version. A major editing and dubbing effort was undertaken by producer Peter Fernandez, who also voiced many of the characters, including Speed Racer himself. Fernandez was also responsible for a retooling of the theme song's melody and its subsequent English lyrics. When the series emerged before U.S. TV audiences as Speed Racer, fans were quickly drawn to its sophisticated plots involving fiendish conspiracies, violent action, hard-driving racing, and soulful characters with sparkling eyes. In an effort to squeeze the complicated plotlines into existing lip movements, the frenetic pace of the dubbing made Speed Racer famous for its quirky "fast" dialogue. In the late 1990s the series made a comeback as reruns on Cartoon Network in late afternoon (and later on in late night/overnight) programming. The series was distributed in the 1990s by Group W's international unit with the mention of Trans-Lux deleted from the show's opening sequence.

Princess Knight


Princess Knight was a Japanese manga that ran through four serializations from 1954 to 1968, as well as a 1967 Japanese children's animated series called Ribbon no Kishi (Literally,Knight of the Ribbon.). It was dubbed into English and brought over to Western audiences in 1970, where it was called Choppy and the Princess. In 1973, this series was dubbed in Portuguese and premiered in Brazil, where it still has many fans. The original Japanese animation was created by Tezuka Osamu, the "father of manga", who is probably best known in the West as the creator of Tetsuwan Atom, aka Astro Boy. Princess Knight had a similar animation and character design style as Astro Boy, and was targeted towards the same age range. The series was one of the earliest anime produced in color.

For the most part the story of both the manga and the serializations is the same, with only the second serialization (known as Twin Knight) and to some extent the fourth serialization being significantly different.

Taking place in a medieval fairy-tale setting, Princess Knight is the story of young Princess Sapphire who must pretend to be a male prince so she can inherit the throne (as women are not eligible to do so). This deception begins as soon as she is born, as her father the King announces his baby is a boy instead of a girl. The reason for this is that the next-in-line to the throne, Duke Duralumon, is an evil man who would repress the people if he were to become king, and because of this the King will go to any length to prevent him from taking over.

Princess Sapphire has a pint-sized sidekick in the form of Choppy, a young angel-in-training out to earn his wings. When she was born, Choppy accidentally gave Sapphire the blue heart of a rambunctious boy as well as the pink heart of a prim and proper girl, and so God sent him down to Earth to sort out the mess and retrieve Sapphire's extra heart. Choppy is stuck inside a rather weak mortal shell, and cannot go back to heaven until he's fixed things. Sapphire won't let Choppy remove her blue boy's heart, however. As a result, Choppy is pretty much stuck with Sapphire (although he doesn't really mind).

Sapphire and Choppy experience a variety of fairy tale and political adventures, including encounters with ice witches and anti-Royal revolutionaries. Sapphire also dons a Zorro-style mask at night and fights crime as the Phantom Knight. She also spends a lot of time foiling Duke Duralumon's schemes to take over the kingdom, as well as his attempts to prove that Sapphire is really a girl (and thus discredit her as the heir to the throne).

The bright and colorful animation style of Princess Knight is comparable to that of early Disney, à la Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The storytelling style is relatively relaxed and slow-paced, albeit not nearly to the minimalist extreme of Samurai Jack. The show is aimed at younger viewers and is fairly lighthearted, although it is not deliberately campy like Scooby Doo or the 1980s' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Because it is a Japanese series, however, some mature themes do crop up occasionally. There are several references to God, Satan, Heaven, and Hell. Also, in the final episodes, the story arc is resolved and many major characters are killed on screen (although the main principals make it out okay in the end).

Princess Sapphire makes a cameo appearance in the 2004 game Astro Boy: Omega Factor created for the Game Boy Advance, along with a number of other characters created by Osamu Tezuka. In the game Sapphire Castle is located in the distant past on the vanished continent of Mu. She eventually falls in love with Tezuka's perennial - but in this case eventually reformed - villain, Makube Rokuro (a.k.a. Rock), who has been brought there by Astro Boy. In addition, Sapphire appears (with slightly darker skin) in two episodes of the 2003 Astro Boy series; again as a princess. In the first appearance she is visiting the city in which Astro Boy lives. In the second (Episode 26, The Time Machine) Astro Boy, Uran and doctor Black Jack travel through time to prevent a criminal from the future to conquer here kingdom and alter the timeline. Doctor Black Jack will perform an emergency surgery on here uncovering the fact that she's a girl. As a reward promised for his help, he will ask the kingdom to allow a female to rule.

Otogi Manga Calendar

Otogi Manga Calendar (Japanese: おとぎマンガカレンダー) was a black and white Japanese anime series aired from 1961 to 1964. It was the first anime series, and the first series ever televised.

The show was about historical events through a character who was not aware of "what happened on this day in history". Sometimes photographs and film footages were mixed in with the animations to explain what historical event had taken place. The research archives came from the Mainichi Shinbun newspaper where the director's Fuki-chan manga was printing at the time.

The show was divided into 2 seasons. In 1961, it was aired in the first season as "Instant History" with 312 episodes, each being just 3 minutes long. The second season "Otogi Manga Calendar" aired 54 episodes, with each being 25 minutes long[2]. The format of the second season paved the way for all the anime series to follow. While it was the first series ever broadcasted on TV, it should not be mistaken as the first anime ever broadcasted.

The King Kong Show


The King Kong Show is an American/Japanese children's animated television series produced in 1966 by Videocraft of the USA, and Japan's Toei Animation, and is the first anime series produced in Japan for an American company (not counting Rankin/Bass' previous Animagic stop motion specials, also animated in Japan).

This series is an animated adaptation of the famous movie monster, King Kong. In this series, the giant ape befriends the Bond Family, with whom he goes on various adventures, saving the world from monsters, robots, aliens, mad scientists and other threats.

Included is a comical cartoon show called Tom of T.H.U.M.B., about a 6-inch secret agent named Tom and his Oriental sidekick Swinging Jack, who foil the plots of evil organizations such as M.A.D.

In Japan, The first two episodes were combined into a 56-minute special, titled King of the World: The King Kong Show (世界の王者 キングコング大会 - Sekai no Ôja: Kingu Kongu Taikai), and was broadcast on NET (now TV Asahi) on December 31, 1966. The rest of the series, with the inclusion of Tom of T.H.U.M.B., was broadcast on NET as King Kong & 001/7 Tom Thumb (Kingu Kongu * 001/7 Oyayubi Tomu - キングコング・001/7親指トム), and aired on April 5 to October 4, 1967, with a total of 26 episodes.

This series was successful enough for Rankin/Bass to extend the Kong franchise to another Japanese company, Toho (which already produced the hit King Kong vs. Godzilla in 1962). This resulted in Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (originally intended as a Kong film) and King Kong Escapes, which was based on The King Kong Show.

On November 15, 2005, Sony Wonder released 8 episodes (two King Kong cartoons separated by a Tom of T.H.U.M.B. cartoon) on two DVD releases. The pilot episode was included, in two parts, between the two DVDs.

King Kong - The title character and hero. The 8th Wonder of the World, Kong was discovered on Mondo Island (sometimes known as Skull Island) by Bobby Bond, whom he saved from being eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. He even saved Bobby's family from other disasters afterwards. Ever since, he has become the family's mascot and hero.
Professor Bond - The head/father of the Bond family.
Susan Bond - The teenage daughter. She is always somewhat perplexed by Bobby and Kong's friendship.
Is the basis for Susan Watson (Linda Miller) in King Kong Escapes.
Bobby Bond - The young son, and Kong's closest companion. Saved by Kong from being eaten by a T-Rex, and they have been friends ever since.
Captain Englehorn - A friend to the family and Professor Bond's ship captain.
Based on the character from the original King Kong film.
Dr. Who - The popular recurring villain. A mad scientist who wants to capture Kong for his own evil schemes.
No relation to the British sci-fi character.
Is the basis for Hideyo Amamoto's character Dr. Who in King Kong Escapes.
Mechani-Kong - Kong's robot double, invented by Dr. Who.
Is also Kong's nemesis in King Kong Escapes.
Zedus - Another of Kong's recurring enemies is a giant praying mantis who preys on the residents of Mondo Island and is the first villain Kong faced.





Kimba the White Lion


Kimba the White Lion (Japanese: ジャングル大帝/Janguru Taitei "Jungle Emperor") is a Japanese animated series from the 1960s, created by Osamu Tezuka, based on his manga of the same title which started in 1950. It was the first color TV animation series created in Japan. The entire series of manga was first published in serialized form in Manga Shonen magazine. This anime series has enjoyed immense popularity worldwide--most notably in Australia, the United States, Europe and even in Middle East especially among Arab viewers-- from the middle 1960s to the present time.

Kimba the White Lion has been immensely popular in Japan since its first broadcast in 1965. English and Spanish versions were created in 1966, creating a worldwide fan base that persists to this day. The show has also been translated into many other languages (see Worldwide Translations, below).

The show has such appeal that, with the rights to the original translations lost due to legal complications, new English and Spanish versions were produced in 1993. These are currently being broadcast in the US and Europe. Certain plot details of the original Japanese version, which were "softened" in the original English translation, have been allowed to remain in this new version -- such as, in 1966 we were told that Caesar freed the cattle to live in the jungle. The original plot had him taking the cattle as food for the jungle predators. However, the realities of modern-day television meant that each episode had to be shortened by three minutes or more in the new edition, and key plot elements from some episodes were often cut out.

In 1994, controversy arose over the possible connection of Disney's animated feature The Lion King with Kimba the White Lion. Fans in Japan and the U.S. called for the Disney company to acknowledge the use of characters and situations from the Japanese production in the Disney movie. The situation has remained a controversy due to the Disney Company's statement that no one in the company had heard of Kimba until after The Lion King was released - in spite of the fact that people related to the production of The Lion King had referred to "Kimba" as the main character of The Lion King: for example, in 1993, a person asked Roy Disney in a Prodigy session that whether there would be any nice motherly figures in future Disney animated films and Mr. Disney replied that Kimba's mother in the following year's The Lion King will be lovely. Matthew Broderick also stated that he understood he was being hired as a voice actor for a Disney remake of Kimba The White Lion.[1][2][3][4]

Note that the controversy does not involve the story of The Lion King. Disney movies often diverge from the story of the works on which they are based, so this cannot be considered as proof one way or the other. It is the similarity of characters and certain specific scenes and situations that are in question. It would seem that the Disney Company itself has provided evidence for the fans' position by including on The Lion King Platinum Edition DVD a "presentation reel" made early in the production of The Lion King which features a picture of a white lion cub.

It has been reported numerous times that Tezuka Production Company Ltd. was looking for a U.S. animation company to bring Kimba back to the North American audience. Trade publications stated that they were in talks with the Disney Corp. It is theorized that The Lion King was developed from the pieces of the Kimba pilot made for Tezuka.[Quote from source requested on talk page to verify interpretation of source]

The Tezuka/Disney connection extends back into time. Dr. Tezuka sought out and obtained the license to adapt Disney's Bambi into manga for the Japanese market. Tezuka met Walt Disney at the 1964 World's Fair, at which time Disney said he hoped to "make something just like" Tezuka's Astro Boy. And Disney animators were hired to train Tezuka's crew in the use of color when production was started on the Jungle Emperor/Kimba the White Lion TV series.

An odd coincidence is that when the English version of Kimba was in production, the character was to be named "Simba" (which means 'lion' in the African language Swahili). But, since "Simba" was considered untrademarkable, they changed the "S" to a "K", and came up with a character name that is known in almost every country of the world (Kimba is known as "Leo" in Japan, his country of origin and, also in France, where the series is known as "Le Roi Léo").

The Simpsons brought the Lion King controversy to the general public in the episode "'Round Springfield". At the end of the episode, Mufasa appears in the sky as he did in The Lion King. However, he parodies the original "The Lion King" line by saying: "You must avenge my death, Kimba... dah, I mean Simba." The picture at the right references the look and usage of imagery in The Lion King; see Kimba episode 13 ("The Trappers") for how that series addressed the concept of "avenging" the death of Kimba's parents.

Kimba has made cameo appearances in several video games. Two of these are Astro Boy: Omega Factor (as Pook, a shape-shifting robot) for the Game Boy Advance, and Columns with a large number of other Osamu Tezuka characters.

Kimba has made several cameo appearances in the anime series Black Jack.

Some fans point to the appearance of a white lion in an Astro Boy (1960s) episode ("The Snow Lion") as a sort of cameo appearance, but this character is similar to the adult Kimba in appearance only; it is not meant to be the same character.

Judo Boy


Judo Boy is an anime created by Tatsuo Yoshida and Ippei Kuri to Tatsunoko Production (same creators of Gatchaman and Speed Racer) at the year of 1969.

Himitsu no Akko-chan


Himitsu no Akko-chan (ひみつのアッコちゃん, Himitsu no Akko-chan?, The Secrets of Akko-chan or Akko-chan's Secret) is a magical girl manga and anime that ran in Japan during the 1960s.

The manga was drawn and written by Fujio Akatsuka, and was published in Ribon from 1962 to 1965. It predates the Mahōtsukai Sunny (whose name became Sally in the Mahōtsukai Sally anime) manga, printed in 1966. However, that title is the first magical girl anime as Himitsu no Akko-chan was not broadcast until 1969.

The original anime ran for 97 episodes from 1969 to 1970. It was animated by Toei Animation and broadcast by TV Asahi (then known as NET). It has been remade twice, in 1988 (61 episodes, featuring Mitsuko Horie in the role of Akko-chan and singing the opening and ending themes) and in 1998 (44 episodes). Two Akko-chan movies were made in 1989 and five were created between 1969 and 1973.

Some sources state that, like Sally, Akko-chan was also inspired by Bewitched.

While each remake has small differences, the basic premise is always the same.

Atsuko "Akko-chan" Kagami (known variously as "Stilly," "Caroline," or "Julie" in Western versions of the anime) is an energetic elementary school girl who has an affinity for mirrors. One day, her favorite mirror which was given to Akko by her mother (or in some versions, by her father, as a present from India) is broken, and she prefers to bury it in her yard rather than throw it to the trash can. In her dreams, she is contacted by a spirit (or in some cases the Queen of the Mirror Kingdom) who is moved that the little girl would treat the mirror so respectfully and not simply throw it away. Akko-chan is then given the gift of a magical mirror and taught an enchantment that will allow her to transform into anything she wishes.

Largely unknown in the English-speaking world, Himitsu no Akko-chan enjoyed a good deal of success when it was exported to the European market in the 1980s. In fact, all three Akko-chan series have been screened on TV in Italy.

Gigantor


Gigantor (originally Tetsujin-nijūhachi-gō literally "Iron Man #28") was a manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama published in 1958 which was later made into several anime series, the first in 1963. It was the first "giant robot" series. A live action motion picture with heavy use of computer generated graphics was produced in Japan in 2005 based on the old comics as opposed to the newer version in "New Gigantor" which was translated into many languages including Arabic.

As of January 6, 2007 Adult Swim has resumed airing Gigantor. It can be seen Saturday nights (Sunday mornings) at 5:30am EST.

The series is set in the future year of 2000. A boy named Jimmy Sparks (Shotaro Kaneda - 金田 正太郎 Kaneda Shotarō - in the Japanese version) is the nephew of Dr. Bob Brilliant (Dr. Shikishima, Shikishima-hakase) and lives with him on a remote island. Jimmy usually wears shorts and a jacket, carries a firearm and occasionally drives a car. Jimmy fights crime around the world with the help of a huge remote-controlled robot, Gigantor. The robot is made of steel, and has a rocket-powered backpack for flight, a pointy nose, eyes that never move, and incredible strength, but no intelligence. Whoever has the remote control controls Gigantor.

Although it is not known whether Hughes ever saw the Gigantor series, there is a notable resemblance between the characters of Jimmy and Gigantor and the characters of the boy Hogarth and the giant robot in Ted Hughes' well-known children's book The Iron Man, which was published in 1968.

In post World War II and then Cold War era Japan, it is likely that the plots for the episodes were symbolic of the things going on in the world at the time. This assumption can be made given how many plots revolved around one oppressive country invading another peaceful one, requiring Gigantor's aid to save them. It is debatable whether or not the writers meant for the oppressive country to be representative of the United States (Like many writers of the time did in the Japanese genre of giant monster and robot heroes) or of the Soviet Union, or even both. The same is true in the reverse, as peaceful countries could be the United States or symbolic of a country under the 'Iron Curtain' (Both would fit with the Soviet Union being portrayed as the oppressor) or as Japan itself (Which would fit if the oppressing country was the United States).

Cyborg 009 ,Part3


Great Britain (G.B.) - Cyborg 007. Seiyuus: Machiko Soga (1960s); Kaneta Kimotsuki (1979 series and 1980 movie); Yuichi Nagashima (2001 series).
Great Britain, whose real name is unknown, was unsurprisingly originally from the United Kingdom. He was once a famous and talented stage actor with a broad knowledge of famous shows. In the TV series, Great Britain was in love with an actress named Sophie, who worked with him. Later he became more famous and gradually ignored his past love. One financial problem after another arose, and the once great thespian was reduced over time to the life of a penniless nobody who would do anything for a drink or a smoke. Black Ghost agents, noticing his plight, easily lured Great Britain into their vehicle with an alcoholic beverage. Later after his escape with the other cyborgs, Great Britain goes back to the United Kingdom and finds out that his ex-girlfriend had a daughter, Rosa. With the possibility that she might be his child, Great Britain tries to talk to her but is unfortunately rejected and scorned for his past actions (Rosa believed him to have betrayed Sophie), to be redeemed only in the end when he replaces a main actor in Rosa's theatrical play and manages to befriend her. 007 has the incredible ability to reshape his cellular structure at will, allowing him to become any object, creature, or person he wishes (at one point in the 2001 series, he even grows to titanic proportions!). With his superb acting skills, he can also blend in with the enemy to use sneaky maneuvers and attacks. Although he is the oldest of the second generation cyborgs, being in his late 40's when kidnapped, 007 is probably the most lighthearted one and is a very amiable guy to boot. His number is an obvious reference to Ian Fleming's famous British spy character James Bond.

Pyunma - Cyborg 008. Seiyuus: Kenji Utsumi (1960s movies); Keiichi Noda (1968 series); Kouji Totani (1979 series); Kazuyuki Sogabe (1980 movie); Mitsuo Iwata (2001 series).
Pyunma was originally from an undisclosed part of Africa. Originally, 23-years-old Pyunma was to have been made a slave along with the people of his tribe, but he escaped from his chains and ran off. Cornered by the slave drivers, all seemed lost until the slave drivers were shot dead by Black Ghost agents from out of nowhere. Holding Pyunma at gunpoint, they led him to their plane so he could be taken to the cybernetics laboratory. In the 2001 series, Pyunma was a guerrilla fighter who fought against the tyrant ruling his land along with his friends Kabore and Masmado, but was caught in the crossfire during a nocturnal fight, and then Black Ghost people kidnapped him. Pyunma, the only member of the team with any real combat training, has mechanical lungs that allow him to survive for very long periods of time underwater. Although his design in the manga makes him look almost simian (something that was rectified in the recent Cyborg 009 TV series), Pyunma is actually a serious and cool-headed fighter and decision-maker when the situation demands it. (Very late in the 2001 series, he is given an unwanted rebuild that leaves him with a silver-scaled fishlike body - he is initially horrified by it, but after a talk with 004 he accepts it and even gives his new parts an effective and ingenious use in a fight.)

Joe Shimamura (Shimamura Jō) - Cyborg 009, and the main character/leader. Seiyuus: Hiroyuki Ohta (1960s movies); Katsuji Mori (1968 series); Kazuhiko Inoue (1979 series and 1980 movie); Akira Kamiya (1979 Radio Drama); Takahiro Sakurai (2001 series).
Joe aka 009 is from Japan, although he is actually half-Japanese. A delinquent youth, he escaped from a juvenile detention facility before being captured by Black Ghost. In the 2001 anime, he was an orphan taken in by a Catholic priest from Kanazawa along with his street friends (Mary Onodera, Shin'ichi Ibaraki and Masaru Oyamada), then when he turned 18 his mentor was killed by Black Ghost members after they used a group of children that he raised in the church as guinea pigs for the Cyborg project; Joe was wrongfully blamed, then captured by the priest's killers and made into a Cyborg. Although he received several body enhancements during the process of being turned into a cyborg, his most prominent ability is the power to move at a speed so fast that everything else looks like a statue to him (due to an advanced version of 002's acceleration module); this is triggered by a switch embedded in his teeth. However, he cannot touch any normal creatures such as humans in this state; the high speeds would kill or otherwise cause serious injury to the creature through air friction. Joe's trademark aesthetic feature is his flowing, spiked hair, of which a single large lock always covers one of his eyes. He and his best friend in the group, 003 (Françoise Arnoul) become somewhat romantically involved; also, other girls have shown some degree of romantic interest in him, like Lady Tamara in the 1979 movie, Helen the Pu'Awak princess in the 2001 series, and Princess Ishuki in both manga and the 2001 series. Arguably, Artemis the Greek Goddess of the 2001 series may have had some feelings for him, though those also fit as non-romantic bonding due to their origins.

Cyborg 009 ,Part2


Albert Heinrich - Cyborg 004. Seiyuus: Hiroshi Ohtake (1960s); Kenji Utsumi (1968 series [second voice]); Keaton Yamada (1979 series and 1980 movie); Nobuo Tobita (2001 series).
Albert was originally from Germany. He and his fiancée Hilda attempted to escape to West Berlin in the guise of circus members (Albert drove a truck with an animal cage; Hilda dressed up in a lioness costume and stayed in the cage with an actual lion; this is in the manga, since in the 1980 movie and the 2001 series Hilda was Albert's co-pilot). However, because Albert forgot to retrieve his forged identification from a guard, he panicked and sped off. The border guards opened fire on the truck, injuring Albert and killing Hilda in the process. Black Ghost agents arrived on the scene and lied that they would take Albert to a hospital. In the 2001 series, upon waking up as a cyborg, Albert was stricken with despair and developed suicidal tendencies, worsened by the side effects of his modifications which caused him additional physical pain and strain. This ultimately forced Black Ghost to halt the cyborg program for decades, and put the existing cyborgs in suspended animation until technology developed far enough to make future cyborg soldiers more stable. Of all of the 00-Cyborgs, Albert is the one who has had the most cybernetic modification. His right fingertips contains small machine guns, his left hand has razor-sharp edges, and he has missiles hidden in his knees. 004 often has a gruff exterior which belies his friendly personality and disgust with war. (In the 2001 series, he has to fight a robotic version of himself in a castle. He is losing until the robot predicts that he will jump in a certain direction to save himself, but he then jumps in a different direction to save some birds caught up in their battle. The confusion of the robot underscores 004's humanity.). As mentioned, He was the last of the 00 Cyborgs who were frozen until more advanced technology and procedures were made and is the chronologically oldest of the group, being already 30 years old when captured. He also developed a bond with Princess Biina of the Yomi kingdom, which can be interpreted as the first stages of romantic feelings or just sympathy for her deep wish for freedom.

Geronimo, Jr. - Cyborg 005. Seiyuus: Hiroshi Matsuoka (1960s); Banjou Ginga (1979 series and 1980 movie); Akio Otsuka (2001 series).
Also called "G-Junior" for short, and was originally from an undisclosed part of the southwest United States. G-Junior is a Native American who was unable to find work due to widespread racism. At age 26, he was approached to be a Native American chief in a sideshow, but G-Junior simply punched the sideshow owner in the face, refusing to further the stereotypes about his culture. Black Ghost agents overheard the conversation and offered G-Junior a job far from home. G-Junior accepted, admitting that he really had no home anymore. (In the 2001 series he was a freelance construction worker bribed into accepting a very promising job offer by disguised Black Ghost agents). 005 was the first created when Black Ghost resumed its cyborg soldier program. Physically, he is the strongest as well as the biggest of the 00-Cyborgs, and he also has heavily armored skin, evidence of Black Ghost's technological evolution since 004. However, he is also a silent, humble man with a deep reverence for nature and life, and it's speculated that he may have a sort of sixth sense that allows him to sense changes in the nature and possibly other people's thoughts.

Chang Chang Ku Chinese Pinyin: Zhāngzhāng Hú)- Cyborg 006. Seiyuus: Arihiro Fujimura (1960s movies); Ichirō Nagai (1968 series); Sanji Hase (1979 series and 1980 movie); Chafurin (2001 series).
Chang was originally from China. He was an impoverished Chinese farmer in is early 40's who once owned a pig farm; almost all of his pigs ran away and he was starving and suffering under heavy taxes. (In the 2001 series, he owns a restaurant - explaining why he's such a good cook - but burns it down after doing a fire-breathing trick, then he loses everything else. Black Ghost agents pick him up when he faints.) Hopeless, Chang decided to end his misery by hanging himself. However, he was "saved" by a bullet from Black Ghost which cut the noose. Chang fainted and was later delivered to the Black Ghost laboratory. 006's power allows him to breathe huge flames. This ability also allows 006 to create tunnels in the earth and attack enemies with underground explosions. Aside from that, he's a jovial fellow who is well-versed in the ways of cooking; his refined cuisine and happy personality always manage to bring his teammates back to good spirits.

Cyborg 009 ,Part1


Cyborg 009 is a manga created by Shotaro Ishinomori and serialized in the manga magazine Shonen Magazine and Shōjo Comic in Japan. The manga was published in English by TOKYOPOP, as of 2006 it is out of print.

It is the tale of nine regular humans kidnapped by the evil Black Ghost organization to undergo human experiments. The result of this tampering are nine cyborgs, each one having super human powers. The nine cyborgs band together to fight for their freedom and to stop Black Ghost. The evil organization's goal is to start the next world war, by supplying any rich buyer their choice of countless weapons of war and mass destruction.

Elements of this series would later find its way into Kamen Rider (1971), another famous creation by Ishinomori. The plots are the same, except that the weekly threats are mutants, and there is just one hero (later two), as opposed to nine.

Attack No. 1


Attack No. 1 was a popular manga series in Japan. It also became the first televised female sports anime series in the shōjo category. It was also referred to as "Mila Superstar" when aired across Europe.

The story is about Kozue Ayuhara, the new girl who transferred to Fujimi College, who tried out for the school volleyball team. Her friendship with Midori would develop, and her talents would impress coach Honga more and more each day. Though she showcased extraordinary volleyball skills, she would make enemies with Yoshimura, the star of the current team. Kozue would discover that being at the top would bring stress, incompatibilities and other dilemmas into her life. Her high expectations of becoming the best volleyball player in the school, Japan and eventually the world, would set the tone for the drama to follow.

The anime is an adaptation of Chikako Urano's 1968 volleyball manga serialized in Weekly Maragaret Magazine under the same name. Chikako was considered one of the founders of shojo anime. And the series was introduced not only to push the older female manga fan base (as opposed to the significantly younger audience for magical girl series such as Sally, the Witch) into the anime mainstream, but also capitalize on the boom of the gold medal Japanese women's volleyball team in the 1964 Olympics. The show did stand out in an era dominated by shōnen adventures and sci-fi animes, and was well received in the anime-friendly television markets of France, Germany and Italy.

This series was practically responsible for the explosion of the shojo subgenre from 1960s and on. There were countless series that followed the same concept, but shifted the focus to different sports. Ace wo Nerae! for tennis, Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl for judo are just some examples of series that appeared immediately after the fading of this series.

The show have received numerous awards. On September 23, 2005 it was voted "TV Asashi Top Anime" placing 61 out of 100. On October 13, 2006 it was voted "Japanese Favorite TV Anime" placing 9 out of 100 among celebrities.

This show also had a profound impact not only for being a sport spirited (supokon) anime in Japan, but had a strong influence long after the series ended. Italian professional volleyball player, Francesca Piccinini, is one such example of someone inspired by the series[5]. (In Italy, the anime was shown on TV in the 1980s under the title Mimi e la nazionale della pallavolo. It was also known as Mila Superstar in Germany and other countries, Les Attaquantes in French, La Panda de Julia in Spanish and TAKKITAKKI in Uzbestikan.)

Despite the show being called Mila Superstar when aired across Europe, the main character of Attack No. 1 in Japan was never called Mila. The name came from the immensely popular Italian version of 1984's Attacker You!, in which the main character, You Hazuki, was renamed Mila.
In addition, the screenwriters for the Italian version of Attacker You! created a relationship between that series and Attack No. 1 that was not present in the original Japanese: they rewrote You Hazuki (Mila) as a cousin of Kozue, who was renamed "Mimi Ayuhara" in the Italian dub of Attack No. 1. This Voltron-style reworking of the story of Attacker You! by the Italian dubbing staff carried over into the French and Spanish versions of the anime. To compound the confusion, the heroine of the Attack No. 1 spinoff Attack on Tomorrow is named Mimi in both the Japanese and Italian versions.

Astro Boy, Part 4


This version originally premiered on Fuji TV, on New Year's Day 1963, but was eventually moved to the NHK network. It was the first anime to be broadcast outside Japan. It lasted for three seasons, with a total of 193 episodes. At its height it was watched by 40% of the Japanese population that had access to a TV. In 1964 there was a feature-length animated movie called Hero of Space released in Japan. It was an anthology of three episodes; The Robot Spaceship, Last Day on Earth and Earth Defense Squadron. The latter two were a special treat for Japanese fans since the theatrical versions were filmed in color.

For the English version, the producers, NBC Enterprises, were forced to abandon a literal translation of the name "Mighty Atom" due to potential legal threats from DC Comics, who already had a superhero comic by that name. They settled ultimately on "Astro Boy." Of the 193 episodes created in the series, 104 were adapted into the English version by Fred Ladd. The manga was not translated into English until Dark Horse Comics published it in the 2000s, although Gold Key Comics published an unauthorized version in the United States.

Billie Lou Watt — Astro Boy/Astro Girl/Mother
Ray Owens — Dr. Elefun/Dr. Boynton
Gilbert Mack — Mr. Pompus/Father

The Right Stuf International has released 2 11-disc DVD collections of the series' entire American run. The video and audio quality varies widely since the company was forced to make do with the best available sources they could find. This is due to the fact that the original masters were destroyed in 1975. According to Ladd, the masters were destroyed by NBC after the network had attempted to return them to Mushi Productions. Mushi, going through bankruptcy at the time, pleaded inability to take them, and so they were burned by NBC. Due to this, the show as currently seen consists of the English version (even in Japan, where it is shown with Japanese subtitles) supplemented with copies of some episodes taken from the masters, including the first episode, found in private archival collections.

Astro Boy, Part 3


In the original black-and-white series, Astro's cry was "Let's go -- go -- go!!
In the 2003 series Astro's cry was "Let's rocket!" It is also the morphing call yelled by the Space Rangers in Power Rangers in Space.
In the opening of The Simpsons episode 'Tis The Fifteenth Season all the members of the family are dressed up as Japanese superheroes. Bart is dressed up as Astroboy, wearing red boots and slicked back black hair.
American Idol 4 finalist Constantine Maroulis voices a Mechanic in an episode.
Astro Boy had two video games for the Famicom and Super Famicom that were only released in Japan. The Famicom version was done by Konami.
In 2004 Sega released Astro Boy: Omega Factor for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, an earlier version of which had been released in Japan about six months previously. The U.S. version received great reviews , as had the earlier Japanese release, though the American version incorporates a number of changes and improvements. Interestingly, a number of other characters created by Osamu Tezuka have cameo appearances in the game, including Ambassador Magma, Amazing 3, Black Jack (manga), Big X, Rainbow Parakeet, Kimba the White Lion, and Unico.
A PS2 version of Astro Boy was also released by Sonic Team and published by Sega which brings the Astro Boy universe to the third dimension. Unfortunately the PS2 version received a poor two star rating from GameSpy compared to 4.5 stars for the Game Boy Advance game.
In commemoration of Astro Boy's "birth" in Takadanobaba on April 7, 2003, the JR platform in Takadanobaba has used the theme music from the TV series to signal that a train is about to leave.
Naoki Urasawa's manga Pluto is a retelling of a story arc in Tetsuwan Atomu called "The World's Strongest Robot."
Hamegg (Cacciatore in the American version) appears as a villain in the Kimba the White Lion anime.
Stanley Kubrick who saw Astro Boy asked the creator, Osamu Tezuka, to be a production designer on 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In 1977, Toei Animation was given permission by Tezuka to make an anime that was inspired by Astro Boy. It was called Jetter Mars, in which the main character has emotions and grows up like a child. He is torn between a loving heart and crime-fighting.
In the DC comics Elseworld Kingdom Come Astro Boy's face can be seen on a billboard during the League's battle on the rogue Meta-humens of Japan.
In the animated televsision series Freakazoid!, the titular character enjoys watching a show that happens to be a parody of Astro Boy, called "Hero Boy".
In a Calvin and Hobbes comic, Calvin wants to put Crisco in his hair for school picture day but his mother redoes it, so Hobbes makes Calvin look like Astro Boy.
The punk supergroup Osaka Popstar has a song dedicated to Astro Boy on their 2006 album called, obviously enough, Astro Boy.
Astro Boy has its own sushi restaurant in Gushikawa, Okinawa, Japan called Atom Boy.
Keiji Inafune, the creator of the Mega Man series, said that Astro Boy was a big source of inspiration.
Jonny Greenwood from the band Radiohead has an Astro Boy sticker on his Fender Telecaster.
The theme music was used in the video game Mr. Do!
Andy Milonakis wrote a play starring Astroboy, where he tries to help Rooster headed Chicken get the Sloomeramy beasts out of the Galacta-corn. The play starred Andy Milonakis and an old lady named Rivka.
In one episode of Astro Boy there is a sign on a door of the interior of Astro's family. The sign reads "Atom". This is either a direct copy of the original Japanese series or a tribute to it.

Astro Boy, Part 2


Astro Boy is a science fiction series set in a future where androids co-exist with humans. Its focus is on the adventures of the titular "Astro Boy", a powerful robot created by the head of the Ministry of Science Dr. Tenma (Dr. Boyton in the first series English anime, Dr. Balfus in the Canadian dub of the second series) in order to replace his son Tobio, or Astor Boyton III in the first series English anime, Toby in the remake of the first series English anime. After Tobio died in a car accident, Dr. Tenma built Astro in Tobio's image and treated him as lovingly as if he were the real Tobio, but soon came to the fact that the little android could not fill the void of his lost son, especially due to the fact that he wouldn't grow. In the original 1960 edition, Tenma rejected Astro and sold him to a cruel circus owner, Hamegg (also known as Cachatore), who abused the performers. In the 1980 edition, Astro naïvely signed himself away to the circus owner.

While languishing in Hamegg's circus, Professor Ochanomizu (Dr. Packadermus J. Elefun in the first series, Prof. Peabody in the Canadian dub of the second series, and Dr. O'Shay in the third English dub), the new head of the Ministry of Science, noticed Astro Boy performing in the circus. He managed to make Hamegg turn Astro over to him. He brought Astro along and treated him gently and warmly, becoming his legal guardian. He soon realized Astro was gifted with superior powers and skills, as well as the ability to experience human emotions.

Soon enough, Astro Boy became an android super-hero with a variety of special powers. These included:

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Strength equivalent to 100,000 horsepower (75 MW), allowing him to lift many times his own weight,
The ability to fly using jets in his legs (the manga also featured jets in his arms but they were not featured in the '60s anime),
Magnification of his hearing up to 1000 times,
Laser guns deployed at his posterior (updated from machine-guns depicted in the original manga) (see image; right),
An electro-heart that can discern people's criminal intentions,
Bright eye-lamps to assist his vision.
In the more recent series Astro Boy was also given an arm cannon, lasers in his fingers, and additional jets in his arms.

Astro then fought crime, evil and injustice. Most of his enemies were robot-hating humans, robots gone berserk or alien invaders. Each story almost always included a big robot battle involving Astro as one of the fighters.

The series explored issues of morality, responsibility, racism, prejudice, true heroism, and loss.

Astro Boy, Part 1


Astro Boy is the english title for the Japanese animated series Tetsuwan Atom (which roughly translates to "Mighty Atom" and literally to "Iron-arm Atom") first broadcast on Japanese television from 1963 to 1966.

Astro Boy is the first Japanese television series that embodied the aesthetic that later became known as anime. It originated as a manga comic series started in 1951 by Osamu Tezuka, who is known as the "god of manga". After enjoying success abroad, Astro Boy was remade in the 1980s as Shin Tetsuwan Atomu (Astroboy in the US and other Western countries) and again in 2003. For a time Astro Boy enjoyed a level of popularity in Japan equivalent to Disney's Mickey Mouse. Astro Boy bears some similarities with the Italian boy-puppet Pinocchio .

The animated Astro Boy series was produced by Mushi Productions, a studio established and headed by Tezuka.

The original Tetsuwan Atomu manga stories are now available in English, published by Dark Horse Comics in a translation by Frederik L. Schodt. They follow the television series in using "Astro Boy", the name most familiar to English-speaking audiences, instead of "Tetsuwan Atomu." Names of the other characters, such as Dr. Tenma and Professor Ochanomizu, are those of the original Japanese.

Chuang Yi published a more recent English language manga version of Astro Boy/Tetsuwan Atom in Singapore (also available in Australia).

The 2003 Japanese television series acknowledges the "Astro Boy" name. Although the character is still named "Atomu" ("Atom" in English), the series' onscreen title is Astro Boy Tetsuwan Atomu, with the latter part written in Japanese characters; the scene in which the newly-activated robot is named has been written to support either character name. In the English-language version the character, and the show, is of course once more called Astro Boy.

In the original story, Astro Boy was created in Takadanobaba on April 7, 2003. On the same day in the real world, a city in Japan (Niiza of Saitama prefecture) granted Astro Boy a special citizenship. This is in contrast to the hardship Astro Boy went through in the fiction to be a part of human society, including obtaining a citizenship.

In 2004, the character Astro Boy was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame. The series of graphic albums was nominated for the Harvey Award for Best Presentation of Foreign Material in 2003.

Alakazam the Great


Alakazam the Great is a 1960 Japanese anime film, based on Journey to the West. Originally called Saiyuki ("Journey to the West"?), it was one of the earliest anime films to be released in the United States. Based on a manga (comic book) by Osamu Tezuka, Tezuka was named as a director of the film by Toei Company. However, Tezuka later stated that the only time he was in the studio was to pose for publicity photos. His involvement as a consultant for the adaptation of his manga, and in promoting the film, however, led to his interest in animation.

Alakazam is a young and brave monkey who convinces all the other monkeys to make him their king. After attaining the throne and learning magic, he becomes so vain that he goes to heaven to challenge the gods. He is defeated by King Amo, and sentenced to serve as the bodyguard of Prince Amat in order to learn humility.

The film was released in the U.S. on July 26, 1961. For the American release, bandleader Les Baxter was hired to compose a new soundtrack. Teen idol Frankie Avalon supplied the singing voice of Alakazam (the speaking voice was done by Peter Fernandez), and Sterling Holloway provided the English narration. Despite a large marketing budget and heavy promotion, the film did not do well in America.

Ambassador Magma


Ambassador Magma is the title and protagonist of a manga and tokusatsu TV series created by famous mangaka Osamu Tezuka. The TV series, produced by P Productions, aired on Fuji TV from July 4, 1966 to September 25, 1967, with a total of 52 episodes. It is the first color tokusatsu TV series in Japan, beating Ultraman to the airwaves by 6 days.

The alien invader Goa plots to conquer the Earth. He first warns the Murakami family (father Atsushi, mother Tomoko, and son Mamoru) of their invasion, and demonstrates his powers by transporting them to a prehistoric jungle and destroying a Giant Dinosaur (in reality, Agon, the title monster of a Godzilla-like TV series.) before their very eyes. But they will not agree to surrender to Goa, so hope comes in the form of Magma, an armored, golden giant with long hair and antennae. He and his human-sized wife Mol, both created by the wizard Earth (who sure enough lives deep beneath the Earth), are sent to defend our world against Goa. They befriend Atsushi and Mamoru, the latter has Magma emotionally touched, as he wanted to have a child with his wife Mol, so Earth creates a duplicate of Mamoru, named Gam (who wears a helmet with antennas). Earth gives Mamoru a whistle, with which he can call Gam (when blown once), Mol (when blown twice) and Magma (when blown thrice) in times of crisis. So when Goa unleashes his various daikaiju, chances are, Magma, Mol, and Gam will fly to the rescue.

Ambassador Magma, despite his robot-like appearance, is not a robot, but actually, a living giant forged from gold. In fact, true to his original manga appearance, in the series pilot opening, the actor playing Magma (Tetsuya Uozumi) wore gold make-up on his face. There were difficulties, though, like the actor's face turning beet-red, drowning out the gold makeup. The easy solution: Uozumi wore a golden human-like mask.

Magma, just like his human-sized wife Mol and son Gam, transforms into a giant rocketship. In fact, he is one of the earliest transformers, even before the anime super robot, Brave Raideen, which set the standard for the genre.

He also shoots rockets out of a panel located in his chest, and shoots laser beams from his antennae.

Space Giants is the English title of this series. The show is most notable for its humanoid robot heroes who responded to crises by transforming into rockets to combat a wide variety of dinosaur-like space monsters, and faceless, ninja-like villains called Lugo men who melted into oozing blob-like slime when killed.

The main conflict of the story involved a space villain named Rodak who continually tried to dominate Earth by sending a new dinosaur-like monster from deep space to wreak havok on the greater Tokyo area. The stories were generally resolved in four episodes, much like Doctor Who, and a new monster would be found by Rodak to begin another four part struggle. Rodak's efforts were opposed by the an ancient white-bearded wizard named Methusan (sometimes called Methuselah), aided by a trio of humanoid robots that were capable of changing from humanoid form into rocket form.

The human interest in the story was a family of three: a boy named Miko, his mother Tomoko, and his journalist father Ito Mura. The family became involved in the story due to the villain Rodak's desire to publish news of his presence to world media. The Mura family found themselves continually caught in the crossfire of monster attacks and harried by the Lugo men. A major sub-plot in the series developed when Miko's mother was kidnapped by the Lugo men and held in uncertain conditions for a number of episodes.

In the first episodes, the robot team were a duo consisting of a 50-foot gold robot aptly named Goldar and his companion, a silver-clad humanoid female named Silvar. It's implied they were created by the wizard Methusan. Early in the series, the wizard Methusan completed the team to mirror the Mura family by creating a humanoid rocket-boy named Gam in the image of Miko Mura, complete with his trademark red-and-white sweater vest. All members of the robot team were capable of transforming into rockets identified respectively by gold, silver, and red-and-white color schemes. Each had bulb-tipped antennae protruding from their heads, capable of discharging directed blasts of gamma rays. Goldar alone is capable of firing missiles from his chest cavity. A regularly featured plot device was Miko's ability to summon the robots by blowing a special high-frequency whistle - one blast to summon Gam, two blasts to summon Silvar, and three blasts to summon Goldar.

The show first aired in Japan in 1966, and its international title was Space Avenger (one episode was dubbed for international markets). Originally intending to title it Monsters from Outer Space, the entire series was dubbed into English in 1972 under the title The Space Giants, but was not distributed widely to US television stations until 1978. 52 episodes were made, each running 25 minutes. It was known in Spanish as Monstruos del Espacio and in some English-speaking countries as Space Avengers.

Ambassador Magma makes a cameo appearance in the 2004 Astro Boy: Omega Factor game for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, along with a number of other characters created by Osamu Tezuka.

A 13-episode OVA anime remake was produced in 1993, but despite beautiful animation and designs (the closing credits sequence even features pages from Tezuka's manga, accompanied with a male chorus singing the original TV series' theme song), fans consider this remake to be vastly inferior to both the original manga and tokusatsu series.

The OVA was produced by Bandai Visual, Tezuka Productions and PLEX, and was directed by Hidehito Ueda.

8 Man / Eightman


8 Man or Eightman is a fictional manga and anime superhero created in 1963 by writer Kazumasa Hirai and artist Jiro Kuwata. He is considered Japan's earliest cyborg superhero, predating even Kamen Rider (the same year, Shotaro Ishinomori created Cyborg 009), and was supposedly the inspiration for RoboCop.

The manga was published in Weekly Shonen Magazine and ran from 1963 to 1966. The anime series, produced by Eiken with the TCJ Animation Center, was broadcast on Tokyo Broadcasting System, and ran from November 17, 1963 to December 31, 1964, with a total of 56 episodes (plus the "farewell" special episode, "Goodbye, Eightman").

Murdered by criminals, Detective Yokoda's body is retrieved by Professor Tani and taken to his laboratory. There, Tani performs an experiment that has failed seven times in the past; Yokoda is the latest subject to have his life force transferred into an android body. For the first time, the experiment is successful. Yokoda is reborn as the armor-skinned android 8 Man, able to dash at impossible speeds, as well as shape-shift into other people. He shifts himself into Yokoda, this time christening himself as "Hachiro Azuma". He keeps this identity a secret, known only to Tani, and his police boss Chief Otsuka. Even his girlfriend Sachiko and friend Ichiro don't know he's an android. As 8-Man, Hachiro fights assorted crime (even bringing his murderers to justice) to uphold justice and save the innocent.

In 1965, 8 Man was brought to the U.S. as 8th Man.

The characters were renamed as follows:

Yokoda/Azuma/8 Man - Peter Brady/Tobor ("robot" spelled backwards)/8th Man
Tani - Professor Genius
Tanaka - Chief Thumblethumbs
Sachiko - Jenny
Ichiro - Skip
Theme song:
"There's a prehistoric monster who came from outer space. Created by the Martians to destroy the human race. The FBI is helpless, it's twenty stories tall! What can we do, who can we call?

Call Tobor the 8th Man, Call Tobor the 8th Man. Faster than a rocket, quicker than a jet. He's the mighty robot, he's the one to get. Call Tobor the 8th Man. Quick call Tobor, the mightiest robot in the land!"

Ralph Bakshi did the US Version's opening sequence.

The 8 Man franchise was revived in the early 1990s by a live action film, video game and new animated series.

In 1991, small Japanese video game developer Pallas released a video game edition of Eight Man for the Neo-Geo arcade and home video game system (both versions are identical) where the player took the role of 8 Man and his robo-comrade 9 Man in a fight against an invading evil robot army. The game was released internationally. While the game stayed true to the concept of a crime-fighting super-robot, it was widely panned for being tedious and relying too much on the gimmick of its speed-running effect

In 1992, a live-action film version of 8 Man was produced in Japan. Titled Eitoman - Subete no sabishii yoru no tame, it was directed by Yasuhiro Horiuchi and starred Kai Shishido as the title character. Distributed in the United States by Fox Lorber video, the movie was widely panned for its choppy editing, mediocre direction and low-budget feel. Many modern American viewers, unfamiliar with the older animated series, felt the movie was an inferior version of RoboCop, despite the fact that the latter was a much more recent franchise.

In mid 1993, the mantle of 8 Man was taken up by Hazama Itsuru in the OVA series '8 Man After'. Existing in a world far more corrupt than his predecessor, the new 8 Man had no qualms about being extremely violent towards cybernetic criminals, who had murdered him previously.

The Tale of the White Serpent


The Tale of the White Serpent was the first color Japanese anime, released in 1958. It was also the first known Japanese anime released in America, under the title Panda and the Magic Serpent. It has also been released under the titles "Legend of the White Snake", "The Great White Snake", "The White Snake Enchantress".

The film is essentially an adapted version of China's Song dynasty folklore Madame White Snake. The writer Shin Uehara made the adaptation, and kept the oriental styled characters and names. The decision of a Chinese story being used as the concept blueprint came from Toei president Hiroshi Ôkawa, who wanted to strike a tone of reconciliation with the Asian neighbors. Given the point in time, this film pushed Japanese animation technology to the limit, making this a large scale major project involving a total of 13,590 staff during the 2 year production period. And while the film received honors at the Venice Children's Film Festival in Italy in 1959, it was regarded as a disappointment when released to the US in March 15, 1961 by Global Pictures. The US version made changes such as interpreting the small red panda, Mimi, as a cat. In addition all traces of the Japanese production teams were removed from the US version. Time wise, Tale of the White Serpent was Toei Doga's first attempt at becoming the Disney of the east.

Xu-Xian, a young boy, once owned a pet snake in West Lake. His parents force him to put the pet back in the fields. Years would pass and the snake magically transformed to a beautiful princess Bai-Niang. She would search for her long lost love until local monk Fa-Hai discovered the ordeal thinking Bai-Niang was a vampire. He would banish Xu-Xian from the village, while Xu-Xian's two Panda pets, Panda and Mimi try to bring him back. In the end, Bia-Niang gave up her magical powers and remained in human form to prove that their love was genuine.

Momotaro's Sea Eagles


Momotaro's Sea Eagles is an animated Japanese propaganda film produced in 1942 by Geijutsu Eigasha and released 1943-03-25. Running at 37 minutes, it was close to being feature-length but it was not the first animated feature film in Asia - that honour goes to China's 1941 Princess Iron Fan, which was 65 minutes long (see: List of animated feature films).

Although recorded as being produced with the cooperation of the Japanese Naval Ministry, there was in fact no cooperation in order to protect military secrets, although the Navy endorsed it.

Featuring the "Peach Boy" character of Japanese folklore, this film was aimed at children, telling the story of a naval unit consisting of the human Momotaro and several animal species representing the Far Eastern races fighting together for a common goal. In a dramatization of the attack on Pearl Harbor, this force attacks the demons at the island of Onigashima (representing the Americans and British demonized in Japanese propaganda), and the film also utilizes actual footage of the Pearl Harbor attack. Although aimed to promote fighting spirit, the film also hinted at a desire for peace.

A sequel, Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors (1945) also exists. Running at 74 minutes, it is credited as being Japan's first feature-length animated film.

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