Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas

An Insider’s View of the Birth of a Pop Culture Phenomenon


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About the Book

The first generation of American television programmers had few choices of Saturday morning children’s offerings. That changed dramatically in 1963 when a Japanese animated television series called Tetsuan Atom was acquired for distribution by NBC. Fred Ladd adapted the show for American television and—rechristened Astro Boy—it was an overnight sensation. Astro Boy’s popularity sparked a new industry importing animated television from Japan. Ladd went on to adapt numerous Japanese animated imports, and here provides an insider’s view of the creation of an ongoing cultural and media phenomenon.

About the Author(s)

Writer and director Fred Ladd adapted Astro Boy, Gigantor, Kimba, The White Lion, The New Adventures of Gigantor, G-Force, Sailor Moon and other Japanese animated series for American television.
Harvey Deneroff is a professor in the animation department of the Savannah College of Art and Design and is the founder of the Society for Animation Studies.

Bibliographic Details

Fred Ladd with Harvey Deneroff
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 222
Bibliographic Info: 18 photos, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3866-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5257-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface by Harvey Deneroff      1

Preface by Fred Ladd      5

1. Astro Boy: Japan’s Tetsuan Atom Lands in New York and Starts the Anime Tsunami      9

Meeting American Tastes How Tetsuan Atom Became Astro Boy

Producing the Pilot Dodd’s Due Diligence Synced Up Kids

Don’t Count Cels, the Play’s the Thing And We Added an

Opening Theme Song “S’all right! S’all right” Adapting and

Dubbing Television Animation 1963: Climate of the Times

2. A Trip to Japan      30

Osamu Tezuka. Osamu Tezuka. Who’s Osamu Tezuka? From

Printed Ideogram to Spoken Dialogue A Happy Countenance

The Next      52

3. Tetsujin 28 and 8th Man      41

8th Man Gigantor Thoughts from the Twenty-first Century

4. Quixotically Comes Kimba      49

But, the Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men… Outline for Jungle

Emperor Footnote to History: Kimba versus Simba—The Uproar

5. Mighty Mushi: The Decline and Fall      65

ACT Now “Where Do We Go from Here?”

6. More from Mushi      72

Wonders 3 (W3) Vampire Dororo

7. Marine Boy and Astro Boy      76

Marine Boy: Risky but Rewarding—For Some Speed Racer: The Big One That Got Away

8. A Cinderella Process: Turning Black-and-White Animation into Color      79

1968: Year of Color-Added Breakthrough Then, Gigantor?

Land of Morning Calm Then, Gigantor?

9. Those ’70s Shows      88

Battle of the Planets: Anime from Out of the Blue! Anime:

REanimated? Old Testament Tales and G-Force Was Anime

REanimating? As with Moses, a Second Chance Hold On

There, Son—Not So Fast! A New Gigantor

10. Sailor Moon      99

11. ANIMEnia! The “New” Industry Blooms—Overnight!      103

Television Corporation of Japan (TCJ) Tatsunoko Production

Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS) Toei Doga Only from Japan!

Other Places, Other Faces The Pokémon Phenomenon

12. Boy Meets Giant Robot      122

Benign by Design Battle Bots The “Boy” Angle At Last! A

Giant Robot with a Brain (Not Just Another Pretty Faceplate)

Go Getta Giant

13. Religious, Not Litigious      128

14. Speaking of Dying…      131

15. Tezuka on Tezuka, Yokoyama on Yokoyama      134

What’s So Funny about Names?

16. Samurai on Cels      138

17. Mars: Gateway to Anime?      140

Timing Is Everything Big World, Little Adam

18. Homogeneous? Yes. Bisexual?      145

Curious Yuki

19. Giants among Giants      148

Osamu Tezuka Chiaki Imada Comics Are Manga, Animation

Is Anime Hayao Miyazaki Katsuhiro Otomo

20. Other Giant Robots I Have Known      154

21. OVA + VHS + DVD = Home Video      157

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s ULTRAMAN!

22. Fandom of the Anime      162

Anime Is Big Business Anime Fandom: An Interview with Fred


23. Anime Today: Where It Is, Where It’s Heading      169

Anime: Where It’s Heading Bleach, Inu Yasha, Oban Star-

Racers, Trigun Japanese and Korean Meet at the Egyptian

How Many Tezukas Work in Seoul? Afterthoughts That Linger

Long (…and Will Not Go Away) Full Circle

24. What Hath Tezuka Wrought?      189

Appendix 1: Milestones on the Anime Highway      191

Appendix 2: Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions      194

Index      201

Book Reviews & Awards

“informative history…a welcome addition…recommended”—Midwest Book Review; “a fascinating book…engrossing”—Animation Magazine.