'Astro Boy - The Complete Series' [4-DVD]
(Roland Angelo Crisolo, Tabitha St. Germain, Olivia Hack, et al / 4-DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: Blast off with 'Astro Boy', a state-of-the-art update of Osamu's Tezuka classic series that started the anime explosion.
Filled with exciting action, humor and drama, ASTRO BOY tells the story of a young robot boy modeled after the son of a research scientist.
This atomic-powered robot becomes a reluctant superhero who fights for justice and peace - for humans and robots alike!
DVD Verdict: Out of all three of the versions, I'd have to say this one is by far the best version of the 'Astro Boy' cartoons.
It's structured, its well animated, its got a great storyline with some well developed characters and it's generally a fun watch for adults and children alike.
That said, sure, there are some gripes and some changes between the Japanese and American dubs, mainly being the lack of an episode here and there as well as the removal of many scenes which link back to Astro's past as Tobio, the son of Tenma.
Because American Children's TV is more censored than Japanese Children's TV, a large number of scenes involving the death of the real Tobio and the creation of Astro are removed so as not to seem disturbing.
However, these scenes do appear in the Japanese Original Version, so if it's story you're looking for, you'll find it there.
It also attempts to try and appeal to the more modern audience with catchphrases such as 'Let's Rocket' and other things that make it more like a Pokemon Cartoon, dampening down the more serious story.
Thankfully, these unnecessary pieces of silliness are reduced to only two or three episodes which have little to no impact on the overall story.
This series also has probably the best version of Dr Tenma. In the 1963 version he was a loud mouth and obnoxiously silly character which wasn't fun to watch, he just seemed really insane.
As for the 1980 version he wasn't as mad, but he was still quite a stroppy and unenjoyable character. This version, he is subtle, calculative, manipulative and generally just down right evil.
The character behind Tenma is much more developed, as is seen in the final few episodes of the series where Astro's past is revealed.
Instead of getting rid of Astro because he was clumsy or couldn't grow or something stupid like that! Instead he removes Astro because Astro starts to develop the same defiance as the original Tobio did; sort of a Totalitarian type father who doesn't take questioning of his authority well.
Although quite by-the-book with the dark gloomy castle and the organ playing, he truly is a fantastic villain. There are also some more light hearted tones with Astro's silly sister Zoran and his friends who keep getting into mischief.
Overall, 'Astro Boy' (2003) is a really fun series and definitely worth a watch. This brand new 4-Disc Box-Set from Mill Creek Entertainment features all 50 episodes and runs at a wondrous 16 hours and 51 minutes in bright, beautifully remastered color. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.