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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Robots > Science Fiction > Action > Adventure > Japan > Anime > TV > Astro Boy – Volumes 1-5 (2003 – 2004/Sony DVD)

Astro Boy – Volumes 1-5 (2003 – 2004/Sony DVD)

Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: A+



Take off with Astro Boy, a young robot modeled off a human boy, who becomes a hero, friend and savior between humans and robots.  As the first capporial robot, Astro Boy uncovers the truth about his past and why he was built.  He learns how to live and make friends with human, but there are those who believe humans and robot can never be equals.  He fights against many of Dr. Tenma's robots, who believe that the future belongs to the robots and Astro is the one destined to lead the Robot Revolution.
This is a blast from the past, the second modern remake of the international 1963 – 1966 hit series Astro Boy.  He is a young friendly atomic-powered robot boy, with a heart of gold.  Astro learns about his new life and what it means to be human, he fights not only evil robots from Dr Tenma, but injustice, crime, robot-hating humans as well.  As Astro Boy grows he makes many new friends and meets both different humans and robots, while some can live peacefully with each other, other human and robots who resent one another.  As Astro tries to build bridges for human and robot relationships others seem to want to tear it down, Astro Boy always faced with a choice, is he standing on the human side or robot?  He longs and searches for way for both human and robot can live together.
This is a very enjoyable series.  It reminded me much of the 1995 Mega Man cartoon where a robot that fights to protect humans against evil and injustice.  But unlike Megaman, Astro Boy is in a world where robots are just starting to have free will, and must face prejudiced humans who don't accept him and his 'kind' and robots that believe they should fight back those who try to destroy them.  Even thought the series might seems childish, it also appeals to the older crowd with subtitle themes of racism, social change, new ideas, and accepting differences.  Astro Boy is a symbol of change in an industrial changing world, through understanding there is hope of peace.


Sony has issued the entire series in five separate DVD volumes as follows…

Vol. 1
Episode 1: Power Up!
Astro Boy awakens, but no sooner than he awakes he must save the city from a rogue power robot.
Episode 2: Rocket Ball
Astro learn to play Rocket Ball from Rocket Ball champion Harley, but then must play against him when evil Dr. Tenma hacks into him.
Episode 3: Altus
Astro faces off with another robot like him, Altus. But unlike him, he resents humans for unfair treatment, and he wants to destroy his creators.
Episode 4: Astro vs. Altus
After his first defeat with Astro, Altus vows get his revenge. But can Astro stop Altus with his new upgraded body?
Episode 5: Destination Deimos
Dr. O'Shay and Astro Boy are sent to Mars to investigate rogue robots, but turns into a rescue mission when an unexpected visitor shows up.
Episode 6: Into Thin Air
Astro must stop a Skunk, a thief who uses robots to commit crimes, but can he stop him save the prototype robot too?
Episode 7: Rainbow Canyon
Astro answers a call for help when the weather machine of a farming valley starts causing earthquakes and storms.
Episode 8: Neon Express
The new unmanned train starts it's maiden voyage, but when it is sabotaged Astro must stop it before it crashes.
Episode 9: Franken
When a stolen robot reboots, it tries to return home, but becomes a gigantic monstrosity when it absorbs all other machines.  Can Astro stop it before the police destroy it?
Episode 10: The Venus Robots
Astro discover a whole city of robots underwater left from the Venus mission, but things start getting hairy when Dr. Tenma tricks them into attacking the city, can Astro stop 20,000 robots?
Vol. 2
Episode 11: Reviving Jumbo
Astro finds a gigantic robot from the past, but when a jail break happens Jumbo is brought back to life.
Episode 12: Robot Hunters
Robots are being stolen and Astro must work with the new police robots to catch the criminal robots.
Episode 13: The Rise of Pluto
Dr. Tenma creates Pluto, the strongest robot ever to challenge the world. Astro is top on the list, but does Astro have a chance?
Episode 14: The Fall of Acheron
As both Pluto and Astro come to understand each other they evolve to confront one another.  Things reach a climax when they both realized they both didn't want to fight each other but Dr Tenma won't let things end so easily.
Episode 15: Dragon Lake
Astro is sent in to investigate a lake when toxins are found, Astro instead finds a man who looking for dragons in the lake.
Episode 16: Lost in Outland
Astro falls to Earth and has amnesia, he is repaired by a scientist that is down on his luck but can he get his memory back in time to stop the impended doom?
Episode 17: Deep City
Dr O'Shay and Astro visits an underground city, but things start going wrong when a scientist discovers the Mayor had other plans for the city.
Episode 18: The Blue Knight
Astro meets the Blue Knight, a robot that fights for robots.  Astro must work with him to save the Mach 15 when it is hijacked by humans who want discredit robots by claiming to be the 'Robot liberation army'.
Episode 19: Hydra-Jacked
When the robot manned power space station is sabotaged, it is up to Astro and the Blue Knight to save the robot workers.
Episode 20: Geo Raider
Astro takes a journey into the deep earth and discovers a whole new world of dangers.
Vol. 3
Episode 21: Secret of the Blue Knight
Astro find himself working with the Blue Knight again in stopping an illegal underground robot fighting ring, here he uncovers the origins of the Blue Knight.
Episode 22: Robot Circus
Astro meet as young boy that was raised by robots, but when authorities discover them they threaten to separate the boy from the only family he's ever known.
Episode 23: Little Sister, Big Trouble
Astro gets a little sister, Zoran.  Taking care of her maybe harder fighting robots, but Astro really has his hands full when Zoran gets captured by a giant robot dinosaur.
Episode 24: Micro Adventure
Zoran gets infected with a micro robot and Astro microlizes to go in to save her, but things get worse when Astro's body gets stolen!
Episode 25: Only a Machine
The thief Skunk is stealing the AI programs of robots, but the robot steals the mind of a little girl, can Astro stop the robot and save the little girl?
Episode 26: Robot Boy
Astro befriends a little boy who dreams of being a robot, but can he convince the boy's mother they can be friends?

Episode 27: Dawn of Techno-Revolution
Dr Tenma reveals to Shawdow his purpose for creating Astro, to guide him to become the leader of the robots and to lead his robot armies against the humans one day.
Episode 28: The Legend of Tohron
Astro and his friend run into a runaway princess, but can they protect her from the one's chasing her?
Episode 29: March of the Micro Bears
Shadow uses cute robot bears to brainwash the humans, and soon Astro must fight an army of bears, but can he do it alone without his friends?
Episode 30: Old Dog, New Tricks
Astro teams up with Detective Kisaragi and both teaches each other they can learn something from new from something old.
Vol. 4
Episode 31: The Case of the Phantom Fowl
A mysterious Phantom appears in tunnels and haunts the workers, can Astro solve this mystery when everyone else has been scared away?
Episode 32: Gideon
Astro meets Gideon a robot dolphin and goes for an undersea adventure, but can Astro help Gideon find the courage to face the unknown deep?
Episode 33: Fairy Tale
A little girl with a wild imagination drags Astro and company along to find a fairy, so she could make a wish to be with her father, can Astro help grant her wish?
Episode 34: Shape Shifter
Astro meets a shape shifting girl from the moon with the key to the secrets of the universe, but it is a race between him and Rock, a telepath who wishes to get the power for himself.
Episode 35: Firebird
Rock is back and he sets a trap for Astro to be tested in order to open the Moon Tower door, but will the Firebird guardian let them pass?
Episode 36: Space Academy
Astro sets off for a little space training in designing a new spaceship, but things start heating up when Astro falls in love.
Episode 37: Atlas Strikes Back
Atlas is back, but under control of a robot-hating scientist who has a secret weapon that can turn any robot into a puppet.
Episode 38: Battle-Bot
Robots are being enslaved by anti-robot forces, Astro joins the Blue Knight and his Battle Bot army to free the captured robots.
Episode 39: Time Hunters
Astro and Zoron meet a couple of time travelers stealing DNA from the past, they end up in the Stone Age, not only must they stop them but find a way home.
Episode 40: Escape from Volcano Island
Astro is nominated for 'Robot of the Year' but things go wrong when the ship gets hijacked by anti-robot forces and heads straight for an erupting volcano.
Vol. 5
Episode 41: Avalanche!
An old observation site is about to be overrun, Astro is sent into recover the data before it is lost forever!
Episode 42: Battle of Steel Island
The Blue Knight starts a robot colony for the robots he saved, but that is until anti-robot forces start laying siege to it, can Astro save the robots?
Episode 43: Undercover
An undercover robot that is built exactly like human is on the runs when his memory is scheduled to be erased, Astro must decide whether to bring him in or let him go.
Episode 44: Into the Dragons' Lair
Astro and his friends visit Princess Abby and her country, but when the legendary dragon appears it becomes a hunt for the mystic beast.
Episode 45: Night Before the Revolution
A young girl falls into a coma and a robot is blamed, soon people are afraid that it means the start of a robot revolution, anti-robot forces take this chance to start an all out war with robots.
Episode 46: Robotonia
The Blue Knights and his Battle-Bots rescue innocent robots to form an independent nation where robots can live, but humans sends in the fleet to destroy them.
Episode 47: Showdown in Robotonia
All out war occurs between humans and robots, Astro fights for peace as he searches for cause of the war, trying to stop it before it the war wipes out both races.
Episode 48: Journey to Tomorrow
Astro manages to prove that robots are innocent and did not start the war, but it because of human fear and misunderstand forced the Blue Knight save his fellow robots.  Astro gives the ultimate sacrifice to stop the war.
Episode 49: Astro Reborn
With Astro out of commission only Dr. Tenma can save Astro, but Astro has forgotten all his memories will Astro ever be the same again?
Episode 50: Final Battle
Astro finally learns of his past and why Dr. Tenma created him, but can the truth save him or the Doctor?  This is the conclusive episode, where it all started and will be where Dr. Tenma and Astro will have their final battle.



There are no extras, but the 1.33 X 1 color image is not bad for its recent age and some of the styled approach purposely makes some shots soft or bleached out by white, but it is pretty good for the most part, along with the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.  There are no extras, but this is being issued as the CG animated revival of Astro Boy is heading to theaters.  We’ll see how that compares soon enough.



-   Ricky Chiang


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