"astarisborn94" wrote:@Earthshine: Won't lie, I was pretty surprised to hear that. Considering how much Atom is honored in Japan and how significant he is, I would have imagined that Atom would have at least been in the hands of many more Japanese kids today. Although I do ask; are you sure you're referring to everything Tezuka has done? I don't think it would be fair to assume that Black Jack or Phoenix are anywhere near conventional stories.
Also, you did outline a major difference between Superman and Atom; Superman is still receiving lots of content on a regular basis worldwide and as such, is kept relevant. Outside of Japan, Atom has not. This means that many western (at least English) kids of today will likely not only not care about Atom (or Tezuka in general), but may not even know him. That's why Tezuka's relevance has fallen significantly over the past few decades.
I was mostly referring to what I know personally. I studied Japanese for over 5 years and as such spent a lot of time immersing myself in the culture and even found myself a job within the all girl's school here in my city named Mukogawa Ft. Wright, it's a school for Japanese studying English in quarter length periods.
My job entailed me to tutor them in their English as well as coach them on various cultural details as a live-in resident. Spending months on end with numerous native Japanese will let you see a window into a world you might never be able to see on a regular basis.
Conversations of anime and manga were inevitable. Having been a fan of Astro Boy surprised many of my 'students' but then again they were surprised that manga was even here in the US.
Of the hundred + people that I tutored there was only maybe 2 that honestly knew anything about Astro Boy beyond what was common knowledge in the culture of Japan (his origins, his family and basic stats).
Most of the girls were not entirely interested in manga and anime in general, but those that did most certainly would more than likely read something that was current than Tezuka anything.
This does not mean necessarily that they had no respect for Tezuka and the series in which he brought into the world. Every one of them DID know who Tezuka was and all of them had immense respect for him. Most of these girls were 18 to 23 years old back in 2009.
If my memory serves me right many of these girls DID admit that they had read Astro Boy at some point in the life when they were small, but as with many things that we read when we are little we don't usually pursue it as a hobby up to a certain age. And often times just forget everything that has anything to do with it.
I'm not the best person to reference though when it comes to cultural significance in Japan to Japanese. If I were talking about Superman (as a huge DC comic fan) I could give numerous examples as to how significant his existence has been. That and I'm afraid that he is more popular and known the world over (again probably a bad example on my part in the above post).
If Astro Boy had more exposure the world over and more availability in Japan, then he would probably have more fans. There are numerous theories I could give as to why older Japanese close to my age (25 now) do not have much of an interest. My generation was born after the 1980s broadcast in Japan and Japan does not repeat shows on television so once a series is aired, it's DONE except for a few special events. So seeing the anime then would have been very hard for the average Japanese kid at that time, making an interest beyond books perhaps a little hard.
There is absolutely no positive truth what-so-ever in the above comment though and is just speculation on my part, I could be very wrong.