Astro seen as a real boy?

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Tetsuwan Penguin
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Astro seen as a real boy?

Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 5 years ago

Looking back at the 1963 anime series I wonder why it never occurred to me while watching it as a kid that Astro was almost always seen bare chested and wearing a speedo. I guess I must have figured it didn't matter since he was a robot.

I don't remember how common it was back in the '60's for young boys to be playing outside shirtless in the hot summer months, but my neighborhood in Brooklyn was within walking distance to the beaches at Coney Island (It was probably a good mile or so, but I used to walk there all the time with the tree lined sidewalk along Ocean Parkway providing lots of shade from the sun).

In the Manga, Astro shown wearing various different outfits, he's not seen bare chested as often as he was in the Anime. The only time I can recall characters in the Manga making any comments about that were in the 'once upon a time' story arc where he was sent back to the 1960's, about the same time frame that the manga was actually written during.

Which leads to my question, would boys his age have been out of place barely dressed so in the summer in Japan in the 50s and 60s? If it would have been considered improper dress for children back then, did Tezuka imagine that by the 21st century that might change?

Remember that Astro was often mistaken for a human child, so although we can't tell in the Anime or Manga since ALL the characters are drawn in the same style, he must have been anatomically correct from the waist up. (Boy Atlas was actually drawn that way IIRC). It's always fascinated me to imagine Astro as being mistaken for a human child instead of being seen as a robot. That makes Tenma's creation even more amazing, that he was able to get beyond the 'uncanny valley' and that Astro would have looked like Data from Star Trek, but as a boy to anyone in the Anime or Manga.
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dannavy85
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Postby dannavy85 » 5 years ago

I didn't see such things even in the 80's when I was stationed there. Even on very hot days boys still wore the traditional "working t-shirts" when playing baseball or just playing around in the streets. Now it's not uncommon for both girls and boys in primary to sometimes be outside without shirts for PE days up to like 3rd grade.
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Dragonrider1227
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Postby Dragonrider1227 » 5 years ago

"Tetsuwan Penguin" wrote:In the Manga, Astro shown wearing various different outfits, he's not seen bare chested as often as he was in the Anime. The only time I can recall characters in the Manga making any comments about that were in the 'once upon a time' story arc where he was sent back to the 1960's, about the same time frame that the manga was actually written during.

well, that wasn't the only time someone pointed out his uh... fashion sense in the manga. XD And it actually took place in his current time. But he was aware Astro was a robot so I don't know. You don't see any other kids in Astro's neighborhood running around in nothing but speedos so I tend to doubt this was at all common in Japan at the time.
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jeffbert
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Postby jeffbert » 5 years ago

Why did :tezuka: , after modeling :astro: on American superheroes, who all wore tights, etc., decide that :astro: needed none? I am just guessing, but it may be he wanted to make him more like regular boys, so they would identify with him. Thus the fewer items of clothing that differed from those of average boys that he wore, the better. In fact, atom lived with a family, attended school with human kids, & occasionally had regular kid problems, including running away from home, etc.
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Dante69
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Postby Dante69 » 5 years ago

He's a real boy to me.
:tenma: :astro: :o cha: LOL


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