EL本棚紹介(32) Astro Boy, by Tezuka Osamu

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You know Tezuka Osamu, and you know Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム)…or do you? Have you ever read this classic manga? Or have you seen the TV anime? Maybe you think Astro Boy is old and boring. Maybe you think Astro Boy is for children. But I think that image is wrong.

Astro Boy is important in the history of Japanese manga. It contains a lot of strong political commentary. It gives an interesting perspective on nuclear technology and science from the 1950s and 60s. It also introduces themes of social justice, racism, and human rights. Like Marvel’s famous X-men comics’ “mutants,” Tezuka Osamu’s robots represent a variety of minorities. Of course, Astro Boy stories are not all serious: they can be funny or heartwarming as well.

My two cents: When I started reading this book, I did not expect such political storylines. The stories are not deep or complicated, so they keep you reading and thinking.