Parents' Guide to

Astro Boy (1960s)

By Will Wade, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Classic action show is simple fun for kids and anime fans.

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Osamu Tezuka's classic animated series debuted in Japan in 1963 and is considered one of the very first examples of anime. Watching it today, it's easy to see elements of the story and aesthetic that are still common today, ranging from the characters' exaggerated eyes, the blend of serious images and sudden whimsy, and the wide use of futuristic, anthropomorphic robots.

The episodes' basic stories aren't complicated, much like many American cartoons from the same era; typically, some powerful foe appears, and Astro Boy handily defeats it. The interpersonal dynamics are more complex -- Astro Boy was explicitly created to replace a dead child, and despite his immense power, he needs a father figure to guide him. That makes the show a bit deeper than other series from the period, as well as a fun way to examine an important part of animation history.

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