Astro Boy News

Astro Boy is a franchise comprised of 1 movie, 3 anime series, 2 manga series
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Most anime games that come and go tend to be terrible cash-ins that contain gameplay that are below average and can never be as good as other games, because they sell well enough for developers to not give a carp about the quality within those games; you would not believe the amount of times I wanted a Dragon Ball Z fighting game that was good.

How long have games based on anime series existed? What are some of the games that anime fans do not know of? I decided to look for a couple of games that are unknown or at least forgotten among a crowd that are paying attention to games like the recent Dragon Ball Z/Naruto fighting games. . . Ugh. And of course, exposed them to the lime-light. Some of the anime series that got chosen to have a game based on will probably surprise you.

Astro Boy: Omega Factor

We all know Astro Boy, the legendary series that was created by the grandfather of anime/manga, Osamu Tezuka. The results for the Game Boy Advance iteration of Astro Boy surprise many when it first hit the scenes in 2004.  A game that's considered as one of the best games to owned for the Game Boy Advance. Sega enlisted well known 2-D developer, Treasure - the same people that are famous for cult hits such as GunStar Heroes and Bangai-O, to grace their talents on this well produce game.

The game is loosely based off the 2003 Astro Boy anime series that once aired on Toonami. Omega Factor does featured every character from the Astro Boy canon. The characters are organized in a octagon grid called the Omega Factor, each character's info about their appearance in the Astro Boy series can be viewed.

 One of the crazy bosses of the game.
 One of the crazy bosses of the game.
Dying is the central theme for this game, as Omega Factor will delver some challenging enemy/boss patterns for you to remember. You will be facing waves of enemies at your disposals  and it's up to take them down, beat'em up style; though it's not that simple. Punching enemies mindlessly will not progress you through the game, they will counter-attack while Astro is stuck in his attack animations. You need to pay attention to your enemies on screen to let you know when is the right moment to take it easy on the attacks and focus on dodging away. Astro does have a mid-air dash move that will make him invincible from enemy attacks for a short period of time.

Omega Factor is a hybrid of two genres, the one part is beat'em up, as mentioned early, and the second is shoot'em up. Astro will use his jets and his laser in Graduis style shoot'em up levels; bullet-hell is the key word for those levels. flying enemies and a hail storm of bullets will come towards your way while your using Astro laser to bring them down.

Omega Factor is the Ultimate Astro Boy to stick with if you're a die hard fan of the series, or it can be appealing to those who are not a fan.

8 Man

Okay, I'm a bit of a sucker for sub-par beat'em ups. 8 Man is a short beat'em up that was developed by SNK for the Neo Geo in 1991. The 8 Man series was created by Kazumasa Hirai and Jiro Kuwata in 1963. It was about a police officer that was murdered and brought to life as a cyborg to fight crime. Does that sound familiar? It should, because it was supposedly the inspiration for RoboCop. Since 8 Man's debut, the series would see another anime series and a live action film, I guess this game was released to coincide with the update for the 8 Man series.

8 Man is the pretty standard beat'em up, you move to the right and beat up bad robots, including the Predator. Like many other SNK games, this game presents itself with quite a challenge. Multiple enemies will come out of wood-works making sure you lose your extra life.

 The speed section.
 The speed section.
Like I said, an enemy that looks like the Predator is in the game. I don't know if that was a character from the 8 Man series, but I have read that the early Neo Geo games had pop culture references in their games, like a Hulk Hogan character appearing in the game Burning Fight.

One of 8 Man's powers is that he can run really fast, so there's some levels that involves 8 Man running fast while encountering enemies. Some nice effects are contained in the running levels, like some flashes of animations coming out of 8 Man, and you'll see enemies running in the background or appearing in front of the screen before they jump out and attack 8 Man.

A fondness for any type of beat'em ups is all it takes to have some fun with 8 Man, even if it's not the greatest. But if you're a fan of 8 Man, and wanted to try your hand at a 8 Man game, well pretty much this is your only option.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Two of the few games to use Capcom's CPS III arcade hardware, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is one of those hidden gems from Capcom in the arcades in 1999. The series is strictly a manga series that started back in 1987 for Shonen Jump. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was a series that wasn't well known in the States, so it was a bold move for Capcom bring the fighting game over from Japan.

Gameplay provides fast pace frantic action that is reminiscent of a Marvel vs. game, though it's not as simple to get into. Character's can summon out "stands," or a persona, out to perform abilities that a stand alone character can't do, such as double jump. Players mix up hits with the normal character with his or her stand, along with cancelable super moves of course, to perform lengthy devastating combos. Though it's not go to say that combos are easy to pull off like in a Marvel vs. game, they do have a strict timing process to execute. Capcom knows how to make a license fighting game with a good balance of accessibility and depth. The gameplay also includes "Blazing Fist Match," it's when the two personas collide and it's up both players to rapidly hit the attack button to out best one another. 

 An example of the visual style.
 An example of the visual style.
The graphic style is reminiscent of a DarkStalkers game as each of the characters are presented with bold black outlines. And seeing how this is a game based on a manga series, there are tons of comic book style visuals that burst out to capitalizes some of the over the top moments of the game; such as a image of a character that you are playing as will make a brief appearances when a super move is performed, or when a KO is done. To even reference the manga further, the character select screen is a bunch of comic book panels.

Capcom released the two games in one disk on the consoles for the PlayStation and Dreamcast. The copy that I own is the Dreamcast version. The game contains the first game and it's update, JoJo's Venture, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The second adds more moves and characters over the first game.

A third JoJo fighting game was released from Capcom for the PlayStation 2 in Japan, but never sought its release in the States. As for the first two games, they brought exposure for the JoJo Bizarre Adventure series for Western manga fans, and due to the fact that the game was well made, it gave it a bit of a following.
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This post is a part of a series of Appendixes for an unfinished article dealing with Berserk and Jikan: 

The Anon of the Internet is not happy with 4Chan's Moot being the most infuencial person in the world. That honor belongs to Obama good or ill. I know we put him up there, but still the Anon is bastard who tries to act black but fails...


Anyway, need to talk about the meme called Hope and Change. Hope and Change need to come back into this industry and yeah the changes is something I been talking about since Novid was Ronixis and before that Ronin way back when.

The US anime business needs to work together with the US Animation Industry and learn how to live together in peace or both will suffer and the former will die a even worse death.

Why do i keep saying this? Because when they did work together, you had Astro Boy, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Battle Of the Planets/G-Force, Tranzor Z and Pokemon all have major successes.  Much to the chagrin of the Unions (who Hate DiC, Saban and 4Kids  because of certain stances they have with the US Unions, and the Anime dubbers because they do not pay the editors of the anime or allow them to join Unions)

But when they work together they are unbeatable. Somebody who worked in both industries - Fred Ladd helped in the production of Sailor Moon and one of the principle people who brought Astro Boy and Kimba To the states. 

But of course, with working together there comes problems. Kimba was going to be a serial but ABC balked. Princess Knight was dubbed, but Taft (the owners of Hanna Barberra at the time) couldn't get the syndicators. As soon as people moved to color - anime was still in black and white and the FCC started to feel powerful and the war in Vietnam (along with the societal changes in the 1960's) forced the industry to trust one source: Taft and Hanna Barbarra. So the industry contracted, and only one or two cartoons because successful (that were not from DC nor Marvel) Fat Albert and Scooby Doo. It wasn't until 1978 that anime came back ( It started in the Christian Stations first they aired the most) with Tranzor Z and Battle of the Planets. You should know the history now...

But there is a problem. Crunchyroll. Online Video. The whole Huluwood deal. Its utter nonsense to me. It only worked during the dot com boom and the promise of Fiber Optic Cable lines all over the US. Well only Verizon got the lines and despite rumors of Cable Lines going faster than Fiber - its not possible with a derogation of quality on the other end. And then you know That Obama is keeping some of the Bush rules about the Internet - you know wiretapping and all the rest. Not a good time to be in 4Chan and all the rest... Not really a good time being a fan of the Genre. Your looked at like strange looking hick folk. Its almost sad to see that High School has become a real life Musical and your losing.

But today, I give you the change you been looking for.

Its time to change the perceptions. Its time to look more towards like Kanye West's style then the style that is making you look stupid hicks. Anime needs to be democratized to be more urban than some boonie geek game. It needs to be Amazing like the video and Hardcore like Original ECW. It needs to more Led Zep in appearance and to be able to Reconquer The Throne as the alternative. 

My problem is there isn't a US Dubber willing to use every damn trick in the book to get the best of our culture to dabble in the couture of Anime. They get the Japanese stars, sure thats fine and what not. But Naruto doesn't have the mainstream power that DBZ has and yet Hollywood or at least some of the Ten-presenters and many of  the superstars of Hollywood do and have worked in the Dubbing Industry have for the Genre. The Dubbing Industry needs to respect the past when it doesn't do it there its a massive disconnect. One of the reasons why Avatar was success in my book - they had Serena Williams guest voice act for the series. Johnny Depp has done for Spongebob. The only one close has Been Kiether Sutherland of 24 fame for Armatage Three, Sam Jackson on Afro Samurai and the only major anime movies that have these stars were the Miyasaki films.

And now the Hollywood TenPresenters (and some of the CEO's and Actors) see weakness in the dubbing business and want to start raiding product since Hollywood needs jobs fast after other states have taken business away from Hollywood and they need these movies on the cheap (outside of Leo Decapro's Production Company who has hired Gary Witta to write the Live Action series and Warner Brothers). 

Its time for a company to act, not unlike RocFella Records who changed the Rap Game to do the same with anime. A great idea is to copy the Providence RI convention. Use the Gossip Girl model of high fashion and high society. But we got to keep it to the streets. We should not be against how other folk view anime. We need them and not these Crunchyroll fools. The other issue is the DVD issue - lets be honest. The DVD's era is about to end. It time to take the next step with Blu - Ray and do things with the tech that Sony, Blu Ray Consortium and Sun MicroSystems has given us. Its time to use the Internet and the Disk as ONE entity the same Warner Brothers did with Batman Beyond and the Dark Night. The Company need to get the best series, just like Kanye West shows cool shit on his blog - design, models etc. There also needs to be anime that are close to the problems that exists and will exist in this era. Humanity is going through things that are amazing and dark and there needs to be manga and anime that captures that feeling. 

And the the two most important of these things. There needs to be TV deals. LOTS of them. They need to change the way they talk to the TV networks. They may have to talk with some of the tenpersenters. They need to see what works and what doesn't. They also need to talk to the advertisers and see what works for other niche brands because the way its working isn't working. It needs to get both stars from theaters and Hollywood to complement those VA's that have been apart of the game for a while. 

Once thats done, they will get money like never before even in bad times because historically Anime has done well in certain times (mostly economic problems.) But as long as Viz thinks its Lionsgate and doesn't work with Lionsgate - Debar Mercury the same way Tyler Perry has done with House of Payne - then anime will never get respect, those people will till be called names at Best Buy, jail time and censorship for those that are not "regular or mutual" because of the "wrong comic book" and so on and so on.

Its long since time both the Unions, the executives of both industries and the fans of both industries to stop fighting and at least complement each other. Until then you gonna have these Pirates will win and not go to jail just like the Pirate bay did.

But If Funi and Viz and all the rest will not get off there ass and start changing, then somebody will and when it does I dont want to hear people crying over Funi or Viz going through "bad times"
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Right Stuf’s ANIME TODAY Talks
ASTRO BOY & Anime With Fred Ladd
“If you like ARIA…,” the AUTOMATICS, contests & more in episode 82!

GRIMES, IA, December 19, 2008 – Anime producer and mega-online anime retailer Right Stuf, Inc. is pleased to welcome Mr. Fred Ladd – the producer of anime classics including Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion and the author of the upcoming book Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas – to episode 82 of ANIME TODAY.

In this new, four-segment interview, Ladd talks about what fans can find in his new book, his recent trip to Japan for the celebration of Osamu Tezuka’s 80th birthday, the similarities between “Kimba” and “Simba,” the history of anime in the U.S., the live-action Speed Racer movie, and his early impressions of Imagi’s CGI Astro Boy movie, which is scheduled to hit theaters in 2009.

Also in episode 82 of ANIME TODAY:

-       Chad tells listeners “What’s Hot” in the world of anime and manga.

-       The Right Stuf staff sings a rousing chorus of “The 12+ Days of Anime” and reminds fans about the last few days the sale. The special items may be ordered through 11:59 p.m. CST on December 21, 2008.

-       Rich and Nick announce the winners of the Black Jack contest and the EMMA: A Victorian Romance contest. Then they kick off two new contests: One for copies of Claymore DVD 1, from FUNimation, and a second for posters and preview DVDs of The Grand Chef, the latest K-drama from YA Entertainment.

-       Christy launches a new segment, If… Then, which suggests titles that fans of the ARIA anime may enjoy.

-       Nick and Rich provide a rundown of upcoming conventions, courtesy of

-       Listen to musical clips from the CDs Quietude and Good Melodies by the AUTOMATICS.

-       And finally, ANIME TODAY highlights some of the newest fan reviews from visitors.

Have a question about anime and manga? Want to comment on one of the podcast’s segments? Call our Anime Today Hotline at 1-800-338-6827, ext. 7424. You may hear yourself on a future episode of Anime Today!

Visit and for this episode, as well as an archive of all ANIME TODAY episodes and extended liner notes. Listeners can also download and subscribe to ANIME TODAY via the Apple iTunes Music Store.

Meet other anime fans, talk with ANIME TODAY listeners, submit your suggestions for future episodes and more at the new ANIME TODAY forums:  .

Follow ANIME TODAY on Twitter at .

Released every other week, ANIME TODAY is the first commercially-produced podcast aimed at enthusiasts of Japanese animation and comics (“anime” and “manga”). Each episode features fresh content and gives listeners a glimpse into what's new and what's hot in the world of anime and manga. Segments include reviews of titles from all major anime studios, insights into the industry from anime producers, tips on traveling to and around Japan, interaction with listeners, contests, prizes and more.

“If you’re into anime and what’s happening in the anime market then this is the podcast for you!”
- User review on iTunes

Currently celebrating its 21st year in business, Right Stuf, Inc. was one of the first players in the U.S. Japanese Animation ("anime") industry, as both an anime producer/distributor and a retailer. Right Stuf works to promote knowledge of its own products, as well as the anime and manga industry, in general, through its online storefront at and a variety of media including podcasts and special publications.

Nozomi Entertainment, Right Stuf’s production division, is dedicated to the highest quality releases. True to the Japanese word that inspired its name, Nozomi’s focus is on “what fans want.” By focusing on a limited number of anime properties each year, the Nozomi production team ensures each release receives the care and attention to detail it deserves.

From anime classics like
Astro Boy, Kimba and Gigantor to modern comedies, dramas and favorites such as The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, His and Her Circumstances, Gravitation, Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars, Ninja Nonsense, To Heart, The Third: The Girl With the Blue Eye, Emma: A Victorian Romance, Maria Watches Over Us and ARIA, Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment produce quality programming for fans of all ages and interests. For more information, visit and

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