What sets Astro Boy apart as a Source of Anime Inspiration?

A still from Astro Boy anime

Astro Boy is a beloved and iconic anime character who has inspired many other anime creators over the years, from the enchanting world of Doraemon to the enigmatic mecha of Neon Genesis Evangelion and Pluto‘s dark and suspenseful mysteries.

One of the things that makes it so inspiring is his universal appeal. A classic story about a young hero who fights for justice and protects the innocent has resonated with audiences for generations. But what sets Astro Boy apart as an anime inspiration?

Synopsis

The story follows a robot boy, created by Dr. Tenma in a bid to replace his late son, who faces rejection when his inability to grow like a human becomes apparent. Sold to a circus, he is forced to perform risky stunts.

What sets Astro Boy apart as a Source of Anime Inspiration?
Image courtesy of Mushi Production

Astro Boy’s journey takes a turn as he escapes and joins the Ministry of Science. Armed with superhuman abilities, he dedicates himself to justice and protecting the innocent, frequently confronting evil robots, criminals, and threats to Metro City and beyond.

Amid his heroic feats, Astro also struggles with the challenges of being a robot, often feeling isolated and misunderstood. Yet, his dream is to become a real boy.

Anime that have drawn inspiration from Astro Boy:

If I were to sit down and list all the anime that have drawn inspiration from Astro Boy, the list would just go on as there are just too many of them. However, here I have listed a few of some popular shows:

Pluto | What sets Astro Boy apart as a Source of Anime Inspiration?
Pluto | Image courtesy of Netflix
  • Pluto (2023): A dark and suspenseful anime based on the manga of the same name by Naoki Urasawa. Pluto is a reimagining of the classic Astro Boy story arc “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” and explores themes of identity, morality, and the nature of humanity.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996): Neon Genesis Evangelion’s creator Hideaki Anno has said that Astro Boy is one of his biggest influences. The Evangelion mecha unit EVA-01 is inspired by it.

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  • One Punch Man (2015-2019): A satirical superhero anime that follows the story of Saitama, an incredibly powerful hero who is bored with his abilities. Creator ONE has said that Astro Boy was one of the first manga series that he read and enjoyed.
  • Mamoru Hosoda, director of the anime films Wolf Children and Mirai, has said that the series is one of his favorite anime and that it has had a major influence on his work.

Astro Boy is a timeless anime series that continues to inspire and entertain audiences of all ages. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay connected to more such anime insights, updates, and news!

In addition to the list above, several early shows have been inspired by the series including:

  • Doraemon (1973-present)
  • Gigantor (1963-1965)
  • Cyborg 009 (1968-1969)
  • Mazinger Z (1972-1974)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam (1979-1980)
  • Akira (1988)
  • Armitage III (1994-1995)
  • Ghost in the Shell (1995)
  • Serial Experiments Lain (1998)

So What sets Astro Boy apart as a Source of Anime Inspiration?

One of the things that makes it so inspiring is the universal appeal, it is a story about a young hero who fights for justice and protects the innocent. These are themes that resonate with audiences of all generations. In addition to these universal themes, some specific things set Astro Boy apart as a source of anime inspiration.

What sets Astro Boy apart as a Source of Anime Inspiration?
Image courtesy of Mushi Production
  • It is one of the first anime series to be produced and aired on television. This helped to popularize the anime genre around the world.
  • It features a very simple animation style that continues to influence anime creators today.
  • It explores the relationship between humans and technology that continues to inspire the mecha genre.
  • It features a diverse cast of characters, including robots, humans, and aliens. This reflects the diversity of the anime world and makes the series more accessible to a wider audience.

Concluding

The enduring legacy of Astro Boy is nothing short of remarkable. Over the years, it has served as a wellspring of inspiration for countless other anime creations. Today, many popular series like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Fullmetal Alchemist, and One Punch Man draw inspiration from the series.

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