Tetsuwan Atom in three different flavors. Happy Birthday, Osamu Tezuka!

Mighty Atom (1959) episodes 1-5

Tezuka’s Mighty Atom manga was a big hit in Shonen Magazine, which led to this loose adaptation for television. The first 13 episode story arc concerned an evil organization called the ZZZ Gang, who kidnap prominent world peace activist Albert Leon and his daughter Michelle. As with many of the earliest Japanese superhero shows, American Saturday matinee serials are an obvious influence, but this formula is filtered through such a uniquely Japanese viewpoint; it’s also hard to understate how eerie and just downright weird this adaptation is. Case in point: that scene halfway through episode 5 where the ZZZ comic relief goons hold an impromptu jam session on the secret poison gas island.

Get episodes 1-5 from Nyaa or Mega.

Back in 2015, XeoZ translated a Spanish-language version of episode 1. Obtenga la versión subtitulada en español de Mega.

Mighty Atom (1963) episodes 1, 2, 20, 30

Here are a few selected episodes of the black and white anime, a monster hit that put Japanese cartoons on the map worldwide. Astute viewers may have noticed that the ZZZ goons from the 1959 series appear in the opening titles of the anime. Episode 30 (included in this batch) is the one in which they actually appear, and it sticks closer to the ZZZ story from Tezuka’s manga than the live-action version does.

Get them from Nyaa or Mega.

Mighty Atom (1980) episode 1 (original broadcast with subtitled commercials)

Finally, Dougo13 comes through for us again, with an original Japanese broadcast of the very first episode of the color anime, recorded on a 1/2″ Betamax cassette by his friend in Nagasaki on October 1, 1980. Atom himself even features in an ad for a high-end boombox, the Hitachi Stereo Perdisco 8800.

Get it from Nyaa or Mega.

Thanks to Kira for the last-minute rescue with a much better script for the color episode.

Thanks also to Dougo13 for that autographed Tezuka magazine cover at the top of this post. You would not believe some of the stuff in his collection.

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21 Responses to Tetsuwan Atom in three different flavors. Happy Birthday, Osamu Tezuka!

  1. Toronto11 says:

    Thanx for these monochrome gems.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Aardvark says:

    The triple ZZZ Gang is right of of central casting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wizardskey says:

    Firstly: super thanks.
    But can I ask what led to choosing those particular episodes of the B&W cartoon? The reason they seem partly odd is because episodes 1, 20, 32 and 193 are the ones that are already available in Japanese with English subs on the Right Stuf sets. So 2 of the 4 you did are amongst the very few Japanese originals that are already available with English subs. Yours look much better and the translations are better too, especially nice because Toxor The Mist Man is an amazing episode! But considering there are about 100 episodes that have never seen English in either subs or even the original dubs, including “the greatest robot on earth” or “the blue knight” series’ and your normal avoidance of doing stuff that you can technically buy… just seemed odd.
    Lastly: again though, still super thanks.


    • Nanto says:

      Remastering those episodes from the Right Stuf bonus discs was originally done as a personal project for my own enjoyment that I did not intend to release. I thought their scripts were basically solid, but could benefit from a little more polish at the editing stage. Then when I got episode 2 translated in 2015, I thought it would be silly to just release it on its own when I had a perfectly good episode 1 that could go with it. Likewise this time, when I got episode 30 translated. I figured why not just make a batch including all the ones with English scripts done up to that point?

      And yes, you are correct that I generally don’t release subtitles of shows currently commercially available in North America. This is kind of an unusual case for people like me that love subtitled anime but really can’t stand watching English dubs. Obviously the best solution would be if companies like Right Stuf would release English subtitled box sets of these 1960s anime series. Maybe their assumption is that most people who like 60s anime are more interested in dubs for the nostalgia value, and maybe they are absolutely right.

      Liked by 1 person

      • wizardskey says:

        Yeah, my ideal would certainly be to see/buy the full original series with subs, although I think those 60s dubs are a different creature than modern dubs at least and are kindof charming in their own way.
        Unfortunately, I also agree that we aren’t likely to see an official release – especially of such a huge series – any time soon/ever. Too niche. To my limited knowledge, even Dororo did not sell well at all, despite having the modern series to pique interest. That’s why you’re doing gods work and I wanted to double down on making clear that regardless of what episodes I’m getting, above all I’m just appreciative.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Kira says:

    Glad i could be apart of this, sorry for the delays

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sam says:

    Hi Nanto, any news on the upcoming Lensman episode?


    • Nanto says:

      Progress on Lensman continues at a steady pace. Episode 15 is almost done, 16 is in translation QC, and the translator just delivered the first draft of episode 17 (the first in the Wolf arc).

      If all goes according to plan, I’d like to do a batch release of 1-16 before the end of the year. Those two new episodes will complete the saga of Kiriland, and then we can move onto the Wolf episodes early next year.


  6. damien dam says:

    great to offer the live series de mighty atom 1959 will there be other episodes ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nanto says:

      Not sure when, but yes we will be subtitling more Atom 1959. If possible I’d like to at least finish the ZZZ story with the first 13 episodes, but that might take a while. Stay tuned!


  7. dougo13 says:

    Interesting site for those old boom boxes. I have one of these in excellent working condition:
    But I did some audio transfers recently with a Pioneer Elite dual cassette deck as the audio was vastly superior. It was given to me for free as the original owner was going to throw it away…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nanto says:

      Out of curiosity I just happened to do a web search on that Hitachi box that Mighty Atom was shilling for, and was pleasantly surprised to find an entire wiki devoted to boomboxes. I remember when those things used to be all over the place in the city.

      The Pioneer Elite line has always been gear for the high end audiophiles and videophiles. I used a a Pioneer Elite LD player for our forthcoming new version of the Lensman movie, and it looks about as good as that shoddy LD transfer is ever going to look. There’s got to be someone out there with a 35mm print…


  8. Buraku says:

    Can you share “Tetsuwan Atom (1959) [TSHS] Episodio 01 (Español) [A88AEF89]” again? Thank you so much


  9. Moe Dantes says:

    What is this curse I have, of getting into awesome 1960s anime only to find that only select episodes exist in subtitled form? To my knowledge the only 1960s anime that can be completely watched with subtitles are Speed Racer and Dororo.

    One day someone ought to rally a gang of fansub groups together and just sub all episodes of Tetsuwan Atom… or at least the 80-something episodes that never got dubbed/translated.

    Maybe if I win the lottery I could finance such a project.


    • darkspire17 says:

      You’d have to translate the first100 episodes too considering Ladd’s scripts where totally rewritten and do not accurately represent the show, same with ladd’s kimba dub. I’d die to see atom ’63 eventually fully subbed, i’ve got all 6 dvdboxes in my collection, they’re great to have, my only issue is the laserdisc masters being used, really hoping for at least a “hd dvd master” like tetsujin, 8man and Atom 1959 got. that or a full on BDBOX.


      • Moe Dantes says:

        Wait, there were six DVD boxes? I for some reason thought the R2J release was two big boxes.

        So having just finished watching these four eps here (at the time I hadn’t watched the Fuhrer ZZZ episode)… my only gripe, and I’ll admit its a petty one, is I prefer Shunsaku Ban’s nickname being translated rather than just left as “Higeoyaji.” That said, I’m not big on him being “Mustachio” like in the English manga…. I always liked calling him “Mr. Mustache.”

        But this is a private hang-up, mostly I just like consistency between various translations (not counting outdated English dubs. I can accept “Dr. O’Shay” but he will never, EVER be “Dr. Elefun” to me!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • darkspire17 says:

        There is a release witch is 2 boxes, but it’s all discs from the 6 box ver.


      • Nanto says:

        How I usually handle this sort of thing would be to use the Japanese name, but explain what it means in a translation note.


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