Tetsujin #28 in three flavors. Happy Birthday, Mitsuteru Yokoyama!

Tetsujin #28 statue at Wakamatsu Park in Kobe
I used to own a PS2 with mod chip, but I never saw this game…

Today we celebrate the birthday of legendary manga artist Mitsuteru Yokoyama (Giant Robo, Mahou Tsukai Sally, Babel II, God Mars, etc.) with a release celebrating his most successful character, Tetsujin #28 (known in the US as Gigantor).

Regular followers of my blog may notice that this release is quite similar to the way I celebrated Osamu Tezuka’s birthday last year, with Tetsuwan Atom episodes from different eras.

Here are the first two episodes of the live-action version, which debuted the year after the successful adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s Tetsuwan Atom. I particularly like the actor they chose for Chief Otsuka; his acting, costume, and makeup are all very faithful to the way the character looks and acts in the manga.

Get them from Nyaa or Mega.

Next, three of the later episodes of the first anime adaptation. The show ended a very successful 83 episode run of in late May of 1965, with Tetsujin being locked away in the Peace Memorial Museum after vanquishing all of the evil on Earth. But as we all know, evil never sleeps. Just over three months later the series returned with 13 new episodes. These are the first three of those episodes, featuring Magna X, a new robot antagonist from outer space. These episodes begin with Tetsujin being taken out of retirement and souped up by Professor Shikishima so that it can fly through space (obviously a hot topic in the midst of the space race era.)

Get them from Nyaa or Mega.

And finally, an original broadcast of the first episode of the 1980 series revival, complete with subtitled commercials. Major thanks goes to Dougo13 for providing this from his amazing collection of old videotapes. The episode was recorded on Betamax by his friend in Nagasaki on October 3, 1980, two days after the first color episode of Tetsuwan Atom.

While I’ll always prefer the original anime, the 1980 color remake does have its strong points. I like Yasuaki Shimizu’s BGM soundtrack, which often has a jazzy and funky style. The show’s animation was produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha, one of my favorite studios. TMS is well known for its work on countless anime series (Lupin III, Orguss, Space Adventure Cobra, Famous Detective Holmes, Adventures of Gamba, Glass no Kamen, etc.) They’ve also carved out a niche for their work sub-contracting animation for American cartoons, such as Mighty Orbots, Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, and some of the best episodes of Batman: the Animated Series.

Get the episode from Nyaa or Mega.

Some people may remember seeing the edited English dubbed version (“The New Adventures of Gigantor”) on Cartoon Network in the 1990s. But I just discovered that the entire original, uncut version is available from Discotek in a Bluray box set, in Japanese with English subtitles. I still can’t believe how much amazing classic anime that company has released in the last several years, usually at a fairly reasonable price per episode. Also, someone pointed out in the comments that Amazon Prime members can stream 1980 Tetsujin for free. I’ll make a guess that this even works on one o’ them sci-fi future phones that shoots video and takes your blood pressure. Advertising keeps telling me I need one, but it feels like most times when I see someone staring at their little Star Trek radio, they don’t look quite as happy as the people in the ads.

This entry was posted in original broadcast with commercials, subtitled video release and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tetsujin #28 in three flavors. Happy Birthday, Mitsuteru Yokoyama!

  1. Tony says:

    What a cool tribute to Yokoyama. Happy Birthday indeed, to a legend!
    Thanks for keeping the dream alive, Nanto. The original aired episodes are especially wonderful. Something we’d find practically nowhere else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. asdadso says:

    The 80s series, titled as Shin Tetsujin 28, is also on Amazon Prime.

    Like

  3. Vlad says:

    I wonder if there’s a list of anime/mecha statues/tributes in Japan. Is there more than the three I’m aware of now? (this, the Unicorn Gundam, and the Scope Dog?) Because if I’m going to Japan, I want to see all of them.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s