With the sixtieth and fiftieth anniversary of the Astro Boy (Testsuwan Atom) and Cyborg 009 manga upcoming, the NHK is celebrating with a series of shows and presentations on the mangaka responsible for them.
Starting July 6 the NHK will start their two week focus on not only the god of manga Tezuka Osamu but on the man who grew popular through a similar style, Tarou Ishinori. First on July 6 will be a documentary on Tezuka called “The Final Days of the God of Manga” and focuses on the life and works of the man responsible for Astro Boy. It will be followed up the next week on July 13 with a documentary on the creator of Cyborg 009 Tarou Ishinomori. Like Tezuka’s, it will focus on his life and works, and of course how he was influenced by Tezuka in some ways.
Those comparisons and the chance meeting the two mangaka had with one another will be fully covered in July 15’s two hour special “Tezuka and Ishinomori: Japan’s Manga Genesis.” Hosted by Bakushou Mondai, a comedy duo, it promises to offer quite a bit about the two creators. Ota will be acting with all the nuances of Tezuka, while the other half of the duo, Tanaka, will perform the role of Ishinomori. The two will do their best to bring the famous mangaka to life. Guests on the show will be Naoki Urasawa (Monster), Yasushi Akimoto (creator of AKB48), and Risa Yoshiki (Gobusters).
Between the specials focusing on the mangaka will be showings of the animated and live action versions of their iconic manga. July 6 will feature Kamen Rider during the day and the first episode of Astro Boy will air later that night. The following week will include famous works like Black Jack, Henshin Ninja Arashi, Microid S, Kikaida, Sarutobi Ecchan and finish Sunday with the first episode of Cyborg 009. All of this will culminate with a Marine Day showing of Goranger, Princess Knight, and Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Emperor Leo).
With two prodigious names in animation and live action, the two weeks should prove to spread the classic series to another generation.