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Astroboy a role model?


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
What a silly article.

On most Japanese rail platforms, the imminent closure of the doors is announced by a nondescript instrumental of chimes. It saves passengers from being squashed by the automatic doors, and with the bonus of giving the feeling of boarding an ice-cream van rather than a squashy commuter train. There are chimes on Takadanobaba station, on the line circling inner Tokyo. A few weeks ago, they changed the recording, making the act of boarding a train an unexpected opportunity for thousands of middle-aged Japanese to relive their childhood. As the silver and green trains are about to depart, the speakers pump out the chirpy signature tune of the 1960s' cartoon series Astro Boy, or Mighty Atom as it is known in Japan. The reason for the change is a landmark event in Japanese pop culture. On April 7, Japan will celebrate Astro Boy's birthday. When Astro Boy was created by the legendary Osamu Tezuka back in the 1950s, he was placed in the distant future that would be home to boy robots. And so it was that he was created on April 7, 2003. Takadanobaba gets in on the act because this was the location for the fictional science ministry where Astro Boy was created. [...] In Japan, Astro Boy is a role model. Thirteen years of economic decline and political scandal have robbed the Japanese of self-confidence, and there is a desperate urge to find local heroes. A boy robot with rocket-powered boots remains the perfect idol.

=> Astro Boy still on the go


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