Atom The Beginning (アトム ザ・ビギニング) is a spin-off prequel manga of the Astro Boy series. It is authored by Tetsuro Kasahara with concept works for the manga done by Masami Yuuki and supervision done by Makoto Tezuka. It is currently serialized in Shogakukan’s monthly seinen manga magazine, Monthly Hero’s, where it debuted in the magazine’s January 2015 issue, which was released on December 1, 2014.
The manga tells a unique interpretation of the story leading up to the birth of Astro Boy. After a catastrophe of unknown cause hits Japan, which extensively destroys Japanese land, the Japanese people rely on technologically advanced robots to reconstruct the land. The story focuses on a leading university for robot production five years after the unknown catastrophe, with a young Dr. Tenma and Dr. Ochanomizu attending the university along with brand new characters.
The manga is currently only available in Japan, but volumes of Atom The Beginning can be purchased on Amazon Japan and shipped internationally. Free previews of the chapters in Atom The Beginning can be read online at Monthly Hero's official website. The free previews are in raw Japanese.
A Spring 2017 anime adaptation was announced and confirmed on November 20, 2016 via MoCa News. An official website for the anime adaptation opened on the same day.
A sudden, unexplained catastrophe hits Japanese cities. Following the catastrophe, robots become more and more commonplace, helping to rebuild the affected areas. A mysterious black-haired girl is shown waiting to cross the street.
Five years later, the story shifts to a leading robotics university, where a young Ochanomizu runs back to his dormitory with a sandwich and some groceries. He passes by three girls in the same class as him, who don’t notice him calling out to them. He tries to play it off, but becomes embarrassed about it.
While still trying to play the situation off, he accidentally runs into Moriya Tsutsumi and knocks him out of his wheelchair. Horrified, Ochanomizu tries to help Moriya back into his wheelchair. The two talk to each other, and it’s mentioned that Moriya is one of Japan’s most promising young geniuses.
Moriya snaps his fingers, allowing his own wheelchair to pick him back up and place him back into his seat on his wheelchair. The two part ways, and Ochanomizu becomes flattered that Moriya talked to him. Moriya turns to see a red-haired girl approach him, who calls him “big brother”. Moriya calls her “Motoko”, and the chapter ends.
The supervising editor for Atom The Beginning is Makoto Tezuka, who is the son of Osamu Tezuka.