ASTRO BOY 2

This is the second volume of Akira Himekawa's version of Astro Boy. First published November 2003, by Shogakukan.

NOT ALL ROBOTS ARE EVIL! What starts out as a fun school trip turns into a major disaster when Atlas and his robot companions attack the school children. One disaster leads to another, and soon people are demanding robots be destroyed… What can Atom do to stop the battle between humans and robots?

Chapter 1: DEEP SEA SECRET

At the request of Ocean Sciences Acadamy, Professor Ochanomizu and Atom visit the Cameron Triangle Research Center to help Dr. Kazuya Oki, and a robot dolphin named Gunom, investigate about a monster down in the ocean. It turns out Gunom is very cowardly, but even though Kazuya scolds Gunom for his cowardice, Kazuya believes Gunom can eventually overcome his fears and become the world’s best deep-sea research robot. Kazuya says Atom’s cooperation is needed for that to happen, Atom happily agrees to help and encourage Gunom.

During the investigation in the sea, Atom and the others encounter a huge dinosaur, long thought to be extinct. Gunom flees in fear as the submarine takes damage, the dinosaur then makes it’s own escape. Suddenly bubbles blast up from below with methane gas not far behind, launching the submarine up with it. The engine has failed and Atom cannot stop the submarine from rising, the group call out for Gunom’s help.

Dr. Kazuya admits that fear is necessary for deep-sea research because it is important to be able to detect danger. Atom decides in that case Gunom is not a coward. Hearing this, Gunom gains confidence and comes back to help them. Teaming up, Atom and Gunom manage to stop the gas from reaching the submarine.

The methane gas was the real monster all along. The dinosaur returns to give a playful greeting to the group before they finally return to the surface. Back on the surface, Gunom has a new found enthusiasm and they all celebrate the successful investigation.

Chapter 2: THE WORLD'S STRONGEST ROBOT

After winning a robot fighting tournament, Herakuresu is killed by a robot which suddenly appeared. He announces himself as Pluto, the world’s strongest robot, whom wants to challenge Atom for a fight to the end. Having witnessed the harsh defeat on television, Atom decides he must get rid of Pluto himself. But Professor Ochanomizu immediately orders Atom not accept Pluto’s challenge.

Defeating any robot that dares challenge him during his way to meet Atom, Pluto eventually comes across Uran, whom is upset with him because he keeps stomping on the flowers around them. After realizing the flowers are important to Uran, Pluto apologizes and decides to take another path away from the flowers. Uran follows Pluto, asking him why he destroys robots, which he responds that he was built solely for battle. After discovering Uran is Atom’s sister when she introduces herself, Pluto decides to use her as a hostage to lure Atom into fighting.

Atom gives in and accepts Pluto’s challenge against the Professor’s wishes. Uran not wanting the two to fight, asks why Pluto hates Atom. Pluto explains that he doesn’t understand what hate is and is just following orders, saying he will only reveal who’s orders when defeated. The battle suddenly begins but ends just as quickly when Uran gets in the line of Pluto’s missile fire, after she had untied herself. Pluto is injured when having protected Uran from his own attack.

After declining Atom’s pleads to stop fighting, Pluto promises Atom another battle and escapes. Atom watches him in the distance, wondering who created him.

Chapter 3: LOST MEMORIES

The satellite Ganymede falling out of orbit, will eventually crash into Earth. Atom tries to stop the disaster, but begins to malfunction and falls back down to Earth in a junk yard, where he is found then partially repaired by Boon. However, Atom had now lost all his memories!

At first, Boon sees no use for Atom and was annoyed by him following he and his companions. After telling Atom to go find anything that looks valuable, Boon discovers Atom is useful after all when he lifts a huge flying-type vehicle out of the deep ground. Boon then has Atom perform robberies, which unintentionally helps Professor Ochanomizu discover Atom’s whereabouts.

Back at the junk yard again, Atom finds a small device and shows it to Boon. It is then revealed it was Boon’s Boon Unit, a multi-purpose repair unit created long ago. Although it wasn’t a failure, eventually an accident at the manufacturing factory caused Boon a tarnished reputation, losing everything.

Soon after, the Professor finally locates Atom and completely repairs him. With the Boon Unit given to him by Boon and memories restored, Atom successfully stops Ganymede’s fall, repaired by the Boon Unit and back in orbit.

On Earth again, Professor Ochanomizu tells Boon that he will make sure the Boon Unit is not seen as a failure. Boon thanks Atom for fixing his problem.

Chapter 4: THE SECRET OF ATOM'S BIRTH

Atlas briefly announces his plans to take revenge on humankind.

Atom awakes from a dream and asks Professor Ochanomizu about it. He says in the dream he was living with a family he didn’t recognize, while being called Toby. Upon hearing this, the Professor is discomforted and immediately changes the subject to mention Atom being late.

After Atom has left for school with his friends, the man from Atom’s dream appears at the front of Professor Ochanomizu’s home. The Professor is surprised to see Professor Tenma and instantly voices his worries about him. The conversation quickly becomes an argument about Atom, this arguments ends with the mention that only Professor Tenma truly knows Atom and his real power.

On the ride with other students, Atom can’t help think about the man that shouldn’t exist in his memory. The mood of Atom and his friends becomes perky when mentioning their school trip to Robot Island, however this mood drops a bit at the mention of the robot Kusuko possibly being kidnapped. Ken tries to cheer Atom up by saying he should just relax more.

During a flashback, it is revealed Atlas visited Kusuko in Peru to test his power and wants to recruit him as a follower.

On Robot Island, the robots begin to attack the students after their arrival.

Chapter 5: HUMAN VS ROBOT

Atom was confused by the surprising attacking from the robots of Robot Island. He tells everyone to run, but Ken gets injured. Quickly it is revealed Atlas is responsible for the attacking robots when he and some others robots show up, but the visit is brief as they leave when the police start to arrive. Inspector Tawashi accuses Atom of the damage and injuries, arresting him.

Professor Ochanomizu tries to convince the Inspector that it’s just a grave misunderstanding with Atlas as the real culprit, but it is no use. However Atom is still at least allowed to leave the Inspector’s custody. Atom immediately decides that he will visit Ken, but Ken’s parents refuse to let Atom see him. After, people begin throwing things at Atom while he’s walking in a street. Atlas believes everything is going according to plan, hoping Atom will eventually join him and give up on humans.

Atom decides that if people think he is a bad robot, he is going to shut down his own system, hoping they’ll stop being afraid of robots. Ken shows up just in time to stop Atom from shutting himself down. After seeing Ken’s concern, Atom apologizes.

Atlas and Atom meet again, he asks Atom to join him. However Atom rejects because he wants to be friends with humans forever. Just as the two are about to fight, Kusuko decides he wants to fight Atom instead

Chapter 6: SORROWFUL VICTORY

While Kusuko and Atom fight, Atom asked him why he is helping Atlas when the children consider Kusuko a hero. It is revealed that Kusuko’s guardian sold him and his friends to someone who made them work, dismantling his friends when they couldn’t work any more. When Kusuko was the last one left, he escaped and returned to his home town where he met Atlas.

By Professor Ochanomizu’s request, Epushiron comes to help Atom. She volunteers to stop Kusuko while Atom protects the people on the streets from danger. The police attempt to attack Atlas, but Atlas is too strong to obtain much damage from them.

Eventually during the fighting, some children spot Kusuko and attempt to bandage his damaged arm. This causes Kusuko to have a change of heart, just as Atom is trying to stop a falling ship, Kusuko decides to take his place so Atom can take the children away safely. However the ship explodes away from harming anyone but Kusuko himself. Atom and the children mourn him.

Chapter 7: ATLAS' PAST

Atlas decides to visit Professor Tenma, demanding he make him more powerful. Since Atlas wishes to put an end to Atom and the humans, the Professor accepts the demand.

Cutting to a flashback, a rebellious boy named Daichi is shown. His father wishes he will study hard and someday be the next president of the Tokugawa company after himself. Daichi cuts him off saying he should visit mum more, but his father cuts straight back into the conversation about the Tokugawa company, saying that it is the only thing Daichi should be thinking about now. Some time later when Daichi alone he then displays anger, remembering the family promise between himself and both his parents to visit the moon.

After a while Daichi gets injured in a fight outside with some people, he then goes to Katari’s house, thinking he can’t go back home. Since Daichi doesn’t want a doctor, Katari helps him. During a conversation, Daichi asks if his father loves him, assuming his father just wants Daichi to obey him. Daichi remembers how his father wouldn’t even show up, because of a meeting, when his mum died.

Sick of what he assumes to be his father’s tyranny, Daichi decides to run away and go to the moon, much to his father’s shock and confusion. Unexpectedly, Katari attempts to kill Daichi after he informs Daichi’s father that he will stop him. Professor Tenma finds Daichi next to a bike wreckage, he offers Daichi the chance for a new metal body.

The flashback ends and Atlas awakes with his modifications finished. When the Professor asks what’s on Atlas’ mind, he says the Professor seems to care about him more than his own father ever did. Atlas thinks to himself that he won’t take orders from anyone, carrying Daichi’s memories and living as a robot of destruction.

Chapter 8: ATLAS' COUNTERATTACK

Ranpu takes advantage of the negative happenings related to robots, trying to convince humankind that A.I robots and robots with hearts are the enemy.

Reporters constantly try to speak to Professor Ochanomizu, asking things about the danger Atom and other robots can be. After dismissing them, the Professor comforts the upset Atom. But Atom then decides to leave the Science Department, assuming he’ll just cause trouble for the Professor.

Ranpu, pleased with the uproar caused by Atlas, believes things are going well in his favour. It is revealed Ranpu wants control of the Tokugawa energy plant on the moon, so he can be able to control many robots’ energy supply.

While Atom wonders why he was created, he becomes distracted by some small robots working at the Tokugawa chemical plant. They look so happy doing their job, even with little rest. When they notice who Atom is, they become excited to see him. Then deciding to ask him to help them see the city, Atom agrees and carries them into the air. The sight of all the lights excite the little robots and encourage them to work harder.

Meanwhile during a meeting, the president of Tokugawa insists his son Daichi is still the next president of the company. He sorrowfully wonders where Daichi is, hoping he’ll save the company. The company president asks if Katari has found Daichi yet, but he apologizes as he hasn’t found him yet. Thinking to himself, Katari wonders where Daichi went as it will cause problems if he doesn’t finish him off properly.

At the Tokugawa chemical plant, Atlas starts destroying the area. When the little robots get hurt by Atlas, Atom discovers Atlas doesn’t seem to care whether someone is human or a robot.