ASTRO BOY Tetsuwan Atom: The Secret of Atom’s Birth

ASTRO BOY Tetsuwan Atom: The Secret of Atom’s Birth (ASTROBOY鉄腕アトム アトム誕生の秘密) is a short film approximately 20 minutes long. It first appeared in a theatre at Kyoto Osamu Tezuka World on April 6, 20031).

Blurb (translation from Japanese):

Doctor Tenma, chief of the Ministry of Science, brought a digital brain genome from an aircraft. Doctor Tenma begins a trip to Mars, then combines the genome with a robot. Doctor Tenma’s son, Tobio, who had died in a traffic accident, has been revived.

Plot

The short film opens with Doctor Tenma stealing an artificially intelligent genome, as he plans to use it to “revive” his deceased son, Tobio. The alarms go off and everyone is notified of this. Doctor Ochanomizu approaches Doctor Tenma face to face to talk to him, but Doctor Ochanomizu is ejected from the ship as Doctor Tenma begins his launch to travel to Mars. Doctor Tenma begins working on using the genome while in space.

Back on Earth, many ships are taking off to follow Doctor Tenma. Doctor Ochanomizu, Inspector Tawashi and others trying to figure out what to do about the situation. Doctor Ochanomizu then begins talking about a robot and showing a 3D image of it. In between this, a flashback is shown of Tobio’s death. Tobio is commenting how he is grateful for the bike from his father, and these are apparently Tobio’s last words.

Back on the ship with Doctor Tenma, the genome is starting to show images of Tobio speaking. Doctor Tenma is starting to succeed with altering the genome. Through the genome, more flashbacks are shown.

In the first flashback, Tobio begins talking about his family, briefly mentioning his mother. In the next, Tobio begins talking about how Doctor Tenma is always busy.

The ships in space are still chasing Doctor Tenma, the situation has Doctor Ochanomizu frustrated.

Another flashback is shown, this time Tobio and his robot companions are spending time together when the doorbell makes a noise. At the door, Tobio receives a delivered present from Doctor Tenma, which Tobio discovers is an air bike and an electronic birthday card. Tobio’s robot friends sing happy birthday for him. Later, Tobio calls the Ministry of Science, asking if his father is there. Doctor Tenma’s assistant, whom answers the phone, is happy to hear from him, saying “happy birthday” and asking him to wait a moment while he brought the phone to Doctor Tenma. Tobio talks to him excitedly on the phone, but feels let down after Doctor Tenma informs him he has a project. So Tobio builds his air bike alone. He then rides it, and a repeat of the first flash back is shown, followed by Tobio’s funeral, when Doctor Tenma mournfully cried.

Doctor Tenma, on Mars, launches out of the ship in a smaller flying vehicle to go to collect the robot Doctor Ochanomizu mentioned earlier. Back on the ship, he puts the final outer layers (such as the artificial skin) on the robot. Afterwards, Doctor Tenma crashes the ship into the Ministry on Earth. He emerges holding the robot in his arms, confronting the other doctors with a serious tone. The exchange of words between Doctor Tenma and Doctor Ochanomizu words convince Doctor Ochanomizu to support Doctor Tenma’s choice and he lets him activate the robot (much to the police’s disagreement). Resulting in a very emotional moment at the end for Doctor Tenma, as he embraces the now activated robot. Doctor Ochanomizu (through narration) talks about the “new Tobio”, and the film ends as he is welcomed to the world.

Trivia

The animation and characters resembles that of the 2003 TV series, but Atom’s birth is told a bit differently in the film.

References