Astro's First Love

Astro’s First Love is the 52nd episode of the 1980s series and was first broadcast in Japan on December 23rd, 1981.

It turned out to be my hardest mission ever. I had to recover stolen plans for a robot who was a lot like me, but this one was a walking bomb! I had help from a robot called Niki. She got me into the fortress where the plans were being held. I had to get them back before Dr. Rindolf could build the robot bomb, but it was too late! Niki was the bomb!

Plot

When Dr. Elefun tells Astro that a diagram for a robot bomb was stolen, he sends Astro to retrieve the diagram back. When he reaches his destination, Astro meets a robot girl named Niki. He first tried to catch her for witnessing him jump off a train to land in his destination, however he then asked her if she lived around there and she said she did.

When Niki helps Astro get in the base where the robot diagram is, he discovers that she lives in the base. Before he can leave, Niki tells him she wants a friend since she doesn’t have any. Astro then sees that she is special and the two become friends. But when Astro meets the doctor, Dr. Rindolf, who reveals that he already built the robot bomb and adds that Niki is the robot bomb. Dr. Rindolf attempts to destroy Astro by trying to launch him into the sun via rocket, but Niki manages to hang onto the rocket. Angered and fed up by Niki, Dr. Rindolf activates the bomb inside her and she and Astro have one hour before she blows up. She and Astro reach Earth where Astro defeats the mad doctor and asks for the diagram back. But the doctor instead destroys the diagram and Astro destroys the robot clones.

With the doctor defeated and the diagram and robots destroyed, Astro tries to get Niki to go with him, but she refuses as the bomb has only 30 minutes until it detonates. Not wanting her to die, Astro forces the doctor to stop the bomb, but the only way to stop the bomb is to dismantle Niki. The doctor points out that if she is dismantled, he could never put her back together again since he and Astro destroyed the diagram and robot copies. Niki tells the doctor to continue with dismantling her, but Astro refuses. Niki then tells Astro she loves him and he tells her he loves her too. During her dismantling, Astro is holding Niki’s hand, which is broken down. The bomb is stopped, but Astro is devastated over the lost of his first love and probably his only love. All that is left of Niki is her legs.

As a favor, Astro asks Dr. Elefun if he could replace his original legs with Niki’s legs. Dr. Elefun reluctantly agrees and now Niki is a part of Astro forever.

Cut from the English dub (but appearing, subtitled, in the Madman Entertainment DVD boxset), this episode actually begins with an introduction by Osamu Tezuka himself. He mentions that anyone might be wondering why Astro Boy wears his red boots. The answer he gives is that Astro Boy secretly has girl’s legs and the story how he came to have those legs is sad and profound. The reveal surprises various characters of Tezuka’s. After this introduction, the story begins.

Trivia

  • This episode borrows several plot elements from one episode of Tezuka’s Jetter Mars. #19, Mars’ First Love introduced the robot girl Agnes to Mars’ class; She was loved by even the human boys.
  • The explanation of the red boots in this episode possibly contradicts an earlier episode when Astro received his red boots from Kathy.