Astro Boy, the robot Mickey Mouse of Japan with a machine gun in his arse, has received his first major graphic overhaul in years and they made him fat. The formerly svelte, doe-eyed bot with 100,000 horsepower looks like a cross between a fish lips and a mini sumo wrestler.
Not surprisingly to Shimuzu, they have been getting more than their share of complaints from the more hardcore of the Astro Boy fan-base. So, why the added girth? Tezuka Productions Copyright Division head Yoshihiru Shimuzu offers a suggestion, "Once upon a time, Americans never ate raw fish, but now they really want to find a delicious sushi. In the same way, we want the collaboration that led to 'AvoCali (Astro Boy)' to take the character worldwide." Avocali is the nick name for this variant, and it's a reference to the Avocado California rolls many Americans think is real sushi. So to get this straight, Japan's Astro Boy was made fat and ugly to better relate to foreign devils? Astro boy was the inspiration for Japan's Atom project, a US$446 million attempt to recreate the total abilities of a 5-year old in a robot. Is this any way to treat him? [Mainichi]