Astroboy was created in 1951, as part of the growing manga comic popularity after the Second World War and a year after the Korean War. Astroboy unlike other robots that are controlled by someone else is seen to have its own individual sense of right and wrong. The political landscape of Japan required people to think independently (Tanaka). Similarly the concept of self-sacrifice and death/rebirth that Astroboy goes through are also based eastern traditions. It was also a time in Japan when economically the country was down and people wanted entertainment that was easier to afford. Comics such as Astroboy fit into this niche. On the other hand, the work of Maternité [II] by Gauguin was painted during his exile period. The artist left his homeland France for Tahiti in 1891 and this picture was painted after years spent in Tahiti, when he was missing his family. The characters in the painting are in fact his Polynesian mistress, Pahura and the couple’s son born in the year 1899 (Sotheby’s).
Stylistic characteristics/ Similarities and Differences
Manga characteristics are used in Astroboy; in fact the popularity of anime in Japan is often attributed to Tezuka. However there are some differences in normal manga representation of the same period and the anime work of Tezuka. In manga stories the good guys are usually Japanese, however Astroboy is not tethered to ethnicity or nationality (Tanaka). There are usually immoral adults and children, but no other difference is made. The style characteristics employed in Astroboy is colorfully vivid and with captions. Special effects are seen to be added into the picture such that the viewer could look at the picture from different angles. Unlike comics of the same time where characters were seen in one angle, here the author enables the reader to pan across the page, tracing Astroboy’s flight movements.