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Goin’ Japanesque!

Revered Mangaka Osamu Tezuka’s Story Continues in “Atom: The Beginning”

“Tetsuwan Atom” is a famous classic masterpiece of manga, and it is internationally known as “Astro Boy”. The author is Osamu Tezuka, who is revered as a god of Japanese manga world. This work is still popular today and was made into a 3D anime overseas. The work we introduce this time is “Atom: The Beginning”, which depicts the eve of Atom’s birth.



“Umataro Tenma” and “Hiroshi Ochanomizu” are research students of Nerima University. They have together been developing robots that have “kokoro” (mind/heart).

“A106 (A ten six)” which they produced is a prototype that materialized their dream, and it has intelligence to think and carry out actions without receiving anyone’s orders.

A mysterious robot “Mars” suddenly appears in front of them. Who has developed an autonomous robot similar to “A106”?

An adventure of the two developers and A106 starts in search of answers to the mystery.



1. Umataro Tenma


He is a research student enrolled in Nerima University.

He is a self-proclaimed genius, and he has been developing robots as a superior entity to human beings.

He will later become Commissioner of Science Agency, and a genius scientist that develops “Atom”, the robot most similar to human beings.

2. Hiroshi Ochanomizu


He has been developing robots with AI and emotions together with Umataro Tenma at Nerima University.

He is aiming to develop robots that can become friends with human beings.

He will later become a guardian of Atom and Commissioner of Science Agency.

3. A106 (A Ten Six)

It is an autonomous robot with AI that has been developed by Umataro Tenma and Hiroshi Ochanomizu.

It is an innovative existence even in the story’s world; it can think like a man and act based on expectation.

While other robots in the story think and act to solve problems upon receiving orders, A106 can voluntarily initiate thinking and acting on its own.

Incidentally, the name “A106” can be read in Japanese as “A” “10=to” “6=mu”, “Atom”.

4. Ran Ochanomizu

She is a little sister of Hiroshi Ochanomizu and a girl who rarely talks.

She is a little shy, and frequents the laboratory and plays with A106, or makes electrical gadgets out of scrap.

5. Moriya Tsutsumi

He is the head researcher at Nerima University, and a beautiful young man with disabikity in his legs.

He is ostensibly sociable to Umataro Tenma and Hiroshi Ochanomizu, but privately considers them inferior to him.

6. Motoko Tsutsumi

She is the little sister of Moriya Tsutsumi and has interest in Umataro Tenma and Hiroshi Ochanomizu. She interacts with them against her brother’s objection.



This work depicts a story before the birth of Atom, the main character of “Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy)”, created by Osamu Tezuka.

It has been produced by different people than Osamu Tezuka, the author of the original story.

The creation of this story involves three people; “Makoto Tezuka” a filmmaker and son of Osamu Tezuka, mangaka “Masami Yuuki” who is in charge of concept work, and mangaka “Tetsuro Kasahara” who draws pictures.

This piece “Atom: The Beginning” has inherited the world view of the original story, “Tetsuwan Atom”. But it is created as a new story, covering new technological developments up to date and including new interpretation and variation of the original story.

For example, Umataro Tenma and Hiroshi Ochanomizu are best friends in this story “Atom: The Beginning”, but they start as complete strangers to each other in the original story of “Tetsuwan Atom: Revival of Atom”, written by Osamu Tezuka.

“North”, the robot that appears in “Atom: The Beginning”, evolves to be “North No.2” in “Atom: The Mightiest Robot in the World”.

In addition, this “Atom: The Beginning” contains many elements of Osamu Tezuka’s original “Tetsuwan Atom” and his other works. “Mars” in the current story is named after a character in “Jetter Mars”, another work of Osamu Tezuka.

Publication of this work started in 2015, and it is still continuing. The story line itself is very interesting, and we eagerly await and wonder how it unfolds and culminates into the birth of “Tetsuwan Atom” in the end.

Related Articles:
Classic Manga “Black Jack”: Masterpiece Medical Manga by Osamu Tezuka

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon