Astro Boy Vol 23 / Osamu Tezuka : 3 of 5
Say it isn't so! I've just finished the complete Astro Boy series - all 23 books. I can't believe it's over. What will I do without Tetsuwan Atom to keep me company in the pockets of spare time throughout the day? This last volume is filled with short, short stories (even shorter than the last volume!), plus one medium length tale. Most of these were published in the 80s in Shogaku Ninensei (Second Grader) magazine, so they are simple fun stories full of jokes (and really enjoyable to read!). There's an excellent afterword which explains the various attempts made in the past to publish all of Tezuka's Astro stories, and confirms that this set definitely includes all of it (which gives me a sense of accomplishment). It's interesting that Tezuka himself compiled everything, determined the order of the volumes (putting his favorite stories first), and drew all the wonderful introductions that I loved so much in the other books. I think my favorite story here is Giant Uran, where another scientist turns our little cutie into a huge version with Astro's special powers! The long story is called The Silver Tower, and includes a scene where Astro uses his ass-guns to shoot off his own arms so he can escape - where else can you see that kind of drama? Farewell, Astro! I'll have to start another manga series soon.