Noman (lost pilot episode of cancelled Osamu Tezuka anime; 1968)
Noman (Norman, ノーマン) is a Shōnen manga created by famous author Osamu Tezuka that was serialized from April 28th, to December 22nd, 1968. In the same year, a 12-minute pilot was made by Mushi Productions in the hopes it would become its own series. However, this never came to fruition. The pilot remains lost, though images and storyboards have surfaced overtime.
In 1968, a Phantom Moon is observed over the world. At the same time, a young boy named Nakajo Taku must accompany his father to an important business call. Once there, Taku and his family meet up with Louis Boudre and David Flight, two humans with supernatural abilities. Taku is able to learn telekinesis from these two men. Soon after, they are all seized against their will by a strange man, and transported 500 million years in the past to the moon. There, Taku meets Price Noman, and it’s up to them and the Noman Rangers to put a stop to the intergalactic war between humans and aliens.
- Nakajo Taku: Osamu Ichikawa
- Prince Noman: Unknown
- Rupi: Reiko Muto
- Colonel Bega, Commander Butch: Osamu Kobayashi
- Captain Minos: Taichiro Hirokawa
- Yoromekis: Junpei Takiguchi
The pilot was partially in color, and ran for exactly 12 minutes and 20 seconds. It is unknown why the pilot was never serialized, but one could speculate that it was because of financial reasons. Another pilot made around the same time, Zero Man, was cancelled early into production due to Mushi Pro struggling to fund the show. Seeing as how the Noman pilot was nearly three times as long as the Zero Man pilot, it’s easy to see how Mushi Pro would struggle financially with such a production.
Pieces of raw 16 mm film from the pilot have surfaced online on Japanese auction sites. The film is cut up, and would be rendered impossible to play. Seeing as how private screenings have been held for the film, it is very unlikely this is the master copy of the pilot. Instead, it’s more than likely this is a duplicate 16mm film reel that was cut up and given out to Tezuka fans as a prize.
Images for the pilot were first published in the special edition May 1978 issue of “Monthly OUT”.  The film has made appearances at public screenings, including one held on April 30th, 1979 at an Osamu Tezuka fan meetup.  Storyboards for the film also appear in the book “Osamu Tezuka Storyboard Collection #2”. However, as of the time of writing, these storyboards have yet to appear online. 
- Archived website providing images as well as information on the Noman pilot. Retrieved 21 Apr '20
- The Japanese Wikipedia page on Noman. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Article on the lost Zero Man pilot, produced around the same time. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Information on Noman from the official Osamu Tezuka website. Retrieved 21 Apr '20
- A Yahoo Japan auctions webpage showing cut up 16mm film from the pilot. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Images of the May 1978 issue of Monthly OUT. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Information on a private screening event held for the Noman pilot. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Page index on the Osamu Tezuka storyboard book. Retrieved 21 Apr '20