Star of the Giants vs Astro Boy (partially found anime crossover special; 1969)
Star of the Giants vs Astro Boy (巨人の星 対 鉄腕アトム) is an anime crossover special that aired on June 9th, 1969. Broadcasted by the TV Network Nippon Television, it was a collaboration between the studios Tokyo Movie and Mushi Pro in which rival characters on the same network would battle each other over a game of baseball. It’s considered one of the oldest anime crossover specials, but despite its historical significance, only small clips have surfaced over time.
The special aired on a variety showed titled Maeda Takehiko’s Rival World. As stated by the Japanese Wikipedia page, the special contained three animated rounds and one live action segment, the latter of which consisted of children in the studio audience. There are very little sources that go in-depth about the live action segment. However; As stated by the Japanese Wikipedia page, one section would include the children being given "chamberra" foam swords and blindfolds and attempting to slice balloons. The animated section is 20 minutes long, and at the time cost 6 million yen to produce.
From Star of the Giants
- Tōru Furuya as Hyūma Hoshi
- Seizō Katō as Ittetsu Hoshi
- Fuyumi Shiraishi as Akiko Hoshi
- Yanami Jōji as Chūta Ban
- Makio Inoue as Hanagata Mitsuru
- Shingo Kanemoto as Hosaku Samon
The cast for the Astro Boy characters is unknown, but sources claim it’s different from the 1963 animated TV series.
- Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino
- Animation Production: Tokyo Movie (Star of the Giants), A-Prodution (Star of the Giants), Mushi Production (Astro Boy)
- Production: Nippon Television
Five minutes of the special have surfaced online and are available for viewing. This footage was uploaded by Twitter user @doctoruwatson on December 8th, 2017 and October 17th, 2018 respectively.The footage is believed to be the same footage that was released on the Star of the Giants Special Edition: Father Ikketsu Box Set DVD, though this has not been confirmed. The animated section of the special was shown at a screening held on December 8th, 2007 by Tezuka Productions. The whereabouts of the live-action section of the special are unknown, as it was not shown here. It is speculated that the film currently resides in Tezuka Productions’ vaults.
There are claims that the special also aired in the United States, and was given an English Dub. Renamed to Astro Boy vs. The Giants, information on this airing is incredibly scarce. The exact date and time the special aired in the United States is unknown, and it’s uncertain if the English Dub still exists.
- The Japanese Wikipedia article on the special. Retrieved 01 May '20
- Animage (1988). 25 Year History of TV Anime pp. 28. Retrieved 01 May '20
- Information on the special, including cast and crew member names. Retrieved 25 Apr '20
- A tweet showcasing a clip from the special. Retrieved 01 May '20
- A tweet showing a second clip from the special. Retrieved 01 May '20
- Information on the screening of the special held in 2007. Retrieved 24 Apr '20
- Speculation about the whereabouts of the film from Anime News Network. Retrieved 29 Apr '20
- Clements, Jonathan. McCarthy Helen. (2006). The Anime Encyclopedia: Revised & Expanded Edition.Retrieved 27 Apr '20