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The Japanese Are Mad About Robots!

If you're naive enough not to fear robots (and I strongly encourage you to develop a robot phobia), come on down to the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center's courtyard for an outdoor screening of three classics of Japanese animation, all starring goody-goody robots — obviously pro-robot propaganda. Astro Boy debuted on Japanese TV in 1963 as Tetsuwan Atomu, or "Mighty Atom," the adventures of an android boy who fights crime, injustice and renegade robots. While acclaimed as the genesis of the anime genre, the show is clearly an attempt to frighten humans with robots' awesome atomic powers. Gigantor continued the intimidation by making the robot "hero" exceptionally large, and controlled via remote by a 12-year-old boy (marketing ploy by the universal-remote industry?). Voltron made waves in the '80s as a Transformers-like mash-up of two unrelated Japanese cartoons, Beast King GoLion and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV, and the result is so alarming that the JACCC has DJs in place to obscure the truth with robotic beats. Danger, Will Robinson!
Fri., June 26, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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