"Captain ATOM" is a science fiction Manga whose theme is the coexistence and conflict between humans and aliens from another planet. The character "ATOM" made his debut in this work. The setting is the future Earth.
One day, a large number of aliens from "another Earth" descend to the Earth. This "other Earth" was exactly the same as the Earth had been in the past: it had Japan, the United States and other countries where creatures just like human beings lived. But the "other Earth" was completely destroyed by an explosion and its former inhabitants have since been wandering in space for thousands of years aboard a spaceship.
At first, Earthlings welcome the aliens from the other Earth, but they soon begin to fight when the Earth is severely hit by famine. Alien hunting becomes rampant, and humans and aliens face a crisis of a full-scale war. Then comes ATOM, a humanoid robot. ATOM visits the spaceship alone to negotiate with the aliens. Will he succeed?
April 1951 to March 1952
Appeared serially in "Shonen," (Kobunsha Publishers, Ltd.)
ATOM, along with Leo in the "Jungle Emperor Leo," is the most popular character in all of Tezuka Osamu's works. ATOM made his debut in "Captain ATOM."
Initially, ATOM was not the character's name. Tezuka Osamu originally wanted to write a story about a country that made use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, so he thought about naming the work "ATOM Continent." But in the end he settled on the title, "Captain ATOM."
In "Captain ATOM," Atom plays the supporting role. In "Astro Boy," a sequel to "Captain ATOM," ATOM plays the title role. "Astro Boy" was an unprecedented success and is still regarded as one of Tezuka Osamu's eternal masterpieces. In light of the growing popularity of "Astro Boy," Tezuka Osamu rewrote "Captain ATOM" as an episode of "Astro Boy." He later added the opening part when he published "Astro Boy" in book form. As a result, there are several versions of "Captain ATOM," but the version in "The Complete Works Tezuka Osamu," published by Kodansha Ltd. Publishers, is close to the original.