Not all nostalgia warms one’s cockles or demands a quick sob. Some, sadly fills us with regret, loss, perhaps anger, and naturally frustration. Such is the Sad Case of Our Dear Astro-Boy.
Born in Tokyo in 1952, Ab was very active in the late sixties and seventies. However, while Reagan was President, his thoughts turned to the eventual joys of retirement. He was a still strapping young man. He had already made his fortune. And he would yet excitedly receive royalties ad infinitem.
Astro was ready to either visit his elderly parents, Chad and Debbi Atomi, and their extended family in Tokyo. Or they’d, perhaps, travel by souped-up Winnebago to a yet unidentified exotic location.
Or, as Astro-Girl reminded him, the pair could actually relocate to Aruba, a favorite vacation spot. She vowed to apply his sun screen every morning. In the end, though, it was his decision.
Astro and his common-law mistress agreed on one requisite: they had to leave Hollywood. The hooplah, chaos, invasion of privacy, and the sadness of his celebrity sucked the joy right out of them.
The phone was constantly humming for his attention to attend galas or fundraisers. Astro, however, no longer enjoyed the late hours. He no longer wanted to wear a tuxedo. He hated the “bump and shove” of it all. He loathed crowds and long lines.
He and Astrid enjoyed each other and their amenities at home. Their estate was grand and beautifully drawn. The incredible creative team at Hanna-Barbera was responsible for the upfitting and outfitting. Remember: the original designs were supervised by the same crew that had originally built Disneyland.
The mansion was constructed with Quick Draw McGraw’s Wright-inspired showplace to them on the left. To the right was the fabulous 6,800 sq foot bungalow shared by the first true Bel Air power couple, expatriates Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Boo-Boo Bear lived across the street with daddy bear Yogi. Yes. You got it right, Irma.
All of his neighbors and the other animated superstars now seemed superficial if not plastic. They all must’ve augmented their appearance with digital makeovers and the much more expensive hand jobs. They didn’t really have much in common with the Quests, the Jetsons, the Addams, or the unfortunate Rubbles, who had died in a tragic and uninsured auto accident back in 1992.
Astro and Astrid today smile whenever they hear of Madonna or Cher. He knew bigger one-named superstars: Josie, Shaggy, his wife and second cousin Velma, Shazam Sr., and that sometimes a-little-too-slutty trollop, Miss Dora. Don’t forget Dora’s scandalous longterm liaison with the slightly older Miss Jane. Theirs was the first “mixed medium” marriage. It was their estate, remember, to which both Portia Rossi and Anne Heche had retreated in the last decade.
Professionally, their was little to keep him from collecting his watch and moving to Florida. Disney had purchased their production company and Oprah had acquired the Astro-Boy merchandising rights. Donald Trump had seized his beloved Atlantic City casino. The mogul spearheaded a hostile takeover two decades ago and elected himself the grand poohbah of “Astro-Boy’s Golden Nugget Celluloid Casino” and its’ Starbucks-by-the-Slots.
These days, the studios looked for someone younger or, at least, redrawn. Producers had tarnished Astro’s powerful name power with gaudy remakes of his classic and pioneering television show and films. Younge wannabes were cast in leading roles in successful light porno fare such as: “I Know Why Your Feet Stick to the Floor!” And Disney’s new Broadway musical “Do Me In the Next Frame”, the Astro-Boynow in try-outs in Branson, Missouri.
As I conclude, I urge you to keep his fire alive and his name remembered. Just think Tetsuwan Atomi, or Mighty Atom. In Tokyo, volunteers pasted 138,000 metro tickets into a collage of Astro in his iconic flying mode. “Astro-Boy 4.0” has debuted to critical success on the new Pat Sajak Network. And finally, there are several websites now dedicated to all things Astro-boy!
Henry and I have included a few photographs of the early anime star, including a rare baby picture. We both wish the couple a relaxing and fulfilling retirement wherever and whatever they do.
I am nearing sixty and will always remember Astro-boy fondly.
It’s a wrap, Irma. Oh, just watch Mighty Mouse okay?