Astro Boy's Late Creator to Release New Manga with Help from AI

Osamu Tezuka is one of the most prolific creators in the manga world, and is often credited with being the "god" that created manga as we know it. With creations like Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Black Jack, and Phoenix, Tezuka's impact is still left to this day. Although it's been 30 years since his passing, it seems like Tezuka's going to be coming back for a new project thanks to the work of Japanese tech firm, Kioxia. Hoping to hone in on the main elements of Tezuka's style, Kioxia's technology wants to craft an entire new work inspired by the prolific creator.

As detailed by Anime News Network, Kioxia was a company formerly known as Toshiba Memory, an organization that "specializes in high-speed, high-capacity data storage." By analyzing Tezuma's various works, the company wants to use Artificial Intelligence technology to answer the question of what kind of new manga Tezuka would draw today.

Hoping to debut the "new" manga in February 2020, it's currently unclear whether Kioxia is aiming to generate images based on Tezuka's work or is crafting a full manga, but the experiment is the first in a new initiative to show the kinds of advances from this memory technology. There also have not been any details as to whether this will factor in Tezuka's writing as well, or his more racy artworks, but new details will be shown next year.

There are quite a few philosophical and ethical questions that arise from something like this, especially if it means that technology could someday reach the point of continuing a mangaka's work long after their passing, but Osamu Tezuka might be one of the few creators who could be used for a new project like this. With a wide variety of stories and art to draw from, this experiment is going to be an interesting one if the final product could resemble any of his older works.

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Astro Boy was created in the early 1950’s by legendary manga and anime creator Osamu Tezuka, who was been described as Japan’s equivalent to Walt Disney. The Astro Boy newspaper strip ran for decades and was collected into manga form. The character has been adapted into multiple anime incarnations, enjoying worldwide popularity throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. Astro Boy’s origin is that he’s a robot created by a scientist to replace the scientist’s dead son. Astro strikes out on his own, going on a journey that eventually lands him with a new home, new owner, and new mission – to battle the forces of evil using his robotic powers.

via ANN