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‘Astroboy’ and ‘Black Jack’ to Stream on RetroCrush Beginning June 5

Digital Media Rights inks deal for North American rights to line-up of Tezuka Productions’ classic anime titles.

Digital Media Rights (DMR) has announced an agreement with Tezuka Productions for North American rights (SVOD/TVOD/AVOD/Digital Linear for the U.S. and Canada) to legendary anime titles including Astroboy and Black Jack. The programs, which will air on RetroCrush beginning June 5, reflect the creative legacy of Osamu Tezuka, who is widely known as “The Godfather” of manga and anime.

RetroCrush is devoted to streaming classic anime TV and movies and is available with video-on-demand (VOD) apps on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and smart TVs, and on desktop. Having launched this past March, the streaming platform joins DMR’s expanding family of OTT channels that also includes AsianCrush, Midnight Pulp, YuyuTV, Cocoro and KMTV. 

“It is an honor to bring a touch of the genius of the late Osamu Tezuka to our newly-launched RetroCrush platform,” commented DMR co-founder and CEO, David Chu. “Anime aficionados across North America will be thrilled to once again enjoy these incredible programs. New fans will have the opportunity to learn why Mr. Tezuka has been called the Walt Disney of Japan.”

"It's been wonderful working with Tezuka to bring more of their content to fans in the west,” added DMR head of content partnerships, Mary Gibson. “Our goal is to not only bring them gems that they know and love, but also introduce and share the other lesser known works from Tezuka Osamu. By doing so, we believe this helps fans gain a deeper understanding of his work and an appreciation of how much each piece of animation meant to Mr. Oasamu.”

Titles include:

Astroboy (1980/52x24) – HD remastered original Japanese version.

  • Set in a future where machines have advanced to the point of autonomy and become a major point of contention in political and social realms, Astro Boy chronicles the struggles of a crime-fighting young robot named Atom. Created in the image of his enigmatic inventor's deceased son, Atom survives rough beginnings, getting saved and adopted by the benevolent Dr. Ochanomizu. In his pursuit of justice, Atom finds himself amid numerous clashes with various factions and is often faced with the harsh realities of the world.

Black Jack (Original Video Animation/1993/12x50) – This is the first animated series of Black Jack, directed by Osamu Dezaki and Akio Sugino. 

  • Endowed with excellent surgical technique, Black Jack miraculously saves seriously ill patients - often on the verge of death. But he always claims an outrageous price for his surgery, which is why he is rejected in medical circles. Black Jack lives quietly in a clinic out in the deserted wilderness with his assistant, Pinoko. Patients seek him out as their last hope when other doctors have given up.

Ambassador Magma (1993/13x25) – An original videotaped animated film based on the popular Manga of the same title, broadcast on TV in 1966 as a special effects feature.

  • Newspaper writer Murakami Atsushi and his family wake up one morning to find they have traveled 200 million years back in time. Looking out their window they see dinosaurs walking around outside their house. This is the work of a spaceman named Goa, who sent them into the past to demonstrate his power. Proclaiming his intentions to take over the earth, Goa dares Murakami to report his plans in the paper.

A Time Slip Of 10000 Years: Prime Rose (1993/movie) 

  • Bazusu the devil sends two cities, Kujukuri City in Chiba Prefecture and Dallas in the U.S., ten thousand years in the future and forces them to for his enjoyment. Tanbara Gai, a member of time patrol, fights Bazusu to end the atrocity.

Undersea Super Train: Marine Express (1979/movie) – First aired as part of Nippon TV Network’s annual 24-hour charity program as a TV special along with One Million-year Trip: Bander Book (1978) and Fumoon (1980).

  • The story begins on the maiden voyage of a new, experimental super-fast undersea train, running across the Pacific Ocean. Halfway through the journey, after hijackings, natural disasters, betrayal, mechanical problems, onboard surgery and shark attacks, the train reaches the island of Mu. The surviving crew are then sent five thousand years back in time to an ancient and mysterious civilization that is threatened by a three-eyed demon and a vampire. Our heroes must team up with Mu’s supernatural protectors to liberate the natives.

One Million-Year Trip: Bander Book (1978/movie) - Japan's first 2-hour animated film for television.

Dear Brother (1991/39x25),

Jungle Emperor - The Brave Changes the Future (2009/movie)

Moby Dick - Great Whale in Space (Legend of the Moby Dick/1997/26x25)

Caption: Tezuka Productions’ ‘Black Jack.’

Source: Digital Media Rights