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Microid S: Kamishibai (Epoch, 1973)

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8. The Microids try to explain
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Added 4/15/2013
Updated 7/28/2013
No matter how much they get laughed at, the three of them keep trying to explain.

Ageha: Gidoron’s country is located under a desert. And he is shrinking humans to his own size so he can use them as slaves.

Mamezō: Gidoron also has many robot insects. He intends to make every human in the world his slave. Even now, he’s coming here to attack.

The lair in which the Microids were cyborgized is presented as being in the American Southwest (site of open-air atomic bomb testing in the 1950s). So perhaps Osamu Tezuka was influenced by the 1954 Warner Brothers horror film Them! That movie tells of a nest of ordinary ants that were accidentally irradiated by nuclear testing near Alamogordo and mutated into gigantic size, leading to panic and urban disaster.

Tezuka cleverly allows his mutated ants to remain their normal size, but gives them super-intelligence so they develop means of miniaturizing humans and turning them into insectoid cyborgs. So the plot of the anime nicely turns the movie’s premise on its head. The mangaka might also have been influenced by Richard Matheson’s 1956 novel The Shrinking Man, which was adapted as the script for a classic 1957 Universal Studies film.

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