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Microid S: Kamishibai (Epoch, 1973)

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3. A midair bugfight.
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Added 4/15/2013
The hornworm robot fires a death ray at Ageha and Mamezō, who are slow to get out of the way.

Mamezō and Ageha: Help!

Yanma does a somersault and saves the two of them.


The hornworm robot is split in half.

Yanma: Let’s get out of here. If people don’t listen to what we have to say, both the Microids and the human race will be in terrible danger.

The Microids are accosted by what seems like a flying monster. Yanma tangles with their opponent, slicing through it with his super-strong dragonfly wings. As it disintegrates, they find that it is actually a robot, engineered by their former captors and sent to prevent them from warning humanity.

This becomes a standard routine for the series: the story’s originator, Osamu Tezuka, had a particular fondness for insects, which he studied in detail and often included in his mangas, usually in sympathetic roles. So clearly he and the Toei adaptors chose not to have the Microids regularly attack and kill real bugs. Rather, their antagonists are robotic devices that mimic destructive insect behavior and so can be blown up or sliced apart without incurring karma.

I first thought the designer of this scene was thinking “duck-billed platypus” from the creature’s face and mammalian paws. But the script names it a “hornworm robot” so it evidently is a flying caterpillar. Anyhow, it “bleeds” bolts, screws, and transistors, proving its inanimate nature.

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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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