Atom / Astro Boy
Voiced by: Mari Shimizu (JP, 1963 and 1980 TV Series), Makoto Tsumura (JP, 2003 TV Series), Aya Ueto (JP, 2009 Film), Billie Lou Watt (EN, 1963 TV Series), Patricia Kugler Whitely (EN, 1983 TV Series), Steven Bednarski (EN, Canadian broadcast of 1983 TV Series), Candi Milo (EN, 2004 TV Series), Freddie Highmore (EN, 2009 Film)A robot boy built to replace his creator's deceased son. He possesses the strength of 100,000 horsepower (later 1,000,000) and a heart of gold. He possesses what's referred to as the Omega Factor / Kokoro, which allows him to feel emotions and thought processes identical to that of humans (and in the 2003 anime, to modify his body as he grows mentally). His ultimate wish is to create a world where humans and robots live and work as equals — sort of like a tin-can Martin Luther King Jr. His powers include super-strength, rocket-propelled flight, universal translation, super senses, a laser finger/arm canon, and machine guns in his butt. No, we're not making that last part up.
- Arm Cannon: Gained it with the 2003 series in his left arm, wherein it became and still remains his most powerful weapon of all.
- Ass Kicks You: As mentioned already, he has machine guns in his butt.note
- Badass Adorable: Given the fact that he's a combat robot that resembles a small boy, it's not a big surprise.
- Combo Platter Powers: In the original manga story "The Birth Of Astro Boy", his "seven special powers" are described as being able to fly, having 100,000 horsepower, discerning whether people are good or evil, amplifying his hearing up to 1000x, using his eyes as flashlights, understanding and speaking sixty languages fluently, and his infamous secret weapon - machine guns in his rear end. However, in other adaptations he has different or additional abilities; in the 1983 series he was able to shoot lasers out of his finger tips, and he also gets an Arm Cannon in the 2003 series.
- Flying Brick: His usual "fighting style" consists of "fly towards it with my fist out and watch it smash". Given how fast he can chain these rammings together, it's quite an effective method regardless.
- Living Lie Detector: Part of the "Seven Special Powers" package. However, Astro can be tricked into thinking it's incorrect, and it tends not to work so well with robots as it does humans.
- Martial Pacifist
- More Dakka: Finger lasers, a Wave Motion Gun arm and a seemingly bottomless cache for his machine guns means Astro can open continuous fire for quite a while.
- Replacement Goldfish: Not only himself; in the manga, he manages to bond with Dr. Tenma's wife, Hoshie. After she dies during Astro's time at the circus, Astro asks to have the robotic mother Dr. Ochanomizu builds for him made in Hoshie's likeness. (Tenma gives the duplicate of his wife training in secret to help her be a better Goldfish for Astro.)
- Super Prototype: In the 2003 series —specifically highlighted in the manga— Astro is this. Essentially, Tenma created two ultimate works: the world's most powerful combat robot, "Prototype-G", and the world's first and purest AI, devoid of corrupt thought patterns. He put these two together, and wham-bam, you get Astro.
- Super Speed: Considering Astro can at least break escape velocity, those rocket legs aren't just for show.
- Took a Level in Badass: During the infamous "World's Strongest Robot" storyline, Astro was given the boost of one million horsepower by Dr. Tenma in order to overcome Pluto. Unlike your typical plot wherein the hero learns they had the power inside them all along and etc., Astro keeps the upgrade. Well, until the time travel arc, where his original self was destroyed and succeeding appearances returned him to the usual hundred thousand.
Uran / Astro Girl / Zoran
Voiced by: Yoko Mizugaki/Reiko Mutou (JP, 1963), Billie Lou Watt (EN, 1960), Masako Sugaya (JP, 1980), Becke Wilenski (EN, 1980), Miki Maruyama (JP, 2003), Susan Blu (EN, 2003)Astro's "sister". Much brattier than her brother, she has fewer compunctions about using her abilities for personal gain and sometimes shows less regard for human life, or at least human values as well, which would be kind of scary if she weren't so darned cute. Though she is less interested in humans than her brother, she has a fondness for other living things, and in some versions is able to communicate with animals. In her debut story she also gained the power to split herself in two, but due to her strength being halved, it is never used again. Uran's origins are somewhat vague, as Tezuka sometimes stated she was created by Ochanomizu, and at other times by Tenma as a failed prototype.
Cobalt / Jetto
Astro's younger brother. He is omitted from most adaptations of the series, but can be seen in the original manga and the 1960's anime. In the manga, he was originally created to replace Astro - who'd gone missing - during a crisis. When the crisis ended and both robots met each other, it was decided that they would live as brothers together. As Cobalt was not created by Tenma, he lacks the power and capabilities that Astro has. While similar in appearance, Cobalt is taller than Astro and his hair spikes are longer.
Pluto / Bruton
"The World's Strongest Robot". A giant monster of a machine with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing all the world's most powerful robots, a job which he has no particular enthusiasm for, but feels is the only thing he is capable of doing. Originally this was simply so that his selfish owner could boast that he had the greatest robot on Earth, but later versions usually assign deeper and more sinister motives for his killing spree. The title character of an Ultimate Universe remake by Naoki Urasawa, acclaimed creator of Monster and 20th Century Boys.
- Affably Evil: When Pluto says it's not personal, it's not personal. He has no concept of hatred and seemingly can't hold a personal grudge. Honestly, if you're not one of his targets or a means to get at them, he can actually be rather pleasant. Just ask Uran. Erm, before he knew who she was, of course.
- Back from the Dead: In the 2000s series, by machinations of Shadow and the Blue Knight, just in time for the series' conclusion.
- The Dreaded: In both the 1980 and 2003 series, big time. He was only out there for a few days, but within hours of his first attack, just mentioning his name was enough to cause panic.
- Laser-Guided Tykebomb: He was created specifically to destroy the strongest robots of the world.
- One-Hit Kill: Pluto's most terrifying means of offense: to catch an enemy inbetween his horns, and then channel a sudden, immense electromagnetic burst between them. If a robot is not specifically defended against this, they'll be immediately destroyed.
- Spikes of Villainy: Has horns on his chest and shoulders. They're his main form of attack in the 80s series.
- World's Strongest Man: An invoked trope, as in every incarnation he is specifically made to be this, and he delivers.
The Blue Knight
A robot revolutionary who wants to create a nation where androids can live freely, no matter what the cost. Think of him as the Malcolm X to Astro's Dr. King and you're not too far off.
Appearing only in the 2003 series, Shadow was created by Dr. Tenma to construct powerful robots that would test Astro's power. His electronic brain contains all of Dr. Tenma's memories and an equal - if not superior - intellect.
AtlasA robot built with similar capabilities to Astro. Often regarded as his "brother" (in the 80s series he was built from the same blueprints, in the 2000s series he was actually created by Dr. Tenma himself). While Astro chose to help humans, Atlas believes that robots must rise up and destroy them. He has an inferiority complex and anger issues both due to mistreatment from humans and constantly losing to Astro.
- Composite Character: Both colour anime series' combine him with Cobalt, Astro's brother from the original series. The 80s version also adds aspects of The Blue Knight, but this wasn't repeated in the later series, where Blue Knight was retained as a separate character.
- The Dragon: Well, in the 2003 series, at least until Tenma's decided Atlas has nothing more to offer Astro.
- Evil Counterpart: A young man in a wealthy household whose father in a position of higher power neglects him, causing him to act in a way that would lead to his untimely death before being reborn as a robot through Dr. Tenma. Now, are we talking about Astro or Atlas?
- Lonely Rich Kid: In the 2003 series.
- Teens Are Monsters in the 2003 series.
Zero / Elec / DenkouA stealth robot that was stolen by Skunk and used to commit crimes. He's incredibly naive and doesn't understand the concept of theft. He's tragically destroyed in the manga and original anime but made much cuter in the 2003 series and survives.
Epsilon / PhotarOne of the seven most powerful robots in the world that Pluto targeted.
- Badass: The original managed to hold his own against Pluto, despite being much, much weaker —even compared to Pluto's previous victims— and as for the female incarnation, she absolutely wrecked Pluto for a while. Then he exploited her fear for harming sea life in their battle.
- Gender Flip: Originally a male. In the 2003 series, Epsilon is shown to be a female instead.
- Light 'em Up: A photon-based robot, thus granting them theoretically infinite energy. The female incarnation weaponizes this, converting her energy into a gigantic energy beam powerful enough to even send Pluto flying.
- Shock and Awe: The original Epsilon used the antenna upon his head to channel intense bolts of electricity.
Dr. Umataro Tenma / Dr. Boynton / Dr. BalthusOnce a kindly robotics scientist and the head of the ministry of science till his son was killed in a car accident. He went off the deep end and built Astro Boy to replace him, but his unstable mind led them to being separated. Is both a villain and a mentor to Astro, and comes to believe Astro Boy will grow up to lead all robots in the future.
- Animal Stereotypes: Often compared to horses (though he also looks like a rooster)
- The Atoner: While he knows he can never truly make amends for his actions, he helps Astro frequently after regaining his affection for the robot. He builds robotic parents for Astro, enhances Astro's power to one million horsepower (700 MW) when he fights Pluto, rescues Astro from a Cleopatra robot, and rebuilds Astro after he is destroyed while trying to protect Blue Knight.
- Driven to Madness: In the original manga, Tenma had a fair bit of Sanity Slippage upon realizing he wanted Astro back to the point of pointing a gun at his robot parents, as well as feeling mankind as a whole was inferior to robots. In the 2003 anime, he takes the latter as far as it can go to the point of conspiring to mold Astro into his "King of Robots", who would lead them in taking the Earth...himself being the sole human they would answer to, of course.
- Friendless Background: Outright stated in the 2003 series that a younger Tenma had to build his own robot friends, because he couldn't make any the conventional way.
- Hypocrite: Humans are inferior to machines, says he. Except him. Robots should obey him when it's convenient.
- Married to the Job: Tenma was a workaholic while he was with the Ministry of Science, leaving his first son Tobio as a Lonely Rich Kid.
- Not Good with People: In the manga, Tenma occasionally wondered if he'd get along with Tobio if he was a robot before the accident (although he was decent enough to kick himself for thinking that). Ironically, he turns out to not be that good with robots, either...
- Orange And Blue Morality: With exception of the CG movie, in all incarnations (save for the one or two where he presumably died) Tenma always becomes antagonistic, outright villainous even, but eventually abandons whatever mad pursuit he has in mind in order to support Astro. However, one should note that Tenma never actually abandons whatever his twisted ideology became, he just backs off of it for the sake of his robot son.
Professor Ochanomizu / Dr. Packerdermus J. Elefun / Dr. O'ShayThe kindly successor to Dr. Tenma as the head of the Ministry of Science and an advocate for robot rights. He rescues Astro Boy and raises him as his son. Ridiculously knowledgeable and dependable.
- Berserk Button: He's proud of his nose, thank you — don't touch it!
Shunsaku Ban / Albert Duncan / Hector / Pompous / Mr. Mustachio / Higeoyaji / Daddy WalrusAn eccentric old man who has an extensive occupational past, having seemingly tons of jobs at once. Chiefly seen as a teacher and private investigator. Though gruff and short-tempered, he loves mentoring children, especially Astro. He tends to brag too much about his abilities, but can back them up - to an extent.
Police Inspector Tawashi / Inspector Gumshoe
Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai (JP, 1980)A detective who is distrustful of robots and androids. Due to his position and opinions, he frequently butts heads with Ochanomizu and Astro because his style of work when it comes to robot criminals is to shoot first and ask questions later. He eventually comes around to respect and appreciate Astro Boy. Often forms half of a Good Cop/Bad Cop act with fellow recurring policeman Inspector Nakamura.
Hamegg / The Great KatchitoriA shady man who often tries to steal money. In most incarnations he first appears as the owner of a robot circus and obtains Astro Boy shortly after Tenma disowns him.
- Beware the Nice Ones: In the 2009 film.
- Friend to All Living Things: He appears as this in the movie, adopting orphaned children and repairing broken robots. Subverted in that he repairs them for combat in a gladiator tournament and thinks lowly of robots, just like in prior adaptations.
- Reused Character Design: In the 60's anime, Hamegg was a recurring villain. All but two appearances were treated as separate characters.
- Hamegg himself was a villain from Tezuka's earlier works, such as Angel Gunfighter and Kimba the White Lion.
Skunk Kusai / Fearless Fred FenkA gangster who manipulates robots to do crimes. Portrayed as one of the few totally unambiguously evil characters in the Astro Boy series, but not much of a threat by himself.
- The Chessmaster: In the 2003 series. He always has a backup plan.
- Those Two Guys: Him and Tamao, though mostly averted in the 2003 series.
Shibugaki / AbercrombieOne of Astro's classmates. He tends to be a bully sometimes.
Tobio / TobyDr. Tenma's deceased son. If it were not for Tobio's premature death in a traffic accident, Astro Boy would not have been created.
Rock HolmesOne of Osamu Tezuka's more famous recurring characters. Rock is always portrayed as a young man who starts off decent but becomes more and more dark and evil as he grows up, going from troubled child to delinquent and eventually turning into a homicidal villainous cross-dressing rapist near the end of Tezuka's career. Rock takes several roles throughout Astro Boy, nearly all of them unrelated - but still with more or less the same personality. In his most important appearance in the series, he's a corrupt young politician running for president who creates a robot duplicate of himself to help run at politics, only to be hung by his own petard when his cruel treatment of robots causes his robot duplicate to run against him and win the election.