Robita


Robita

Robita is a fictional character, a robot who appears in Osamu Tezuka's manga series "Phoenix". It is also a character in the modern "Astro Boy" animated series.

Phoenix

Robita first appears (in the chronological order of the manga release) in "Future", where he is a grey cylindrical robot with an ellipsoid head, the eyes being a slit and his arms being articulated with claws. He is an assistant to an old recluse mad scientist called Dr. Saruta, the last descendant of the Sarutas in the Phoenix continuity. Although Robita may only be a robot, he shows signs of personality and kindness, which even astonishes Saruta himself.

In the "Resurrection" episode, the origins of Robita have been revealed. He is actually the combined minds of Leon, a human, and Chihiro, a robot, who have been loaded up into an android by Dr. Weekday, a mad scientist who worked for an organ-smuggling crime ring.

Leon was a young man who, having died in a rigged car accident, was surgically resurrected with artificial brain implants. The side effect of these new organs changed the way he perceived the world: he saw, heard and felt humans and other living things as repulsive and intimidating jumbles of rocks. His mind having become closer to a robot's than a human, he saw machines and robots as beauties and marvels of nature. This was how he met Chihiro, a factory worker robot. Although "she" normally looked like an ugly and cold insect-like automaton, Leon saw, heard and felt her as a beautiful and charming young girl wearing an antennae hat. He fell in love in her, and the feeling became mutual, but their love was forbidden, the company not wanting to let go of Chihiro.

After Leon found out his death was ordered by some of his relatives because he hunted the Phoenix and got its much-coveted blood, he ran away with her and ended into an organ-smuggling crime headquarters. The female leader of the operations fell in love with Leon, who rejected her, and she decided to forcefully combine her body with his by surgery of a mad scientist working for her, Dr. Weekday. After a last request by Leon on Weekday, he agreed to load his mind into Chihiro... but the girl-robot not having enough memory space in her body, Weekday combined them into a bigger robot. Leon-Chihiro gradually forgot his/her memories and ran away, being taken in by a family, who enjoyed his/her gentleness, knowledge of human games and trustworthiness. Leon-Chihiro was then copied and mass produced worldwide, as popular household and nanny robots. His/her new name was Robita.

Yet, one day, a boy accidentally got killed by radiations inside an isotope field. His parents, not wanting to take responsibility in the accident, put the blame on Robita. After a long trial and debate, Robita and the Robitas working in the field were considered guilty and ordered to be destroyed. All the other Robitas around the world decided to also destroy themselves from learning the news, and went into collective suicide.

Only one Robita remained, who was working on the Moon for Acetylene Lamp, a space transport officer. Robita told him he felt he was human, and was sure about that. Lamp, revolted by a robot having such idea, told him that he couldn't be unless he proved himself, such as killing him for treating him like a slave. Robita did so, in an indirect way, and was left alone on the moon, crying over his guilt, until he was found one day by wandering scientist Dr. Saruta, who took him under his wing as his assistant.

Robita served Saruta as his trustworthy assistant for decades, until he got shot and destroyed by Rock.

Astro Boy

Robita's character, known as Nora in the English version, has been reused for the 2003 anime series of "Astro Boy". The robot keeps his cylindrincal body and ellipsoid head, but is given a less dark and more cartoonish look: yellow color, telescopic arms and green bubbly eyes. Being referred as a "she", she is Astro Boy's nanny.

Trivia

The protagonist of Saya no Uta shared very similar fate with Leon/Robita.

External links

* [http://www.katch.ne.jp/~iris-ins/sannmi/san.robi.html Robita] Pictures of Robita statues of the way he looks throughout the "Phoenix" series


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