Will humans live side by side with robots?

The debate over how robots could affect human life has been going on for more than a century.

Tezuka Productions (手塚製作公司), in partnership with Geometry Global Japan, have created "Robot Town Sagami 2028," an animation depicting a future society where human beings and life supporting robots co-exist in harmony.

Robot Town Sagami is a special district covering 12 municipalities in Kanagawa Prefecture (神奈川縣) Japan. The district is so named due to its large concentration of industries, research centres and university laboratories specialising in research and development of personal assistive robotics. The development of robots in the district is focused on the assistance of aging populations and coping with natural disasters, both of which are challenges that Japan faces.

The animation is created for Kanagawa Prefecture by Tezuka Productions, known for their animation Astro Boy series, launched as the first Japanese cartoon in 1963. It portrays the future of Robot Town Sagami in 2028 based on interviews of companies and scholars across this district. As such Robot Town Sagami 2028 is a realistic portrayal of the future.

“I wanted people, especially children who play a crucial role in shaping the world we live in, to picture the future we are heading for,” said Yuji Kuroiwa of governor of Kanagawa Prefecture. “As an iconic, much loved household name, Astro Boy will enable people to feel and see the substantial future of Sagami Robot Town. Screening in elementary schools and department stores across the prefecture, our hope is that this animation allows children to think and dream about the future of society.”

Masato Mitsudera, head of creative of Geometry Global Japan, said: “I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to be involved in this meaningful initiative. The challenges Kanagawa Prefecture face are not only applicable to the local government but also for Japan and the rest of the world. I hope this animation will fly around the world just like Astro Boy does, giving inspiration and hope for the future.”

Agency: Geometry Global Japan GK
Client: Kanagawa Prefectural Government
Production: Tezuka Productions Company, Limited
Planning/Idea/Copywriter: Masato Mitsudera (Geometry Global Japan)
Director/Character design/Animation director: Shinji Seya
Producer: Yoshiro Shimizu
Animation producer: Mitsuaki Oishi
Producer: Izuru Naito
Assistant producer: Nobue Wakajima
Creative manager: Masato Ishiwata
Scriptwriter: Mayumi Morita
Art director: Masami Saito
Director of photography: Kentaro Kashiwagi
Sound director: Akira Ohkuma
Sound production: AUDIO PLANNING U