For the English version, the producers, NBC Enterprises settled on "Astro Boy" after discussions between producer Fred Ladd and representatives from NBC. (The title "Mighty Atom" for an atomic powered robot, as "Astro Boy" was thought of back then, was considered too generic " a title for a children's program for American TV.) Of the 193 episodes created in the series, 104 were adapted into the English version by Fred Ladd, and initially syndicated from September 1963 through August 1965, with repeats continuing until the series was withdrawn from syndication in the early 1970s.
The manga was not translated into English until Dark Horse Comics published it in the 2000s. In 1965 and 1966, Gold Key Comics, under license from NBC Enterprises, published a version of "Astro Boy" in the United States based on the English version of the TV series. [The single issue, "Astro Boy" (1965) and "March of Comics"# 285 (1966)].
The names were adjusted for American audiences. Frederik L. Schodt, who created the English version of the original comic, said that the names were "cleverly" changed for American tastes.
The English adaptation included an opening theme song [by Tatsuo Takai, lyrics by Don Rockwell] with the words: "There you go, Astro Boy! On your mission today! Here's the countdown and the blastoff! Everything is go, Astro Boy!...." The English show's original producer Fred Ladd, claims that the Japanese producers were so impressed by the adding of lyrics to the (until then) instrumental song that they then added words to the Japanese version, starting the "anime music" trend.
In one Astro Boy manga story Tezuka expressed frustration towards the restrictions passed by American television networks on the adaptation of the first Astro Boy television series. The U.S. version did not air an episode showing a dog being operated on, as the producers believed it was too cruel and grotesque to show. Tezuka criticized this as hypocrisy, as non-Japanese eat and kill animals in manners he described as "grotesque." Tezuka added that many White people in Africa shot animals for sport, yet people in England spread false rumors about Japanese people eating dogs.
In 2007 and 2008, Cartoon Network began broadcasting and webcasting NBC's syndicated edition of the original 1960s episodes as a part of its late night Adult Swim line-up. Only the first 52 episodes were aired.
The Right Stuf International and Madman Entertainment have recently released the entire dubbed series on DVD in two box sets. The Right Stuf sets also include episodes 1, 20, 34, 56, and 193 in Japanese with English subtitles, a behind-the-scenes film, and an interview with Fred Ladd.