Star of the Giants (巨人の星 Kyojin no Hoshi?) is a sports manga written by Ikki Kajiwara and drawn by Noboru Kawasaki. It was adapted as the first sports anime television seriesbroadcast in Japan, in 1968. It later spawned 2 anime sequels and different anime movies.
The manga appeared in Weekly Shōnen Magazine about the actual baseball team Yomiuri Giants using fictional characters. It was launched by the "Yomiuri Group" which at the time owned not only the actual baseball team, but the TV network Nippon Television, the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, as well as Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation.
The show targeted young audiences expanding the imagination of what is physically possible by dramatizing pitches and wind-up sequences. While staying true to being a sports anime, the contents are not simulated like real baseball. It was closer to fantasy surreal anime, though that was the norm within manga publications at the time.
The story is about Hyuuma Hoshi, a promising young baseball pitcher who dreams of becoming a top star like his father Ittetsu Hoshi in the professional Japanese league. His father was once a 3rd baseman until he was injured in World War II and was forced to retire. The boy would join the ever popular Giants team, and soon he realized the difficulty of managing the high expectations. From the grueling training to battling the rival Mitsuru Hanagata in the Hanshin Tigers, he would have to take out his best pitching magic to step up to the challenge.
- Hoshi Hyuuma: Tohru Furuya
- Hoshi Ittetsu: Seizō Katō
- Akiko: Fuyumi Shiraishi
- Ban Chuuta: Jōji Yanami
- Hanagata Mitsuru: Makio Inoue
- Kawakami Tetsuharu: Tadashi Nakamura
- Masaichi Kaneda: Teiji Ōmiya
- Kyōko: Reiko Mutō
- Original creator: Ikki Kajiwara, Noboru Kawasaki
- Director: Tadao Nagahama, Yoshio Kabashima, Tadaaki Tamazaki, Mamoru Sasaki
- Script: Masaki Tsuji, Seiji Matsuoka, Tooru Sawaki, Ryohei Ito, Toru Sawaki, Yoshiaki Yoshida
- Music: Takeo Watanabe
- Art director: Isamu Kageyama
- Animation director: Daikichirou Kusube
- Editing: Kazuo Inoue
Beginning in 2001, the series was re-released on DVD format.
The first Star of the Giants movie was debuted in 1969 as part of the vacation anime festival on large screen theatres in color. The draw was that most people had black and white TVs at the time. The Star of Giants vs Mighty Atoms TV special reached the U.S and was renamed to Astro Boy vs the Giants.
|Japanese Name||English Name||Release Date||Type||Run time|
|巨人の星||Star of Giants the movie||1969||movie||90 mins|
|Star of Giants vs the Mighty Atom||1969||TV special||30 mins|
|巨人の星 行け行け飛雄馬||Star of Giants: Ike Ike Hyuma||December 20, 1969||movie||75 mins|
|巨人の星 大リーグボール||Star of Giants: Big League Ball||1970||movie||70 mins|
|巨人の星 宿命の対決||Star of Giants: Shukumei no Taiketsu||1970||movie||60 mins|
|新巨人の星||New Star of Giants||1977||series||52 Episodes|
|新巨人の星||New Star of Giants the movie||1977||movie|
|新巨人の星II||New Star of Giants II||1979||series||23 Episodes|
|Stars of Giants Special Edition: Fierce Tiger Mitsuru Hanagata||2002||series||13 Episodes|
- Professional baseball player Ichiro Suzuki used Star of Giants as a reference to his gruesome childhood baseball training.
- Clements, Jonathan. McCarthy Helen.  (2006). The Anime Encyclopedia: Revised & Expanded Edition. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1-933330-10-5
- Star of Giants Official anime site by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. (Japanese)