W3 (Wonder 3)
Membership: Major Boko, Lance Corporal Noko, Lieutenant Junior Grade Polo
Purpose: To maintain law and order
Affiliations: Shinichi Hoshi, Secret Agent Koichi Hoshi (a.k.a. P77)
Base of Operations: Japan, but active worldwide.
First Appearance: "W3", Shonen Magazine (manga, 1965)
History: Feeling humanity needed extra help maintaining law and order, Galactic Control dispatched three of their top agents, Patrol W3, to the primitive planet. The trio were told that if mankind could not be made to embrace peace, and they deemed that the Earthlings warlike ways might eventually threaten the rest of the galaxy, then they should report this back, and in doing so doom the planet.
Once they reached Earth, each member of the team assumed what they hoped would be an inconspicuous local form. Team leader Major Boko became a rabbit, science officer Noko chose a horse, while the aggresive Polo, who had already pre-judged mankind and wanted to blow them up, picked a duck. In these guises they came into contact with a young boy Shinichi Hoshi, whose brother was a top agent for the international law enforcement Phoenix Bureau. Shinichi soon came to know his friends' secret, and when his brother needed help, the W3 would be asked to assist. The team would travel around the world in a giant wheel, solving problems and thwarting criminals.
For roughly a year the group worked on Earth, but their reports only served to convince the Galactic League's governing body, the Galactic Control, that Earth was unsalvageable and should be eliminated for the good of all other planets. Learning of this, Shinichi convinced his friends to take him to their homeworld, where he pled the case for his species. His cries did not fall on deaf ears, and mankind was given a stay of execution, and would be allowed to live until Shinichi had reached adulthood.
Comments: Created by Osamu Tezuka, and produced by his company, Mushi Productions. The show lasted fifty-two episodes, each twenty-five minutes long.
W3 was renamed The Amazing Three for U.S. audiences. Boko was renamed Bonnie Bunny, Noko became Ronnie Horse, and Polo became Zero Duck. Their human allies Shinichi and Koichi became Kenny Carter and Randy Carter respectively.
In Mexico they were known as "Seres del Espacio".
Areiel Wolanow informs me that Amazing Three DVDs are for sale from the Amazon Japan website here and here. Thanks for this information.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
The Amazing Three, a British superhero team
The Fantastic Four, Marvel's first family of superheroes
any other group of whatever number, be they Amazing, Wonderful, Fantastic, or in other ways exceptional
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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