Pluto, Manga Recommendation of the Week!

Key points for Manga Recommendation – Pluto

  • Pluto is a gritty spin-off of Astro Boy, celebrating its 50th anniversary by reinterpreting a famous arc. It transforms the original story into a dark and compelling narrative that stands well on its own.
  • The plot revolves around the murder of robots and the investigation led by Gesicht. Pluto explores intricate moral dilemmas, adding depth to the narrative and portraying a world where the coexistence of humans and machines is at risk.
  • Gesicht, the main character, undergoes significant development, while other beloved characters from Astro Boy make appearances. Urasawa’s art seamlessly blends the familiar designs with a darker tone, enhancing the overall experience of this must-read manga.

This manga is a spin-off of Astral Boy of all things. Now, I have not watched or read Astral Boy, it was way before I was even born. But the show never gave me a vibe of being dark or anything like that. Pluto though, does not pull its punches. It is pretty damn dark. I know that what the author did for this manga was essentially take a famous arc from Astral Boy, shift the perspective a little, and ground it more into reality. I don’t know how much of the story content was changed but whatever they did, it works.

So welcome back to another edition of our manga recommendation series. This week we are talking about Pluto. Now, don’t worry, you don’t need to read or watch Astral Boy to enjoy this. It works perfectly fine as a standalone story. So let’s just get started.

Check out the manga on Amazon here!

Introduction

Tezuka Osamu is the original creator of Astro Boy. Pluto is meant as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Astro Boy and is written and illustrated by Ursawa Naoki in collaboration with Tezuka Productions. This manga is a different interpretation of “The Greatest Robot on Earth” arc from Astro Boy. The manga was serialized in Big Comic Original from September 2003 to April 2009. It is 65 chapters or 8 volumes long.

Plot

A famous war veteran robot. Montblanc is mysteriously murdered. Both humans and robots alike mourn for his loss. Gesicht, a robot detective with the Europol is sent to investigate this murder. And as you might expect, things start to get complicated from here. Gesicht finds that this is a plot of someone or something called “Pluto” and they plan on murdering 8 more robots around the world. The plot follows Gesich as he desperately tries his best to protect those who remain.

Aside from having an already gripping premise, the plot also deals with a lot of complex moral issues. If things go wrong, it could very well threaten the already fragile coexistence between man and machine. Gesict himself has to deal with a lot of complex choices. The plot pulls no punches in showing how dark this world can truly be. And that added to the already gripping narrative, makes this plot an absolute joy to read.

Characters

Of course, that is not all though. Because this manga also features an incredible cast of characters. I already talked about Gesicht a lot in the plot section so I would like to highlight a few other characters here. But yeah, he does get the most character development and is probably the best-written character in the series. Atom from Astro Boy also makes an appearance in this manga, a lot of the beloved cast from Astro Boy returns in all their charm and glory. Again, you don’t need to watch Astro Boy to experience the charm of these characters, this manga alone is enough.

Then, of course, there is Pluto. He makes for such a compelling villain throughout the series.

Art

I like how Urasaw took the characters from Astro Boy and modified them just a little to fit the darker tone of this manga. This line can be used for both the plot and the art. None of the characters lost the feel of their old design but they fit seamlessly in this more darker art style. To some people, the art may look a bit dated but I still love the art style of this manga.

Summing Up

Here’s why you should read Pluto:

  • Amazing plot
  • Complex moral questions
  • Great characters
  • Good art

That is all for now! Let me know what you guys think in the comments. I will take my leave here. See ya!

Also, check out this week’s anime recommendation here!

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