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Someone - or something - is destroying the seven most powerful robots in the world one after the other; brutally dismantling them without any provocation on their part. Gesicht, one of the seven and a detective for the European Federation, embarks on a mission to capture the killer...and confront the mysteries behind the vague but disturbing memories that keep haunting him in his dreams.
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exciting plot, but poor ending
others may have already gush about the art where every characters have their own individual face, their personalities that feels like human, the sprawling plot that make you feel for everyone and interesting back drop of robot and human world that make you easily immersed in their world. but im going to only tell you one thing - the ending is very poor and some things still need to be resolved, but if you are ok with nearly illogical ending, do please read this - the journey is exciting enough even if the destination is pretty dismal.
Since there's so many detailed reviews echoing my opinion, I'll just sum my views about Pluto up briefly. It's gripping in the beginning but slightly tedious to read through around the other half of the story. The characters were varied and likable. The manga ended with an epic blast. Unfortunately, it also meant that there was no conclusive summation, leaving us with a vague grasp of what happened afterwards. Do take note that Monster, by Urasawa too, had ended this way too. Perhaps Urasawa likes to end his stories like that? Despite that, I liked the way Pluto ended. Other that than being said, Pluto's a great manga, even if it may not measure up to Monster's genius.
Starts great, gets tedious...
I haven't read Astro Boy or seen the series. So, none of the characters were new to me before I started the series. the story starts great. A murder mystery in a robot dominated world. Mystery + SciFi - a winning combination.
Unexpectedly, it is full of pathos, regret and emotion and in the first 2 volumes, there are several scenes in which I teared up. And then from volume three, the story expands. There was a war, a dictator was overthrown, there is an anti-robot league, a missing horticulturalist missing, there is an odd teddy bear, apocalyptic earthquakes, a traumatized orphan, a melancholic scientist etc etc. So many things happen all at once that even with attentive reading, there are over 8-9 subplots going on simultaneously. In the middle of all these plot lines themes of hatred, love, sadness etc. are bandied about like a ball in a soccer match. And the original sense of mystery is long lost by volume 5.
The last three volumes are such that you just want to know what the hell is going on and get the story over with. The main characters Geischt and Atom are still likeable but among the various plot lines spread across various times lines, the story is tedious and for me at least, the story lost all of its charm and the edge-of-the-seat feeling it had.
When I started the series, by the 10th chapter I was asking myself again and again: why has this not been adapted to a 24 episode anime? Now I know why: Naoki tries to do too much, in too less of a space, in a very convoluted manner.
Unlike the more popular Monster or 20 Seiki Shounen, Pluto has a less intriguing plot but a much greater level of emotional impact. Never having been a supporter of the "androids who fall in love are worthy of being bestowed with human status" concept that most works of fiction in this genre flaunt in an utterly shameless and ridiculous fashion, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there were no such petty, shallow ideals here. Certainly, these robots resemble humans -- but it is not the ability to experience sexual desire or romantic love towards a human being that grants them 'humanity'; it is the fact that they are capable of the compassion that most 'real' people are unable and unwilling to show towards their fellow man. It may strike one as being a cliche, naive and childish idealism (and I suppose in a way it is) but it's no less effective because of that. And certainly less brainless and simplistic than the typical "S/he fell in love and therefore s/he is a wonderful and complete human!" (Unfortunately, this is the path most authors take in their attempts to solicit the readers' sympathy towards any non-human, androids not excluded)
I can honestly say that Pluto is one of the handful of stories (in any medium) which succeeded in inspiring such powerful, melancholic and empathic emotions within me; something that more favoured and widely-read series with similar themes such as SaiKano and Ai-Ren failed at spectacularly.
The technicalities of the plot were interesting, though slightly weak compared to those of Naoki Urasawa's other acclaimed thrillers. The conclusion in particular was sub-par -- while it did not detract from the emotional and intellectual impact of the tale, the resolution of the mystery involving the robots, their creation and subsequent destruction was disappointing. The series certainly could have done with a few more volumes worth of clarification. I suspect the shaky ending may have been a flaw that stemmed from the mangaka's attempts to remain faithful to Osamu Tezuka's original work; but since I have no interest in reading Astro Boy this hypothesis will have to remain unconfirmed.
While the art is not particularly special, beautiful or elaborate, its bland, unattractive quality provided a very appropriate atmosphere that accentuated the bleakness and hopeless mood permeating the story and its characters.
Overall -- it could have been better, but I still recommend Pluto to anyone interested in seinen manga with a sci-fi touch and intelligent musings on human morality. As long as you don't expect a romance-packed, violence-filled thrill-ride, you should find it at least moderately satisfactory.
... Last updated on August 12th, 2011, 10:41am
A well thought out futuristic sci-fi manga. Funny how some mangakas try to use German terms without proper understanding of the language. If I'm not mistaken this case is no exception.
Aw man, this is pretty much the only series I've ever read where I actually cried. Osamu Tezuka is awesome, Naoki Urasawa is awesome, put together they make an amazing comic! For me, this was one of those comics that start out great, and then just keep getting better with every volume. I'd recommend Pluto to anybody.
This is one of the best stories I ever read manga or not. It is a masterpiece. URASAWA Naoki proved before in 20th Century Boys and Monster that he is a great writer and he proves it again in Pluto. He is one of the best thriller writers ever. I really love this masterpiece. It's one of my best seinen manga along with Gantz, Bokurano and Berserk.
... Last updated on April 8th, 2010, 11:04am
This is one of the best series that I've come across. Although the story jumps quickly from character to character, it does a great job depicting their hatred, sin, guilt, and forgiveness. Each robot and human really comes alive.
The ending doesn't quite live up to the tension that's built throughout the story. It only applies to a few characters, whereas the social and moral dilemmas was prevalent throughout the story world. Other than that flaw, I enjoyed the series and recommend it to others.
... Last updated on September 23rd, 2009, 8:10pm
Urasawa's getting old...
or greedy. At the same time while he was busy working on his would-be masterpiece "20th Century Boys", he created "Pluto", a retelling of an Osamu Tezuka story. Instead of focusing his mind completely on the one story that could have been a worthy successor to "Monster", he spent time to "spice up" an Astroboy story-arc. And while it's still Urasawa at work, an experienced mangaka who knows his craft, he doesn't return to his former self. There's a lot of unnecessary "jumping" between characters and places, story parts that don't connect well letting the plot seem incoherent, a lot of pathos and cliched social criticism and references to real world events at the time. There are some parts where "Pluto" shines though, but most of these scenes are merely recreations of themes found in "Monster" and "20th Century Boys". Well at least there's no manga artist character speaking in length about his work and his ambition to create the best manga of all times.
"Monster" is my favourite manga and I loved the first 2 thirds of "20th Century Boys" but I didn't enjoy "Pluto" much.
This one is a greatest manga I've read
Actually, I've fallen in love with Tezuka's sensei work since read Atom and it's Urasawa Naoki who rewritten it! Wow, the story is great, much much serious and the humanity in this story is so strong! Questioning about our essence as human is flowing in the air as reading this manga.