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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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Pluto has to be one the best manga I have ever read.
Urasawa Naoki really raises the bar with his art. All the expressions of his characters are so believable and realistic that it is eerie (the faces for the characters look like they could be photographs). All the pages are clean, panels are simple and complex at the same times. Urasawa doesn't rely on the ever common "super kawaii desu" type art we see in the various subpar manga, which is probably what makes him stand higher than the rest.
The story itself in unbelievable as well (I never really care much about art compared to story, but Urasawa-sensei just takes the cake and eats it too). You are not pummeled by cliff-hangers every chapter, thankfully, but the story develops in a way that you want more. You are not treated like a 10 year old with this story. You are left to infer on some parts of the story instead of the mangaka spitting dialogue in your face to explain everything for you (which is rare indeed). I won't spoil anything, but Pluto is very deep.
What sold me was Urasawa's handle of human expression and emotion. Definitely beyond anything I've ever read.
(Those who feel that they need to compare this to other works are foolish.)
isn't Atom....Atom from Astro Boy? Wow....great Sci fi/Mystery. From the famous author of Monster and 20 Century Boys.
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
I have to say, I honestly didn't think I would like this series, but due to the high amount of positive feedback I decided to check it out. This series surprised me, and the art grew on me very quickly. The story is excellent and while some parts didn't keep me reading, I found that I kept coming back to this series to catch up to current release (at this time 63).
This story has a lot of heart, and really makes you feel for some of them. While I see the point of "What does it mean to be human?" I am not so much gripped by that, as by much as I am seeing things that are supposed to be emotionless machines, wrestle with these "waves" of what they can only call emotion. Awesome story, highly recommend reading it, and I am going to try to see if I can get my local bookstore to make some special orders for me to get this series.
A step up
from Monster and 20th Century Boys. I found Monster and 20th Century Boys amazing, but they definitely had their faults and in a way, the two mangas seemed incomplete. However, Urasawa continues to grow and learn and it shows in Pluto.
Pluto has an engaging storyline and a realistic (at least by manga standards) art style that perfectly accompanies this gritty futuristic world and effectively conveys the emotions and strengths of the characters. Despite the fact that the main character is a robot, Urasawa subtly plays with themes that lie close to the hearts of humans: self-identity, the definition of a human being, and acceptance/isolation.
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
Another Urasawa masterpiece!
Honestly one of the most perfect mangas ever made. The theme, the characters, the epic ideas and the personal emotions -- it's brilliant. I mean, everyone knows that Urasawa-sensei's a genius, but this manga proves it.
I'll admit it... I'm one of those nerds that used to be addicted to Asimov when I was, like, twelve years old. I've grown up obsessed with robotics, and by the existential and moral questions raised by the Three Laws. To see Urasawa-sensei handle my favorite theme was like -- like -- man, I can't even express it! So wonderful.
The fact that the main character's a robot.... is beyond perfect. Seriously. I'd frame every page of this manga and hang it on my walls, if my apartment weren't so small!
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.
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.