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Pluto (manga)

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English publisher  Viz Media
Magazine  Big Comic Original
Author  Naoki Urasawa
8.6/10 MyAnimeList

Published by  Shogakukan
Demographic  Seinen
Originally published  30 September 2004
Illustrator  Naoki Urasawa
Pluto (manga) t3gstaticcomimagesqtbnANd9GcRkmaB7ONfY7S5Uxd
Written by  Naoki Urasawa Osamu Tezuka (original creator) Takashi Nagasaki (co-author)
Original run  September 9, 2003 – April 5, 2009
Genres  Detective fiction, Science Fiction
Publishers  Viz Media (NA), Shogakukan
Similar  Works by Osamu Tezuka, Other books

Pluto (Japanese: プルートウ, Hepburn: Purūtō) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa. It was serialized in Shogakukan's Big Comic Original magazine from 2003 to 2009, with the chapters collected into eight tankōbon volumes. The series is based on Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy, specifically "The Greatest Robot on Earth" (地上最大のロボット, Chijō Saidai no Robotto) story arc, and named after the arc's chief villain. Urasawa reinterprets the story as a suspenseful murder mystery starring Gesicht, a Europol robot detective trying to solve the case of a string of robot and human deaths. Takashi Nagasaki is credited as the series' co-author. Macoto Tezuka, Osamu Tezuka's son, supervised the series, and Tezuka Productions is listed as having given cooperation.

Contents

Pluto was a critical and commercial success, winning several awards, including the ninth Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, and selling over 8.5 million copies. The series was licensed and released in English in North America by Viz Media, under the name Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka.

Plot

Pluto follows the European robot detective Gesicht in his attempts to solve the case of a string of robot and human deaths. The case becomes more puzzling when evidence suggests a robot is responsible for the murders, the first one in eight years.

Numerous references to other characters in Osamu Tezuka's Star System appear, such as Black Jack, Robita, as well as several Astro Boy characters who appear in chief supporting roles.

Characters

Most of these characters have already appeared in earlier versions of this story, formerly called Greatest Robot on Earth; however, more than a few are unique to Pluto.

Gesicht (ゲジヒト, German for "face")
The main character of the story, he is a German robot inspector working for Europol. His body is made out of an alloy called "Zeronium", and he is capable of firing a devastating blast using the alloy as shell. He and his wife, Helena, both have a human appearance. He was prominent in earlier versions, but nowhere near as prominent as he is here.
Mont Blanc (モンブラン)
A Swiss mountain robot that was killed at the beginning of the story. He fought in the 39th Central Asian War.
North No. 2 (ノース2号)
A Scottish robot with six mechanical armed arms, formerly one of the most powerful fighting robots during the 39th Central Asian War. He prefers not to fight, choosing instead to work as the butler of a composer.
Brando (ブランド)
A Turkish robot wrestler with a great devotion to his robot wife and his human children. He fought alongside Mont Blanc and Hercules in the 39th Central Asian War.
Hercules (ヘラクレス)
A Greek gladiator robot with a high sense of honor and bravery, he and Brando have been rivals and friends since the 39th Central Asian War.
Epsilon (エプシロン)
An Australian light-powered gentle and sensitive robot with a pacifist outlook. He runs an orphanage to take care of war orphans. Epsilon chose not to fight during the 39th Central Asian War.
Atom (アトム)
A Japanese boy robot who was formerly the peace ambassador toward the end of the 39th Central Asian War.
Uran (ウラン)
Atom's robot younger sister who can sense human, animal, and robot emotions.
Dr. Tenma (天馬博士)
A genius robotics scientist who used to work for the Japanese Ministry of Science. He created Atom.
Dr. Ochanomizu (お茶の水博士)
A Japanese robotics scientist and the creator of Uran, he looks after Atom.
Dr. Hoffman (ホフマン博士)
The creator of Zeronium and Gesicht.
Dr. Abullah (アブラー博士)
The head of the Persian Ministry of Science, he lost most of his body, and his family, in the 39th Central Asian War, with most of his body now being robotic replacements.
Dr. Roosevelt (Dr. ルーズベルト)
A powerful sentient supercomputer, belonging to the United States of Thracia, whose only avatar to the outside world is a teddy bear
Adolf Haas
A German trader who is a member of the human supremacist group, KR, and suspects that Gesicht killed his brother
Pluto (プルートウ)
An extremely powerful robot created by Dr. Abullah.
Wassily
A near catatonic child, a survivor of the conflict in 39th Central Asian War that's under the care of Epsilon.

Release

Naoki Urasawa began Pluto after over a year of negotiating to get the rights to adapt Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy. Written and illustrated by Urasawa, while also writing 20th Century Boys, Pluto was serialized in Shogakukan's Big Comic Original magazine from 2003 to 2009. The chapters were collected and published into eight tankōbon volumes, each of which had a deluxe edition that includes the color pages from the chapters' original magazine run released before the normal version; the first volume was published on September 30, 2004 and the last on June 19, 2009. Takashi Nagasaki, who would later go on to work with Urasawa on Billy Bat and Master Keaton Remaster, is credited as the series' co-author. Macoto Tezuka, Osamu Tezuka's son, supervised the series and Tezuka Productions is listed as having given cooperation.

It was licensed and released in English in North America by Viz Media, under the name Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka. They released all eight volumes, that include the color pages, between February 17, 2009 and April 6, 2010. Pluto has also received domestic releases in other foreign countries, such as in Spain by Planeta DeAgostini, Germany by Carlsen Comics, South Korea by Seoul Munhwasa, Italy by Panini Comics, France by Kana and in Dutch by Glénat.

Adaptations

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment acquired the rights to Pluto in 2010 for a live-action/CGI film.

A play adaptation of Pluto that incorporated 3D imagery via projection mapping opened at Tokyo's Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon on January 9, 2015. Directed and choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, it starred Mirai Moriyama as Atom, Yasufumi Terawaki as Gesicht, Hiromi Nagasaku as both Uran and Helena, Akira Emoto as both Dr. Tenma and Blau 1589, Kazutoyo Yoshimi as both Dr. Ochanomizu and Dr. Roosevelt, and Yutaka Matsushige as Abullah.

Reception

Pluto has sold over 8.5 million volumes and has won and been nominated for numerous awards. It was awarded the ninth Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize and an Excellence Prize at the seventh Japan Media Arts Festival, both in 2005. Marking Urasawa's second and third time receiving those honors respectively. The series was given the Seiun Award for Best Comic in 2010. In France, the manga won the Intergenerational Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival and the Prix Asie-ACBD award at Japan Expo, both in 2011.

The American Young Adult Library Services Association named the first three volumes of Pluto some of their Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens of 2009, likewise, the School Library Journal nominated the series as one of the Best Comics for Teens. At the 2010 Eisner Awards, Viz's English edition was nominated for Best Limited Series or Story Arc and Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia, additionally, Urasawa was nominated for the Best Writer/Artist award for both Pluto and 20th Century Boys. Viz's edition was also nominated for the Harvey Award in the Best American Edition of Foreign Material category.

In her review, Deb Aoki of About.com claimed Pluto "will suck you in with its masterful storytelling, and will break your heart with its uncommon emotional depth." and gave the first volume a five out of five rating. She also stated that the series conjures up "thought-provoking questions about robots and what it means to be human." Manga critic Jason Thompson pointed out the series' obvious allusions to the real-life Iraq War; the United States of Thracia (United States of America) invaded Persia (Iraq) after falsely claiming they had robots of mass destruction (weapons of mass destruction).

References

Pluto (manga) Wikipedia


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