8.6/101 Votes Alchetron
English publisher Viz Media
Magazine Big Comic Original
Published by Shogakukan
Originally published 30 September 2004
Illustrator Naoki Urasawa
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).