Thwip!’s Manga Mondays – Pluto

It’s Monday folks! Which means we talk about a favorite manga of ours and why you all should read it – this week’s Manga Monday is all about Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto.

It is always intimidating to read a manga that is influenced by another manga (especially if that is a manga by the grandfather of modern manga, Osamu Tezuka), but Pluto is like a warm bath, easy to slip into…and by the time you are done, the water is cold, but you don’t quite care ’cause you feel refreshed.

So what the heck is this manga about?  Well basically this is the ultimate in fanfic…and then elevates the whole idea of writing in-between scenes (think Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead).

Taking place inbetween the Tezuka-penned Astro Boy arc “The Greatest Robot on Earth”, the manga is a beautifully grim detective story involving robots. Urasawa plots a tight story (which thankfully takes place over 8 volumes, meaning that it is quick) and you are compelled from the first page.

Urasawa made the story in such a way that you really do not have to be familiar with the Astro Boy universe (though it would help, albeit slightly). The detective Geseicht is such a wonderfully robotic detective…but yet he still has soul and you are incredibly moved by his exploration of the murder as well as the overall theme of when does AI and humanity cross over.

Then we have Urasawa’s art, which is fan-damn-tastic, being a blend of Japanese and European aesthetics. Urasawa creates such an atmosphere in the manga that you are creeped out as Gesicht unravels the threads and the deeper implications of these murders become more pronounced.

Just writing this review makes me want to re-read the series, so I am going to go do that, you can join me if you want…

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