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PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka vol. 006 by Naoki Urasawa (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

March 7, 2010 by  



Major revelations are in store with this sixth volume of “PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka”.  If you are looking for a sci-fi manga series with suspense and action, this series is highly recommended!  Another fantastic volume in the manga series!

© Image courtesy of 2004 Naoki URASAWA/Studio Nuts, Takashi NAGASAKI and Tezuka Productions All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: PLUTO vol. 006: Urasawa x Tezuka

STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Takashi Nagasaki and supervised by Makoto Tezuka with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions.

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Older Teen

Pluto…Sahad…Goji…Abullah…Mysterious figures somehow involved with the serial murders of the great robots of the world.  Europol’s to robot detective Gesicht has been put on the case, and he’s mere steps away from discovering the horrifying truth behind the killer and his motives…little does he realize that he’s also steps away from discovering a horrifying truth of his own… Masterfully crafted science fiction and suspense at it’s best.

In the first five volumes of “PLUTO”, we learned about a world where robots and humans work together alongside with each other. In this world, robots are treated (by most) like sentient beings comes a world where the planet has robotic heroes and even police squadrons of human and robot partners.

Of course, it’s not an all perfect world as there are humans who rather not co-exist with the robots. And someone makes their agenda known when someone has decided to disrupt that peaceful coexistence by destroying the seven great robots and possibly murdering those who protect the rights for robots.

We eventually learn that there are anti-robot hate groups who will do what they can to stop robots (including committing murder). And despite robots not having emotions, we are starting to see a few of them develop certain emotion(s) that they don’t understand why they are feeling it. And for the primary character, the great robot Gesicht, will the greatest detective be able to stop the murders of robots and humans and find out who is behind Pluto or will he discover something that can change the course of his investigation?

This is the basis of the story “PLUTO”, a reimagining of “Astro Boy – The Greatest Robot on Earth” written by manga great Naoki Urasawa (“Yawara”, “Monster”, “20th Century Boys” and many more titles) and co-authored by Takashi Nagasaki. The Astro Boy or Tetsuwan Atom stories are based on the popular works of Osamu Tezuka and with cooperation from Tezuka Productions, this manga project is managed by Makoto Tezuka.

The manga series revolves around the great robot Gesicht, who is a detective. He is investigating the murders of professors who have supported the cause of the robots but has been taken aback by the elimination of other great robots and the numbers of those still alive are starting to dwindle.

And things do not look so great for the great robots as now the majority of them have been eliminated.  Gesicht, who is among the few that still survives is deep into his case but this time around, as he looks deeper into the investigation, what he discovers can literally shake the foundation of the not only the investigation but him as a robot.

Here is a brief summary of each chapter in vol. 6 (short summaries, no spoilers):

ACT 40 – SAGE OF THE SANDS – Gesicht goes to Samarkand, Republic of Persia to investigate on a lead of who may be responsible for the murders.

ACT 41 – SAHAD – Gesicht heads to the Netherlands to look into this man named Sahad and about a special kind of tulip which he was working on.

ACT 42 – A HOME IN HADES – Gesicht has figured out the person that is responsible.

ACT 43 – ENCOUNTER WITH DEATH – An attempt is made on Professor Hoffman’s life.

ACT 44 – I AM PLUTO – Gesicht takes on Pluto.

ACT 45 – NEGOTIATION AND PREPARATION – Gesicht learns about the true identity of Pluto.

ACT 46 – END OF THE DREAM – Gesicht goes against his superiors and the police force go to destroy Pluto.

ACT 47 – REAL TEARS – Another great robot has been murdered.

“PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka” vol. 006 features major revelations into the storyline of who is behind the murders against the scientists and the destruction of the great robots.  Also, Gesicht learns more about the truth of his superiors and uncovering a major secret that has affected his life.

Although, most robots do not have emotions, Gesicht has started to show a side of himself that is quite human.  Sadness, compassion and even some anger.  But the final chapter of volume 6 was unexpected, the murder of a great robot that could only make me wonder what Naoki Urasawa has planned (especially since nearly all great robots have been destroyed).

Needless to say, this build up from the first six issues has definitely have me anticipating the next two volumes and in some way, we are quite lucky that we don’t have to wait nearly a year for each volume to come out (in Japan, the first volume was released in 2004 and the eighth/final volume came out in 2009).  The suspense is building and you can only wonder how the next volume which I’m guessing will feature Epsilon will be.

The artwork is solid and Naoki Urasawa knows how to bring together wonderful artwork and a well-written story.  He has excelled in doing so with “20th Century Boys”, “Monster” and previous other series and “PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka” is no exception.  Again, another captivating, suspenseful and addictive volume of “PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka”!

If you have not read any of the volumes of “PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka” but are curious, this is one manga series that is worth owning, worth reading and trust me you won’t be disappointed.

Highly recommended!

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