PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka vol. 007 by Naoki Urasawa (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
April 9, 2010 by Dennis Amith
A fantastic seventh volume of “Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka”! It’s the final battle between the last great robot Epsilon as he takes on the nemesis Pluto! All is revealed in this seventh volume as it sets the final storyline for the upcoming final eighth volume.
© Image courtesy of 2004 Naoki URASAWA/Studio Nuts, Takashi NAGASAKI and Tezuka Productions All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: PLUTO vol. 007: 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 has destroyed six out of the seven great robots of the world, and the pacifist robot Epsilon is the only one that remains. Will Epsilon, who refused to participate in the 39th Central Asian War, leave behind his war-orphaned charges to step onto the battlefield? It just might be that kindly Epsilon, who wields the power of photon energy, will be Pluto’s greatest opponent of all!
And in the end, one great robot was left… Epsilon.
“Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka”, a tale of the great robots on Earth which include Tetsuwan Atom (aka “Astro Boy”) and in the last six volumes, we see how each of these great robots and the scientists that have created them are killed one by one. We don’t know too much of who’s reponsible but we know who ever the great robots have fought before perishing in battle, this nemesis known as Pluto is much more powerful than they are.
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.
All great robots and many robotic scientists have been murdered with only a few who have managed to survive or are in hiding, one is left… the peaceful great robot known as Epsilon.
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.
Here is a brief summary of each chapter in vol. 7 (short summaries, no spoilers):
ACT 48 – SIX BILLION PERSONALITIES – We see a flashback with Professor Tenma (creator of Atom) and Professor Abdullah working on a robot, but this one programmed with six billion personalities and introduced with the emotion…anger.
ACT 49 – SURPRISE PARTY – Epsilon celebrates his birthday with the orphans and prepares to go in hiding in a safehouse.
ACT 50 – TO EAT THE EARTH – Epsilon is kept at a safehouse with military protecting him but it appears that Pluto has found a way to get him out of hiding, by attacking the young orphans.
ACT 51 – TWO SUNS – The race to rescue the orphans
ACT 52- WASSILY’S CHOICE – A flashback of how Epsilon met the young boy named Wassily.
ACT 53 – SHOWDOWN AT VIGELAND CASTLE – Epsilon vs. Pluto.
ACT 54 – BURGEONING GRIEF – The battle continues between Epsilon and Pluto.
ACT 55 – THE GREAT AWAKENING – A great robot is lost while another has awakened.
POSTCRIPT – Masao Maruyama (Chief Creative Officer of Mad House, Ltd.) writes about working with Urasawa and reflecting on Tezuka’s influence in making manga popular in Japan.
“PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka” vol. 007″ was fantastic. The great robot Epsilon is a powerful robot but he is also a caring robot who prefers the life of a pacifist than an aggressor which is his greatest strength but also his greatest flaw. With what we have seen in the previous volumes, we, as readers know how this seventh volume was going to end, especially with each volume showcasing the demise of each great robot and the only thing that we could hope for is that Epsilon gives his best during his fight and hopefully Urasawa has a great battle plan laid out.
Not only does Urasawa succeed in making this volume an action-driven storyline but he also makes major revelations of who has been involved in the murders and more shocking twists and turns that will get everyone pumped for the final volume. Needless to say, this build up with the seven issues has definitely have me anticipating for the finale. The suspense has been building and you can only wonder how the next volume will end.
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.
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