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Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 10 by Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki (A J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

masterkeaton-10

If you love mystery, action and well-written, smart stories, “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

© 1989 Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki. All Rights Reserved.

 /></b></a></p> <p style=


MANGA TITLE: Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 10

STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/Viz Media, LLC

RATED: OT for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2017


Taichi Hiraga Keaton is a busy insurance investigator who yearns to make a living as an archaeologist. Just how long does he have to continue working as an investigator? Keaton is uncertain of his future, but he does know that a string of difficult cases awaits him!


A bar keeper’s son is killed.  Who is responsible?

A woman gets close to Keaton and wants him to pretend that he is her husband.  But why?

Someone is murdering people in a smuggling ring.  But what relationship do they have with the Nazis?

A young girl’s mother is getting married, but the mother thinks her daughter Alice is defective and not a proper young lady.  She hires Keaton to teach tutor her, but can Keaton get through to Alice?

What happens when Oliver Woodworth returns, wanting to become Keaton’s assistant?

And something sinister is going on in the mysterious Landberry Village in Wales.  Can Keaton and Detective Neville find out what is going on in the village?

All this and more in “Master Keaton – Omnibus vol. 10”.

What is “Master Keaton” all about?

In 1998, “Master Keaton” was a manga series serialized in “Big Comic Original”.

Created by Hokusei Katshika and Naoki Urasawa, the series was released through 1994 and ran for 144 chapters. In Japan, a total of 18 tankobon volumes were released and in 1998-1999, a 24-episode animate adaptation was aired on Nippon Television plus an additional 15 OVA episodes were created and were once released in the United States.

In 2012, Urasawa would create the sequel to the series titled “Master Keaton Remaster” with writer Takashi Nagasaki and the series was serialized in “Big Comic Original” and was set 20 years after the original series ended.

And now, Viz Media is releasing an omnibus of the manga series which includes 12 chapters and part of the Viz Signature imprint.

The story of “Master Keaton” revolves around a man named Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of Japanese Zoologist Taihei Hiraga and Englishwoman Patricia Keaton. Because his parents separated when he was young, Taichi was raised in England by his mother.

He studied archaeology at Oxford University under Professor Yuri Scott. While married, like his father, he also divorced and has a daughter named Yuriko who was raised by her mother but recently has been visiting her father now that she is a high school student.

While Master Keaton teaches archaeology at Kotozawa University and is often taking jobs as an insurance investigator with Lloyd’s of London that require his expertise. Sometimes the job can be very dangerous. But the other side of Keaton is that he was also a member of the British Army, and its SAS (Special Air Service) division…special forces. Keaton was a survival instructor and saw combat in the Falklands War and one of the team members who responded to the Iranian Embassy incident.

He skills of survival but also combat is remarkable but his knowledge of archaeology and antiques are also uncanny. And now, he must take on various jobs around the world that puts him and his clients at risk.


“Master Keaton” is an entertaining and smartly written manga series.

On the outside, you think Keaton is just a normal man but not only is he able to outwit anyone who tries to hurt him, his survival skills are uncanny. But yet, he is a man with faults and that lies more in his life as a father (he’s so busy that he hasn’t really been there for his daughter) and his concern for his ex-wife (he no doubt loves her but also too busy to be a married man).

While I won’t go so far as calling him a James Bond-ish type of character, as he isn’t actually suave, he is a survivalist and an knowledgeable about ancient history and antiques.

Not many know of his special forces training, they just know of his knowledge of antiques, and thus he goes into areas that are a bit dangerous.

In omnibus volume 10, you get a good number of diverse stories. From Keaton helping out the bar owner who’s estranged son was murdered.  Who was responsible?

Another story revolves around Oliver Woodworth coming back and leaving his father’s wealthy business to become Keaton’s assistant.  But Keaton tries to prevent Woodworth from being his assistant due to the danger of the job.

There is also an intriguing story that involves a smuggling ring with each of its members being killed.  With a link to the Nazi’s, Keaton must find out who is murdering members of the smuggling ring.

And another fascinating chapter involves Dr. Neville going to Landbery Village in Wales to find an escaped convict.  Neville finds Keaton also on the scene but something sinister is happening around the village.

For the most part, I was very impressed with each of these stories as they were well-researched, well-written and really go into the historical details of an item, of cultures and more.

The art and the ancient history portion of various chapters are well-researched and Hokusei Katsuhika did a wonderful job, while the artwork by Urasawa is wonderful as always.

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America. It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series available in the United States. And the good thing is you can pick up any volume and not really miss out on continuity because each chapter is a different case for series protagonist, Keaton.

If you love mystery, action and well-written, smart stories, “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

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Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 5 by Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki (A J!-ENT Manga Review)

June 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

masterkeaton-7

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America. It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series to come out in the United States and the seventh volume is absolutely riveting. “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

© 1989 Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki. All Rights Reserved.

 /></b></a></p> <p style=


MANGA TITLE: Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 7

STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/Viz Media, LLC

RATED: OT for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2016


Master Keaton volume 7 features art by Naoki Urasawa with story by Hokusei Katsushika and Naoki Urasawa.

When the wall that separated the East and West falls, the 20th century comes to an end and brings radical change to the world. During this turbulent time, Taichi Hiraga Keaton has difficulty finding a job in archaeology even though his long line of cases as an insurance investigator doesn’t seem to end. As he navigates through dangerous adventures, Keaton encounters some bittersweet lives…


Keaton investigates a man who disappeared.  Meanwhile, in Czechoslovakia, Keaton is carjacked by a man who is being followed by thugs including a Soviet soldier.

Meanwhile, why are people who touches the golden statue of the goddess Isis ending up dead?

Keaton investigates a case of British soldiers who have been murdered and their noses removed.  Also, Keaton gives a man a lesson about tapestries and learns from the man as well.

Also, a story in the perspective of a cat and dog from the canine unite.

All this and more in “Master Keaton – Omnibus vol. 7”.

What is “Master Keaton” all about?

In 1998, “Master Keaton” was a manga series serialized in “Big Comic Original”.

Created by Hokusei Katshika and Naoki Urasawa, the series was released through 1994 and ran for 144 chapters. In Japan, a total of 18 tankobon volumes were released and in 1998-1999, a 24-episode animate adaptation was aired on Nippon Television plus an additional 15 OVA episodes were created and were once released in the United States.

In 2012, Urasawa would create the sequel to the series titled “Master Keaton Remaster” with writer Takashi Nagasaki and the series was serialized in “Big Comic Original” and was set 20 years after the original series ended.

And now, Viz Media is releasing an omnibus of the manga series which includes 12 chapters and part of the Viz Signature imprint.

The story of “Master Keaton” revolves around a man named Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of Japanese Zoologist Taihei Hiraga and Englishwoman Patricia Keaton. Because his parents separated when he was young, Taichi was raised in England by his mother.

He studied archaeology at Oxford University under Professor Yuri Scott. While married, like his father, he also divorced and has a daughter named Yuriko who was raised by her mother but recently has been visiting her father now that she is a high school student.

While Master Keaton teaches archaeology at Kotozawa University and is often taking jobs as an insurance investigator with Lloyd’s of London that require his expertise. Sometimes the job can be very dangerous. But the other side of Keaton is that he was also a member of the British Army, and its SAS (Special Air Service) division…special forces. Keaton was a survival instructor and saw combat in the Falklands War and one of the team members who responded to the Iranian Embassy incident.

He skills of survival but also combat is remarkable but his knowledge of archaeology and antiques are also uncanny. And now, he must take on various jobs around the world that puts him and his clients at risk.


 

“Master Keaton” is an entertaining and smartly written manga series.

On the outside, you think Keaton is just a normal man but not only is he able to outwit anyone who tries to hurt him, his survival skills are uncanny. But yet, he is a man with faults and that lies more in his life as a father (he’s so busy that he hasn’t really been there for his daughter) and his concern for his ex-wife (he no doubt loves her but also too busy to be a married man).

While I won’t go so far as calling him a James Bond-ish type of character, as he isn’t actually suave, he is a survivalist and an knowledgeable about ancient history and antiques.

Not many know of his special forces training, they just know of his knowledge of antiques, and thus he goes into areas that are a bit dangerous.

In omnibus volume 7, you get a good number of diverse stories.  Some that are very deep, as British soldiers have been murdered and their noses removed.  All soldiers are part of a regiment, but can Keaton prevent any bloodshed?

Another story revolves around Keaton’s friends, one who falls for a woman, who may be more than meets the eye.  And another friend who has fallen for a woman in an area where he is working on an archaeological dig.

There is also action as Keaton finds a man who is on the run inside his car.  Keaton decides to help the man who has a group of thugs and a Soviet assassin after him.  Another storyline featuring a deadly member of the Camorra mafia going after another Detective, responsible for the death of the Detective’s wife and child.  Can Keaton help the detective before he is killed by the mafia?

You also have stories that are not necessarily about Keaton, involving a cat, another with a former police dog and also a boy who is trying to protect a friend who is under investigation for murder.

For the most part, I was very impressed with each of these stories as they were well-researched, well-written and really go into the historical details of an item, of a culture and more.

The art and the ancient history portion of various chapters are well-researched and Hokusei Katsuhika did a wonderful job, while the artwork by Urasawa is wonderful as always.

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America. It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series to come out in the United States.

“Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 4 by Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki (A J!-ENT Manga Review)

November 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

masterkeaton-4

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America. It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series to come out in the United States. “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

© 1989 Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki. All Rights Reserved.

 /></b></a></p> <p style=


MANGA TITLE: Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 4

STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/Viz Media, LLC

RATED: OT for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2015


Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of a Japanese zoologist and an English noblewoman, is an insurance investigator known for his successful and unorthodox methods of investigation. Educated in archaeology and a former member of the SAS, Master Keaton uses his knowledge and combat training to uncover buried secrets, thwart would-be villains, and pursue the truth…

Taichi Hiraga Keaton’s dream is to devote his time to further studying archaeology. In reality, however, he is an ace investigator for the insurance organization Lloyd’s. A kindhearted man, Keaton has a life filled with danger and setbacks due to his job and calling.


Keaton investigates the deaths of two Romani and it leads him to a man named Mihael Farkas, who was sent four antique books about the “Pied Piper of Hamelin”.   But what is the significance of the books and why did they want it in Mihael’s possession?

Meanwhile, during a taxi ride, Keaton talks to the taxi driver from South Africa.  As they drive, they notice an accident with an African man who takes off running.  Why is he so intent of helping the man?

In another case, Keaton helps a woman who’s child has gone missing.  While in another, someone has been killing I.R.A. members, who is responsible?

All this and more in “Master Keaton – Omnibus vol. 4”.

What is “Master Keaton” all about?

In 1998, “Master Keaton” was a manga series serialized in “Big Comic Original”.

Created by Hokusei Katshika and Naoki Urasawa, the series was released through 1994 and ran for 144 chapters. In Japan, a total of 18 tankobon volumes were released and in 1998-1999, a 24-episode animate adaptation was aired on Nippon Television plus an additional 15 OVA episodes were created and were once released in the United States.

In 2012, Urasawa would create the sequel to the series titled “Master Keaton Remaster” with writer Takashi Nagasaki and the series was serialized in “Big Comic Original” and was set 20 years after the original series ended.

And now, Viz Media is releasing an omnibus of the manga series which includes 12 chapters and part of the Viz Signature imprint.

The story of “Master Keaton” revolves around a man named Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of Japanese Zoologist Taihei Hiraga and Englishwoman Patricia Keaton. Because his parents separated when he was young, Taichi was raised in England by his mother.

He studied archaeology at Oxford University under Professor Yuri Scott. While married, like his father, he also divorced and has a daughter named Yuriko who was raised by her mother but recently has been visiting her father now that she is a high school student.

While Master Keaton teaches archaeology at Kotozawa University and is often taking jobs as an insurance investigator with Lloyd’s of London that require his expertise. Sometimes the job can be very dangerous. But the other side of Keaton is that he was also a member of the British Army, and its SAS (Special Air Service) division…special forces. Keaton was a survival instructor and saw combat in the Falklands War and one of the team members who responded to the Iranian Embassy incident.

He skills of survival but also combat is remarkable but his knowledge of archaeology and antiques are also uncanny. And now, he must take on various jobs around the world that puts him and his clients at risk.


 

“Master Keaton” is an entertaining and smartly written manga series.

On the outside, you think Keaton is just a normal man but not only is he able to outwit anyone who tries to hurt him, his survival skills are uncanny. But yet, he is a man with faults and that lies more in his life as a father (he’s so busy that he hasn’t really been there for his daughter) and his concern for his ex-wife (he no doubt loves her but also too busy to be a married man).

While I won’t go so far as calling him a James Bond-ish type of character, as he isn’t actually suave, he is a survivalist and an knowledgeable about ancient history and antiques.

Not many know of his special forces training, they just know of his knowledge of antiques, and thus he goes into areas that are a bit dangerous.

In omnibus volume 4, you will find deeper, well-written stories.  The first multi-chapter deals with the illustrations of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” and the death of 30,000 Romani by the Nazis.  Someone became a traitor and worked against their own people but someone is responsible for the deaths of the Romani and tried to use their deaths in order to gain profit.  Keaton and the one person who can find out the truth who killed his brother and the many Romani, but someone else wants them dead.

In one of the more touch stories in this fourth omnibus actually involves Keaton’s daughter Yuriko, as we learn about her teacher and his deceased son.  And the regrets he has as a father.

Another story is more about mental health and a psychological storyline involving a young woman who claims her daughter has been kidnapped.

Another storyline deals with faith in God, after a man had lost his faith.

One of the deeper storylines revolves around the I.R.A. and the death of its members.  Who is responsible for the murders?

For the most part, I was very impressed with each of these stories as they were well-researched, well-written and really go into the historical details of an item, of a culture and more.

The art and the ancient history portion of various chapters are well-researched and Hokusei Katsuhika did a wonderful job, while the artwork by Urasawa is wonderful as always.

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America.  It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series to come out in the United States.

“Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 1 by Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki (A J!-ENT Manga Review)

March 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

masterkeaton-1

An exciting, smartly written manga series…”Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

© 1989 Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki. All Rights Reserved.

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

MANGA TITLE: Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/Viz Media, LLC

RATED: OT for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: December 16, 2014

Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of a Japanese zoologist and a noble English woman, is an insurance investigator known for his successful and unorthodox methods of investigation. Educated in archaeology and a former member of the SAS, Master Keaton uses his knowledge and combat training to uncover buried secrets, thwart would-be villains, and pursue the truth…

When a life insurance policy worth one million pounds takes Master Keaton to the Dodecanese islands of Greece, what will he discover amidst his scuffles with bloodthirsty thieves and assassins?

In 1998, “Master Keaton” was a manga series serialized in “Big Comic Original”.

Created by Hokusei Katshika and Naoki Urasawa, the series was released through 1994 and ran for 144 chapters.  In Japan, a total of 18 tankobon volumes were released and in 1998-1999, a 24-episode animate adaptation was aired on Nippon Television plus an additional 15 OVA episodes were created and were once released in the United States.

In 2012, Urasawa would create the sequel to the series titled “Master Keaton Remaster” with writer Takashi Nagasaki and the series was serialized in “Big Comic Original” and was set 20 years after the original series ended.

And now, Viz Media is releasing an omnibus of the manga series which includes 12 chapters and part of the Viz Signature imprint.

What is “Master Keaton” all about?

The story of “Master Keaton” revolves around a man named Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of Japanese Zoologist Taihei Hiraga and Englishwoman Patricia Keaton.  Because his parents separated when he was young, Taichi was raised in England by his mother.

He studied archaeology at Oxford University under Professor Yuri Scott.  While married, like his father, he also divorced and has a daughter named Yuriko who was raised by her mother but recently has been visiting her father now that she is a high school student.

While Master Keaton teaches archaeology at Kotozawa University and is often taking jobs as an insurance investigator with Lloyd’s of London that require his expertise.  Sometimes the job can be very dangerous.  But the other side of Keaton is that he was also a member of the British Army, and its SAS (Special Air Service) division…special forces.  Keaton was a survival instructor and saw combat in the Falklands War and one of the team members who responded to the Iranian Embassy incident.

He skills of survival but also combat is remarkable but his knowledge of archaeology and antiques are also uncanny.   And now, he must take on various jobs around the world that puts him and his clients at risk.

“Master Keaton” is an entertaining and smartly written manga series.

On the outside, you think Keaton is just a normal man but not only is he able to outwit anyone who tries to hurt him, his survival skills are uncanny.  But yet, he is a man with faults and that lies more in his life as a father (he’s so busy that he hasn’t really been there for his daughter) and his concern for his ex-wife (he no doubt loves her but also too busy to be a married man).

While I won’t go so far as calling him a James Bond-ish type of character, as he isn’t actually suave, he is a survivalist and an knowledgeable about ancient history and antiques.

Not many know of his special forces training, they just know of his knowledge of antiques, and thus he goes into areas that are a bit dangerous.

In one chapter, Keaton is sent to Greece as an insurance investigator and he is to help a widow who’s husband has mysteriously died.  But why are other men trying to pursue her?

Another chapter features Keaton working with ethnic cavalrymen in Far west China, but when a group of archaeologist desecrate tribal land, Keaton and the men are left in the desert to die.  How will Keaton save the day?

While another chapter features Keaton trying to help an elderly woman he meets on the train.  But the woman turns out to be someone who has been wanted by German authorities for her underground activism during the separation of Germany.

And we get a riveting chapter which helps explain why Taichi Hiraga-Keaton is known as “Master Keaton”.

Often there are lighthearted chapters that feature Keaton’s daughter and his father.  In one chapter with his father, Keaton is sent by his father to help a woman, who may be his father’s illegitimate daughter?  In another chapter, his daughter is trying to get both her father and her grandfather to admit they are similar and are still in love with the women they divorced.

The art and the ancient history portion of various chapters are well-researched and Hkokusei Katsuhika did a wonderful job, while the artwork by Urasawa is wonderful as always.

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America and I can’t wait to read volume 2!

“Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka vol. 003 by Naoki Urasawa (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

July 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

“Continuing the reimagining of the Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom) series, the third volume features many significant revelations of who may be responsible for the deaths of many of the great robots.  Another enjoyable and captivating volume in the ‘PLUTO’ series from Naoki Urasawa!”

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

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

MANGA TITLE: PLUTO vol. 003: 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

In this daring reinvention of “The Greatest Robot on Earth” story arc from Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy series, the world is a place where humans and robots coexist.  The lives of the seven great robots of the world – Atom, Mont Blanc, North No. 2, Brando, Hercules, Epsilon and Gesicht – are turned upside down into a virtual garden of terror filled with carnage and destruction.   A killer is after them, but what exactly is his motive?  The story intensifies when Pluto, the namesake of the lord of the underworld, makes his appearance in this finely crafted work of science fiction and suspense.

In the first two 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 great robots and possibly murdering those who protect the rights for robots.

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 first volume showed us how the great Mont Blanc and the North No. 2, two of the seven powerful robots in the world were destroyed by an unknown force.  We also learned that several scientists were murdered.  All of them were found dead with antlers next or stuck to their heads.

In the second volume of “PLUTO”, another great robot is destroyed and Gesicht, the investigation robot is racing to find out who is doing the killings.  But this time he has shared his memories with the boy super robot known as Atom.

In this third volume of “PLUTO”, we are introduced to Atom’s sister Uran, another great robot who is much different than Atom (who tends to like being treated like a regular boy and has emotions that the other great robots do not have).  Uran is able to feel the pain of animals and so she is always trying to save them and is often scolded by Atom for missing class, because she walks on the beat of her own drum.

Here is a brief summary of each chapter in vol. 3 (short summaries, no spoilers):

ACT 16 – URAN – We learn more about Atom’s sister Uran and learn how different the brother and sister robots are.  We are also introduced to the mysterious Professor Abullah, Central Asia’s greatest intellect.

ACT 17 – DEATH TO MACHINES! – We are introduced to a group similar to the Ku Klux Klan but known as KR who want death to the machines.  We are introduced to Adolf.

ACT 19 – EPSILON – The great robot fighter Hercules wants to take action after his fellow great robot counterparts have been destroyed but another great robot named Epsilon makes his appearance.

ACT 20 – ROBOT HATERS – We learn a little about the past between Adolf and his relationship with his brother.

ACT 21  – URAN’S SEARCH – Uran’s sense is working in overtime once again and this time it’s not an animal that is in need but a man.

ACT 22 – PLUTO – The robot hating group KR has hired an assassin to eliminate a great robot.

ACT 23 – WANDERING SOUL – The man that Uran is helping out may be not a kind man but something worse.

“PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka” vol. 03 unlike the first two volumes focuses less on the battles between the great robots and focuses on character development of Uran and also a new side of humans who have harbored a hatred towards the robots.

This side of humanity has never been explored in the previous volumes and now we are getting a much clearer picture in this volume of people who are very much against the peaceful co-existence between man and robot.

The volume also quickly gets into introducing the reader of who may be responsible for the deaths of the great robots and how unstable this character truly is.  So, there are many revelations.

Overall, “PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka” Vol. 3 is another enjoyable volume that definitely is setting up for major repercussions between the peaceful co-existence of man and robot, so I definitely can’t wait for volume 4.

If you are looking for a manga series that is well-written, you can’t go wrong with this reimagining of the “Atom Boy” series.  Darker, dramatic and overall captivating!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka vol. 002 by Naoki Urasawa (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

April 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

“Continuing the reimagining of the Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom) series, the second volume continues with more action, suspense leading up to another major confrontation with the unknown, murdering assailant.  Another gripping and enjoyable volume in the ‘PLUTO’ series from Naoki Urasawa!”

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

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

MANGA TITLE: PLUTO vol. 002: 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

An advocate for robot rights and a renowned European robot have been murdered.  Gesicht, the detective assigned to the case, has deduced that the killer is targeting the great robots of the world – which means that he too is one of the targets.  Gesicht takes it upon himself to warn the potential targets, and Atom, the famous boy robot from Japan, Is next on his list. Elsewhere, the Turkish robot hero Brando sets out on his own to take on a mysterious challenger.  As the robots traverse a labyrinthine path edging toward their own souls, the question remains: Who is the killer and what is his motive?

In the first volume 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 great robots and possibly murdering those who protect the rights for robots.

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 first volume showed us how the great Mont Blanc and the North No. 2, two of the seven powerful robots in the world were destroyed by an unknown force.  We also learned that several scientists were murdered.  All of them were found dead with antlers next or stuck to their heads.

In the second volume of “PLUTO”, one of the top 7 robots, Inspector Gesicht is responsible for handling the investigation but his goal is to warn the remaining five robots of the threat coming to them.  Bust most of all, it’s quite interesting to see how the robots have nearly a sense of emotion and a level of advancement that peaks the curiosity of other robots who are unable to function similarly.

The latest volume features more character development and where the last volume focused on Gesicht, this time around, we get to learn a little more about Atom.

Here is a brief summary of each chapter in vol. 2:

ACT 8 – ATOM – Professor Junichiro Tasaki, a professor of law who came up with the idea of the International Robot Laws has been found murdered.  Strung up on a tree with antlers on his head.  While investigators are working on that case, Gesicht has met with one of the seven powerful robots.  This time it’s the very advanced robot known as Atom.  A boy on the exterior, he is able to show characteristics of a human showing pleasure in things that young children would like.  Such as an interest in toys, sweets, bugs, etc.  This surprises Gesicht but the meeting is more about a warning and he needs the help of Atom.  By letting Atom download his memory chip, perhaps Atom can assist with the investigation.

ACT 9 – PROFESSOR OCHANOMIZU – With Atom now having Gesicht’s memories, he now does his own investigation and learns that the murdered Professor Tasaki was trying to contact Professor Ochanomizu and perhaps the murderer is now after him and the members of the Bora Survey Group.

ACT 10 – HERCULES – The fighter known as Hercules is introduced.  Gesicht tries to warn him about the unknown murderer.  Atom has a conversation with Professor Ochanomizu and they start to talk about Brau 1589, the first robot to commit murder.  Ochanomizu tells Atom that there were no problems with Brau 1589 and he is perfect but what could have caused it to commit crimes in the past.

ACT 11 – PATCHING IN – A flashback of a time not long time ago.  The time takes place during a major war against the robots, Hercules, Brando and Mont Blanc fought for the side of humankind while destroying other robots.  Meanwhile, Brando leaves to the Blue Mosque Coliseum to take his robot suit out for training but in reality, the fighting champion wants to take on the murderer head on.

ACT 12  – FAMILY PORTRAIT – Brando and the unknown mystery robot begin their fight.  Both Gesicht and Hercules try to get to Brando’s coordinates to help but will they make it in time.

ACT 13 – FALSE MEMORY – Gesicht continues to have these nightmares where an old man keeps telling him “500 Zeus a Body”.  What it means?  He doesn’t know.  A major funeral happens for one of the greatest robots on Earth.  As for Gesicht, he and his wife realized something is wrong with the photos they have during their many vacations.  But what makes them concerned is that there are too many photos of vacations, vacations that would be impossible for Gesicht to go on due to his work.  Is something wrong with his memory chip, has his memories been altered?

ACT 14 – DR. ROOSEVELT -We are introduced to Dr. Roosevelt, who exists in a form of an actual teddy bear.    With three of the seven great robots eliminated, their are four more left. Meanwhile, Gesicht starts to look into his memory and if it may have been altered.  Gesicht decides to visit Brau 1589 and switch memory chips temporarily and see if Brau 1589 can help him find out who the murder may be.

ACT 15 – ENEMY PARTS – Hercules is still mourning a friend but when the search party for his friend continues, a search team discover an unusual setting with Brando’s arms in the sign of a horn.  Hercules also finds Brando’s memory chip.  Also, we are introduced to the seventh great robot.

The final chapter is a postscript by Makoto Tezuka who gives us insight of how Urasawa came to officially write about the reimagining of the Atom Boy (Tetsuwan Atom) storyline and what words of advice he gave to Urasawa and that was to create a new storyline and to challenge his father’s story head on.

“PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka” vol. 02 continues to be a satisfying series.  Much has been included in terms of story and character development and the whole entire premise of humans and robots interacting with each other and then all of a sudden, someone going after and destroying a few of the seven great robots is just surprising.

The strength of volume 2 leans more towards the mystery and suspense side as both Gesicht and Atom conduct their investigation.  But we get to see how different the main surviving robots are from each other, especially with Atom who happens to have childlike abilities and emotions and this ability to becoming like a human, almost in a Pinocchio style of fashion which a robot like Gesicht is just amazed at.

What I enjoy about this second volume is pretty much what I enjoyed from the first, the gradual build up of the storyline in each chapter, its overall pacing makes “PLUTO” quite entertaining.  You just enjoy how well-written the series is thus far.

I’ve found the storyline to be quite addictive  thus far and as each chapter progresses, there is some sort of major reveal.

All in all, I really enjoyed where this second volume is heading as it dealt with us knowing more about Atom and of course, being introduced to a new super robot who is a fighter named Hercules, how everything culminates to a battle between Brando and the unknown and of course, the aftermath.

“PLUTO” is an enjoyable and addictive manga and when it comes to Urasawa-driven storylines, you know that you are getting a quality series with cool art and just overall, a well-balanced and intriguing manga series.  Overall, I enjoyed the two volumes thus far and I’m definitely look forward to the release of the third volume.

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PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka vol. 001 by Naoki Urasawa (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

April 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

“A stunning and thrilling reimagination of Osamu Tezuka’s “ASTRO BOY – THE GREATEST ROBOT ON EARTH”, well-known mangaka Naoki Urasawa (’20th Century Boys’, “Monster’, ‘Yawara’) and Takashi Nagasaki  brings his unique and suspenseful style to Tezuka’s Atom Boy universe.”

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

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MANGA TITLE: PLUTO: 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

In an ideal world where man and robots coexist, someone or something has destroyed the powerful Swiss robot Mont Blanc.  Elsewhere a key figure in robot rights group is murdered.  The two incidents appear to be unrelated…Except for one very conspicuous clue – The bodies of both victims have been fashioned into some sort of bizarre collage complete with makeshift horns placed by the victim’s heads.  Interpol assigns robot detective Gesicht to this most strange and complex case – and he eventually discovers that he too, as one of the seven great robots of the world, is one of their targets.

In a world where robots and humans work together and 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 great robots and possibly murdering those who protect the rights for robots.  With only several of the great robots left, one of the great robots from Interpol must protect the other living great robots from destruction from a mysterious murderer.

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 ongoing award winning manga series debuted in Japan back in 2003 and has captivated readers but now the popular manga arrives in the US courtesy of VIZ Media.

The first volume of “PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka” features the first seven acts.

ACT 1 – MONT BLANC – Someone has destroyed the great robot Mont Blanc, the beloved robot of the Swiss Forestry Service and known for befriending thousands of people who would visit Switzerland and protecting his region from forest fires.  His body has been smashed and dismembered.  Also, found murdered was Bernard Lanke, a key member in the movement to preserve the robot laws.  Found murdered with horns stuck on his head.

For Interpol robot Gesicht, things start to get more interesting during the day as someone has broken into a checkpoint where a police officer and his robot partner Robby has been destroyed.

During the investigation, a link is found between the murder of Lanke and the destruction of Mont Blanc.  Both were found with horns near their head.    Immediately the police think it has to be a robot that could have done this, especially destroying  a huge robot like Mont Blanc but Gesicht defends robots that they are programmed not to attack due to Article 13 of the Robot Laws.  Gesicht makes it his duty to find the killer.

ACT 2 – GESICHT – As the world mourns for the death of great job Mont Blanc, Gesicht continues his explanation and gets the destroyed police robot Robby’s memory chip to give to his robotic wife.  When his wife inserts it, both Gesicht and the robot see Robby’s final memories of a human jumping from building to building.  It’s not possible for robot and human to do such thing but looking at the footage, it appears to be a human making the huge leaps between buildings.  Is the killer a robot?  Or is the killer human?

ACT 3 – BRAU 1589 – Eight years ago, a robot known as Brau 1589 killed a human.  Because of the strict laws imposed on robots, no robot has dared hurt a human but Brau 1589 had.  And with the current crimes going on in the world, Gesicht goes to visit the robot trying to get information on why a robot would kill a human.  But through their conversation, Brau 1589 warns Gesicht that the most advanced robots that science has produced are in danger.  Robots who have the potential to become weapons of mass destruction.  Six are now remaining in the world and Gesicht is one of them.

ACT 4 – NORTH NO. 2 (PART 1) – For this chapter, we are introduced to the great robot North No. 2, a former servant to General Andrew Douglas of British High Command.  Now, a servant to the blind musical genius.  His boss is a talented musician but has a hatred towards robots and doesn’t think one can grasp music but North No. 2 does.  He wants to learn to play the piano and seems to care about the music that his boss plays.

ACT 5  – NORTH NO. 2 (PART 2) – This chapter features the backstory of the blind musician and how he had a difficult childhood.  But also continuing his hatred towards North No. 2.

ACT 6 – NORTH NO. 2 (PART 3) – North No. 2 confronts the blind musician regarding his past and a song that he hums unconsciously that North No. 2 has taken a liking too.  While things start to look great between the blind musician and North No. 2, he senses something or someone is about to attack and thus prepares himself for the battle.

ACT – BRANDO –  Two great robots have been destroyed.  Gesicht knows he must warn the other four.   A legend in the fighting ring, Brando’s ability to control robots for battle is exceptional.  So, great is his control that he is known as the “Robo-Fight King”.  As Gesicht visits his good friend, he warns him about the danger against the great robots.   But Brando being head strong is always up for battle.  So, Gesicht goes to warn another great robot in regards to the pending danger.  The next robot warned is the young Atom.

The first volume ends with a several-page discussion between Naoki Urasawa and Makoto Tezuka plus a postscript by Takayuki Matsutani, Presiden of Tezuka Productions, Inc.

“PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka” vol. 01 was definitely an enjoyable first volume.  One of the biggest differences from Osamu Tezuka’s artwork and Urasawa’s is the fact that Urasawa tends to go for a more realistic approach and also adding quite a bit of detail from surrounding objects or shadows.

There is a side of darkness that Urasawa has with his work.  From “Monster” to “20th Century Boys”, you get a good balance of innocence and purity but also a  side of darkness which makes his works so appealing.

In this case, for “PLUTO”, the storyline is so unique.  Sure, we have seen robots become problems for humanity in anime and manga series such as “AD Police” but to find a storyline where robots are revered for helping humanity and living lives like humans and almost be treated like equals was quite intriguing.

So, far the pacing of the series in the first seven acts were well done and captivating.

With great storytelling by Urasawa and Nagasaki, it makes you wonder what will happen with the remaining five great robots.  I’m definitely hooked and I know you will be hooked once you finish the first volume.  “PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka” is highly recommended!

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