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Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Vol. 1 Paperback – February 17, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Any pairing of two masterminds can elicit murmurs of approval—or of apprehension. But all readers can rest assured that in this case, the pairing of seinen manga suspense master Urasawa and legendary cartoonist Tezuka is a very, very good thing. In Pluto, Urasawa takes Tezuka's Pinocchio-inspired Astroboy and reimagines it as a futuristic thriller. Touching on many of the themes in Tezuka's story of a robot boy—the overlap of man and machine, the capacity for artificial intelligence to feel emotion, the true meaning of humanity—Pluto offers adult graphic novel readers (and fans of Urasawa's Monster) classic, all-ages Tezuka themes in a mature package. Volume one opens with the death (or murder) of the beloved robot hero, Mont Blanc. Merging current-day life with futuristic projections, Urasawa and longtime editor/producer Nagasaki develop a world where robots live among humans, sometimes living as humans—marrying, having children, taking jobs. Hardworking Detective Gesicht is one of those robots. As he slowly unravels the mystery of the death of Mont Blanc—and subsequent, related murders—he uncovers the disturbing news that he will be next. The creators subtly and seamlessly set up Gesicht's world, while digging deep to reveal the strange dichotomy of life and living among artificial beings. For anyone who doesn't believe that there's any good mature manga in the U.S., Pluto is required reading. (Feb.)
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About the Author

URASAWA Preeminent manga artist Naoki Urasawa, collaborating with editor, producer and manga writer Takashi Nagasaki, creates a daring revisionist take on Osamu Tezuka’s timeless classic Astro Boy. Conceived under the auspices of Tezuka’s son Macoto Tezka, a visual artist in his own right, Pluto: Urasawa × Tezuka is more than just an homage piece — Urasawa takes Tezuka’s masterwork and transforms it into a new groundbreaking series of his own. Pluto: Urasawa × Tezuka will surely delight loyal Tezuka fans, but it will also capture the imagination of anyone who loves a compelling work of great science fiction. × TEZUKA The legendary Osamu Tezuka is arguably the most influential person to shape the landscape of the narrative art form known as manga. In 1964, Tezuka created a revolutionary story arc in his Astro Boy series called “The Greatest Robot on Earth.” Tezuka’s engaging tale struck a chord with the children of that time to become the most popular story line of the series. It would also prove to profoundly influence and inspire a generation of manga artists to come.

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Product Details

  • Series: PLUTO (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (February 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421519186
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421519180
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.7 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This manga heavily reminds me of the books "iRobot" and "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" but in a good way. I love tales where technology has advanced to the point where there is a fine line between between cyborgs and humans in terms of their abilities to feel emotions. This manga has a few interesting small stories in just the first volume and I LOVE manga series that string along a lot of relevant smaller stories to make one grand story. I have no idea if this series will continue at this pace but I'm already hooked, volumes 2 and 3 arrived on my doorstep yesterday and I plan on reading them as soon as I can!
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Format: Paperback
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/destroyer who may be human or robot.

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 and 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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on February 10, 2014
Format: Paperback

Someone is killing the most powerful robots on Earth. With that premise, Pluto opens, blending an almost childlike innocence with the harsh realities of war and death, humanity and monstrosity. A mystery at its heart, Pluto is based on but not bound to Astro Boy, a creation of Osamu Tezuka, and while being familiar with that series might give a reader further insight into some of the visual references and nods put into the series, it is unnecessary to understand and enjoy what Pluto does, which is to tell a compelling story using elements and ideas most often associated with juvenile stories, but in an undeniably adult manner. Instead of being an Astro Boy story, this stands more on its own, as a detective story starring a German robot named Gesicht as he seeks to solve a series of murders.

The setting is of a near future or perhaps an alternate present where robots have been developed to the point that they are nearly human, enjoying certain rights while still used as soldiers and construction workers. And as Gesicht travels, the reader is brought up to speed gradually to where robots stand in the world, designed to be without emotion and yet to carry out the most emotionally devastating duties. And each of the major players in the series is tied in some way to a war fought in the not-so-distant past, a war that saw robots killing robots on a massive scale. Mont Blanc, the first robot murdered, was one of the most powerful to fight in the war, and had since dedicated himself to trying to help the world. The volume definitely toys with the idea of these robots confronting their actions as moral agents as well as soldiers, with dealing with, for lack of a better word, their own humanity in a world that does not see them as human.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Agne on March 22, 2015
Format: Paperback

“Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 001” by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki is the first book in an eight-book science fiction manga series Pluto. The whole series is based on “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” the most popular story arc in Astro Boy series by a legendary manga master Osamu Tezuka.

In “Pluto, Volume 001,” detective Gesicht tries to figure out who - or what - destroyed the world’s most beloved robot Mont Blanc, killed a robot rights activist and left both victims with “horns” stuck in their heads. Whoever or whatever the killer is, he seems to be after the seven great robots of the world, which means that Gesicht himself is the target as well.


1) Don’t be afraid of manga!
“Pluto, Volume 001” is the first manga I’ve ever read, and although I was kind of intimidated by the format at first (it’s not everyday I read a book from right to left), it’s actually not that different from usual comic books.

2) I am intrigued.
“Pluto, Volume 001” is a quick and engaging read. I kind of went into the story blindly but was pleasantly surprised: although I rarely read books about robots or even science fiction in general, I actually enjoyed the story and was touched by it. Admittedly, the first book feels more of a set up than a story by itself, but I am definitely intrigued to continue with the series.

3) Tribute to Astro Boy.
Since I knew absolutely nothing about Astro Boy, the inspiration of Pluto series, I found the interview with the creators of Pluto and some background information at the end of the book quite interesting, and I am even tempted to read the original story. However, you don’t really need to know the original Astro Boy story to fully enjoy Pluto series.
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