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Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Vol. 5 Paperback – September 15, 2009
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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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Top Customer Reviews
“Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 005” by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki is the fifth 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: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 005,” a new assignment helps detective Gesicht to unlock a harrowing memory, the source of his unsettling nightmares, and to discover what he is truly capable of. Meanwhile, Hercules, one of the seven great robots of the world, challenges the powerful, mysterious villain that so far has been unstoppable.
1) My favorite volume so far.
Pluto series just keeps getting better and better. The fifth volume has it all: it is action packed, thrilling and suspenseful with plot twists and revelations, but at the same time it is thought-provoking and emotionally powerful with complex and realistic characters. The story kept me on my toes throughout the whole book and I understood and truly cared about the main characters (well, maybe except for Epsilon). Oh, and the artwork is very realistic and simply gorgeous.
2) Things make sense!
As the authors continue to tie loose ends together, the events and characters’ motives make more and more sense. This volume also offers a very sound explanation behind the “perfect robot” idea and why such a robot might be disastrous, making the story more logically explainable and thus much more realistic.
Although each volume has a postscript written by a different person, I especially liked the commentary at the end of the fifth book, in which Tomohiko Murakami, a manga critic and lecturer, describes Pluto series as “Naoki Urasawa’s dissertation on Osamu Tezuka.” This and the previous postscripts are interesting and informative, helping the reader to understand and appreciate Pluto series as well as Urasawa’s work in general.
COULD BE BETTER:
1) Lack of color.
I mentioned this in all my previous Pluto reviews, but I really prefer the colored first few pages over the rest of the book, which is in black and white. I think I would be fine with the colorless illustrations as well, but the colored pages always remind me that the book can be even better.
VERDICT: 4 out of 5
“Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 005” by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki is my favorite volume so far. Here you can find everything: action, suspense, depth, multidimensional characters… Plus, the story keeps getting more logical and realistic. Finally, a very interesting and informative postscript at the end of the book helps to understand and appreciate the series even more.
Check out my reviews of the previous four volumes:
1) “Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 001”: http://www.amazon.com/review/R39D2RIEIAPZRO/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
2) “Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 002”: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3PJZDE2SFGRI6/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
3) “Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 003”: http://www.amazon.com/review/R39D7281G5TKZQ/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
4) “Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 004”: http://www.amazon.com/review/R5LDPO6IH4KUW/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
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.
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 the 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.
In the fourth volume of "PLUTO", Atom confronts the nemesis and needless to say, we learn major revelations and a major tragedy takes place.
"PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka" vol. 005 is a volume that takes things back to the character of Gesicht and his investigation of the murdering of the robots. But also Gesicht starting to realize an emotion that he has and thought is not possible. Robots are programmed not to hurt humans but somehow, we start to see that although Gesicht is a great robot dedicated to upholding the law, there is something about him that he is trying to discover that is quite off.
Meanwhile, the battle of Pluto vs. Hercules is another battle which may come to help Gesicht in his investigation. But the big surprise is the possible return of a fallen great robot.
Where this volume focuses more on the investigation, there is quite a bit of action aside from the battle but also Gesicht trying to do all he can to protect a family from being killed. And that despite what emotions he's starting to discover himself, he still upholds the law and will protect even those who despise robots.
If you have invested your time in reading the first four volumes, volume five is definitely setting the reader up for something even greater for the sixth volume. One thing that Urasawa is quite successful in this series (and also his "20th Century Boys" manga series) is effectively create a story that is well-written but also artwork that shows detail in emotion. May it be the fear, anguish, happiness or even the lust of killing, he manages to capture the emotion quite well with his character designs and this latest volume is one of those volumes in which he is able to showcase not just fear on the human side but also emotions on the robotic side.
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. Another highly recommended volume of "PLUTO"!
Urasawa can do no wrong in my book. Please also follow up with Monster and 20th Century Boys.