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Pluto Urasawa X Tezuka vol 1

Pluto Urasawa X Tezuka vol 1 Pluto Urasawa X Tezuka vol 1

Pluto Urasawa X Tezuka vol 1 back

Naoki Urasawa


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

Set in a world where mechanoid-looking robots, having been granted limited rights, perform many everyday jobs and live harmoniously alongside humans, there are seven well known and almost universally loved robots which are much more advanced than all of the others, although as yet, no robot is known to have developed any true emotional capabilities. There are, however, some humans who are not comfortable at all with robots, particularly those very advanced ones which are indistinguishable from humans, and it appears that someone is determined to destroy all seven. But who exactly would have the means to execute such crimes and not leave even a single trace of evidence behind?

There is so much emotion packed into the writing in this book it's surprising it's not oozing out of the pages. There is one particularly pathos-filled moment involving North 2, a former military robot now working as a butler for a blind and embittered reclusive composer who is tormented by the strange snatch of song he has stuck in his head. I honestly nearly did lose it whilst reading this on the way home on the tram, I could feel the tears welling up...

Based on an ASTRO BOY story by Osamu Tezuka its been completely deconstructed and rebuilt from the ground up by Naoki Urasawa, he of MONSTER fame. I like the way on the cover the creators are given as Naoki Urasawa multiplied by Osamu Tezuka. It's highly appropriate because it's not often someone is able to take a classic from a true master of the medium and improve on it in every single way without losing any of the elements that made it so special in the first place. But I have to hand it to Urasawa, he's done it here in style. He uses Inspector Gesicht of Interpol as his main character and the story begins with him investigating the death of Mont Blanc, the beloved robot who worked as a guide in the Swiss mountains. What do the strange placement of horn-like shapes at the murder site mean? Why does the only robot ever to have committed a crime, safely under lock and key and completely isolated for many years, appear to know something? Gesicht has personal reasons to be concerned if someone is going after the advanced robots as he's one of them himself. I don't want to give too much more of the plot away, but suffice to say not only is this a real murder mystery, but also a very moving exploration of what it means to be human, even for a robot. Just to add to the fun there's a 'blink and youll miss it' cameo from another very famous Tezuka creation, and in the very final panel of the book Gesicht meets Atom a.k.a. Astro Boy just to set up and tease us perfectly about what's in the next volume.

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