Pluto (プルートウ Purūtō?) is a manga series by Naoki Urasawa published in Shogakukan's Big Comic Original since 2003. It has been licensed for release in English by Viz Media, under the name Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka. Takashi Nagasaki is credited as the series' co-author. Makoto Tezuka, Osamu Tezuka's son, supervised the series.
The series is based on Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy, specifically "The Greatest Robot on Earth" (地上最大のロボット Chijō saidai no robotto?) story arc, and named after the arc's chief villain. Urasawa reinterprets the story as a suspenseful murder mystery starring Gesicht, a Europol robot detective trying to solve the case of a string of robot and human deaths.
Pluto follows the Europol robot detective Gesicht (German for face) in his attempts to solve the case of a string of robot and human deaths. The case becomes more puzzling when evidence suggests a robot is responsible for the murders, the first one in eight years. The series recently ended after its 65th chapter.
Numerous references to other characters in Osamu Tezuka's Star System appear, such as Black Jack, Robita, as well as several Astro Boy characters who appear in chief supporting roles.
Most of these characters have already appeared in earlier versions of this story, formerly called Greatest Robot on Earth; however, more than a few are unique to Pluto.
- Gesicht - The main character of the first 3/4 of the story, he is a German robot inspector working for Europol. His body is made out of an alloy called "Zeronium", and he is capable of firing a devastating blast using the alloy as shell. He and his wife, Helena, both have a human appearance. He was prominent in earlier versions, but nowhere near as prominent as he is here.
- Mont-Blanc - a Swiss mountain robot that was killed at the beginning of the story. He fought in the 39th Middle East War in Persia.
- North #2 - a Scottish robot with six mechanical armed arms, formerly one of the most powerful fighting robots during the war. He prefers not to fight, choosing instead to work as the butler of a composer.
- Brando - a Turkish robot wrestler with a great devotion to his robot wife and his human children. He fought alongside Mont-Blanc and Heracles in the Middle East war.
- Heracles - a Greek gladiator robot with a high sense of honor and bravery, he and Brando have been rivals and friends from the war.
- Epsilon - an Australian light-powered effeminate and sensitive robot with a pacifist outlook. He runs an orphanage to take care of war orphans. He chose not to fight during the 39th Middle East War.
- Atom - a Japanese boy robot who was formerly the peace ambassador toward the end of the 39th Middle East War.
- Uran - Atom's robot younger sister who can sense human, animal, and robot emotions.
- Dr. Tenma - a genius robotics scientist who used to work for the Japanese Ministry of Science. He created Atom.
- Dr. Ochanomizu - a Japanese robotics scientist and the creator of Uran, he looks after Atom.
- Dr. Hoffman - the creator of Zeronium and Gesicht.
- Dr. Abullah - The head of the Persian Ministry of Science, he lost most of his body, and his family, in the Persian War, with most of his body now being robotic replacements.
- Dr. Roosevelt - a powerful sentient supercomputer, belonging to the United States of Thracia, whose only avatar to the outside world is a teddy bear
- Adolf Haas - a German trader who is a member of the human supremacist group, KR, and suspects that Gesicht killed his brother
- Pluto - An extremely powerful robot created by Dr. Abullah.
Pluto received an Excellence Prize for manga at the 2005 Japan Media Arts Festival. The series also received the 2005 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Grand Prize, which Urasawa also won for his work on Monster.
- ↑ "Viz Adds 20th Century Boys, Pluto Manga". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- ↑ "Viz Media Previews Dramatic New Manga Titles Set for Release in 2009". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
- ↑ "Live-Action/CG Adaptation of Naoki Urasawa's Realistic Astro Boy Pluto Coming". Popzara. October 20, 2010.
- Shogakukan's Official Pluto Website (Japanese)
- Official Pluto Page at publisher VIZ Media, LLC
- Pluto in the Tezuka in English database
- Greatest Robot Jeffbert’s Astroboy Manga Reviews, in the Tezuka in English database.