Pluto Manga

Table of Contents

Introduction Pluto Manga

“Pluto Manga” is a manga series that stands out as a brilliant reimagining of Osamu Tezuka’s iconic “Astro Boy” series, specifically the story arc “The Greatest Robot on Earth.” Created by Naoki Urasawa in collaboration with Takashi Nagasaki, “Pluto Manga” is not just a tribute to Tezuka’s work but a masterful piece in its own right. It blends science fiction, mystery, and a deep exploration of human and robot emotions.

This article delves into the world of “Pluto Manga,” exploring its plot, characters, themes, and the significance of its contribution to the manga genre. We will examine why “Pluto Manga” has garnered critical acclaim and discuss its impact on readers and the manga industry.

The Origin of “Pluto Manga”

Osamu Tezuka and “Astro Boy”

Osamu Tezuka, often referred to as the “God of Manga,” is one of the most influential figures in the world of manga and anime. His creation, “Astro Boy” (Tetsuwan Atom in Japanese), first appeared in 1952 and quickly became a cultural icon. The series is set in a futuristic world where humans and robots coexist, and it follows the adventures of Atom (Astro Boy), a powerful robot with human emotions.

One of the most memorable story arcs in “Astro Boy” is “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” which introduces Pluto Manga, a formidable robot designed to destroy the seven most powerful robots in the world, including Atom. This story arc explores themes of power, humanity, and the ethics of artificial intelligence, making it a standout piece in Tezuka’s oeuvre.

Naoki Urasawa’s Vision

Naoki Urasawa, known for his works like “Monster” and “20th Century Boys,” is a manga artist celebrated for his intricate storytelling and complex characters. When Urasawa decided to reinterpret “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” he brought his unique narrative style and depth to the project. Collaborating with Takashi Nagasaki and with the blessing of Tezuka Productions, Urasawa created “Pluto Manga,” a series that both honors and expands upon Tezuka’s original work.

Plot Overview

Setting and Premise

“Pluto Manga” is set in a future where robots and humans coexist in a society grappling with the ethical and moral implications of artificial intelligence. The series starts with the murder of Montblanc, one of the seven greatest robots in the world. This incident sets off a chain of events that leads to an investigation headed by Gesicht, a robot detective from Europol.

Major Story Arcs

The Murder Investigation

Gesicht’s investigation into Montblanc’s murder reveals a larger conspiracy. As other great robots fall victim to mysterious attacks, Gesicht discovers that he and the remaining robots are targets. The story weaves through various subplots, introducing a diverse cast of characters, each with their own backstories and motivations.

The Reawakening of Pluto Manga

Pluto Manga, the robot created to destroy the world’s greatest robots, is reawakened. Unlike Tezuka’s original depiction, Urasawa’s Pluto Manga is a complex character with emotions and inner conflicts. The narrative delves into Pluto’s past, exploring the reasons behind his creation and his struggle with his purpose.

The Confrontation

The climax of the series involves a confrontation between Gesicht, Atom, and Pluto Manga. This showdown is not just a physical battle but a clash of ideologies and emotions. It questions what it means to be truly human and whether robots can possess humanity.



Gesicht is a Europol detective and one of the seven greatest robots. His character is central to the story, serving as both a detective unraveling the mystery and a being grappling with his own existence. Gesicht is portrayed as a deeply thoughtful and empathetic character, often reflecting on the nature of his humanity.

Atom (Astro Boy)

Atom, known as Astro Boy in Tezuka’s original series, is a robot with human emotions. In “Pluto Manga,” Atom is depicted as a symbol of hope and innocence. His interactions with other characters, especially Gesicht and Pluto, highlight his unique perspective on life and humanity.

Pluto Manga

Pluto Manga is the antagonist of the series, yet Urasawa imbues him with a tragic backstory and emotional depth. His struggle with his purpose and his interactions with the other characters make him a compelling figure, transforming him from a mere villain to a poignant symbol of the consequences of hatred and violence.

Other Notable Characters

Dr. Tenma

Dr. Tenma is the creator of Atom and a pivotal figure in both “Astro Boy” and “Pluto Manga.” His complex relationship with Atom and his involvement in the events surrounding Pluto Manga add layers to the narrative. Dr. Tenma’s character is often depicted as tormented by his own actions and the ethical dilemmas of creating life.


Epsilon is one of the seven greatest robots and is known for his pacifism. His character brings a different perspective to the conflict, emphasizing themes of peace and the moral responsibilities of those with great power. Epsilon’s interactions with Gesicht and Atom provide crucial insights into the overarching themes of the series.

Themes and Motifs

Humanity and Artificial Intelligence

One of the central themes of “Pluto Manga” is the exploration of what it means to be human. The series delves into the emotional and ethical dimensions of artificial intelligence, questioning whether robots can possess humanity. Through characters like Gesicht and Atom, Urasawa examines the blurred lines between humans and robots, challenging readers to reconsider their perceptions of life and consciousness.

The Ethics of Creation

“Pluto Manga” also tackles the ethical implications of creating life, particularly artificial life. Dr. Tenma’s character embodies the moral dilemmas faced by those who play the role of creator. The series questions the responsibilities and consequences that come with such power, highlighting the potential for both great achievement and great destruction.

War and Peace

Themes of war and peace are prevalent throughout the series. The conflict between the greatest robots and Pluto Manga serves as a metaphor for broader societal conflicts. Characters like Epsilon advocate for pacifism, while others, driven by revenge or duty, highlight the complexities and often tragic outcomes of violence.

Memory and Identity

Memory and identity are crucial motifs in “Pluto Manga.” The series explores how memories shape identity, especially for robots who possess human-like consciousness. Gesicht’s struggle with his past and Pluto Manga awakening are key examples of how memory impacts their actions and self-perception.

Art and Style

Urasawa’s Artistic Approach

Naoki Urasawa’s art style is known for its realism and attention to detail. In “Pluto Manga,” his artwork brings a sense of gravitas and depth to the story. Urasawa’s ability to convey emotions through facial expressions and body language enhances the narrative, making the characters’ experiences more relatable and impactful.

Homage to Tezuka

While Urasawa brings his own style to “Pluto Manga,” he also pays homage to Tezuka’s original designs. The characters retain their distinctive features from “Astro Boy,” but with added layers of complexity. This blend of homage and innovation allows “Pluto Manga” to resonate with fans of the original series while appealing to new readers.

Reception and Impact

Critical Acclaim

“Pluto Manga” has received widespread critical acclaim for its storytelling, character development, and thematic depth. It has been praised for its ability to reimagine a classic story while addressing contemporary issues. Critics have lauded Urasawa’s skill in creating a compelling narrative that honors Tezuka’s legacy.

Awards and Recognition

The series has won several prestigious awards, including the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize and the Eisner Award. These accolades reflect the high regard in which “Pluto Manga” is held within the manga and broader literary communities.

Influence on the Manga Industry

“Pluto Manga” has had a significant impact on the manga industry, inspiring other creators to explore similar reimaginings of classic works. Its success has demonstrated the potential for blending nostalgia with modern storytelling, encouraging a wave of adaptations and reinterpretations.


“Pluto Manga” is a masterful manga that stands as a testament to the enduring power of Osamu Tezuka’s original vision and Naoki Urasawa’s storytelling genius. By reimagining “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” Urasawa has created a work that is both a tribute and an innovation. “Pluto” explores deep philosophical and ethical questions, blending them seamlessly with a compelling narrative and rich character development.

For fans of manga, science fiction, and profound storytelling, “Pluto Manga” is an essential read. It challenges readers to think deeply about humanity, technology, and the nature of existence, all while delivering a gripping and emotionally resonant story. Whether you are a long-time fan of “Astro Boy” or new to Urasawa’s work, “Pluto Manga” offers a rich and thought-provoking experience that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

FAQs for “Pluto Manga”

What is “Pluto” manga about?

“Pluto” is a manga series by Naoki Urasawa, a reimagining of Osamu Tezuka’s “Astro Boy” story arc “The Greatest Robot on Earth.” It follows a robot detective, Gesicht, as he investigates the mysterious murders of the world’s most powerful robots.

Who created “Pluto” manga?

“Pluto” was created by Naoki Urasawa in collaboration with Takashi Nagasaki, with the story based on Osamu Tezuka’s original “Astro Boy” series.

How many volumes are there in “Pluto” manga?

“Pluto” consists of 8 volumes.

When was “Pluto” manga first published?

“Pluto” was first published in 2003 and concluded in 2009.

What are the main themes explored in “Pluto” manga?

“Pluto” explores themes such as the nature of humanity, the ethics of artificial intelligence, war and peace, memory and identity, and the responsibilities of creators.

Who is Gesicht in “Pluto” manga?

Gesicht is a robot detective from Europol and one of the seven greatest robots in the world. He is the central character who investigates the murders of other great robots.

How is “Pluto” connected to “Astro Boy”?

“Pluto” is a reimagining of the “The Greatest Robot on Earth” arc from Osamu Tezuka’s “Astro Boy.” It retains key characters and plot elements while expanding and deepening the narrative.

What makes “Pluto” different from the original “Astro Boy” story?

“Pluto” offers a darker, more mature, and complex narrative compared to the original “Astro Boy” story. It focuses more on the emotional and philosophical aspects of the characters and their experiences.

Who is Pluto in the manga?

Pluto is the main antagonist, a powerful robot created to destroy the seven greatest robots. Unlike in the original story, Pluto is depicted with emotional depth and inner conflict.

Has “Pluto” manga won any awards?

Yes, “Pluto” has won several prestigious awards, including the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize and the Eisner Award.

Is there an anime adaptation of “Pluto” manga?

As of now, there has been no official anime adaptation of “Pluto.” However, there have been announcements and discussions about potential adaptations.

What is the significance of Dr. Tenma in “Pluto” manga?

Dr. Tenma is the creator of Atom (Astro Boy) and plays a significant role in the story, dealing with ethical dilemmas and the consequences of creating life.

What are some of the key robots featured in “Pluto”?

Key robots include Gesicht, Atom (Astro Boy), Epsilon, Montblanc, and Pluto. Each robot has unique abilities and emotional depth, contributing to the overall narrative.

How does “Pluto” address the theme of war and peace?

“Pluto” uses the conflict between the robots to explore broader themes of war and peace. Characters like Epsilon advocate for peace, while others grapple with the aftermath of violence and war.

What role does memory play in “Pluto” manga?

Memory is a crucial motif in “Pluto,” influencing characters’ identities and actions. The series explores how memories shape who they are, particularly for robots with human-like consciousness.

Can new readers enjoy “Pluto” without prior knowledge of “Astro Boy”?

Yes, “Pluto” can be enjoyed as a standalone story. While it enhances the experience to be familiar with “Astro Boy,” Urasawa’s storytelling provides enough context for new readers.

What impact has “Pluto” had on the manga industry?

“Pluto” has inspired other creators to explore reimaginations of classic works, demonstrating the potential for blending nostalgia with modern storytelling. Its success has encouraged similar adaptations and reinterpretations.

Why is “Pluto” considered a masterpiece?

“Pluto” is considered a masterpiece due to its intricate storytelling, deep character development, and the way it addresses profound themes. Urasawa’s ability to blend homage with innovation has earned widespread critical acclaim.

How does “Pluto” explore the ethics of artificial intelligence?

“Pluto” delves into the ethical implications of creating life, particularly artificial life, through the characters’ experiences and the moral dilemmas faced by their creators. It questions the responsibilities and potential consequences of such creations.

Where can I read or purchase “Pluto” manga?

“Pluto” manga is available for purchase at bookstores, online retailers, and can be found in libraries. Digital versions are also available on various manga reading platforms.

These FAQs provide a comprehensive overview of “Pluto” manga, addressing common questions and offering insights into its themes, characters, and impact.

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