Pluto #1 - Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka

is a manga book published by Shogakukan that was released on 09/30/2004

Plot Summary

Summary

The reimagining of Astro Boy's "The Greatest Robot on Earth" story arc commences in this first volume as a murder mystery. After a world-renown robot is brutally destoryed, it's up to Gesicht of Europol to solve the case and determine who is behind all of the brutality.

Chapters

Act 1: Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc, a beloved and well-renowned robot, has been found destroyed amongst the smoldering remains of a forest fire. At the same time, a robot rights activists by the name of Bernard Lanke has been found dead in his apartment. Gesicht, a detective from Europol, has been dispatched to investigate these two seemingly unrelated cases. Whilst he is at the dead man's apartment, news breaks of a man who has broken through the police checkpoint guarding the area, injuring one police officer and destroying his robotic partner, Robby.

Gesicht takes off in hot pursuit of the man, cornering him in a disused building. He tries to talk the man, currently wielding the iron pipe used in the attack into giving up. The man tries to attack; he strikes Gesicht on the ear with the iron pipe to seemingly little effect. As he arrests the man, Gesicht reveals to the man --and the reader-- that he is in fact a robot himself.

Gesicht makes his way to Robby's apartment, where he breaks the news of her husband's death to Robby's wife. He goes back to Europol, where he points out a similarity between the Mont Blanc's and Bernard Lanke's crime scenes: both of their bodies were decorated with two objects stuck on either side of their head, made to look like horns. Given the relative strength of Mont Blanc, Gesicht is forced to come to the conclusion that only a robot could have killed him; thus, a robot is also implicated in killing Bernard Lanke, the first robot-on-human killing in eight years.

Act 2: Gesicht

Plans are made for Mont Blanc's funeral, an event expected to be attended by thousands. Gesicht attends the preparations, and speaks with Mont Blanc's creator, Professor Reinhardt, who believes that Mont Blanc's destruction was not down to any kind of natural disaster. Later, whilst having a maintenance checkup, Gesicht discusses his dreams with Professor Hoffmann. He suggests that should Gesicht visit Japan in order to relax, and forget about work.

As he makes his way out of the building, Gesicht comes across the remains of Robby, about to be disposed of. He rescues Robby's memory chip, which he then takes to Robby's wife. Robby's wife and Gesicht discover that Robby was killed whilst distracted by a figure jumping between two apartment buildings, one of which contained the apartment in which Bernard Lanke was killed. The figure is revealed to be human.

Act 3: Brau 1589

The chapter opens with Gesicht booking a trip to Japan for him and his wife. After this, he goes to an Artificial Intelligence Correctional Facility in Brussels, which houses the last robot to kill a human, Brau 1589. After taunting Gesicht, Brau reveals (after a lengthy process) the meaning of the "horns": Pluto, a name with some significance for Gesicht. As he makes to leave, Brau warns him that the killer of Mont Blanc will strike six more times, aiming to kill the most advanced robots in existence.

Act 4: North No. 2 (Part 1)

The action turns to a castle in Scotland, where blind composer Paul Duncan is composing his latest masterpiece. He is interrupted by the entrance of his new butler, North No. 2, an ex-military robot who served during the 39th Central Asian War. Duncan takes an immediate disliking to North No. 2, scoffing at the idea that a former army robot could understand and enjoy his music. He reveals a dislike for all things robotic, claiming that it was the reason he had not replaced his eyes with artificial eye implants.

Later, when North No. 2 checks up on Duncan whilst he is sleeping, he discovers the composer murmuring the part of the music Duncan had been stuck on the previous day. When North No. 2 tells him this, Duncan is furious, and procedes to fire him. North No. 2 tells him he only wanted to learn to play the piano.

Act 5: North No. 2 (Part 2)

Paul Duncan awakes from a fitful dream of his childhood in Bohemia to find North No. 2 standing over his bed, having returned after his dismissal. North No. 2 continues to try to play the piano, only to be met with anger from Duncan. He tells North No. 2 the reason for his fitful dreams, relating the story of his childhood; his mother, who ran away with a rich man, disowning her child in the process, and the disease that eventually caused his blindness, a side-effect of the operation needed to save his life. He reveals that the castle he currently lives in that of the rich man's, who spurned Duncan's mother, relegating her to the post of his mistress.

Duncan comes to terms with North No. 2's piano-playing, who is playing to overcome the guilt at the amount of his own kind he was forced to kill in the Central Asian War. He comes across the robot recharging, and finds out that he too is wracked by fitful dreams. The chapter ends with North No. 2 seemingly having left for good.

Act 6: North No. 2 (Part 3)

The blind composer's life continues on without North No. 2, receiving bad news on the subject of one of his musical scores, and resigning himself to the fact that without North No. 2 his garden will wilt away once more. An unspecified amount of time passes, and North No. 2 returns, having come back from Duncan's birthplace, Bohemia. He tells Duncan that he has found the melody that the composer hums in his sleep (an old Bohemian folk song once sung by his mother), and news relating to his abandonment as a child. As it turns out, his mother did not abandon him for the rich man by her own free will; she did so because the man would not have the young Duncan in his house, and so in order to afford the operation that would come to save his life, she had to give him up.

Life resumes as normal for North No. 2 and Paul Duncan, until one day the robot senses a threatening presence a short distance from the castle. He takes off into the sky, where he is promptly killed by the unseen assailant; as he is destroyed, the sound of the melody of Duncan's youth fills the sky.

Act 7: Brando

We come back to Gesicht, who is attending the Eskkkr tournament, a robotic fighting contest. Brando, the reigning champion, is declared the winner.

Gesicht meets Brando, now out of his fighting Pankration suit. They go back to Brando's apartment, where he and his wife take care of five human children. After dinner, Gesicht warns Brando that he is potentially a target for the robot-killer.

The setting changes to Japan, where Gesicht meets the mysterious boy, Atom.

Creators

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Makoto Tezuka production,
Osamu Tezuka writer,
Naoki Urasawa artist,

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User Reviews
20th Century Boys & Pluto Reviewed by gia on June 4, 2009. gia has written 52 reviews. His/her last review was for Volume 1. 117 out of 131 users recommend his reviews. 2 out of 2 users found this review helpful.
  
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Date Added: Dec. 5, 2008
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