Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka Vol. 7

by Naoki Urasawa, after Osamu Tezuka, with Takashi Nagasaki

This is the penultimate volume of Naoki Urasawa's modern classic Pluto, which reworks and reimagines a classic Osamu Tezuka Atom/Astro Boy story into a much longer manga series, which is really quite excellent.

In this volume, the focus is very much on Epsilon, the incredibly powerful robot pacifist who refused to fight in the Central Asian War, and instead has been spending his time raising and caring for many of the orphans of that conflict.  Epsilon is pretty much the only powerful robot left after the gigantic robot Pluto has been rampaging around the world destroying them all.  Now it's Epsilon's turn to face Pluto (twice), and the consequences for this story are pretty huge, especially when it starts to become clear that Pluto is a reluctant player in this drama.

Urasawa has done a very good job of humanizing these strange characters, and making it easy to care about them.  As is often the case, he introduces a new character into the story - an orphan named Wassily who, ever since the war, only speaks one word - Bora - which is tied in with the other victims of Pluto's campaign of terror.

I'm very excited to see how this story ends in the next volume.

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