Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka Vol. 8

by Naoki Urasawa, with Takashi Nagasaki, after Osamu Tezuka

It's taken me a little while, but I've finally worked my way through Naoki Urasawa's classic manga series Pluto, which he modeled on an Atom (in America, Astro Boy) story by Osamu Tezuka.  Urasawa has expanded on, and I imagine, improved upon the original story.

This final volume is all about wrapping up the action that has carried the various characters through the series, and about revealing some of the secrets that have been hinted at since the beginning.

When this book opens, things don't look so good for the good guys.  Bora and Pluto, two enormously powerful robots with evil intentions (and very complicated senses of themselves) are poised to destroy the Earth, and it looks like Atom may be the only robot left who can stop them.  The problem is, Atom is filled with hate and anger.

There is a lot of stuff here about the ability of robots to feel, and it gets a little heavy-handed in places, but when read within the context of the entire series, it's necessary in order to complete the character arc that Urasawa intended for them.  The story wraps up very neatly (it's really hard to talk about this without spoiling things), and there are lots of examples of how great an artist Urasawa is.

This series is highly recommended, even to people who are not fans of manga.  I feel like this is my gateway series, and now I'm interested in checking out Urasawa's 20th Century Boys...

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