07 Feb / Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka 007 by Naoki Urasawa and Osamu Tezuka, co-authored by Takashi Nagasaki, with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions
Six out of the seven greatest robots in the world are gone, destroyed by the evil force called Pluto. Professor Tenma watches over the body of Atom, who’s now been programmed “with as many personalities as there are people on earth” – six billion, in case you’re counting. In the high-security laboratory, Tenma admits to Professor Abullah, fellow genius scientist, that he might be creating a new monster with Atom’s reprogramming. Tit for tat, Dr. Abullah confesses to Tenma he’s “trying to develop yet another remarkable robot.” But Abullah is soon thereafter killed by UN Forces, but not before he leaves a message (and tiny package) to be delivered posthumously to Tenma.
For now, only super-robot Epsilon, who has the power to harness photon energy, lives. He’s also a pacifist, living in Australia surrounded by rescued orphans who love and adore him … maybe that’s where his true energy comes from. But the world is anything but safe, and Pluto must somehow be stopped. When Wassily, one of the orphans, is bought by a mysterious stranger for a “substantial donation” while Epsilon is away, Epsilon races to rescue him, and comes face-to-face with Pluto. In the struggle, Pluto’s true identity is revealed. As Epsilon begs, “Someone must stand in my place … to save earth,” Uran witnesses Atom’s awakening …
Of the seven volumes thus far (click here to see the previous six), I have to say this one proved most memorable for me. The now-happy kids, Epsilon’s love for and devotion to them, sad sad Uran trying make sense of the too-many tragedies around her … but most entertaining of all (rather like a wink-wink inside joke) were this volume’s opening pages which offer a sampling of some of the six billion personalities coursing through Atom’s circuits, including characters from Urasawa’s phenomenal 18-volume Monster and the still on-going 20th Century Boys. I admit it … I felt somehow rewarded for being such a Urasawa groupie-junkie!
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2010 (United States)
PLUTO © Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Takashi Nagasaki, and Tezuka Productions
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.
Based on Astro Boy by Osamu Tezuka