Pluto, a new anime series based on the popular manga of the same name created by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki, is set to debut on Netflix on October 27. Consisting of eight hour-long episodes to align with the volumes in the manga and repackaged as a modern murder mystery, the series unfolds in a world inhabited by noble robots and complex human characters.
According to the official synopsis, Pluto begins when the iconic Swiss robot, Montblanc, known for his heroic military service during the 39th Asian War and warm-hearted personality, meets a brutal end. This devastating loss reverberates across the globe, with humans and robots that cherished the beloved celebrity mourning his unexpected death.
Pluto is a remarkable exception, as it reimagines Osamu Tezuka’s classic Astro Boy tale, “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” paying homage to the iconic “Father of Manga.”
Gesicht, a robotic detective from Europol who had once shared the battlefield with Montblanc, is tasked with investigating his death. As he hunts for the truth, Gesicht unearths compelling evidence pointing to the existence of a mysterious entity known as “Pluto.” He also stumbles on a sinister conspiracy to dismantle eight specialized robots from various corners of the world that played pivotal roles in the war.
With time running out, Gesicht races against the clock to rescue those who still stand, grappling not only with his fading memories and the ethical quandaries they present but also with a world that oozes with animosity. His mission becomes a desperate struggle to safeguard the delicate equilibrium between humanity and machines.
In American comics, it’s common for contemporary creators to revisit the works of mid-20th-century comic legends. However, within Japan’s comic tradition, it’s relatively rare. Pluto is a remarkable exception, as it reimagines Osamu Tezuka’s classic Astro Boy tale, “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” paying homage to the iconic “Father of Manga.”
Shinshu Fuji, known for his work on Blade Runner: Black Lotus and Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin I, will be taking on the role of Gesicht.
Studio M2 announced the series during the 2017 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. In February 2023, Netflix secured the exclusive streaming rights for the show, teaming up with Genco and Tezuka Productions to ensure its realization. The intricate animation work for Pluto is being expertly handled by Studio M2.
Netflix also revealed some of the voice cast lending their talents to Pluto. Shinshu Fuji, known for his work on Blade Runner: Black Lotus and Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin I, will be taking on the role of Gesicht. Atom, often referred to as Astro Boy and hailed as the greatest robot on Earth, will be voiced by Yoko Hikasa. Minori Suzuki, known for her work in the original Pokémon anime, will voice Atom’s sister, Uran.
The Original Manga
The original Pluto-written works were serialized in the Japanese manga magazine Big Comic Original from 2003 to 2009 and consisted of eight volumes. The series is known for its meticulous artwork, well-developed characters, and intricate plot twists. It’s often praised for its ability to take a classic Tezuka storyline and transform it into a mature, thought-provoking work that appeals to fans of Astro Boy and newcomers to the series.
The Pluto manga has received numerous awards and accolades and is considered one of the standout works in Naoki Urasawa’s illustrious career. It’s a must-read for those who appreciate complex storytelling that blends classic and modern manga elements.