Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka 2 by Naoki Urasawa and Osamu Tezuka: A

Robots and humans continue to die in this second volume of Urasawa’s re-imagining of Osamu Tezuka’s classic Astro Boy story, “The Greatest Robot on Earth.” Gesicht travels to Japan where he meets with Atom, another of the seven strongest robots allegedly being targeted. After accessing Gesicht’s memory chip, Atom is able to assist the Japanese police as they work a similar case and discovers the common factor between the human victims. Meanwhile, Gesicht continues to warn other robots on the list while questioning mysterious gaps in his own memory.

While volume one did a good job of setting up the plot and the world, volume two really gets the ball rolling. There’s action and plot twists aplenty, as well as answers to questions that only serve to beget more questions. I certainly can’t complain when a story proceeds to go somewhere, but I still missed the “robot interest” stories that made the first volume so stellar. There were a few touching moments scattered throughout, but mostly the focus was on plot advancement.

Urasawa’s art is uniformly excellent, as usual. I’m a big fan of the futuristic city scenes, but perhaps my favorite thing in this volume is actually Atom’s hair. No matter which way he turned, Tezuka’s incarnation of Astro Boy always had two triangles of hair poking up. Atom’s case is far subtler, more like tufts really, but it’s definitely there. I love attention to detail like that.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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