I've been adding up miles with all these conventions & business trips. It's been a long time since I had a day off on a weekend, so now it's time to blog the backlog of manga I've been reading between work-manga.
I was interested in Pluto for a while. I think it was the logo that interested me. And the fact that it's a Naoki Urasawa manga.
I ended up picking up a volume at Narita airport, when I was looking for a book to read on the plane home from Tokyo Anime Fair. I was already tired of reading a TON of manga during my trip, getting ready to talk to publishers & the like, so I was looking forward to reading a manga for pleasure.
Of course it's like a dream job to be able to read manga for work, but a whole week of manga reading & analysis had me all pooped out.
Not that Urasawa books are ideal for a pooped out manga brain. His books take lots of time to read and understand, and re-read to get deeper into it. So I bought Atachi'n chi vol 12 at the same time, but that's another post at another time.
So back to Pluto.
For those who aren't familiar w/ Pluto, it's a re-telling of an Astro Boy story "The World's Strongest Robot." I've read Astro Boy in bits, but I don't think I ever read "World's Strongest..." before. So I'm itching to read the original, but let's leave that aside for now.
The story is about a super-robot detective named Gesicht who gets involved in a mysterious crime where one of the seven greatest robots Mont Blanc gets killed. Around the same time, a robot rights activist (human) gets killed, and Gesicht believes the two murders are connected.
So what does this have anything to do with Astro Boy? Well, Urasawa was told by Osamu Tezuka's son to create a whole new manga instead of just making a re-make. So that's why the main character is a 40-year old robot (who looks very human, tho) instead of Atom.
Of course Atom, being one of the seven great robots (as well as Gesicht), makes an appearance in the manga too. But he looks nothing like the original Astro Boy. Well, for one thing, he wears clothes. *laugh* And he doesn't have horn-like hair. Cute, smart & well behaved. Moe indeed.
Since it's a Urasawa work, don't expect bishounen. I guess Epsilon is a biseinen, but it takes time for him to appear. All others in the story are middle-aged men. Kinda worn-out type. Imagine Nicholas Cage. Or Jim Belushi. Oh my, not a pretty picture.
But don't let worn out old men turn you away from Urasawa's manga. Cuz they're so good. Pluto is a bit lighter to read than Monster, but it's still a hefty read. Take your time. And if you don't like it now, come back to it a year or two later. I think that's how I started Urasawa's manga... cuz I read Yawara as a kid (junior high, maybe), and I thought it was boring at the time.
Another proof that you need to grow as a manga reader to read some of the stuff out there.
But Naoki Urasawa has great art, so it's definitely easier for women to get into, even if you just grew up on shoujo manga.
Author: Naoki Urasawa
Volumes: 4 (on going)
Oh shoot, I hardly talked about the manga. Not that it's easy to explain. Unfortunately the Wikipedia entry (in English) doesn't have enough information, altho the Japanese version does. Someone, translate the Japanese Wiki entry for the US fans!!