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URASAWA Preeminent manga artist Naoki Urasawa, collaborating with editor, producer and manga writer Takashi Nagasaki, creates a daring revisionist take on Osamu Tezuka's timeless classic Astro Boy. Conceived under the auspices of Tezuka's son Macoto Tezka, a visual artist in his own right, Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka is more than just an homage piece - Urasawa takes Tezuka's masterwork and transforms it into a new groundbreaking series of his own. Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka will surely delight loyal Tezuka fans, but it will also capture the imagination of anyone who loves a compelling work of great science fiction. x TEZUKA The legendary Osamu Tezuka is arguably the most influential person to shape the landscape of the narrative art form known as manga. In 1964, Tezuka created a revolutionary story arc in his Astro Boy series called "The Greatest Robot on Earth." Tezuka's engaging tale struck a chord with the children of that time to become the most popular story line of the series. It would also prove to profoundly influence and inspire a generation of manga artists to come.
In manga master Tezuka's 1964-65 Astro Boy serial "The Greatest Robot on Earth," a power-hungry sultan sends super-robot Pluto to destroy the world's seven strongest robots in a bid to become Earth's ruler. Here, acclaimed contemporary manga creator Urusawa (known in the United States for Monster), supervised by Tezuka's son Makoto Tezka, completely reimagines this classic tale by focusing on one of Pluto's targets, the German robot detective Gesicht. When the much-beloved Swiss robot hero Mont Blanc is destroyed, Gesicht uncovers evidence possibly linking this incident to the murder of a human supporter of robots' rights. Employing artwork much more realistic than Tezuka's, Urusawa downplays the original's action and broadens and deepens the stories of the characters, including ex-soldier robot North
Any pairing of two masterminds can elicit murmurs of approval-or of apprehension. But all readers can rest assured that in this case, the pairing of seinen manga suspense master Urasawa and legendary cartoonist Tezuka is a very, very good thing. In Pluto, Urasawa takes Tezuka's Pinocchio-inspired Astroboy and reimagines it as a futuristic thriller. Touching on many of the themes in Tezuka's story of a robot boy-the overlap of man and machine, the capacity for artificial intelligence to feel emotion, the true meaning of humanity-Pluto offers adult graphic novel readers (and fans of Urasawa's Monster) classic, all-ages Tezuka themes in a mature package. Volume one opens with the death (or murder) of the beloved robot hero, Mont Blanc. Merging current-day life with futuristic projections, Urasawa and longtime editor/producer Nagasaki develop a world where robots live among humans, sometimes living as humans-marrying, having children, taking jobs. Hardworking Detective Gesicht is one of those robots. As he slowly unravels the mystery of the death of Mont Blanc-and subsequent, related murders-he uncovers the disturbing news that he will be next. The creators subtly and seamlessly set up Gesicht's world, while digging deep to reveal the strange dichotomy of life and living among artificial beings. For anyone who doesn't believe that there's any good mature manga in the U.S., Pluto is required reading. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.