Manga Village

Pluto Volume 5

October 7, 2009

A robot may not harm or kill a human being. Article 13 of the Robot Laws. Adolph, a member of a robot hate group, is being used as a pawn and hunted down by the members of his own brotherhood. He must now turn to his worst enemy for protection–Gesicht, the robot who he believes killed his own brother.

Pluto 5Originally reviewed by Matthew Rozier
By Naoki Urasawa x Osamu Tezuka
Publisher: Viz Media – Viz Signature
Age Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
ISBN: 9781421525839
Price: $12.99

Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto is beginning to show signs of winding down. With a mere three volumes to go after the conclusion of volume five, things appear to be headed towards the climax as Urasawa’s continues to peel layers off of his multi-layered plot.

Inspector Gesicht’s past really begins to unravel here as Urasawa finally sheds light on the gaping hole regarding Hans’ brother and Gesicht’s involvement in the whole affair. Gesicht’s recollection of his horrid memories further blurs the line between human and machine. Apparently robots can harbor feelings of true hatred, a concept that is fascinating on its own.

It is also Hercules’ turn to face the mysterious enemy and this leads to an eye-popping spectacle of a fight sequence, though that is really all it is all this point as the fight is rather empty on plot. Nothing much is revealed about the villain in the fight so ultimately it disappoints in that regard. Still, Urasawa shows us some frightening things before Hercules bites the dust.

Staying with the theme of high-octane action, we also get an exciting car chase as enemies of Hans begin to close in on Gesicht and Hans’ family. Urasawa also touches back on a sensitive topic: Dr. Tenma and Atom. Urasawa certainly flaunts his storytelling prowess here, he proves that he can do heart-pumping action, while still deftly handing Uran and Dr. Tenma having to cope with Atom’s death. All this happens before things return back to the main plot and Gesicht’s latest lead. Urasawa can certainly do a lot in a mere 200 pages.

Little flaws remain, such as the over-seriousness in facial expressions and the like, the sometimes dry nature of the investigative dialogue, and the aforementioned emptiness of Hercules’ fight, but in this volume the dense storytelling and eye-opening revelations supersede most any flaw.

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