Author : Urasawa Naoki – Takashi Nagasaki (Supervised by Macoto Tezka)
The story is reinvented from Astro Boy “The Greatest Robot On Earth” (Chijo Saidai no Robotto). Urasawa made this robot-action oriented story become mystery-thriller genre story in same setting. The main character and narration heavily weight to Gesicht rather than Atom. I read it because curiosity and ended finished reading all chapter marathon in one night.
The main villain in this story is a Thracian Supercomputer, called Roosevelt, which basically is super A.I. who control United States of Thracian indirectly by ordering The president. He starting conflict to Monarchy Persian by ‘blaming’ them for making robot troops and send the United Thracian robot army to give them some ‘democracy’. Lead by seven strongest robot, Atom is one of them, United Thracian win the war and made Persian turn into democratic country.
The peace agreement, robot lives equal with human, goes on after the war, but then, fast forward eight year, one of seven strongest robot, Mont Blanc, killed monstrously, which believed killed by robot. But then, the mysterious murder continues, kill some founder and activist of robot-equal law which is questionable because robot can’t be programmed to kill human.
Gesicht, one of seven strongest robot and great detective, trying to solve the mysterious murder and succed to know that the murderer targetting seven strongest robot that lead war before. It is explained later on that to become strongest robot is not because their power only, but because they had ‘emotion’ like human.
Gesicht found that the murderer is Pluto, great robot with only ‘hatred emotion’ intentionally by his creator, Professor Abullah. Pluto somehow interesting because it is robot with human complexity. Why? Because Abullah made Sahad, his own son, becoming Pluto A.I. so Pluto had ‘emotion’ which manipullated to had only ‘hatred’ emotion.
Almost all strongest robot destroyed by Pluto. Gesicht also died in the middle of his investigation, left Atom with his memory chip to continue fight Pluto. Same as other strongest robot, Atom too had emotion so when he strive Pluto, both of them fight with their own anger and hatred. Fortunately, Atom learn from Gesicht that hatred won’t solve anything so he reconciliate with Pluto, which amazingly agree because Pluto consciousness come from Sahad who basically human who hates war and violence. They later on found that the death of strongest robot happen because Rooselvelt want activated Bora, the great robot with nuclear weapon, to eliminate most of human so the remaining population will become Rooselvet slave later on. In final fight, Atom and Pluto come challenge Bora and suceed destroy Bora with Pluto sacrifice himself. Roosevelt also destroyed by Brau 1589, the afield robot who kill human before.
The main theme in Astro Boy oftentimes about harmonizing relationship between robot and human, so the conflict usually comes from neither robot who hates human or human who hated robot radically. In Pluto however, the themes takes more deeper to ‘emotion’, what made us humans. The strongest robot in this story had emotion like human, even they had to adopt human children, married with robot, took care old man, feel anger or sad when someone they loved hurt, and other things human do to strengthen their emotion. Gesicht, ironically, dead by his own son (robot) who programmed to shot him by Roosevelt. It is interesting themes that being strongest in this universe means had same feeling and vulnerable like human being. I personally feel that what Urasawa wants to tell in this story is ‘Hatred changes Nothing’ and ‘being human made you stronger than others but will make you insane if you dive to hatred and anger’.