Charles's Reviews > PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 007

PLUTO by Naoki Urasawa
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Sep 28, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: manga-graphic-novels, science-fiction, stat_3, reviewed

Stuff I Read - Pluto Vol. 7 Review

It's been a little while since I've read the previous volume of this series, but it all came rushing back as I started. This is definitely Epsilon's story, now that he's basically the last of the strongest robots left alive. And Epsilon is definitely one of the most compelling characters, namely because he's the one who wasn't involved in the war. He was a pacifist and actually stayed out of things. And he's incredibly powerful, definitely more powerful than the previous robots by quite a margin. And he's sort of a Superman, being solar powered. It's rather amazing how well this series captures emotion and tragedy and guilt and the consequences of war. Things are really coming to a head, with the villains more or less revealed and the stakes raised even higher.

The mystery that has been building through the story isn't exactly answered, but it's definitely getting closer. The state of things during the war is clearer, though, as Epsilon remembers his own time cleaning up, finding mass graves of robots. Atom's "father" is also present there, and seems to be equally responsible for creating the robot that becomes Pluto. Like Atom, Pluto began as a sort of Gestalt of everyone, like every voice on Earth. Without an emotional bias to sway the verdict, without a way of actually choosing who to be, the robot is locked in stasis, just as Atom is after his battle with Pluto. It's an interesting idea, probably the most interesting idea in the series, that robots need emotions, which are seen as inherently non-robotic. But as everything has shown, the greatest robots do know hate, do know love. They are people, and they deserve to be treated as people.

Meanwhile, Epsilon's journey and battle is one that he should, by most measures, win through. He seems to be the one in control during the fights, but the fact remains that he doesn't want to fight. He doesn't want to fight and he doesn't want to kill. His battle with Pluto is where Pluto is finally revealed. Or at least that's how it seems. This wouldn't really be a Pluto volume without opening up even more questions, even more mysteries. Most of the major players might be dead, but that doesn't mean that everything is as it seems. Just when Epsilon seems poised to figure it all out, he (and the reader) are blindsided by something completely new.

The series continues to do a great job of being damned sad. I mean, it rather makes sense, given the series is basically about a series of robots with PTSD being killed. But it does get across the horrors of what happened and how, in war, innocence if a very subjective term. Certainly the revenge visited on the "strongest" robots is presented as tragic. That here the robots were trying to get on with their lives, that they were trying to atone. And yet at the same time none of them are really innocent, and the past haunting them is hurt and hungry. Epsilon, at least, isn't exactly defeated. He is transformed, and that transformation is something that is sad, yes, but also beautiful. It's not as simple as good versus evil, if it ever was.

In the end, the volume is another to tug at the heartstrings even as it continues to complicate morality in war situations. Is Epsilon free of blame for having nothing to do with the war? Even those who sit out seem drawn into it, are taking a stand, because there is no way to completely disengage from atrocities, from injustice. Does it make it right what happens? This series asks some tough questions, and I'm very interested to see where it goes from here. How it ultimately answers them. For now, it remains a poignant story, and an 8.5/10 for me.
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Reading Progress

September 28, 2015 – Started Reading
September 28, 2015 – Shelved
September 28, 2015 – Shelved as: manga-graphic-novels
September 28, 2015 – Shelved as: science-fiction
September 28, 2015 – Shelved as: stat_3
September 28, 2015 –
page 200
100.0% "Been a while since I read the series, decided it was time to try and push further into it. Quick a good volume, with Epsilon taking center stage. Indeed."
September 28, 2015 – Shelved as: reviewed
September 28, 2015 – Finished Reading

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