A new Netflix anime stands out as the best manga reboot in a long time

A new Netflix anime stands out as the best manga reboot in a long time


Netflix’s Pluto is a reboot of the popular manga series by Naoki Urasawa, and it’s proven itself to be an adaptation that rivals the quality of the original work. Based on Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy story arc, Naoki Urasawa expanded the scope of the original story and added a mystery element, making it more interesting and appealing. The anime adaptation of Pluto fleshes out the story with stunning art, a powerful soundtrack, and thought-provoking dialogues about human-robot relationships.

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One of the main source materials for anime is manga, which is the case of Netflix’s new series Pluto. However, the Pluto adaptation is a bit different from the other anime, as it is a reboot of the popular manga series of the same title, which is a reboot of the original Astro Boy manga chapter. Relatively speaking, Netflix’s Pluto is the best version of the three.

Pluto was written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa. It is a retelling of Osamu Tezuka’s story “The Greatest Robot on Earth” which appears in Astro Boy Volume 3 Chapter 7 and was originally published in March 1964. That story follows Astro Boy as he sets out to defeat Pluto. A super robot who systematically challenges and kills the seven greatest robots in the world.

The main Pluto from the son of Astro in 1964.

The story is an Astro Boy story of good versus evil that includes a healthy serving of Tezuka’s influential perspective on the real world. Tezuka’s long-held hope that violence and hatred could be overcome if the peoples of the world could communicate more effectively with each other was encapsulated in his anti-war message.

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Pluto: Robot Destroyer or Human Killer?

Pluto by Naoki Urasawa (2003-2009)

Pluto in Urasawa manga

Keeping with the background and context of the original Astro Boy chapter, Urasawa reimagines the story. It does this by expanding the main third-person perspective of the original to include various characters, notably the super robot and Europol detective Gesicht. In the original, Gesich tries to capture Pluto before it shatters into pieces. In Pluto, Gesich’s vision is made more interesting by another adaptation of Urasawa’s—making the story a mystery and tying the murders of humans to the deaths of giant robots. At his core, Pluto made no secret of who he was and what he was trying to do. In fact, he was completely open about the plan. However, he did not harm people in his efforts.

Netflix’s version of Pluto takes Urasawa’s masterpiece and turns it into an animated masterpiece. While the changes are less drastic than what Urasawa did to Tezuka’s original, they refine the unique aspects of the story that elevate it to the next level. First there is art. While neither Astro Boy nor Pluto are particularly known for their art, it is Netflix anime, and they spared no expense in crafting an incredibly brilliant story.

The soundtrack and energy behind the animation create tension in a touching way that can’t really be seen in the manga. Most important, however, is how the anime adaptation chooses to focus on the story. Robots cohabiting with humans dive deep into “joy and sadness.” “Do robots have to live among us, and how much integration does a robot need to be in order to be accepted by society?” It asks questions like: As a result, in addition to sci-fi action and exciting mystery, there are also fascinating conversations that are relevant in real life.

Pluto asks hard questions about humanity’s trust in technology

Pluto (2023)

Based on the Netflix anime adaptation of Pluto.

In the prologue of the original Astro Son chapter, Tezuka talks about how he wrote the story during the height of the popularity of the Astro Son television series. As such, it was one of the highest rated chapters of the manga due to the battles between robots. Urasawa’s adaptations made a good story even better. Tezuka appreciates Urasawa’s efforts and helps him develop a deeper understanding of Astro Boy. Still, it’s not hard to imagine that Tezuka might consider Netflix’s Pluto as close to what he wanted to say in his story. Good fights and mysteries aside, the real story of Pluto is about people and their machines.

Watch it on Netflix