Is Pluto connected to the Astro Boy universe? Explained
With the recent hype surrounding the upcoming Pluto anime series from Netflix, fans are excitedly looking into how the story connects to author and illustrator Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy manga. While trailers featuring the eponymous protagonist of Tezuka's original manga series made it clear that there is a connection, many prospective fans are unsure of the exact relationship.
Thankfully, there is a simple answer to how author and illustrator Naoki Urasawa's Pluto manga series relates to the legendary Astroy Boy universe created by Tezuka.
Prospective fans of the Pluto anime will also be delighted to hear that even after watching the adaptation of Urasawa's manga, there is merit in visiting Tezuka's Astro Boy. This stems from some key stylistic differences between the events of the two series, points of view, characters focused on, and more.
Urasawa's Pluto anime serves as a retelling of one of the most famous storylines from the Astro Boy universe
How the two are connected, explained
As mentioned above, the Pluto anime and its source material do share a connection to Tezuka's Astro Boy universe. In essence, Urasawa's series serves as a retelling of one of the most famous story arcs from Tezuka's title, that being The Greatest Robot on Earth story arc. However, Urasawa's version goes well beyond simply retelling the events, also adding new canon to the universe by how it focuses on the story.
While the original arc in Tezuka's story is from the point of view of the titular character, Urasawa instead chooses to focus on Gesicht, a German robot detective from Europol. Gesicht appears in the original story arc, but is not specified to be associated with any investigative agency, and also appears to be more machine than man. Urasawa adds to and edits the canon by having him be from Europol and making him humanoid.
Pluto also takes a much more gritty approach to the storyline, which reveals that a robot is going on a murder spree around the world, targeting the so-called "greatest robots." This is where the original story arc gets its name from, as it sees the titular character of Urasawa's reimagining targeting Astro Boy and the other "greatest robots" in the world.
With Gesicht as the focus, Urasawa chooses to put a noir spin on the storyline, delving into the psyche of both the human and robotic characters present and involved in the arc's events. This is especially true for Gesicht, who serves as the main character during his investigation into the robotic murder spree. This also provides a unique commentary on free will and morality, as the murders are remarkable due to robots supposedly being unable to hurt other robots.
While Urasawa does take some liberties in his Pluto rendition of the original story arc, the integrity and sanctity of the original series are still clearly present within. This stems from Urasawa collaborating with the late Tezuka's production team, which in turn ensured that the events aligned with the original Astro Boy universe. This is also why Urasawa's rendition is considered canon to the larger franchise.
Arguably the most exciting aspect of experiencing Urasawa's take on the original is that there is still merit in experiencing the original story arc. Due to the difference in tone and focus, it makes for two stories that reach similar conclusions, but take very different journeys to that point. In some ways, this is the greatest strength of the relationship between the two series.