PLUTO 001

This is the first volume of Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto comic. First published September 2003, by Shogakukan.

In an ideal world where man and robots coexist, someone or something has destroyed the powerful Swiss robot Mont Blanc. Elsewhere a key figure in a robot rights group is murdered. The two incidents appear to be unrelated…except for one very conspicuous clue - the bodies of both victims have been fashioned into some sort of bizarre collage complete with makeshift horns placed by the victims’ heads. Interpol assigns robot detective Gesicht to this most strange and complex case - and he eventually discovers that he too, as one of the seven great robots of the world, is one of the targets.

ACT 1: MONT BLANC

A robot from the Swiss Forestry Service, named Mont Blanc, had been mysteriously destroyed at the site of a wildfire in the mountains. Gesicht gets an important phone call regarding a similar case. But before heading out, he offers his wife Helena the chance to go on vacation together, as she had earlier suggested for him to take a break. Somewhere in Düsseldorf is a crime scene within a building which Gesicht visits. A 42-year-old human man, named Bernard Lanke, had been killed. He was a key member of the movement to preserve robot laws. Inspector Wallace isn’t happy about Gesicht’s presence at the crime scene, but relaxes a bit after finding out Gesicht is from Europol. At the crime scene were makeshift horns by the victim’s head.

Elsewhere, a patrolman and his robot partner, Robby, were attacked and Inspector Wallace arrives to the scene. The police and Gesicht then set out to look for the suspect whom injured the two. Gesicht quickly finds the suspect, a man hooked on an illegal drug, he had smashed Robby to avoid getting caught. The suspect at first resists Gesicht, but Gesicht manages to arrest him. Gesicht then later visits Robby’s wife to deliver the bad news.

Back at the German division of Europol, Gesicht and other members of Europol investigate about the murder scenes with the horns. Bernard Lanke and Mont Blanc had the same makeshift horns by their heads. Gesicht hypothesizes that the murderer is the same for both cases and a robot, regardless of the law that robots cannot kill human beings.

ACT 2: GESICHT

Builders are working on a site for Mont Blanc’s memorial service. These builders are all volunteers whom loved Mont Blanc dearly. Professor Reinhardt, whom saw Mont Blanc as a son, begged Gesicht to find the murderer.

At the Euro Federation, Gesicht receives a maintenance check from Professor Hoffman, whom tells Gesicht that he seems tired. After some talk about Gesicht’s work, the planned trip with his wife, and about the dreams he’s been having, Gesicht makes his way out.

Gesicht then discovers Robby being thrown away after the crime lab didn’t need his body anymore. He decides to take Robby’s memory chip and delivers it to Robby’s wife. She asks to have it inserted into her and they then discover Robby was distracted by a figure flying in the air in the distance, close to where Bernard Lanke was murdered. The figure appeared to be human.

ACT 3: BRAU 1589

Gesicht had chosen Professor Hoffman’s suggestion to go to Japan for his vacation with Helena and booked a trip.

Later, Gesicht visits an imprisoned robot, named Brau 1589. This robot had killed a human 8 years ago, so Gesicht asks him what such a robot’s motive would be. No one could find why Brau 1589 had killed a human being, he had no defects whatsoever. Gesicht then shows Brau 1589 photos of the 2 murder scenes and asks him about the horns. Brau 1589 mentioned mythologies related to horns, eventually leading up to the mention of Roman death god Pluto. With that, Gesicht left. But not before Brau 1589 mentions that 6 more murders are to come, including Gesicht himself.

ACT 4: NORTH NO. 2 (PART 1)

In Scotland lives a blind, retired music composer, named Paul Duncan, and his new butler had just arrived. This butler is a robot named North No. 2, whom used to be in the military. The musician doesn’t care much for robots so often spoke to him with a bitter tone. But not only did he dislike robots, he disliked anything he saw as fake, such as replicated music sound or artificial body parts.

After angering Paul by trying to help him finish one of his compositions that were incomplete, North No. 2 is fired. Even so, North No. 2 keeps playing the piano, insisting he wants to learn to play it, never wanting to go back to war again.

ACT 5: NORTH NO. 2 (PART 2)

In the morning, North No. 2 still had not left, giving Paul Duncan breakfast. Next he then attempted to play the piano once again, disobeying Paul’s repetitive orders to stop touching his piano. North No. 2 was still trying to become a better piano player, also still wanting to help the musician hear the missing piece of his composition which he repetitively hums in his sleep. Paul becomes so angry that he destroys the high-tech music equipment in the room.

Next, Paul decides to reveal to North the details about his own dreams at night. The dreams were about the events from his unhappy past and that his only comfort was his musical talent. He had a dangerous illness that was eventually cured by an unlicensed doctor, but as the doctor had warned, he began to go blind. Paul says that during that time his mother had abandoned him for a rich man. Paul then admits that his mansion once belonged to that same rich man from then.

Later while Paul was outside, North once more played the piano, remembering the many robot killings from his past. At night, Paul comes across North No. 2 while he was recharging, discovering that North himself also has nightmares related to his own past. In the morning, North departed just as Paul had ordered.

ACT 6: NORTH NO. 2 (PART 3)

Without North No. 2 around, Paul Duncan is left waiting for his new butler to arrive. He plays his piano as he often does, but eventually gets frustrated enough to attack it with an axe. But he is interrupted before doing so by North’s surprising return. He had visited Paul’s birth place that he was told about, Bohemia. North had discovered where the melody Paul hums in his sleep had come from, but when he offers to play it, Paul becomes angry for North involving himself in his nightmares.

North reveals that the melody from Paul’s humming was actually often sung by his mother. He then further explains that Paul’s mother never abandoned her sickly child, but couldn’t explain her actions when sensing Paul’s anger. Moved to tears from the song and this new information, Paul offers North to play the piano together with him. After that they spent time more pleasantly together.

However eventually a tornado like the one that had killed Mont Blanc suddenly appears one day. North runs off a safe distance from Paul’s mansion, where North is then killed.

ACT 7: BRANDO

In Istanbul, Gesicht and robot-fighter champion Brando meet up to have a meal with Brando’s family. During that time, Gesicht informs Brando about the death of North No. 2 and that Brando is another target of the killer.

Later on while in Tokyo, Gesicht meets Atom, immediately recognizing him.