What happens when Osamu Tezuka’s legendary Astro Boy grows up? Well, he can’t, of course. But when his story takes a more adult turn, we get PLUTO — a reimagining by the creator of Yawara.
In honor of Tezuka’s 90th birthday, the world will get to see this darker spin on the classic manga.
Everything is Go!
Manga writer and artist Naoki Urasawa fought long and hard to do his own take on Tetsuwan Atom, the source material on Astro Boy. Eventually, he settled on reworking the arc known as “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” about a horned robot order to fight and kill other robots. But when the time came to begin research for his work, Urasawa discovered that many of his favorite story elements were missing — and he’d actually rewritten the story in his head!
This misremembering became PLUTO, a “murder mystery” spin on the series. Pluto is still the antagonist, but the “fighting robot” of Tezuka’s original manga arc has more depth to him. And while Tezuka was never particularly easy reading, PLUTO is a dark turn for the story.
Live and in Person
PLUTO was adapted for stage in 2015 by Tokyo’s Theater Cocoon. In honor of the 90th anniversary of Osamu Tezuka’s birth, it’s coming back! Half the lead cast (including Mirai Moriyama as Atom) remains the same.
Not only is it returning, it’s traveling the world. The show premieres in Tokyo this January. After that it will move on to London, the Netherlands and Belgium. Finally, it will return home for one more show in Osaka.
Curious about this new take on Astro Boy but can’t make it to a show? You’re still in luck! An anime adaptation was announced to be in production this past June. So before too long, you’ll be able to experience the story for yourself.
What do you think on this alternate version of an anime classic? Tell us in the comments!