PLUTO

PLUTO

TV-14

netflix

The iconic robot Astro Boy series reimagined as a soulful anti-war murder mystery

The Very Best

8.2

TV Show

Japan
Japanese
Animation, Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
2023
Hidenobu Kiuchi, Hiroki Yasumoto, Koichi Yamadera

TLDR

Quite possibly the best show I’ve seen throughout my entire time in A Good Movie to Watch.

What it's about

After a string of unusual murders, including the Great Robots in the world and advocates for equal rights for robots, Europol robot detective Gesicht is on the case, which grows more puzzling when the evidence points to a robot being behind the murders.

The take

Reimagining a children’s classic as a mature serial killer mystery, PLUTO already had high expectations for its anime adaptation. The limited series adds an additional challenge, with only hour-long episodes dedicated to each of the series’ eight volumes, which follows not only Gesicht’s own investigation, but also in-depth stories of each of the remaining Great Robots. However, the anime, now showing on Netflix, is able to meet this challenge with its deep understanding of the source material. It’s not just a straightforward police procedural, or just futuristic dream of how AI and humans can co-exist. PLUTO is a robot series that strikes at the heart of what it means to be human.

What stands out

PLUTO stands out from other AI anime with the way it portrays the robot experience. Like other AI-robot stories, the limited series presents technology advanced enough to make artificial intelligence seem quite close to humans. However, the way the robots detect and react to threats feels unique. The closest thing comparable is Spider-Man’s Spidey sense, but the way PLUTO portrays this is through rushes of electricity, cosmos, black-and-white static, corrupted pixelated images, and absence and presence of sound. It’s a great addition to the already excellent images from the original manga.

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