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Monday

A Science Fiction Graphic Novel, the Astro Boy spinoff "Pluto"

Pluto is a manga series by  Naoki Urasawa, set in the Astro Boy universe, with the permission of Osamu Tezuka, the Astro Boy creator. It's not like the cheerful TV series I remember. Instead, it's a suspenseful, possibly even a psychological thriller, as the robot Gesicht tries to find out who is killing the great robots of the world, and why.

First thing to learn when reading manga: start at the back, and read right to left, but top to bottom. Fortunately, this is one of those comics that are laid out well enough that, once you've got the hang of it, the sequences are easy to follow.

Astro Boy turns up in this story as one of the world's great robots, but his name here is Atom. Apparently most people who are familiar with Astro Boy already know this. 

There are eight books in the series. I've only read seven of them because that was all the library had, Maybe another day that eighth one will be there.

Once I figured out how to read Pluto I quite enjoyed it. Some of the sequences are actually beautiful. Mixed in with these episodes is the growing question of what is going on with Gesicht, Is something missing from his memory? Is there a problem with his program?

I can't give you spoilers because I won't know the answers myself until I find the eighth book, but I do recommend this series just because some of the sections are beautiful little short stories by themselves.