Pluto (Astro Boy)
|Astro Boy character|
Pluto as drawn by Tezuka in Astro Boy.
|First appearance||Astro Boy|
|Last appearance||Astro Boy (2003)|
|Created by||Osamu Tezuka|
|Voiced by||David Rasner, Akio Ohtsuka (2003)|
Pluto (プルートウ Purūtō), known as Bruton in the English dubbed 1980 Astro Boy television series, is a fictional character created by Osamu Tezuka. He was introduced in The Greatest Robot in the World (地上最大のロボット Chijō Saidai no Robotto) story arc of the Astro Boy manga. He then appeared in numerous other media, such as the 1980s anime series and the 2003 series remake. He also appeared in an eponymous manga by Naoki Urasawa. The robot is presumably named after Pluto, the god of the underworld.
With his giant horns, Pluto was created to be the world's most powerful robot. His master, a fallen and corrupt sultan named Chochi Chochi Ababa the Third, orders him to fight and destroy Earth's mightiest robots. This is so that he might become "king of the robot world".
Pluto does not show any joy or sadness (or really any emotion) when destroying his enemies, claiming to be only obeying his master. Because of this, he refuses to take part in any sort of activity that doesn't have anything to do with fighting, nor does he care about anything else, claiming to be a "fighting robot". However, he is shown to never shy away from a fight, even after knowing that defeat is inevitable (such as when he promises Astro to not forget him, after going on bravely to fight Bora). He is also shown to be loyal to his master.
A Sultan wants to be the ruler of the robot world, so he hires a scientist to build a robot. It must have 1 million horsepower, plus various powers in order for it to become the "Strongest Robot in the World". Named Pluto, his first target is a Swiss mountain robot with 135,000 horsepower named Mont-Blanc, which was an easy victim, as Pluto was a complete stranger to him and he did not suspect the attack.
With Mont-Blanc finished, Pluto then goes on to fight Astro, who was not at home (plus Professor Ochanomizu insisted on Astro not fighting, much to the annoyance of Uran). As Astro himself does not engage in battle, Uran pretends to be Astro in order to fight Pluto however is no match for Pluto's horsepower and strength. Overcome, Pluto holds Uran captive as a way of forcing Astro to fight. Enraged, Astro follows in hot pursuit.
Meanwhile, Pluto then goes to fight Molnar, a fearsome beetle-like butler robot, which is no match for Pluto's strength, being defeated almost instantly. Seeking Astro, he and Astro again meet (which so happens to be in Turkey) which by chance is the residence of the next robot, Brando. Pluto releases Uran to Astro, not wanting her to come to harm, and confronts Brando in battle. Sharing similar strengths and weaknesses, Pluto just defeats Brando - and only just - and he also was a consequence was heavily damaged, and shall die if his masters do not come instantly. In order for them to come, a button on his chest has to be pushed which sends a distress signal. However, as there is no-one else nearby and he himself is unable to move his arms, the only way for the button to be pushed is if Astro pushes it.
Pluto begs Astro to push the button, and after much thought and consideration, Astro agrees. Pluto expresses his gratitude to Astro, seeing in him a noble quality. His masters come and collects Pluto and plants a suicide bomb in his chest; should someone defeat him, that someone would also be destroyed. Pluto then faces his next target, a German robot detective named Gerhardt, made out of a unique material named "Zeronium", which takes the form of a protective metal alloy. Gerhardt's machine guns prove ineffective against Pluto's shield, and he is also destroyed when Pluto tears his body apart.
Astro, who was informed of the battle beforehand and sees the result of Gerhardt on the news, realises that Pluto must be stopped as no robot is a match for Pluto, however realises that Pluto is simply too powerful for even him: so he thinks up a solution: ask Ochanomizu to increase his horsepower instantly. Flying over to the ministry of science, Astro finds Ochanomizu "already busy", since he has tracked down Pluto's hideout by monitoring his movements, and flies over by plane to the hideout. Unable to convince the Sultan, he is held captive and the only way where he allows him to go is when Astro fights Pluto. Ochanomizu reluctantly agrees, and Astro and Pluto meet in the desert, unluckily right in the middle of an oil field. If the oil explodes, the impact would be massive: he refuses to fight, and as a result Pluto holds Astro in his hands and prepares to tear him apart, but then spares his life as he remembers that Astro saved him once.
Reminding Astro he would only do it once, Pluto takes off and fights Hercules, a Greek gladiator robot with a high sense of nobleness and bravery. He soon becomes another victim of Pluto.
Meanwhile, at Astro's place of residence, he receives a phone call from the southern continent. The caller is Epsilon, which except for Astro the sole remaining member of the strongest robots in the world. Epsilon is a robot with a gentle personality that takes care of kindergarten children. As he is a solar powered robot, Pluto promptly chooses their day of the battle on a stormy day, therefore Epsilon would not be at his full strength. Epsilon also is destroyed after risking his life to save a lost infant.
Astro arrives late, and the duo prepares to fight to the finish; the scientist however refuses, claiming the battle would take place on the Mountain of Tears, a volcano. While the battle rages on, the volcano explodes. Astro quickly tries to stop an impending explosion, but fails: two robots are needed to effectively cover up the volcano itself. Pluto, after watching for a while, eventually helps Astro, implying that he has learnt to value of human life. The threat is stopped, however, the scientist reveals his secret invention: a superobot named Bora, with 2 million horsepower. Pluto, realises that defeat is unavoidable, asks Uran not to forget him and then sacrifices himself. Bora and Pluto are then involved in an explosion, while Pluto is destroyed Bora emerges unharmed. Astro fights Bora by flying into Bora's body and tearing him apart him the inside, additionally causing Bora to smash his own body in a desperate attempt to smash Astro. Afterwards, it is revealed that the scientist isn't human (much to the surprise of the Sultan) but his former robot servant, which built Pluto and Bora to show that horsepower isn't the only way to win a battle.
Throughout his appearance in the 1980 series, Pluto confronts the following robots:
- Mont-Blanc is a Swiss mountain robot with 135,000 horsepower (100 MW).
- North #2 (Molnar in the English dub) is a Scottish butler robot with six mechanical armed arms.
- Brando (Brondo in the English dub) is a Turkish robot wrestler. He and Mont Blanc are close friends.
- Gerhardt (Zeron in the English dub) is a German robot inspector covered with a protective gold-like alloy called Zeronium. In Naoki Urasawa's version, his name is Gesicht, which is German for face.
- Hercules is a Greek robot with high sense of honor and bravery. In Naoki Urasawa's version his name is Heracles.
- Epsilon (Photar in the English dub) is an Australian light-powered gentle and sensitive robot who looks after local children and is a pacifist.
- Astro Boy is a Japanese boy robot with 100,000 horsepower (75 MW). Although he asks Professor Ochanomizu to increase his horsepower, he refuses, saying that mere strength isn't enough to win a battle. He eventually befriends Pluto (or, as a matter of fact, Pluto befriends him).
- Bora is a mysterious and extremely strong robot with 2,000,000 horsepower (1500 MW) and can launch a destructive katabatic wind simply by screaming his own name. He is the robot who finally defeats Pluto.
Relationships with other Characters
- Uran. In both the 1980s and 2003 series, Pluto is shown to have a "soft spot" for Uran, Astro's robot sister. The reason to this relationship is unknown, however it might have been partly inspired by their first encounter, when Uran dressed up as Astro in order to fight Pluto, however is then shown to be no match for Pluto's horsepower and strength. When Pluto left to face Bora, he asked Astro a message to relay to Uran: telling her to "never forget him".
In the 2003 series, Pluto is shown to be the primary antagonist in the episodes The Rise of Pluto and The Fall of Acheron. Built by Shadow (a robot which is in turn built by Dr. Tenma) in order to help Astro evolve, he is shown to be often careless and heartless, with the sole thought of defeating his enemies and fulfilling his purpose (similar in a way to the 1980s series), and because of this does not display any sorrow or emotion to those who he has defeated.
Pluto's method of attacking is a set of homing missiles located in his chest (unlike the horns he used in the 1980s series) as well as some other tactics (depending on the robot he is facing). Every time during battle he is nearly destroyed, however always foils his opponent's method after discovering a "weakness" or a potential flaw that he could use to his advantage. He is also given the ability to analyse and detect these flaws.
Eventually, he develops emotions and a sense of kindness, shown when he sacrificed himself in order to stop Acheron, a robot duplicate of himself, from harming Astro and Zoran (whom he shares a relationship with). He was later rebuilt during the robot war near the end of the series, where he was one of Astro's allies.
The Pluto episodes are actually a 2003 remake of The Greatest Robot in the World story arc, and Pluto is actually the 2003 version of the character Bruton in the 1980s series. Because of this, the characters Pluto fight are also remakes (e.g. Epsilon is actually Photar), although the final character that defeats him is different (he was defeated by Acheron in the 2003 series, Bora in the 1980s). His purpose also differs dramatically from the two series.
Many of the robots that Pluto faced in the 1980 series reappeared in the 2003 remake (the majority having a completely altered appearance), along with some new ones.
- Harley is a robot that plays "rocket ball". He was the team captain and the best player on his team, however failed to score when Pluto was defending. Pluto then destroyed him.
- Delta is a police robot that serves as the head of the "anti-robot robot squad". He was eventually defeated by Pluto also.
- Hercules is a gladiator robot that fights in a colosseum-like building. He was the reigning champion until Pluto defeated him in a match showdown.
- Epsilon is a female robot that monitors Metro City's weather. She was defeated by Pluto after her love for marine creatures proves to be her weakness.
- Astro Boy.
Also, many of the robots (Mont-Blanc, North #2, Brando) reappeared, not as a robot Pluto chooses to fight but as minions of Grudon.
Relationships with other Characters
- Uran. In the 2003 series, Pluto has learned that Atom was forbidden by Dr. Ochanomizu from facing him in a head-on. With this, Pluto tried to request Uran to allow him to talk with her brother for him.
Despite her initial denial, Pluto showed a gentle side never seem before which he retrieved her lost flower colar. Later, Ham Egg (Grudon in the dub) attacked with his robots in order to promote himself, so Pluto destroyed all of his robot units and as well his airships. However, a debris from one of them was about to crush Uran and Pluto saved her. Despite this, Atom arrived believing Pluto to be threatening Uran. However, North#2 was still active and attempted to shoot, seeing this, Pluto launched an attack to destroy North#2 for good and Atom misunderstood his attempt to save Uran as an attack. After that, Pluto didn't make an attempt to explain himself and engaged in battle with Atom, to the point that both were about to unleasf their powers in a violent blast. With this, Uran jumped amidst the two blasts and got damaged. Atom quickly ran to her, forgetting Pluto could attack anytime. However, Pluto stopped his attack and fled the scene remembering that he owed Atom one for repairing him back then. Uran believes Pluto to be kind, though he may still keep following his creator's orders.
Urasawa's Pluto is significantly darker as he is seemingly capable of murdering humans and robots, and is extremely powerful, possessing some control over the weather by generating fierce tornadoes. He goes on to kill the entire "Bora Investigation Squad", always leaving behind a corpse with horn-like protrusions next to it.
Despite this, "Pluto" is actually Sahad, a peaceful, quaint, robot with a strong affinity towards nature and who wished to fill his desolated country of Persia full of flowers. He was created by the Persian Minister of Science, Dr. Abullah. Devastated by the 39th Middle-East War, with his country left in shambles and his family dead, Abullah came to harbor an intense hatred and vowed revenge. He died during the war as a result of a bombing, but before dying, he left the genius Japanese scientist, Dr. Tenma (creator of Atom, the story's version of Astro Boy), with a chip containing part of his brain, and full of Abullah's hatred towards the world. Tenma used the chip to awaken the perfect AI he and Abullah had been working on (due to being programmed with 6 billion personalities, the robot would take an infinite amount of time to simulate all the possibilities and would never awaken; Tenma had theorized that this could be overcome by programming intense, polarizing emotions into it, such as hatred, rage, and despair). The robot awoke, and despite believing itself to be Abullah, it also created a second personality, "Goji".
"Abullah" proceeded to create Pluto, and inserted Sahad's AI into the robot. Goji went on to create "Bora", another, much bigger robot, which was left underground; his plan was to insert his AI into Bora, and tunnel underground, causing a massive eruption that would destroy the planet.
Atom, who had been left in a similar state to that of Tenma's perfect AI due to an attack by Pluto, is reawakened by Tenma, who inserts a chip containing Gesicht (the main character)'s hatred and a recording of his moment of death (as he was defeated and then destroyed by Pluto). Initially he behaves oddly, but after some time, seemingly reverts to his former self. After learning the whole truth of Gesicht's case, he heads to the source of the cataclysm in hopes of stopping it. He comes face to face with Pluto, who attacks him. At first, Atom is overcome by Gesicht's hatred and attempts to destroy Pluto, citing all the robots he'd killed did not want or deserve death, and rips off Pluto's horns and one of his arms in the process. However, he then hears Gesicht's last words in his mind: "Nothing comes from hatred". Suddenly full of understanding, Atom and Pluto cease their attack on another and proceed to lie down for a few moments. Soon afterwards, Atom goes to disarm Bora, with Pluto (whom Astro has begun referring to as Sahad) at his side. Bora attempts to dissuade Sahad, who rejects him, stating that his father has long been dead, and the AI controlling Bora is nothing more than a fake. He ends up sacrificing himself, saving Atom and the world from the disaster in the process.
- Pluto is the final boss of Tetsuwan Atom (Super Famicom game) which is a game based in the 1960 series, though with designs from the 1980 version.
- Pluto appears as a boss in the Omega Factor videogame for the Game Boy Advance. It is a game based on the 2003 Astro Boy television series.
- Pluto is a boss of Astro Boy (2004 video game) which is based in the 2003 series, although he had a rather pitful death after being defeated by Atom instead of having a heroic death by saving him from Dark Pluto like the 2003 anime. His relationship with Uran was omitted in this game.
- According to game makers, Pluto will be featured in the iPhone game Astro Boy: Tap Tap Rush
- Astro Boy, episode 23. The Greatest Robot in the World pt1. 1982.
- Astro Boy, episode 24. The Greatest Robot in the World pt2. 1982.
- Astro Boy (2003), episode 13. The Rise of Pluto. 2003.
- Astro Boy (2003), episode 14. The Fall of Acheron. 2003.
- "Tap Tap Rush - New Astro Boy Game for iPhone!". AstroBoy World. Retrieved 4 October 2011.