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Dated 14 November 2023: I don't know why PLUTO is written in all caps

How are you feeling, Gesicht? Good?

I don't know very much about PLUTO despite reading some of the manga when it was new. I know that it is well regarded, and that fans have been eagerly anticipating the anime adaptation for years. But then the anime adaptation really happened, and basically no one is talking about it (at least not adjacent to the sliver of Internet that I occupy), presumably because every episode got dumped at once on the Netflix, as the Netflix is wont to do.

I don't know anything about Astro Boy either.

There are only eight episodes, but each episode is about triple-length, so it works out equivalent to a two-cours series. I've watched three of these episodes so far. The anime is good, but it's not blowing me away. I should probably have mentioned the author of the manga earlier, but yeah, the mangaka is Urasawa Naoki. I think Monster is fantastic, and I enjoyed 20th Century Boys. Everything else he's written is critically acclaimed too, but I haven't read them. Honestly, I'm surely unqualified to provide more than a passing acknowledgment that a PLUTO anime exists, and you should probably give it a try to see for yourself rather than going off of anything I might say about it. Still, maybe I'll circle back after finishing the rest of it to tell y'all how it went.

Dated 19 December 2023: I still don't know why PLUTO is written in all caps

Helena, Robita, and Geshicht
Not to spoil the moment, but can we workshop some other names?

It took me a while, but I finished PLUTO. This is not to say that it was slog to watch, bad, or uninteresting. Rather, it's a reflection of my lack of personal investment in the story and at least partially an acknowledgement that each episode is three times as long as they are for a more typical show. Now that I've finished it, my thoughts on the series haven't changed much. That nagging disconnect between my ambivalence and the very high praise I see everywhere else for PLUTO remains. What am I not getting?

But are you pointing in the correct direction?

This is not a question I'm motivated to unpack, but I am willing to volunteer that the parts I liked best involved the blind composer. That arc was, frankly, rather sappy, but I think that's why I enjoyed it. Narrowing the story to focus on two characters provided for good moments as their interactions and exchanges evolved. I did notice—and this is not a complaint—that the composer was willing to occasionally use a mechanical conveyance. The practice clashed with his loathing of machines in general. True, there's no shortage of contradictory or hypocritical behaviors among the impulses that make us human, but I don't believe I was supposed to think about that in this case.

Would it help if I knew anything about Astro Boy?

I should probably give the manga another try at some point. I don't expect it to change my opinion too much, but there are at least indications I'll probably like it more than the anime. Most of these assumptions are based on this review of the PLUTO anime by a fan of the source material. (See also this one, while you're at it.) I'm more likely to re-watch and/or re-read Monster, though, if I'm being honest.