Urasawa Naoki's graphic novel Pluto (2003-2009), set in a virtual post-human world in which human and robots neighbor each other, raises questions about humanity, both ontological and epistemological. Pluto is based on and adapted from legendary Japanese cartoonist Osamu Tezuka's manga Astro Boy series. In Pluto, 5 out of 7 'greatest robots on earth' are killed consecutively by 'Pluto' a mysterious robot villain. Gesicht, android robot detective and protagonist, tracks the murder case. The story attempts a critical reflection on the human and humanity through the life of artificial intelligence robots. Pluto tells about the end of humanity through the story in which the greatest robots on planet are being destroyed. A comforting point is that Pluto never gives up hope for humanity. Just as God leaves Noah and re-flourishes mankind in the face of peril, Pluto presents optimistic expectation on human existence and future through the existence of android robot detective Gesicht. Gesicht and Atom, the last two remaining greatest robots, are eventually killed by Pluto. After the death of Gesicht, his memory chip is used to awaken Atom, and the last moment of Gesicht right before the destruction is implanted into the memories of Atom. It was his words of "Nothings comes from hatred" and the human emotion of love and forgiveness. The existence of Gesicht tells that artificial intelligence has already evolved into a new humanity who is superior to human beings physically and ethically, and consequently post-human age has begun.
Jungman Park, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea
This paper is part of the ACAH2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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