Pluto review: Compelling meditation on humanity and AI

Pluto follows a Europol robot investigator Gesicht, who is trying to solve a string of grisly murders of humans and the world’s seven most advanced robots, including himself. The series is currently streaming on Netflix.


Europol robot detective Gesicht is working on the murder case of a prominent figure who was key to International Robot rights being codified when he finds a link that connects his murder to that of a recent one of Mont-Blanc.

He was one of the seven most advanced AI robots in the whole world, like Gesicht, who quickly figured that the killer couldn’t be a man, but an AI robot.

He later approaches Atom, a child AI robot that’s the most advanced of them all, to help solve the murders. One by one, the seven robots start getting destroyed and Gesicht and others get desperate.

He ultimately gets to the truth and the killer, as he also finds out the missing days and precious relationships that were wiped from his brain by his superiors. The last remaining robots die, including Gesicht.

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The creator of Atom revives him in the same way he once created the most advanced AI, which would later go on to create Pluto, the very robot killer who’s killed all other advanced robots, as well as Bora, a giant robot who’s about to destroy the whole world.

Atom overcomes his hatred with the help of memories from all his peers and manages to help Pluto overcome his hatred as well, as the two contend with Bora. Pluto sacrifices himself to save the world, as the series comes to a bittersweet end.


The voices are really well-cast. Both Japanese and English voice actors have done a great job.

Pluto deals with an array of heavy emotions and heavy themes, all of which require heart-rending performances, and that is what the viewers get with the undeniable talent present in the cast.


The seriousness with which the show contemplates what it means to be human is really commendable and compelling.

Other media comes to mind when assessing the anime’s focus on Artificial Intelligence, and using it to further ponder what makes humans, human.

These include the obvious pick — Blade Runner — and the anime matches the said IP in terms of the aesthetics and the characters as well.

The AI robots cry, weep, love, empathize, dote, and even kind of get tired and have dreams in this story. All these themes are explored with a meditative fervor not common in many other contemporary anime.

The anti-war sentiments are not as properly fleshed out or articulated as one would have liked them to be. However, the fact they are there is commendable on its own.

This is especially true because these sentiments are used to comment on the real-life global politics of war and carnage, with obvious allusions made to the USA, which is represented in Pluto by the fictional country of the United States of Thracia.


While the parts about AI and pondering sentience/humanity are great and thought-provoking, the political commentary in Pluto is less-than-satisfying.

The president of the United States of Thracia is malicious sure, but in the end, he’s reduced to an authority-only-in-name. Meanwhile, the real sinister overlord pulling the socio-political strings from the shadows is yet another AI.

This dilutes the real-world evils of politics, capitalism, and imperialism that already exist and operate without the aid of some super advanced Artificial intelligence.

If the destruction of the Persian Kingdom, which is a representation of the Iraq invasion by the USA, were to be carried out solely by human agents sitting at the top of the Thracia’s government, it would have made the commentary much more potent.


Pluto is a laudable story that’s not only crafted and adapted really well but also one that surpasses the source material. There is a poignancy and even profundity in the themes it contemplates. The characters are all so worth rooting for and pain is nothing but abundant.

Through that ever-pervasive melancholy, though, there are these sunrays full of hope, for both the AI and humanity, which serves as a big plot point near the end, while also giving the viewers some respite from the dread and bleakness of it all.

The points it discusses about hatred and the negative emotions being what makes a human are all great, but it also takes away from the parts it should have fleshed more, like the political commentary and discussing the root causes behind the war, which serves as the main source of conflict in the anime.

Pluto review: Compelling meditation on humanity and AI 1

Director: Toshio Kawaguchi

Date Created: 2023-10-26 12:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Pluto summary and ending explained