Nope. Pluto is not about Mickey Mouseís dog. What is Pluto? Or who is Pluto? Pluto is the Roman name for the god of the underworld. Could it be that he is real and that he returned? No. More likely it is something much worse.

So in an alternate Earth and in a future time, artificial intelligence (AI) has advanced to the point that robots imbedded with the data can become almost human-like. One such robot is the loving, peaceful, heroic Mont Blanc. But we really donít get to know him as he is murdered at the very start of the series. Someone is targeting the seven super robots, as well as advocates of robot rights. One of those robots, Gesicht, is a detective for Europol, and he is assigned to the case.

The initial investigation seems to hint to this mysterious Pluto. But the conspiracy goes deeper than that. There are many players, and much remains hidden even at the end. There are secrets even those who should hold them donít know. Even Gesicht has gaps in his memory.

All characters have their own well developed personalities, which makes Pluto fascinating to watch. The storyline includes flashbacks, which have to be watched carefully as they reveal the secrets which play into the later episodes.

The series consists of eight episodes, each about an hour, more or less, in length. The series is written by Naoki Urasawa, based on his manga. Urasawa is also known for his work on Monster. The inspiration is from the late Osamo Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy. Although be forewarned Pluto is not for kids.

Making his debut as a director is Toshio Kawaguch. Pluto is more than impressive for a first time director. Kawaguch was formerly an animator who worked on several Studio Ghibli films, which you can probably guess from much of the artwork and character design.

Pluto has many twists and unexpected turns, several of which are tragic. After the mystery is solved, we get a doomsday climax which includes the final twist Ė and a very satisfying ending. I give Pluto a strong thumbs up.