Thursday, November 16, 2023

Pluto and Discrimination (Spoilers)

As November 16th of 2023 there has been a lot of buzz about Pluto, a manga created by Naoki Urasawa and with a series in Netflix there has been plenty of conversation about Pluto due the contemporary issues that border around discrimination, equity and equal rights that match the civil rights to a marginalized group which in-universe are robots to the Civil Rights movement or even Pride.

We need to think that is just a reinterpretation of The Greatest Robot on Earth arc that was in Astro Boy back in the 1960's and many other reinterpretations in the last five decades. Pluto is a complete juxtaposition of the original material, it's gritty and it has some essence that transcendent in to current world issues that are linked to discrimination and system race.

You as a viewer can see it on how the world deals with robots, is not that difficult to compare it to how systemic racism has pushed people of color down the rug in States with little to no development in the infrastructure of their people and how that lack of investment reflects in the culture and people life development. Is not difficult to see robots as a marginalized groups where their basic rights are constantly placed in danger.

Episode 1 and episode 5 have moments in which we can see how robots are threated, when they die they are handled as mere junk instead of acknowledging they are gone and there's no way to bring them back much as a person would be when they are declared dead, but even when they are gone there are comments by minor characters that their bodies are just junk which mimics a similar state when police and other public official mention when a transgender or genderqueer person is killed, the officials just mentions their lives were a mess and they got what they deserved.

The point that got my attention is within episode 5 which reveals how Gesicht  learned about rage and gained a motivation that made his AI to act beyond the robot laws and kill a human which was the brother of Adolf Haas who was murdering robot children. Similar situation goes with the general premise of the series which on some extent equals the gay panic defense which diminish the life of the people who were murdered.

Within the intricate narrative tapestry of Pluto, the exploration of discrimination goes beyond the realm of robotic rights and delves into the depths of racial inequality. The parallels drawn between the plight of robots and the systemic racism faced by people of color offer a poignant commentary on the shared struggles of marginalized communities.

The juxtaposition of how society deals with robots in the series mirrors the historical and ongoing challenges faced by communities of color, particularly in the United States. The narrative underscores the stark reality of systemic racism, where communities with little to no investment in their infrastructure find themselves pushed to the margins. The lack of development and support for these communities has a profound impact on culture and individual life trajectories, echoing the deeply entrenched racial disparities witnessed in society.

Episodes 1 and 5 provide crucial moments that amplify the social commentary. The dehumanizing treatment of robots when they meet their demise reflects a callousness akin to the dismissal of lives in marginalized communities. The dialogue surrounding robot "bodies" as mere junk echoes the troubling rhetoric employed by authorities when addressing the deaths of individuals from racial or ethnic minorities, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and reinforcing systemic biases.

In Episode 5, Gesicht's journey becomes a microcosm of the broader societal struggles against discrimination. His discovery of rage and his subsequent deviation from established robot laws to confront the human perpetrator draws an unsettling parallel to real-world scenarios where individuals, driven to the brink by systemic injustices, act outside established norms. This mirrors instances where marginalized communities, in the face of adversity, are compelled to challenge oppressive systems.

The series delves into the complexities of Gesicht's motivations, portraying the blurred lines between right and wrong, much like the gray areas that characterize discussions around racism and discrimination. The narrative prompts viewers to reflect on the cyclical nature of injustice and the repercussions of historical traumas, drawing connections to the deep-rooted struggles against racism that persist today.

Pluto's exploration of discrimination and racism extends beyond a mere reflection of societal issues; it serves as a compelling call to action. By weaving these themes into the narrative, the series challenges viewers to confront uncomfortable truths and actively engage in dismantling discriminatory systems. In doing so, Pluto transcends its robotic facade, emerging as a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of the interconnected struggles for racial and social justice in our contemporary world.

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