The World is My Burrito Podcast

E21 - Blue Knight (AKA Brau-1589)

January 08, 2024 Kory Torjussen Episode 21
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

E21 Blue Knight

Kory: What is up all you lanced lads and trapped-in-a-man's-body-inside-a-woman's-body-inside-of-a-man's-body tramps. Welcome to The World is My Burrito, AKA TWIMB, a podcast where I overwhelm myself with content and apparently have to split it into parts. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's. As the Saints foretold, it's your boy Kory T. Coming at you from Tampa, Florida this fine January 7th, 2024 With episode number 21 on the history of Brau 1589 AKA Blue Knight, AKA Blue Bon, AKA We da best. If you haven't yet watched or read the Pluto Manga by Naoki Urasawa, be sure to check that out. Then check out my episode 20 on the same topic, which delves into the psychology of everyone except Brau 1589. This episode is gonna focus pretty heavily on just that single character, the effect it had on our main man Astro and then connect the trilogy of Tales to Urasawa's Pluto,

But first some kitchen keeping, which I actually have a little bit this time. Um, . If you've been keeping up with any of my podcast tags on Twitter and maybe Instagram, uh, you'll know I've released a few taquitos on the film, Godzilla Minus One and the Video Game Alien Isolation.

Uh, I've also been featured on a few podcasts. The Neatcast have had me on twice since Pluto and The Short Box had me on for a very lengthy discussion on, you guessed it, Godzilla minus one. I don't know how long that published episode was, but we spoke for over two hours. If you see, like, if you're watching this on YouTube, or listening to this and anything is different, I'm also trying out Descript.

. Featuring squad cast is what they just bought. Uh, so hopefully like if you're listening, nothing comes out different, uh, and watching. For some reason, I can only use the built-in 720P camera, so I can't get my iPhone quality right now. I don't know. I'll figure that out later. Uh, anyways, now onto the kitchen keeping for this episode in episode 20.

I was unable to fully expound on Brau 1589 instead deciding he deserved this offshoot episode. Uh, so if you haven't heard that episode, just pause this, go back and listen, then come back here. Hi, welcome back. You see back when first researching Pluto, I could not find any significance to the combination Brau 1589 other than Brau means "blue" in German.

Imagine my surprise after the Pluto anime releases and suddenly his name is hyperlinked on the Astroboy fandom Wiki, so I click it. And am then taken to a section covering some mighty Atom antagonist named Blue Knight. Sounds whack. Doesn't seem to fit, doesn't look the part, but whatever. I own the omnibus. I'll check it out. 

Imagine my dismay when I get a little ways in and decide not only is this relevant, but this is a fucking lot. So here you are listening to me again. The 1589 still alludes me, but I have a game of wild supposition at the end of this episode. 

The Blue Knight, much like the OG Pluto story the Greatest Robot on Earth is a lengthy story. Unlike Pluto, the impact of this tale spans across two additional stories. The three stories in total are the Blue Knight, Astroboy Reborn, and the Melanin Tribe. Don't worry, we're primarily focusing on just the one but the others still have importance and relevance to Pluto.

A little bit of world and character history. In the 1960s, Japan was experiencing the beginnings of a student uprising. The post-war American occupation opened up the education system to the rest of the world, caused a lot of people to lose faith in the Japanese ideology and the following Cold War sure didn't put anyone at ease.

In a world where heroes were becoming more gruff, the student movement felt that Tezuka's heroes were too optimistic and in their own weird way, uh, supportive of an oppressive system. So saying that the heroes are the ones who are like part of the Oppressive system. By Tezuka's account, his own editor said Atom needed to become something closer to evil.

So Tezuka made a temporary change. 

Instead of the altruistic Atom everyone was used to, we get a boy who was much more willing to disobey rules and fight against the very system he was known to uphold. I'm not going to provide any further details as the necessary details of already been covered. 

So a few details on the release of this trilogy. 

Blue Knight or AOKISHI was serialized in Shonen magazine from October, 1965 through March, 1966, and comes in at around 157 pages. 

Immediately following this, is Atom Reborn or ATOMU FUKKATSU, running from March through May of 66 at 37 pages. 

Rounding out this tale is the Melanin Tribe or MERANIN ICHIZOKU from June through August of 66, coming in at 109 pages. 

For those counting at home this is 303 pages that I have read twice. This is why it takes so long to release episodes.

I am reading from the Asto Boy, omnibus number six, published by Dark Horse on December 28th, 2016. And here is that. Uh, so yeah, it is the final omnibus in that production. Blue Knight also appears in the 1963 and 2003 animated series, and in his own 1980s short film. So short, it's only 11 minutes. I don't know why that he just didn't put that in the anime. 

If you don't want this multi-layered racist burrito, spoiled, you best put it back in the fridge.

And now put your strap on because I'm about to take you through the lengthy trilogy plot summary. 

Blue Bon. His younger sister Maria and their younger brother Tonto, were all created by Dr. Los in a world where robots could not harm humans, and were not always treated as equals. To everyone's surprise, the aristocrat count Burg wants to marry Maria.

A matrimony otherwise unheard of in this world, uh, they marry. Then Maria immediately realizes homeboy kind of hates robots, uh, but not her. 'cause she's built different until she stops being different and the abuse starts. Tonto discovers the abuse and attempts to rescue her. Shit goes down during the escape.

The count kills both of them then personally delivers their heads. Uh, and like the central inner workings to Dr. Los. This flips the switch inside Blue Bon who decides he hates humans. He goes out and destroys the count's castle, leaving the count alive. Okay, so we're getting to many points all at once. Dr. Loss couldn't see his creations completely abandoned, so he secretly gave Blue Bon a new shape, shifting body and face, then installed the heads and central systems of Maria and Tonto inside Blue Bon. All of their personalities were intact. Blue Bon, Maria and Tonto all exist independently of the others in the same body.

However, Blue Bon is truly the one in charge, defying his father by dawning armor and destroying robot factories, causing robot uprisings and finding other robots that can harm humans. What happens in this and the following two tales, holds a suspicious amount of thematic significance to Pluto for . Pick a reason.

Some robots can hold Blue Knight's sword and others receive a shock. Mankind sees this. Blue Knight drops the sword, mankind with Inspector Tawashi at the head says, Hey, we should duplicate Blue Knight's sword. Then take any robot who can hold it to literal concentration camps with the expectation of getting decommissioned.

They're going to Rob Auschwitz, y'all and Tawashi is like, "this is fine". Uh, this does not sit well with Blue Knight who gathers up a ton of strong robots and whatever else he can find to create a robot utopia. It also doesn't sit well with Astroboy whose parents were taken to said Camp. Astro easily begins breaking robot laws to save his parents join Blue Knight and fight back against humans.

A bunch of civil war happens during a ceasefire. At the end, blue Knight attempts to kill his own father, but Atom leaps in, catches the lance with his body and gets beheaded and dies. Then Blue Knight is surprise killed with his own spear by the hand of Count Burg. That's pretty much the wrap up of this tale.

Next is Astroboy reborn. Ochanomizu is trying his best to revive Atom, but each attempt results in Atom attempting to murder everyone then exploding or just straight up exploding. Uh, hey, guess what? The very suspicious Dr. Tenma appears and says, not only will he help Dr. Ochanomizu. But he's the only one who actually can fix him.

Ochanomizu finally and reluctantly agrees, but what he doesn't expect is that Tenma was creating a ton of world dominating robots with the expectation that they would subjugate mankind one day, and he wants Atom to be their boss. Tenma fixes up Atom who awakens. . And surprise. Surprise does not recognize either Tenma or Ochanomizu. Tenma gets his dream realized when Astro is like, you know what? Kill all humans and decides he's going to destroy the ministry of science and get his family back. 

Lastly, we have the melanin tribe. Uh, I will very briefly address the off-white elephant in the room in regards to the name of this tale and the contained character designs. From what little I've read Japan's greatest source of knowledge and influence relating to black Africans were taken from what Americans . Provided American history and outlook, including in pop culture, was still not very PC or realistic. And it's not like the Japanese ever personally visited Africa. Uh, nothing was ever meant to be offensive, Tezuka worked with what he had at the time.

But later on in life, as he learned more of the world, he became apologetic for his depictions. Onto the story. Atom saves his family, literally grabs a new house for them and starts saving the planet slash environment in a way that carelessly wreaks havoc on humans. Uh, his family gets upset with him.

Robot family, mind you. Um, because he's mad at humans. Uh, so now he is mad at everyone and he decides to start his own robot colony with blackjack and hookers in Africa. While flying around the new continent. He sees a bright flash of light and follow it to a talking, glowing crucifix that tells him it was waiting for him, uh, and to put it inside him.

Atom's like, no thanks. Uh, Uran. Which yeah, I didn't mention he literally packages theran up and brings her with 'em like in a suitcase pack. Packages her up. Uran does put the, uh, crucifix in her shenanigans ensue, uh, a weakened Atom dies again. Uran ends up in a robot palace that is run by the robot bulbo, but is entirely maintained by human slaves.

Oh, look, it's the exact opposite of the world Atom came from and exactly what Atom wanted. Uran poses as Atom. Uh, there's deception and backstory about an alien robot race coming to earth. Surprise. Atom is alive. Uh, He's saved by the robot spark, who is doing a subterfuge. Atom gets imprisoned in the robot kingdom.

And eventually ends up going back to normal. Uh, turns out King Bulbo wants to play Santa by delivering missiles to all of humankind. Atom and Spark aren't too keen on this. Their efforts combined with a Czechov's gun from prior in the story is the reason why all of Bobo's tale comes to an end, and at the very end of it, all of Atom goes back to normal.

He's just his normal, loving, caring self. As always, I intentionally left some details out, so there is still plenty of fun to be had if you ever decide to pick this up. 

Now onto the main reason I'm recording this I went well past Blue Knight, so let's drop back to this specific character. Uh, and we're gonna approach this kind of like a multiverse thing where Blue Knight kills Atom, then went to the Pluto Universe slightly back in time and successfully killed the Count instead. uh, it's just a super simple DBZ time travel.

Where Pluto doesn't give us a lot of backstory on Brau 1589, other than him killing someone, for seemingly no reason, mankind was so afraid that they left him where he was and built a prison around him. Meanwhile, blue Knight was traumatized into feeling something that mimics emotion. The lore in Pluto is that if you introduce a powerful enough emotion into a robot, it will defy programming and gain The ability to choose to kill humans becomes more human.

Blue Knight received two freshly hewn heads, which might do the trick for most people. In Pluto, every robot that comes in contact with Brau reaches some kind of unspoken realization as those seeds of reality are planted. If you take the Tale of Blue Knight as Braus real history, they're experiencing man's unabashed hatred towards robots and feeling the first time that switch ever got flipped.

And a robot not only tried to kill a man or in the Brau verse successfully killed a man, but . the robot separates itself from mankind and kill everything that tried to stop it. Robot and mankind alike. Blue Knight isn't immediately able to coerce Atom into joining him, but he plants that seed and lets Atom watch mankind's reaction, then come to his own conclusions. Now Brau becomes like a kung fu mentor and resource for Atom and Gesicht never giving them answers, but guiding them to the bigger picture.

So both of these characters have this like bit of coercion to them. Um, though Blue Knight's a little more spot on and open about what it is that he wants, he still is, if you wanna call it kind enough to let Atom see like how dark mankind can truly be. Um, now. After the Civil War in Blue Knight, Atom tries to reason with the Blue Knight.

Uh, the end result in Pluto is that Atom is killed and returned. In the same tale, Brau, who is seemingly indifferent about humans and robots alike is the tool used to enact revenge. For the sins of Roosevelt, he doesn't explicitly hate humans and is given the greatest of second chances by being allowed to kill Roosevelt.

The Blue Knight just gets to see himself kill Atom, and that's the end of his tale. In both tales, Ochanomizu is incapable of saving Atom the Brau-Tenma is a troubled father figure, whereas Blue Knight Tenma is a shady as fuck scientist, but both of them are the only ones who have the know-how and wherewithal to revive Atom.

In both tales, Atom's first reaction upon revival is the destruction of mankind. It's very passive in Pluto as he comes to grips with this new responsibility, with having human emotion. While in Astroboy Reborn and the Melanin tribe, he is just very anti-human. Uh, you know, in both Blue Knight and Melanin Tribe, he's extremely anti-human until he sees what it can really do to a robot.

That could also kind of work for Pluto if you consider him seeing Braus memories or understanding his point of view. Anyways, in the latter two tales, he is still guided by not only the Blue Knight's idealism, but the continued terrible display put on by humans. At the end of both tales, Atom finally returns to his normal self. 

In Tezuka's world basically none of this may have ever happened after Melanin Tribe is over. It's a serialized story, so the brevity of any events is constantly shifting. Uh, kind of like comics. There's always a reset, be it soft or hard. In Pluto, the world is forever changed, but we are no longer allowed to visit it 

when it comes down to it brau is atoning for his sins as Blue Knight and everything that leads to, um, that's kind of the comparison that I really wanted to make here. \

There are a few other tiny things that I want to point out between these creators, whether intentional or not urasawa created a story that very closely mimics the Blue Night trilogy of stories if viewed through the lens of greatest robot on Earth.

It is very easy to assume that Urasawa has consumed Blue Knight in some fashion, so that would make sense. Uh, Teddy is basically bulbo with a real plan, robo topia with human slaves through acts of violence, uh, through genocide, not just acts of violence. 

The beginning of Pluto is the Civil War that's at the end of Blue Night, uh, in melanin tribe. Uran imitates being tired, which just straight up comes out of nowhere. There's like nothing else in the story that leads to this. Paired with Astro liking ice cream and the flying saucer toy in Pluto. 

I cannot emphasize enough Blue Knight's spear. It is obviously the spear used against Brau, which Brau also yeets at Teddy with Blue Knight's Precision. There is still like the, the beauty of, you know, him getting pinned to a wall with his own thing. He gets killed with his own weapon. Um, so I just love like how that plays in there.

bLue Knight is far more focused on the racial aspect than greatest robot on Earth, which is a huge deal in Pluto, Like the humans in Blue Knight form their own KKK just without the bedsheets or the style of the Nazis. And instead of killing them, they power them down and lock them in a coffins. Again, this is Tezuka. So it's a very toned down, you know, retelling of a life that he's had to kind of live through.

There's probably even more. And I'm sure five minutes after this goes live, I'm gonna remember a whole slew of other things I forgot. Ain't that how life goes? 

Moving on to dislikes. And there's not really gonna be many. These are fun tales. But it, it sucks that the guy who was constantly making like a dozen series at a time was convinced that Atom was the character who needed to change rather than writing a new character entirely. From what I've read about Tezuka, he was always creating new stories and that does have an effect on this story.

It's cool that we got more character development out of Atom. But Blue Knight and Melanin Tribe are so insanely similar, and Atom reborn is so oddly empty. It's like you can feel him pivoting real hard to kind of recover his own property. And that's, that's really it with like the dislikes. 

For the likes.

Astroboy becomes Blue Knight, but it is never specifically addressed. Uh, there are so many things in Astroboy that are blatantly stated that it's nice when stuff gets displayed but otherwise passed over. Uh, Astro's never shown leaving Japan. Yet. Inspector Tawashi calls Dr. Ochanomizu, uh, and he knows all about everything.

He knows that he put Uran in a suitcase. He knows the M.O. Um, should this be under dislikes? I don't know. It's just hilarious because it really does come out of nowhere like it's, it's just Atom goes to bed and then Tawashi calls Ochanomizu, and then we're over Africa. Uh, across like a page, two pages. This is kind of part of the pivot, but it is so left field that it gives me a chuckle. 

Little bit of trivia. Spark from Melanin Tribe is very obviously based on Cyborg 0 0 2 AKA Jet Link from Shotaro Ishinomori's Cyborg 0 0 9, which released on July 19th, 1964, just two years before this appearance in Melanin Tribe.

The panels leading to the talking crucifix are hella similar to the panels before Siddhartha's birth in the Buddha Manga I covered back in episode 13. 

Now for the game of Wild supposition. Uh, and again this is talking specifically about the importance of 1589. Hiroshima was founded in 1589,

the Battle of Suriegahara, where the Date and Katakura clans joined forces against the Ashina, Satake and Nikao clans, uh, Date, also retakes, Sukagawa Castle. So Sync'd, the personality type dating app says that 1589 is an angel number, which centers around inner wisdom and strength. We definitely put Brau in that category, inner wisdom and strength.

Um, BreezeWiki, which is wild. It has, I've never seen this before, but it has like all of this. Stuff about Pluto. BreezeWiki says it's definitely a reference to the House of Bourbon taking over in France. Obviously there's a whole lot of, uh, French relevance in Pluto, so Sure, that makes sense. Um, . Yeah. Which one do you think, what do you think? Do you have opinions on that? Who knows? You should let me know. 

Uh, resources for this one. I mean, really it's mostly just me reading the actual manga, but using the Astro fandom wiki to find out a few other facts about dates and times. Um, yeah, I looked up stuff. Partially using Wikipedia, like literally just searching 1589 and everything that happened that year.

Um, news, there's not really a ton going on. Uh, but in the time that it took between Pluto and this, we finally have a trailer for Godzilla x Kong. Um. Really excited about that. I'm pretty sure that's coming out in April. Uh, yeah, that's about it for news. So moving on to 

Nacho business 'cause it's my business.

First off, the bad news, on December 3rd, 2023, we had to put down our 17.5 year old dog, Chloe. Uh, I don't think she's ever made an actual appearance, but she's been in the room for quite a few of these podcast recordings. If you've ever seen me reach down and out of screen or look down and out of screen, it's likely because of her.

Um, I've only been around her for about nine years, while Brenda had her for 15.5. It was a long time coming. Uh, the weekend she passed was a very wonderful time spent with family and friends and we were able to comfort and assist her passing. So it couldn't have been a better scenario. Still a bummer though. Rest in peace. 

Onto the nerdy stuff. I just watched the Netflix Gamera this past week. It fits in a weird spot between Showa and Heisei. It's a light recommend if you're new to the Gamera franchise. I don't know if you're really gonna like this. I would still recommend the Heisei Trilogy. It's frigging amazing. 

Ultraman Blazar on YouTube. Still amazing. Love that series. 

Uh, just saw the Boy in the Heron and I think that's gonna be very divisive, but I absolutely loved it and I'm excited to record for podcasters Assemble on that. 

I still haven't watched, uh, Netflix's, Pluto because at this point I felt like it would not have a positive impact on this episode.

So now this is over. I can finally start working on that. 

Go watch Godzilla minus one. I've seen it twice. It's great. 

I replayed Bios Shock Infinite first time in a very long time. It is still great and I may re re replay it on 1999 Mode to try to improve the overall experience. 

I'm currently replaying Horizon zero dawn on an NG+ file on ultra hard.

I never played the DLC before, but I am now. So that is something, um, love that game. Still. The DLC already is like better than the main game. It is amazing. 

I played and beat the game super hot in like two days. It is very fun and chaotic. So thanks for that gift, Bri. 

I bust out Godzilla Voxel Wars when I need to take my mind off of things. It is very charming, it's very fun. Would recommend. Um, I think that's really about it for what I've been doing. Uh, I am photographing four conventions this year. . I think it's Central Florida Comic-Con a convention in Lakeland, uh, at the end of this month. And then I think it's Brick Matsuri in Ocala.

And then, um, of course I would forget it, uh, collective Con in Jacksonville, I think in March. And then Spookala is sometime later on this year. So if you listen to me and happen to be at any of those, uh, let me know. You know, come say, Hey, I'm the guy photographing it. Um, I. 

Now for some upcoming episodes I'm gonna be doing, Let's Taco 'bout with, uh, first one is gonna be YuYu Hahusho featuring shaggy black of cinema villains.

And I should be recording that tonight, so two episodes in the same day, which, if everything goes well, means that . You should have a, an episode released a week after this episode. Uh, then I'm gonna be doing Monarch Legend of Monsters, featuring Zack the Milkman of Neatcast and every other podcast imaginable.

And then I'm gonna be doing an episode on Osama Dazai's, no longer Human novel and Manga, which may or may not be a, Let's Taco 'bout It episode pending responses I get. These things are definitely happening. Uh, no idea which is gonna come first. You get what you deserve. Um, also, and I'll do this now, I'll just spoil it.

I'm gonna be doing an episode later on this year on, um, Serj Tankian's book Down with the System. Uh, that should also actually end up being another. Let's Taco 'bout it episode. So, uh, that's releasing in I think May. So this is a good couple of months out, but something worth looking forward to.

And if you didn't know that that book was releasing, you know, now you do go look for it, purchase it from a local bookstore. I have got my pre-orders through,, Bookends literature and libations, a both small shop and pop-up bookshop here in Tampa. So look for that. I'm speaking it into existence.

This is gonna happen and it's gonna be shortly after it releases and not take a year. 

Shameless plugs again, you can find me on The Short Box for Godzilla minus one and Neatcast for two Christmas episodes. Once Podcasters Assemble gets their Ghibli season going, I'll be back there. And hey, if you've never submitted.

Go do it. Uh, this has been an oddly slow season for submissions, which is wild considering its studio freaking Ghibli. Uh, you can find me at TWIMBPodcast on all social media, including Blue Sky, even though I've only made one post. You can email me at Let me know your thoughts, your opinions on this episode, on Pluto, on, you know, whatever.

I don't care. Um, yeah, smell you later.

World and Character History
Release Info
Spoiler Alert
Blue Knight Synopsis
Astro Reborn Synopsis
Melanin Tribe Synopsis
Brau-1589 Discussion
Other Similarities
Dislikes and Likes
Wild Supposition
Resources + News
Nacho Business
Shameless Plugs