It is thirty years after the failure of the Space Colonization Program. Humanity is nearly extinct. A perpetual and deadly Rain falls on the Earth. Men known as "Junkers" plunder goods and artifacts from the ruins of civilization. One such Junker sneaks alone into the most dangerous of all ruins—a "Sarcophagus City." In the center of this dead city, he discovers a pre-War planetarium. And as he enters he is greeted by Hoshino Yumemi, a companion robot. Without a single shred of doubt, she assumes he is the first customer she's had in 30 years. She attempts to show him the stars at once, but the planetarium projector is broken. Unable to make heads or tails of her conversation, he ends up agreeing to try and repair the projector...
After nearly a decade of reading and watching Key's works, and now having finished Planetarian's unlikely adaptation, I think I have come to accept that Key does not appeal much to me anymore. I have aged and moved on since those times, as has the anime industry and its community, and no longer feel all too impressed by what their stories had to offer.
At the same time, I recognise that not everybody began watching anime at the same time. Some people have only just gotten into the medium in recent months, and so they may not yet be acquainted with Key's works. For these people, there is still value to be found in Planetarian, for it is actually a surprisingly well-produced, if brief and heavy-handed tale. I cannot feel much of anything towards it, but maybe someone, somewhere, will feel that same fire and emotion I did all those years ago.
Planetarian's soundtrack, much like the rest of Key's catalog, is excellent, and the art direction, particularly during the projection scene, does a solid job of creating atmosphere and making time and space truly feel vast, with humanity's greatest achievements flashing before the Junker in the blink of an eye. Hoshino is also, fortunately, not treated as eye-candy or some sort of waifu fantasy, as her mechanical (and somewhat creepy!) eyes make it clear that she is a robot and not a living and breathing human being. She is cute, but she is also a genuine character with purpose in the story. While there are issues to be had with the content of Planetarian, the execution of said content (in the context of an adaptation) is certainly worthy of praise and difficult to fault. It's a very solid production all-around. All one needs to do to understand the difference in quality between a poorly-directed anime and a well-directed one is to compare Planetarian to Rewrite, the other ongoing (and perhaps somewhat abysmal) Key adaptation. Planetarian is leagues better, and is about as good as any fan of the source material could have hoped for, really.
But I do not know if that is enough to sway most anime-only viewers. The story is a nice, heart-warming little thing, but there is not much there with regards to depth and meaning. You will watch it, perhaps get a little misty-eyed during its dramatic conclusion, and that is where it ends. You will move on, get on with your day, and find the next thing to watch. A good anime or visual novel-- indeed, even a good story in general-- should have something to say or give to its readers. I am just not confident that this short little tragedy qualifies as that something.
Even though the conclusion is a bit more low-key and reserved than other Key works (particularly Angel Beats), it still falls much into the same issue of being too dramatic for its own good. It so desperately wants to make the audience cry, but with scenes such as Hoshino lamenting how she cannot shed tears (and the rain so conveniently falling into her eyes as if she were actually crying), it becomes a bit difficult to take Planetarian's cloying conclusion all too seriously. I loathe the term "forced drama" as it is not a valid criticism, but those who have used it to attack Key works in the past will absolutely find more reason to use it here. I would personally have liked to see a less artificial ending without so many unnecessary theatrics. The potential for a great story is here, with its bleak, post-apocalyptic setting, but Key overthrew and missed the strike zone with Planetarian.
It was somewhat disappointing to see the protagonist in the anime being a young-- no more than twenty-five years old-- jaded dude. If Key really wished to drive the emotional punch at the end, with the Junker regaining part of his humanity, it would have been much more powerful were he an older man who has been through and seen a lot of the new world. The anime does not sell me on his character being an emotionally broken and hardened soldier-- he just seems like a bit of an ass most of the time.
Planetarian would also have benefited from being a movie instead of an ONA series, as the gaps between episodes (even if it is only as much as clicking on the next episode and sitting through a couple minutes of logos and advertisements) make the experience feel rather disjointed. Planetarian is meant to be a single, continuous story rather than a series marked by chapters and episodes. If you ever have had to pause a movie in the middle of your viewing for hours or days at a time, you will know just how much it ruins the experience and how difficult it makes it to feel much of anything during the climax, what with all the build-up gone and wasted. This is what it has felt like for me to watch Planetarian on a weekly basis. Anyone with the privilege of watching the anime after its airing is highly recommended to do so in one sitting, assuming they want to get something out of it.
I may have been more excited with the concept of a Planetarian anime were it not 2016. The decade of the 2000's is a part of the past, and both the anime and visual novel industries have moved on from when Key was in their heyday. They have not released a new story in over five years, and seem more interested in having anime adaptations and remakes produced instead of something fresh and new. So I have to ask: do they intend to be the new Type-Moon, endlessly reliving its glory days and refusing to move on, or do they wish to regain their status and become relevant once again?
This is a world where visual novel masterpieces like Sakura no Uta and Full Metal Daemon Muramasa now exist. The industry has surpassed Key, and now Key needs to catch back up before they fade to dust.
I started watching this out of whim and it honestly caught me by surprise. The premise it brought caught my attention immediately - a torn and abandoned world where rogue robots infest the city and mankind in the brink of extinction, a lone survivor stumbles upon a random planetarium and is greeted by an AI whose decades old - it's all so bitter sweet! So far so good, we're slowly seeing both the man and robot interact more casually, at first it starts off a bit bumpy, but I can see it develop to something mutual. Story seems really promising, and the characters are beginning to become more interesting as the episodes unfolds. I'm honestly engrossed and want to see what happens next - and if an anime can do exactly that, then it's definitely worth the watch!read more
There is something truly memorizing about a post apocalyptic world. Perhaps its the perpetual loneliness of a race on the brink of extinction, or how characters struggle to cope with their harsh reality by clinging onto past memories. Whatever the case, Planetarian embodies my favorite scenario in anime - exuding a mysterious sadness, wistful atmosphere, relaxing OST's and an overall great presentation.
The story revolves around a hard nosed militaristic man and an adorable AI unit named Yumemi who functions as a tour guide of a Planetarium. She has zero awareness of the world on the verge of collapse around her, and is simply happy to have her first visitor in over thirty years. These two could not be anymore different as entities, but together they find solace as the only inhabitants in what may be the last peaceful refuge on the planet.
Unfortunately, this peace is only temporary as the story soon shifts to a more dramatic tone.
Even if just five episodes long with an average length of 18 minutes, this anime managed to fascinate me greatly - far more than I anticipated going in. Could very well be the biggest gem of this season and is well worth checking out for those interested in something different from the norm.read more
"Planetarian is an one in many futuristic possibilities of our world."
Humanity is almost extinct due to some type of biological attack 30 years ago. Out of the people left some are called "Junkers", who scavenge for foods and goods from the destroyed cities to survive. Now one such "Junker" Kuzuya is searching for supplies in one such ruined city called Sarcophagus City, escaping from some bots he enter into an old military facility where he meets a robot who has been on sleep for almost 30 years. The robot Hoshino Yumemi is a companion type robot who used to work in this Planetarian, she as a robot believes the Junker to be his first customer in 30 years and treats him accordingly but the machines being inactive for a long time have damaged so as it turns out Kuzuya somehow is trying to repair the telescope which Hoshino-chan lovingly call "Jena-san".
So the anime is pretty much about the conversation between those two.
There are 3 new rules of (my) reviewing-
First rule- No anime is shit
Second rule-No anime is shit
Third rule-You don't have to agree with me(even sometimes I don't agree with myself)
It is based on the following parameters--
1)What is good about it?
2)(Probability of)Whom'll the anime appeal to?
3)Questions that other reviews raised in your head.
P.S.-If you don't want to read the whole, read the summary at the end of every question.
1)What is good about it?
Some anime are made for pure enjoyment, to make us laugh and sometimes to make us cry but some anime offer you something more than enjoyment i.e. a thought. The good stories will always leave a question in your mind to ponder upon. Planetarian is one of them. Like I said in the first line of my review that "Planetarian is an one in many futuristic possibilities of our world." so when we watch things like these we tend to go into retrospect about or ways, s one wise man once said " A Human's worst enemy is he,himself." this kind of possibility even might be inevitable. Plantarian here offers you a perspective research of our developmental achievements. It unravel the condition of the future generation which has been deprived from all the beauty in this world because of us- the present generation who are too greedy to look over the materialism of the world. Like in the movie "Life is Beautiful", Guido tries to keep the war, the hate, the negativity away from his son Joshua so that he could see the real beautiful world that he believed in. It's just that we stick too close to these walls of problems, hatred and egoism which have always been stationary but it is us who can't get away from these walls, it's just that when we are too close to these walls we think of them to be infinite, to be never ending but if you get a little away from it you'll find ways at both its ends to go around it.
Music and animation are quite good. Background music especially engross the watchers into the sad theme that the show offers.
A beautiful story can be told magnificently like in movie "Avatar" or can be told humbly like in "The Man from the Earth" but it doesn't make one better than the other. The two characters in Planetarian are the model of perspectives of the then world. On one hand a human who is trying to survive, to him his life relies on the next move he makes. His mind will be in constant chaos with singular things whereas there stands a robot who can't comprehend the emotional manifestation of a human in a time like this, her thoughts and capabilities are limited in demand of her tasks. Earlier I talked about how Guido help his son to see the beautiful world through his eyes similarly Hoshino-san does this for Kuzuya unknowingly. She shows his chaotic mind the calmness of the mesmerizing world of stars and ran through him the reasoning of mankind and the beautiful world as it was. The story of the future is told and retold with different characters and different settings but what they all give us is an "ideal", it is there to remind us of the truth we most likely forget.
Summary: Offers you a show with a conflicted future from the perceptions of a robot and a man. Music and animation are satisfactory. The story itself will keep you thinking about the situation the characters stand in. It also has a accurate portrayal of the conversations with the robot. It is not much of scenic beauty but it has its moments.
2)(Probability of)Whom'll the anime appeal to?
Appealing is quite an uncertain thing, it is sometimes spontaneous and sometimes it takes time but it happens differently for different people. As I have said before that this anime is more about talking, it is a serious and quite a sad but a brave show. So people who are at this particular time looking for action, romcom or any type of romance or comedy you should wait a while before you watch this show. This is a type of show you should go through for once in a while. Some tend to characterize shows but I think one could see most of the shows but it must be seen at the right time with the right state of mind. If you are in a mood for some understanding and attentive listening you should go for it.
Note-Third question will be updated after the show is completed.
I personally like shows that make me think about the possibilities, that make me glance a peek of the many altering futures that are ever changing with action we take this day, this hour, this minute and this second. It make me realize the vastness of our world but at the same time also reveal that how even a small insignificant action might affect this vastness.
Verdict:- Planetarian is no masterpiece but it made me think.