An adaptation of the visual-novel by Key, Planetarian: Hoshi no Hito combines the story of the original work with an expansion that extends the narrative with content from the Hoshi no Hito light-novel sequel.
In the future after much of the world has been devastated by nuclear and biological warfare, a young scavenger or "Junker" exploring a quarantined and abandoned city comes across a service robot still faithfully awaiting customers in the rooftop planetarium of a department store. Against his pragmatic instincts he helps the robot repair the planetarium's projector: a decision which will change both their fates.
Scavenging a dangerous and desolate city in a post-apocalyptic world, you encounter a building that seems to have potentially valuable goods. It’s pretty dusty--- it looks as though it’s been abandoned for years. Upon further exploration, you discover a powered on computer and you realize that this building, somehow, has power in your post-apocalyptic world. Wearing your night vision goggles, you cautiously open the doors to a room with metal double doors… You shield your eyes from a sudden, bright, blinding light as you’re, astonishingly, greeted by a woman’s voice: “Congratulations! You’re our 2,500,000th customer!” She says. Who is she? and why is she in
the middle of an empty, destroyed city?
Well, the only thing that I will say is that you've arrived at the Rooftop Planetarium--- it’s a place of extraterrestrial beauty that appears near-magical in comparison to the ravaged outside world.
This movie follows an old traveler who is approaching the end of his lifetime as he recounts his past with that random woman from the planetarium, and the events that led him to become a “Stargazer” (hoshi no hito). It could be described as a sequel to the original ONA series “Planetarian:chiisana hoshi no yume”, but that wording is not completely accurate. This movie is essentially an expansion on the Planetarian ONA series, and it takes place after the events of the ONA series. However, this movie also includes all of the scenes from the prequel, so I wouldn’t recommend watching the prequel at all if you haven’t already seen it.
Planetarian: Hoshi no Hito is a heartwarming tale of an old stargazer and his heartwarming encounter with Yumemi Hoshino, the random girl. The stargazer was once a proud scavenger who explored the destroyed cities of the pre-apocalyptic world for valuable goods. As a younger man he comes across as serious, soldier-like, and as having hardened emotions. However, he is much more warm and compassionate as an old man. His younger personality creates an interesting contrast with Yumemi Hoshino’s, who is presented as a talkative, human-loving, humanoid robot. The side characters are completely dissimilar to the two of them, featuring a cast of ordinary kids who rescue the old stargazer from freezing to death in the snow, and the adult villagers of the bunker village, where they all take shelter from the post apocalyptic radiation.
Unfortunately, I feel that this movie has several major drawbacks that are the reason why I feel that this series only deserves a six out of ten for the story. One of major drawback is the heavily dialogue based story that consequently makes the movie feel slow. Couple this slow dialogue with the annoyingness of the talkative robot girl, and it can be a bit difficult to tolerate at times. This is especially true when you add in the fact that the movie has almost no complex or profound meanings to take away from it, which only further takes away from the series. Overall, the story was very predictable and there was very little depth to the story, where the characters came across as empty and containing no “humanity”. However, don’t let these drawbacks turn you away because “Planetarian: Hoshi no Hito” has other forms of entertainment to offer in the forms of art directing and music.
The art directing was spectacular, the director being the same guy that directed for some famous titles like Ghost in the Shell, Sword Art Online, Shirobako, Gankutsuo (10/10 hidden gem), etc. You could definitely see the similarities in the designs and movements of the robots from this movie and the ones from Ghost in the Shell. The scenery and imagery as a whole created a relatively captivating environment, despite the art quality not being that spectacular by itself. Combine the brilliant art directing with the composer of the Clannad, Little Busters, Kanon, and Rewrite OSTs and you have a work of art on the audio-visual aspects of this series. The audio-visual categories were good enough to both earn an eight out of ten from me.
Overall, I feel that this movie was pretty okay. Although it contained very little depth from a story and character standpoint, it partially offsets that flaw through great art directing and good enough music. Additionally, some of the more emotional aspects of the movie were a bit forced and unrealistic, but I was still somewhat affected by those scenes. Because of the flaws, I can’t really imagine myself recommending this to anyone that isn’t a huge anime fan because it really has no unique or defining qualities, but I enjoyed myself to give it about seven out of ten for enjoyment. This is another pretty good story from Key that you may want to watch if you enjoyed some of their other works, or you’re just looking to kill some time with a relatively good anime movie.
I hope this helps you decide whether or not to watch this movie~
This review will be both for newcomers to Planetarian and those who already watched the 5 episode ONA. Please enjoy.
Planetarian: Hoshi no Hito, or Planetarian: Stargazer- is a decent movie for those who have not watched the original Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet, 5 episode ONA. Though this movie is a sequel, it includes many scenes from the original, allowing for newer viewers to catch up. Unfortunately, I think it would be better to watch the original 5 episode ONA than to watch the movie. This is because all as the scenes from the ONA are flashbacks which in my opinion lose their
effect because they are not being experienced in real time.
One big issue with this movie is that 80% of it is flashbacks from the ONA series, which could've been left out so the movie story could've been further developed. Honestly this didn't even need to be a movie but a 20 min episode if you cut out all the flashbacks from the ONA.
The characters are new and only one (the main character of the ONA) has remained, though you'd see the original robot girl Yumemi (the other main character from the ONA) very often in flashbacks. The new main characters of the three children aren't honestly expanded a lot. No one from the new character was really developed sadly. However, the best character development has definitely been the now old the main character Kuzuya (The Junker/Old man in this movie). I would like to specify further, but that's a big spoiler.
Animation is good, though not as good as the original ONA series. Why does Ruth have no eyes? (They cover his eyes with hair) This just seems like a little lazy animation- they drew eyes for the other two kids, why can't they do it with him? The main character (the old man) Kuzuya also seems to suffer often from his hair covering his eyes. I would've liked to see his eyes more.
The soundtrack is practically the same as the original ONA, especially the main theme from the Christian hymn "What a friend we have in Jesus".
If you've already watched the ONA series: It's a decent movie and just skip all the flashbacks wherever you see them. I would not describe watching this movie as a big MUST, unless you're interested in what happens to the main character after the ONA series.
If you haven't watched the ONA series: Watch the 5 episode ONA first! You'll absolutely love it.
For those of you who found this obscure sequel, congrats. I know of many people who enjoyed Planetarian but had no idea this movie existed.
In any case, this film is set in the future, well after the events of Planetarian take place. The Junker is now an old man, who travels whats left of the world showing Yumemi's projections of stars to all willing to see them, and has become somewhat well known as "The Stargazer" which he dubbed himself in the final moments of the original series.
The film begins with the Stargazer arriving at a small village and meeting its inhabitants, namely
the elder and three children. The children quickly take a liking to the Stargazer and are captivated by the projection he shows them. Knowing his health is failing and his life is near its end he begins to teach them how to care for the projector as well as explain what stars are to listeners, as he plans to have them take on the role of Stargazers when he dies.
The movie itself features about 30 mins of new content with the rest being scenes from the original series interspersed throughout, usually in long chunks, which is fine but it may not sit well with some who may have wanted a full movie of new content. If you haven't seen the original series, this movie serves as more of an expansion on it, so you'd be fine to watch this film by itself to understand the series. I won't go into further plot details here, but what I will say is if you were a fan of the original series, you'll enjoy the movie for hitting the same key points the Planetarian series did; that is its ability to give hope in a dark world.
Planetarian Hoshi no Hito, ended with not everything being fully resolved, and yet hope remains, harkening back to the series' core message.
Overall, the quality was fine, music was great, and although the plot didn't advance all that much, the film was still fulfilling. If you liked the original series, this is worth the watch.