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~