Kuroi Souya is a high schooler living a peaceful life despite having no memories of his past. One day, however, his town is attacked by one of the mysterious Nebula Weapons. Together with the cat-like "Sensei" and the gothic lolita Ginko, Souya gets dragged into a battle against... seven superheroes who protect the town! What is Souya's reason to fight? The answer lies in his memories.
The summer 18 anime season is a pretty rough season for anime that are not squeals mainly because it was the season that was filled with forgetful seasonal anime such as Harukana Receive, Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs and Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki. This was also the season gave us broken and boring dumpster fires like Back Street Girls, Island and my personal favorite The Master of Rock Bottom (The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar). Thankfully in this rabbit hole of a season, there were a few hidden gems and great shows such as Banana Fish, Cells At Work, High Score, Grand Blue
and Planet With which is by far the most underrated show of the season for me. While Planet With did not dominate the Summer 18 season as I enjoyed J.C Staff other show from this season High Score Girl as well the more intriguing Banana Fish. It was still better than everything from this season alone.
So what made this show so good may ask? Let's find out, shall we?
The story of Planet With follows a young high schooler named Soya Kuroi Soya Kuroi who is living a peaceful life despite having no memories of his past. Along with his peaceful life he is living with a large cat named Sensei and a maid named Ginko. One day, strange floating beasts appear in the sky above Japan, and conventional weapons are useless against them until seven men and women transform into powerful weapons and destroy them. Sōya finds himself pressed into battle, fighting not against the beasts, but against the seven heroes instead, as he becomes an unwitting pawn in an interstellar war that has come to Earth.
The story for Planet With is great and interesting.
For starters, the story is very easy to follow as not only the knows gets straight to the point narratively but the story completely avoids all the traps that plagued the mecha anime genre such as big info dumps, unneeded fan-service, wish fulfillment, edge, lack of focus and bad filler content.
The first 4 episodes of Planet With are pretty episodic but after episode 4 the show completely leaves it episodic roots by going for a different direction and the direction that it took, in the end, was great that is filled with great writing and story elements. The best thing about Planet With was how unpredictable it was. Compare to any other anime in the season Planet With is filled with interesting exciting story moments that were, for the most part, were well executed.
The show is for the most part well paced as the show moves at a smooth pace where the viewer can understand what is going on screen.
Even though the story of Planet With was pretty great I have two minor nitpicks with it.
While the show was indeed easy to follow for the most part, however, there were a couple of times where the show became a bit too complex and a bit hard to follow. Don't get me wrong this is pretty easy to follow, for the most part, however, there were certain story elements in that can be a bit tricky to fully understand especially if you're a new anime fan. This was not an issue for me, however, I can understand why newer anime fans would fell lost and confused while watching this show at times.
Also while the show was a great ride that I really enjoyed, however, I honestly thought the show was way too short for its own good.
This is more of a personal complaint but I thought that this show could have been 24 episodes long. Yes, the ending was great as it was not rushed and manages to conclude the series very well but there was a small part of me wanted this show to be longer. Oh well, you can't have them all I guess.
Overall the story of Planet With was great.
The characters in Planet With are pretty cool and enjoyable.
Soya is a pretty great mecha protagonist. Not only he is a likable character in his own right but he is a well written who develops very well. Not to mention his backstory and motivation for revenge was well told and intriguing. He's is far better than that lifeless potato named Hiro from Darling in the Franxx.
Next, we have Ginko who is by far favorite character in this show. Outside of being my favorite Waifu of this season, she is a fun and interesting character that I really enjoyed from start to finish. I really enjoyed her character chemistry with Soya as feels like a great sister for Soya.
The other characters in this show are very good that are not only well developed but they all fun and entertaining characters that have charm.
Overall the characters in Planet With were pretty awesome.
Visually Planet With is very good.
The character and background designs were pretty great and appealing to look at. There was hardly any art failures in this show manages to use its production values budget very well.
The mecha designs are solid overall. Yes, the mechs are in CGI but for once it actually works as this show almost perfectly manages to blend in CGI mecha into traditional 2D animation. Sensei mecha form itself is easily the best mecha design of 2018. Yes the mecha itself at first may look like SD Destiny Gundam but what it can do in combat says otherwise not mention the use of blue sci-fi color palette for the mecha was great as the mech was made from a competent mecha designer instead of a talentless hack who designed the cringe-inducing mech designs from Darling in the Franxx. As for the other mechs they were all pretty good for what they were especially Kakka mecha form.
The animation in Planet With is pretty good overall as it's very smooth and the fight choreography for the mecha fights was awesome.
Awesome job J.C Staff
The soundtrack in Planet With is awesome. Not only the music by itself was a great listen as all of the tracks have that great sci-fi dubstep but it masterfully blends in well with the show plot and setting.
The opening theme One Unit'' by Minami is a fantastic opening theme that is not only epic song in its own right but it perfectly captures the tone of the series.
The ending theme Rainbow Planet" by Mai Fuchigami is a pretty good ending overall.
The voice acting in this show is great as every single Seiyuu did a great job with the roles that they were given.
It's such a shame that Planet With hasn't got a Simulcast English Dub. Then again Funimation would rather simulcast Isekai train-wrecks like The Master of Rock Bottom and How to Not Summon a Demon Lord. Hopefully, this show gets the English Dub that it deserves.
I had a blast watching Planet With.
Yes, it may not be my favourite anime from this season as I prefer Banana Fish and High Score Girl over this show but I still think that Planet With is better than most of the throwaway anime from this season.
The story was pretty great and enjoyable. The characters were amazing and well developed, the visuals were great and the soundtrack was awesome. Honestly I mecha genre completely redeemed themselves after that shameless train-wreck that was Darling in the Franxx.
If you're looking for a good modern mecha anime that is well executed and has intriguing characters then I strongly recommend Planet With.
Planet With is one of the best animes I have ever seen and I say thank you to the creators for making this wonderful mecha series. It may not be in the same league as Gurren Lagann, Eureka Seven and Gundam The Origin but it's still one hell of an awesome mecha anime that I love.
Piloting a mech with ripple patterned eyes. Such peculiar machine with a high school boy at its seat. Living with a cat creature and an adorable maid. If this short bucket list strike as an unusual setup for a story, then you’re damn right. Planet With is an original anime that takes science fiction to a surreal level. It’s an adventure that unites a variety of gimmicks together with plenty of surprises.
Anyone familiar with Satoshi Mizukami’s work will probably point out his more well-known series such as “Lucifer and the Biscuit” and “Spirit Circle”. He takes his unusual cast of characters and bring creativity to
life. Through some of his works, I realized that Planet With would bring out a familiar feeling. And oh boy, it succeeded in more ways than one. Nonetheless, I think it’s important to first understand what Planet With is really about.
The main story is about a boy named Souya Kuroi. He is a typical high school student with an apparent amnesia. The first episode establishes his role as he gets involved in a battle against strange floating beings known as the Nebula. First impression of the series makes me wonder if it was destiny that caused Souya to get involved in such an event. In other words, perhaps this event wasn’t just coincidental but that he was destined to fulfill his role as something much bigger than he’s ever imagined. Nonetheless, Souya also gets caught into conflict with the Grand Paladin, a group of individuals with their own unique powers. The show depicts them as a mysterious group whose goals lies in unfamiliar territories until much later on in the show. However, the heart of the show deals with Souya’s role as he regains more and more of his memories. We learn more about his past including his home planet and origins. He’s definitely a complex character that’s hard to read between the lines. In fact, Souya is less of the typical protagonist and initially portrayed as antagonist. You heard me right. His actions in the show is portrayed more as going against the heroic role. The first few episodes has him go up against Grand Paladin while also connecting with them when he’s not in his mech. In doing so, the show creates a sensation of mystery as how much we should really try to understand Souya. I think in many ways, Mizukami’s creativity shows for making a character like Souya as he is deceptively complex. There may be the type of audience that will understand Souya easier if you’re familiar with his work. But even if you’re someone lost in the dark, Souya is still a character you’d want learn more. Many questions will pop up throughout the show like why he’s living with an oversized cat or dream about dragons.
As I watched more and more of Planet With, the experience became more of going with the flow and enjoying what the creator presents to us. Its ideas are otherworldly and the plot is carried by the actions of the characters. In fact, there’s an easy trend of action result in consequences throughout the show. Besides Souya, the Grand Paladin is a prominent example with its faction of members. Even their leaders have hidden agendas that far eclipses than just defeating some aliens. Many of its members are actually unaware of their true intentions as well. Members of the Grand Paladin such as Benika and Yousuke begins to question their own organization after certain events in the show. Then, there are others who follows the organization’s code to the letter. Individually, I think members of Grand Paladin are unique with their own personalities and character chemistry between each other. A noticeable example is Miu and Harumi with their childhood friendship/rivalry. In the earlier episodes, Miu wants to truly prove to herself especially to Harumi in battle. This results in disastrous consequences that nearly costs her life. But to be honest, I think the show does an exceptional job at taking risks like this. It puts the audience in their seat to see how far characters to go to accomplish their goals. In doing so, it also made me get invested into these characters with their unpredictability.
That being said, there are definitely some characters that stands out compare to others. Sensei (the purple cat) is an easy example to point out not just for his unusual characteristics but also for his revelation later in the story. Others such as the Grand Paladin leader Takashi Ryuuzoji makes you curious about his true motives. Hell, even that maid Ginko Kuroi should spark more than just interest once you see what she can do. However, characters like Nozomi and Judgement are portrayed more as comic relief. Like I said before, some characters stand out more than others and not everyone can steal the spotlight. Souya’s character growth is also important to note as the more memories he recovers, the more he matures. Despite that, the show is still known for its various running gags such as Souya’s insatiable desire to eat meat. In general, I think the comedy in this show is a bit peculiar. It never relies on shock or fan service. Instead, it presents it in a sort of kooky and sarcastic way. The dialogues comes out naturally but sometimes mixes in silly words to make conversation flow like an oddball. Take it as you’d like but if this is your first time seeing a Mizukami work, then it should be an unique experience.
There are many ways to describe the art style of Planet With but I find the word ‘surreal’ to be one of the more accurate representations. My first glance at the mecha designs immediately gave me a weird insight on its context. The ripple pattern eyes and cat-like ears is definitely an unusual design that I’ve not seen in many of the mecha series I’ve seen before. Furthermore, there are the Nebula that takes weirdness to another level such as the abnormal looking dolls or inverted babies. Oh and let’s not forget sensei with his idiosyncratic look. On the other hand, the human-looking characters in the show are about as average as it can get. With the exception of Ginko, no one really looks remarkable. Some of them even fall under character archetypes such as Nozomi as the ‘glasses girl’. However, I’m more than pleased at the battle choreography of the show. Even from its first episodes, I knew it was impressive with the cinematic-like explosiveness. Some of the fights look like watching a movie by the amount of details it shows. I often had to take a breather or two after some of the fighting segments because it was that damn fierce.
As part of Mizukami’s involvement in the show, he also worked on the series composition. This would be the first time anyone has heard of his work in animated form. And thankfully, he aces it with flying colors. In essence, the battle OST and music in the show is phenomenal. There’s not one moment in the battle scenes that loses momentum thanks to his talent. In my opinion, Mizukami gave those scenes a larger than life moment by the sheer technical quality of the soundtrack. It’s hardcore with heavy beats that mixes in with a variety of electrical notes to make everything flow together. On the other hand, I can’t really say the casting in the show were exceptional. Other than Sensei, everyone else just sounds too normal despite the show being abnormally strange. Luckily, the theme songs makes up more of that with their creativity.
Planet With is not a show that I can easily recommend to just anyone. Watching the first episodes made my head spin at how complex the characters and the storytelling may become. And indeed, this series won’t be easy to watch with just an open mind. You need to understand the characters and their motivations as every action has a consequence. As surreal as the series feels, Planet With can be very enjoyable for once you accept for what it is. As Mizukami’s first anime project, I hope his manga works gets adaptations in the future. Or if not, make another season of Planet With because I want more.
Planet With is an interesting series for a variety of reasons. Outside of the fact that it’s a super robot anime in our current time, its premise sounds almost as peculiar as the designs of the aliens at its disposal. A vengeful fight against a group of heroes ends up spiraling into a conflict about the nature of humanity, and whether subjugation or love is the best path for them. In a way, this plot progression sounds similar to super robot juggernaut, Gurren Lagann from the previous decade. It certainly isn’t as impactful or even as well-crafted, but the charm and overall writing are strong
enough to elevate this dark horse to its radar.
First, we need to get an elephant out of the room; this show ain’t a looker. The CGI is generally terrible, making action scenes have no weight to them in terms of actual combat. This makes the combat feel floaty and even silly. The CGI works well when you see some absurd creature designs in the early episodes, but not for the mecha fights that are prevalent within the show, let alone any other machines that appear often. The character models are sometimes CG as well and they look even worse in those rare instances. That said, the designs are more than striking, from the mech and weird alien behemoth designs, to the wonderful, expressive, and/or sexy character designs. The actual animation and direction have some fun moments as well from interesting shots and angles, particularly later on. If only the CGI was up to par with the 2D elements, but alas JC Staff can’t help but continue its recent trend of lackluster visuals. To be fair, at least it stands out, unlike the music, which aside from the decent OP and ED, is serviceable at best.
Where the show makes up for this is in its character exploration and chemistry. While few characters outside of Souya and Ginko are very memorable, the show does a wonderful job at exploring them and making their personalities bounce off each other. Most of the gags are spot-on, and despite how formulaic the early episodes were with some of its characters, what we got in terms of their backstories and how they dealt with everything was solid enough in its own right. Their conflicts, while spelled out to borderline obnoxious degrees, are handled in an engaging way, and the fact that this show works well as a modern surreal super robot shounen anime adds to this, right down to the finale. The show never indulges too far in its own bleakness despite how horrific several backstories can be and how the characters break down. All of this makes these characters charming for as unremarkable they may be. The comedy and romantic moments work effectively in that same vein. It never quite reaches Studio Gainax levels of maintaining that perfect balance between quirky, and downright tragic with shows like Gurren Lagann or Nadia. Despite this, well-respected mangaka Satoshi Mizukami still crafted arguably the most well-rounded show of the year. Cramming it all into 12 episodes as cleanly as it did is arguably one of the show’s greatest feats as well.
Ultimately, this dark horse managed to be one one of the most surreal and charming shows of the year, visuals notwithstanding. Its conflicts are somewhat engaging, its feel is wonderful and genuine, and it manages to stand-out within this gigantic seasonal crowd for a variety of reasons. It’s a truly solid work with some real heart and talent to boot. Dare I say, with better action and CGI, this show could have been one of the greats. It certainly worked better as Gurren Lagann’s successor than Darling in the FranXX ever did.
It's hard to pinpoint what Planet With actually is all about. Going into the series itself is like taking the dive into something that you don't know how would it be like, even after the absurd leaps of event after event that STILL manages to keep you on-board and invested. It's like you can predict the plot, but then it changes shift so soon that you're caught unaware each and everytime. That's the magic of Satoshi Mizukami, the brainchild of this series that honestly, Planet With is so unorthodoxly planned with the result being of perfect balance, and it is criminally one of the most
overlooked gems of Summer 2018.
Our main protagonist, Soya Kuroi, whom helms himself as a survivor of the once war-ravaged state that is Sirius, aims to do so many things at once (but with progression) which makes up for the bizarre but perfect plot. (Spoilers alert)
1) He starts off his revenge against the people whom killed his parents in his childhood years, as this character that looks like the GOOD protagonist, but the disguise is that with the occupants, the gothic-looking Ginko (from planet Riel) and the cat-looking "Sensei" (which is Rashverak), he hides his appearance with the mask that is now reminiscent of when he's swallowed by Rashverak and transforms into the Nebula Soldier, a cat-like mecha. Going after the 7 members of Grand Paladin whom destroyed the UFOs in the shape of oddly-looking animals, not with their mech power, but psychological power (as the UFOs play their minds with disillusional good memories to defeat them), and then coming in as the de-facto to steal their power, a small jar containing stardust that enables them to transform to their mechs, which in turn acts as the catalyst for Soya's lost memories.
2) The true plot of the series is now established, with Ginko explaining to Soya about the major difference: the fight for supremacy against factions - Soya's team being the Pacifist Faction, the people who want to change the world to be advocates of love, against the strange UFO weapons and Generalissimo the dog-looking general (which is Karellen)'s team being the Sealing Faction, the strange creatures from space that wants to keep the world's status quo and seal the world from more harm and damage.
3) As if this series hasn't been established yet (Mizukani's speciality of subversive plot), Soya, after the whole Grand Paladin ordeal, now finds himself in a predictament as the "People of Paradise", the culmination of a projection of his brother, who went to fight against the Dragon (which is called Azrabarakura), who has destroyed the lands of both Soya and Ginko's homelands, comes back to him as the general purpose to tell Soya that the Dragon has been defeated, but NOT yet completely laid down to rest, and will awaken in 5 years (time leap to Episode 10). And with that, all Nebula occupants, which include both the Pacifist and Sealing Factions, combine their forces to seal the Dragon that has tormented the lands of past and rest its soul back with the "People of Paradise".
The story premise starts off semi-promising, but by the time it reaches the climax, it is wholesomely satisfying and you will feel like all the constant world-building and build-up is made solely to captivate and eclipse every moment of the show. It's like a puzzle picture, every piece of the puzzle making up for its slots to form the whole picture.
Speaking of the characters, every character design is Mizukani-based, and props to the production staff for keeping his designs on-point, because they all look impressive, have unique premises and overall, just a visual treat to look at. Even the mech designs are rich and great, for they don't look like anything else other than a brazen copy-and-paste method, and honestly it's quite a refreshment from the oh-so-many mecha shows we're used to, with Gurren Lagann being the speciality (and the mech designs there too ware so weird, it just works). This show also tries to slot in the humour that is soldered right into the plot, and that too works best in its own regard.
And I ship Soya and Nozomi (the 5 years after time-leap), why does this become Side-B info? It isn't apparent, but then again this series vaguely shows (it isn't important to the overall picture anyways), so most likely both of them are friends and then comrades in the fight...and nothing else :(
Once again, I was once unsure that J.C.Staff would be the best studio to take on what can be called the solid core foundation of Mizukani, since his works are unpredictable. But after watching this series in its entirety, I'm contested and relieved that the production staff for this show really expresses their very best at creating the world that Mizukani envisioned everything to be. The art is not the greatest, but it works. The animation, especially the mecha-centric action scenes with the transformation to the battles with CGI, it was wonky at first, but the problems were quickly resolved with clean, concise and affluent animation. Some can tolerate the CGI at close range, but it's very noticeable and you be the judge of that.
The music (heck and hell yeah) is Planet With's biggest win, because it not only explictly tells the story with the calm and soothing music at the low moments to the almost (slot in any superpower series you know)-feel BGM that holds the expectations ablaze with dubstep-esque bass, but also the music which is dope, which I have come to love the great purposefully made OST by Kouhei Tanaka (One Piece), and overall sound direction by Yoshikazu Iwanami (Berserk movies). The OP by Minami, 'One Unit', doesn't disappoint (honestly coming in after High School DxD Hero) and is one of my favourites in the Summer season. Mai Fuchigami's 'Rainbow Planet' for the ED isn't bad either, foreshadowing what all the characters has gone through the way in the series.
And yet for all intensive purposes, Planet With falls ideally short of the fanbase, which is a shame to say the least (along with the MAL score), because it's a professionally-made show through and through. Thus far, this has been in the way, one of the most memorable series of the lackluster Summer 2018 season, and hopefully if you're like me, you don't know what this show's about but am intrigued by the storyline it has despite its shortcomings, pick this one up and prepare to be amazed.