In 2075, space travel is no longer just a dream, but an everyday reality for mankind. Advancements in science and technology have led to the colonization of the moon, the commercialization of outer space, and the formation of large space corporations. Ai Tanabe, an upbeat woman whose interests lie in the cosmos, joins Technora Corporation as a member of their Debris Section, a department dedicated to the removal of dangerous space junk between the orbits of the Earth and Moon.
However, Ai soon discovers how unappreciated her job is. As the laughingstock of Technora, the Debris Section is severely understaffed, poorly funded, and is forced to use a dilapidated spaceship nicknamed the “Toy Box” for debris retrieval. Undeterred, Ai perseveres and gradually becomes acquainted with the strange personalities that make up the Debris Section’s staff, such as the bumbling but good-natured chief clerk Philippe Myers; the mysterious and tight-lipped temp worker Edelgard Rivera; and the hotheaded and passionate Hachirota Hoshino, who longs for a spaceship to call his own.
Winner of the Seiun Award in 2005, Planetes is an unconventional sci-fi series that portrays the vastness of space as a backdrop for the personal lives of ordinary people—people who may have been born on Earth, but whose hopes and dreams lie amongst the stars. – My Anime List
Based on 13 review scores:
One of the best shows I’ve seen in a while, Planetes is an excellent and engaging work that while addressing a number of thematic issues, never loses its character focus. If you absolutely positively must have high-end action in every episode, you might want to subtract a star. If you like your anime completely free of political or philosophical exploration, you might want to subtract a star. Everybody else, enjoy!
Planetes is a real winner with its engaging storyline and well developed characters. I’m really touched by the quality and depth of the animation. The ending left me smiling, wishing the characters good luck for their next phase in life.
Rarely does a space show come along that doesn’t involve the word Gundam or a bunch of teenage girls. I loved this show and I really can’t think of a single thing wrong with it other than it felt so short. Go watch this NOW!
The Cajun Samurai
“Planetes” is an unsung hero of anime. [Where have I heard that one from…] While it’s true that it’s not as popular or well-known as Studio Sunrise’ previous offerings, “Planetes” is a gem in and of itself. With its deep yet solid story set in a far off yet believable future, an intriguing and interesting cast of characters with real issues and problems, awe-inspiring animation and music, and applause-worthy acting in both languages, “Planetes” is a prime example of what happens when anime based in space is done RIGHT.
With superb animation and music that works, this is a solid product boasting both flair and polish. For all you action junkies out there, I must warn you that Planetes is an anime about people. Sci-fi and politics aside, it’s the characters that lead this extraordinary ride.
Because the setting of Planetes revolves around outer space, many people pass on it. But It fulfills the particular niche of a viewer who may sometimes get that unexplained feeling of wanting to do something about the state of the world, to change it for the better.
The Rigid Octopus
The best part of this anime is that it appears real to me. The debris collection section faces both pressure from the corporate as well as the potential dangers of working in space. In addition to possibly being hit by a stray debris (apparently a single screw can take out a space craft), the workers are also under constant cosmetic radiation that will shorten their life span. These dangers are being reminded throughout the anime. In spite of all this, we see the daily lives of the workers, and their love of space. The romance is not as dramatic as you see in a lot of anime series. Instead, everything feels very natural. It’s almost like reading about the love story of your parents. I think it is this realism that makes the anime appealing.
If I could successfully get just 10 or 20 of my followers to watch this, I would honestly consider it a huge plus. I’m just one person, so suffice to say, there’s only so much I can do to share the wonders of this anime to other fans. I can’t stress enough about the greatness of the story or the uniqueness of the characters, but I can continue to push it as much as possible in the hopes of gaining this anime some sort of respect or popularity. There’s no doubting that this anime could really catch on if people would give it a chance, but all I can do is convey the concepts and ideas behind it in this review.
My Anime List
This needs to become more popular! It deserves better than only a couple hundreds watchers. Take the time and watch it.
The animation is flawless, the story is filled with humor, and the soundtrack has superb music. This is a very fun and inspiring Anime series. Recommended very highly!!!
I would wager that there are quite a few people who will dismiss this anime merely because of its sci-fi wrappings. While it’s understandable that people have their own genre preferences, I can’t think of any anime better suited to bridging the gap than Planetes due to its humanist story and likable cast of characters. Whether your preference is for comedy, romance, or drama, there will most likely be something here for you to enjoy, and hopefully by latching onto that, you will also be able to enjoy the remarkable development of the story in its second half. This is an anime that makes excellent use of its 26-episode format to give a satisfying sense of development and closure that wouldn’t be possible in a shorter time length. I have been evangelizing this series for years now, and I still have not come across many series that gave me the level of satisfaction upon completion that I found in Planetes. It is one of those few stories which were engrossing enough that it stayed in my mind after its finish – something very few anime manage to do. Give it a try.
For those who like their sci-fi hardboiled and their drama subtly stirring, Planetes will constitute that one in a million viewing experience. Its uniquely realistic conception of space, physics, and engineering feels as concrete as taking a course in all three subjects, while its theme-oriented presentation and humanising comedy ensure it remains gripping for all the right reasons. Indeed, leisurely build-up aside, Planetes manages to keep the human tale close to heart in a vast and impassive landscape filled with dead objects. As such, it is an exercise in ingenuity.