Posted by Lenlo on 23 November 2018 with categories: Planetes, Throwback Thursday

Hello and happy Thanksgiving everyone! Welcome to another week of Throwback Thursday! This time Planetes covers the absurdity of national borders in space, Claire’s identity, and space terrorism. Lets jump in!

Planetes is starting to get into the meat of its story, I think. The issues are becoming less and less personal, and touching more on the world of the series at large. The current political and economic state, terrorism and para-military groups and the like. To me, these don’t really fit the much more personal stories of earlier episodes. Their purpose is to setup elements for conflict in the future. The war’s on the surface for example have been referenced multiple times. Previously in the first episode, as the removed some junk by dropping it in the atmosphere. And now in episode 11, in regards to the war in Altaniqua. Combine that with the growing military presence we see through Gigalt and his other student Hakim, and we have the makings of a rebellion story. The question is, which way will our cast go?

In episode 11, Boundary Line, Planetes delves deeper into the political situation of its world. At the start I thought it was going to be a rather dull exploration of space suit tech. I shouldn’t have doubted Planetes though, because it quickly turned this into a question of nationalities and borders in space. How you can’t see borders, or nations, in space. That we are all one species, one people. It’s not necessarily something I agree with, but the sentiment is a beautiful one. I thought the build up to it throughout the episode, by painting it through the struggles of this poor salesman, was clever. Connecting him to Claire, a character not really explored much until now, was also a good move I think. Showing us two sides of the coin. His struggle to better his nation, while her worry about abandoning it.

Personally I thought Claire’s conflict was more interesting. Learning where she was from, how she “escaped” it, and how she feels about it. She clearly has guilt over leaving the country, and no doubt others think she is a traitor. Yet she goes out of her way to help this Salesman, to get him his shot. It makes me curious where her story is going to go, as Planetes is clearly prepping for some kind of “evil world government” plan in the future. Her loyalty will probably be called into question, along with the Division Chief and Hakim. A good plan from Planetes I think, as the cast of characters is starting to grow rather large. It’s time to start expanding on what we have instead of bringing in more and more and more each week.

Episode 12, A Modest Request, does just that by focusing its story on Fee. What Planetes did here was actually rather clever I think. It used Fee and her smokes to frame a story about terrorism in a humorous lens. To make our first encounter with it light-hearted, so we don’t break to far from the earlier episode’s tone. With how serious a topic Terrorism can be, I could understand if others thought it was in poor taste. For me though the humor worked because it wasn’t your classic slapstick, but a dip into insanity for Fee. She got more and more unhinged, being in the wrong place time and again. Only to somehow be in the right place at the very end, and taking it not for the greater good, but for her smokes. It’s not the strongest gag story, sure. But it worked.

So all in all, I found it another good 2 episodes of Planetes. It gave me the emotional sweet hit in episode 11, and the more gag focused in episode 12. I admit, it’s hard to really nail down how I feel about this episode at the moment, because of Thanksgiving. Let this be a lesson to myself not to put off writing something on a holiday week.

So instead, I will take the lazy way out, and ask you. What did you think of this week? Did the Salesmans story work for you, or was it to weak? Did Fee’s smoking feel like a cheap gag, or a good story thread? Let me know below, and I will see you soon!

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