Posted by Lenlo on 30 December 2018 with categories: Planetes, Throwback Thursday

Hello everyone, to another exceedingly late post on Planetes. New Years and end of season reviews have me stretched a bit thin, but the Throwback Thursday train never stops. Lets dive in!

Once again, Planetes goes for one good episode, one iffy one. The first was great, as the plot finally started to move forward and the end-game arc took shape. The second however felt largely like filler, with very little of value going on, barely expanding on the previous episode, and mostly serving to give Hachimaki time to react. Simply put, I did not enjoy the second episode, because very little of consequence happened. It felt like a setup episode, coming right on the heels of the big reveal in the first episode. That said, the first episode was not without issues either. So without further ado, let’s head into that.

In episode 21, Tandem Mirror, we finally see the result of Planetes building story and terrorist plot. In what was so obvious I almost thought it was a red herring, Hakim is a member of the SDF. With all the setup, from the briefcase to his lack of a reaction when Tanabe and co find the broken mirror part, Planetes couldn’t have been more obvious. It works out I suppose, as the 3rd World problems seem to be really hitting him and Claire hard. It also explains the previous run ins with the SDF and how they were able to get as close as they were in the first place. However, it just didn’t feel as right in the moment though. Perhaps that is the English VA I am watching, where a lot of the older dub work has very little emotion.

That said the narrative setup was great. Once again I like how Planetes is drawing on all of these previous episode plots, which were good one offs in the first place, to build this theme of life in space. How it takes from everyone, even Hachi and Hakim, who supposedly love it. Every time there is a flashback to a relevant episode on whatever conversation is taking place, I get a little giddy inside, because it was clearly planned. Add to that the cover up for the failure of the Tandem Mirror, how it wasn’t terrorists but a legitimate technical error, and it really starts to paint a picture of there being no good guys. Corporations, terrorists, countries, all fighting each other and hurting the people trapped between. It fits the authors views on Globalism to a tee.

Episode 22, Exposure, however was nowhere near as enjoyable. It goes over the fallout of the previous episode a bit, with what happened with Hakim and his previous terrorist efforts, but beyond that it’s mostly drama. Pilot Boi reveals his attitude to others, and Claire calls him out on it. Meanwhile Hachimaki discovers and starts to deal with what happened to Gigalt. Naturally the most interesting aspect of this episode was Hachimaki and his internal struggles, instead of everything else. His reunion with the remaining Ninja, while sad because I liked them, really drives home his increasing depression on everything. His own self doubt about his dream and if he is doing the right thing. I personally really enjoy these kinds of internal dilemmas with characters, as they can’t be solved through simple shounen combat.

The poor aspect of this episode for me was everything with Tanabe. Simply put, their relationship has no real chemistry. It feels like it was added in for the sake of because the two leads were male/female. Their relationship came out of nowhere and then was immediately put on the strain in the last few episodes with Hachi’s dream. He didn’t question it at all, just said fuck it and left. Yet now he is having second thoughts, and instead of it being about his dream, its about not wanting to drag Tanabe down with his depression. It is easily the most forced aspect of Planetes and in my opinion has little place in the otherwise fantastic story and themes of the series.

So all in all, another decent week. I have become less enthuse with Planetes as we go on, simply because I have gotten used to the weekly story and payoff. So these slower episodes, split between serious themes and pointless drama filler, simply don’t do it for me. I am hoping however that with the SDF plot finally kicked off, Planetes can once again drag me back in for a worthwhile finale. What with Christmas and New Years stealing a lot of my attention, it really has to do something big to reinvigorate me.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Tayo Jones says:

    I think you need to be more patient with shows lije this otherwise you are not going to enjoy yourself and just make viewing s chore. The last episodes will be worth it.

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