Off-radar by many.
There are always some shows that pass by without many people noticing, including me. Sometimes I discover those shows the same season, like with Planetarian and others many months or even years after they’ve aired.
Planetarian takes place after a hazardous disease went haywire on earth. The story focuses on one robot girl called Yumemi, who is left alone in a planetarium waiting for new visitors to come. Kuzuya discovers her through his travels into the city as a junker, those who look for remnants of humanities lost civilization. While first annoyed by her presence, a friendship between them grows. I really enjoy this futuristic concept of human alongside robot and the fading lines between those two, since I believe one day we will be faced with such societal developments.
Yumemi is oblivious to her current reality and beliefs that customers will come her way just like Kuzuya did, who is now her special customer. It’s been 30 years since any customer has come to the planetarium, so it will be highly unlikely that others will follow, but Yumemi keeps hope.
A highly reminiscent Plastic Memories relationship grows between the two, albeit that Plastic Memories focused on a romantic relationship between a human and a robot.
Yumemi is the guide for the planetarium at the desolate mall she is stationed at. But, the planetarium is broken, so Kuzuya will do everything in his power to repair the light shining machine. This the main focus of the show, with Kuzuya and Yumemi looking for parts to repair it. They keep moving about in the city and recollecting memories of Yumemi’s past.
While this is a very meager plot, it’s well enough to fill seven episodes of various lengths. Some episodes don’t even exceed the twenty minutes, but they don’t fall in the short anime category as well. Planetarian isn’t so much boring, it’s just rather slow, even when the anime doesn’t reach twenty minutes.
Yumemi is the typical cute girl (robot), and Kuzuya the standard bloke whose emotions have been numbed by current day reality. Slowly he shows his human side. Very regular stuff. This makes the viewing experience a dull one at times. Slice of Life fans will find this a pleasing watch, with the occasional action scenes to spice it up.
Post apocalyptic shows are very dependent on how they portray the scenery. Without this visual element, a show set in this genre can lose a lot of its credibility. Planetarian doesn’t really stand out in this department.
The color scheme leans towards the grey scale, but it doesn’t really pop out of your screen. Being post apocalyptic doesn’t mean it has to be grey and depressing. In most cases flora takes over, but that seems to be almost nonexistent in Planetarian. Missed opportunity to say the least.
While there is much to say about Planetarian, the show still manages to create an emotional connection with the viewer. The visuals may be a little outdated, Yumemi is a sincere character. Kuzuya may be a tool to kick start the plot, the interactions with Yumemi are honest. I rate the show an 8 out of 10.