Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 7, 2016 to Aug 4, 2016
Producers: Visual Art’s
Licensors: FUNimation Entertainment
Studios: David Production
Source: Kinectic Novel
Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi
Duration: 18 to 21 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older
Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume (Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet) is based on the Kinectic Novel/Visual Novel of the same name by Key. It is the shortest VN in their library of works which includes such greats as Clannad, Kanon, Little Busters, Angel Beats and Rewrite.
Now the main difference of this anime that most people will probably notice right away is that it consists of a story that has only two characters.
As a huge fan of Key’s storytelling and someone who has watched every anime based on their VNs, I was excited when it was announced that Planetarian was being made into an anime.
So how does this adaption by David Production measure up? Here are my thoughts on this ONA series…
It’s thirty years after the collapse of the Space Colonization Program. Humanity is nearly extinct from the deadly rain that falls on the Earth. Men known as “Junkers” scavenge goods and artifacts from the ruins of civilization. One day a “Junker” decides to enter the dangerous ruins called Sarcophagus City, in the middle of this broken down city he stumbles into Flowercrest Department Store with a planetarium on the roof. It is here that he meets Yumemi Hoshino, the attendant robot who is awakened once a year for 168 hours when the stores back up power activates. To her he is the first customer she has had in thirty years and greets him with a smile and attempts to do the job she was created for by showing him the stars. The projector turns out to be broken and annoyed with her constant chatter, the Junker agrees to repair it so she can show him her presentation.
This story consists of two characters “The Junker” and “Yumemi Hoshino”, though we do meet other characters through flashbacks they are never really there in the current day. Both characters were animated and voiced well which makes them relatable and likable.
Yumemi is a robot who was designed to look like a teenage to early 20’s female, she was programmed to be an attentive, friendly and helpful to the customers visiting the store and planetarium. Due to this programming she is very talkative and is filled with a wealth of knowledge about the surrounding areas of the store. She calls the Junker “Mr. Customer” throughout the story as he never gives her his name.
The Junker is a man that appears to be in his mid 20’s to early 30’s that is living the life of a scavenger to survive this dystopian world that he lives in. He seems to have a rough personality and gets annoyed very easily by Yumemi’s programming. Later on he seems to develop a fondness for her and doesn’t want to leave her behind in the empty and lonely city.
Voice Acting and Animation
The original voice actors from the game and drama CDs are used in the anime. Daisuke Ono once again gives a touching and heartfelt performance to his character (The Junker) and makes him easily relatable and gives him a great range of emotion. Keiko Suzuki once again makes Yumemi sound so alive and human. The range of depth in her emotional ending speech hits you just as hard in the anime as it did in the game.
For a studio who hasn’t done a huge amount of anime, they did a great job with the animation and character design. The dystopian and broken down world looks amazingly real and the planetarium is nothing fancy, but gives you the sense of being in one. The character design is also done well as Yumemi’s actions are so human-like that it shows how advanced her robot design was when she was created.
The ED song used was “Twinkle Starlight” by Sayaka Sasaki which is beautiful and fits the theme of this series well. The background sounds and the music fit each scene well and draws you in. The presentation at the planetarium is a prime example of this, I actually felt like I was there myself watching the presentation.
Planetarian is a story that will touch you from the beginning to the end. The flashbacks from when the world was alive to the current state of the world will make you feel like you are there along with the characters. The chemistry between the two characters is what sets this story apart from other anime based on VNs. Yumemi’s inability to see the world as Junker does it what gives the story heart, and what lets him take a break from the real world and forget his troubles.
My Personal Thoughts
As someone who played the Kinectic Novel on Steam, I knew what the story was about from the beginning to the end. I also knew how it would play out and even with that knowledge, I was hooked from the first episode. Even though the the game had a lot of emotion and a great story, seeing it played out in an anime adaption was amazing. Every episode touched me and I shed as many tears watching this is a did reading it in the game. The characters gave so much life to the story that it seemed like I had only played the game yesterday and not two years ago. I was skeptical about how the animation would be handled at first as I was unfamiliar with the work of David Production, since I have only seen one other anime by them at that was Hyperdimension Neptunia which is also based on a video game. My skepticism was short lived as from the very first episode, I could see how much work went into adapting this into an anime. I was in awe at how well every scene looked, and at how well the character animation was done. Everything felt so alive!
My only complaint about the whole series was at the end, the song that was played in the game when Yumemi is giving her final speech was missing and I think that they should have used the song “Perfect Human” while that scene played out. I still cried my eyes out, but I felt something was missing and after viewing the last episode again with that song playing during that scene I knew what it was.
If you like touching stories, this is a must watch series!
Overall I gave this a 9/10!
I also recommend checking out the Kinetic Novel on Steam, you can find it here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/316720/
Tiffany "CeissaDesiste" Toms
Long time female gamer who has been playing all genres since the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 days. Freelance Graphic Artist, Web Designer, Beta Tester, and studied one year of Game Design. I play games on PC, PS4, PS3, Wii, 3DS, Xbox 360, PSVita, and Android. Freelance Writer, Reviewer, and News Editor/Asst. Director for Anjel Syndicate since the site launched! Part time employee of a major video game retailer.