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Ginko: Planetarian

Discussion in 'Anime Reviews' started by Ginko, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. Ginko

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    In honor of the global March for Science, I thought I'd pick up something in that vein, or in this case, one gynoid's passion for science communication amid dire circumstances.

    Synopsis
    In a post-apocalyptic future, biological and nuclear war has ravaged the planet.

    An unnamed "junker" running from hostile robots hides in a ruined strip mall. To his surprise, he finds a planetarium in good condition, considering its surroundings. It's inhabited by Yumemi, an especially talkative attendant.

    A defunct projector prevents Yumemi from showing the junker her presentation of the starry sky, and he volunteers to help get it back in operating condition. The outside world is extremely dangerous anyway, so he might as well hang out with Yumemi and "Miss Jena" the projector.

    Analysis and Impressions
    Planetarian is short, very short. The series is only five episodes at 15-ish minutes each. This is because the source material, a visual novel on PlayStation 2, isn't very long itself. It's just long enough to get to know the characters before the series finishes. It's also just long enough to illustrate some human qualities.

    The junker is clearly a survivalist, only concerned with making it to the next meal. Sure, the planetarium gives him shelter, but is it the only reason he stays? For once, it seems he is given a sense of purpose in repairing the projector.

    During the junker's stay, Yumemi has a bit of an existential crisis. She questions her spirituality and whether she has a soul, even going so far as to have her own wishes for what an afterlife might be like. It seems tangential to the main narrative, but it does give one pause to consider how a sentient artificial intelligence might think of itself.

    Finally, Planetarian introduces a smidge of what Neil deGrasse Tyson affectionately calls "the cosmic perspective". For the uninitiated, the cosmic perspective is one that eliminates the boundaries created by countries and politics. From outer space, we are all on the same blue marble, sharing a short and tenuous existence together. In that light, wars over patches of land or resources seem petty and ridiculous. The cosmic perspective is awakened in the junker of Planetarian, and he will fight to keep that hopeful feeling alive.

    Who is it for?
    Planetarian's short length means a viewer can blow through the whole series in a single sitting. Excluding the ending theme, the whole thing is about a little over an hour.

    Fans of sci-fi should take note, as well as anyone who likes a good story.

    Personally, the only thing that I don't like about it is that there isn't more. The ending came far, far too soon.
     
    #1 Ginko, Apr 22, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  2. Ddos_Dragon

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    God, I love your reviews. I may not post responses, but, at most times, they convey my thoughts on the series fairly perfectly, and that's something praiseworthy, in of itself.

    For sure, a good reference for recommending a show to others.

    Thanks, man.
     
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  3. Ginko

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    Thanks for stopping to read my stuff, it's good to know the writing doesn't just go into the void.

    I'm glad I can articulate your thoughts, and hopefully the recommendations will occasionally help you find a new series to watch. Though one thing about a community of anime fans like this is reviews are sort of a catch-22. As a reviewer, you want to review series you have noteworthy impressions of, but there's a good chance most readers have already seen it and developed their own opinions. Still, if I can open someone up to anime they originally gave a pass to, then it's mission accomplished for me.
     

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