Planetes (2003–2004)

TV Series  |  TV-14  |  Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi
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In the year 2075, mankind has reached a point where journeying between Earth, the moon and the space stations is part of daily life. However, the progression of technology in space has also... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
 Sasha / ... (17 episodes, 2003-2004)
Nao Nagasawa ...
 Shabo (15 episodes, 2003-2004)


In the year 2075, mankind has reached a point where journeying between Earth, the moon and the space stations is part of daily life. However, the progression of technology in space has also resulted in the problem of the space debris, which can cause excessive and even catastrophic damage to spacecrafts and equipment. This is the story of Technora's Debris Collecting section, its EVA worker, Hachirota "Hachimaki" Hoshino, and the newcomer to the group, Ai Tanabe.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it...


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Release Date:

4 October 2003 (Japan)  »

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Referenced in Gravity (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Great Hard Sci-Fi Anime
4 October 2008 | by (Boston, MA, USA) – See all my reviews

This is anime for those who liked 'From the Earth to the Moon', 'The Right Stuff' and perhaps 'The Office'. It really is the most realistic and enjoyable sci-fi/comedy/drama film ever, beating out both '2001: a Space Odyssey' and the excellent sci-fi mock-documentary 'Voyage to the Planets' (known in England as 'Space Odyssey') in terms of its devotion to realism.

Although the series is set 70 years in the future, the show uses only the science we use now and that we can be fairly sure will exist at that time. No warp drives or matter transporters here, only good old fashioned rockets and good old Newtonian physics. I think I've learned more about the realities of space exploration from a few minutes of viewing this series than I ever have from years of keen interest in space documentaries and NASA TV. In my view, this show should be required viewing for astronauts in training - yes, it's that realistic and that informative.

This show proves that realism can make for truly great science fiction. We don't need di-lithium crystals when the real story is where it's always been (whether we're talking about Star Trek, Star Wars, 2001 or indeed Planetes itself) - in the interactions of well-written characters.

The show starts off a little over-the-top (more like 'The Office' in space) and there are a couple of episodes in the first few that are more than a little corny, but there are also a couple of episodes that are hilarious - the one where they meet ninjas on the moon is classic! After the first seven or eight episodes it settles into more of a thoughtful and well-written drama with the occasional humorous scene. I enjoyed the dramatic episodes equally as much as the comedy episodes - there's a lot to like in this show, and watching the characters grow is definitely a big part of that.

If I have any criticisms of the show, it's with the English dubbed version that can be found on US DVD releases. In some ways it's better than the Japanese version (e.g. Hachirota "Hachimaki" Hoshino's voice sounds more age appropriate in the English dub), but all the characters speak with an American accent - every single one - and this comes across as very odd, since it's quite obvious that at least two of the characters are Japanese and one is Russian. Now I can understand giving the Japanese characters American accents, since the DVD is intended primarily for an American audience which is meant to identify with the leads, but the choice for the Russian is just strange. But I'm not going to make too big of a deal of it - once we get to know the characters, their accents (or rather the lack of them) kinda fade into the background.

Altogether, Planetes is an excellent show that can be enjoyed by anyone who doesn't have an aversion to cartoons. Some episodes may not be entirely suitable for kids though - not because there's any unpalatable sexual content or violence, but because some of the issues discussed are more serious (i.e. the real effects of poverty, death, disease etc.). Like many Japanese anime movies and shows, this is definitely geared towards for teens and adults.

In my view this is the best show for space fans since HBO's 'From the Earth to the Moon'. Anyone who loves space exploration should take a look at this show.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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