Hoshino Yumemi is an android created as a staff member of a planetarium in a department store. She is left behind by her creators and the other staff after a deadly biological attack has made the city unsafe to live in. Thirty years after she and the city were abandoned, she still waits for any new customers or the others to return. But after all this time, the only one to come to the planetarium is a young man who works as a ‘Junker’- someone who searches abandoned areas for anything useful such as food, weapons or supplies.
He finds Yumemi annoying and comments on the fact that she is clearly broken if she believes everything is normal, but she does her best to treat him as a valued customer.
I’m not sure if we’ve ever gotten an anime season with two things based on a Key game at once, but here’s The Good One. I’m glad that I enjoyed Planetarian so much because Rewrite seriously made me feel like maybe my tastes had changed way too much and I no longer liked Key, and maybe I had been looking back on the Key series I did like with rose-coloured glasses. So we can pretend Rewrite didn’t happen, works for me. Planetarian is just that right blend of cute and tragic that I remember liking about Key stuff.
Anyone who knows me already knows that I have a real Thing for most fiction about humanoid robots that want to learn to act human so Planetarian is right up my alley. Yumemi is adorable and somewhat pitiful in the way that she clearly has no idea what is going on – but it’s portrayed in a way that’s surprisingly sincere and not in some annoying ‘lol dumbass moe robot’ way, and definitely not as lame slapstick. She remarks that the repairs to the machinery will be done ‘shortly’ and she recommends the Junker browse the shopping mall underneath while he waits. This kind of thing just gets right to my heart, you know. You could sell me the exact same story about robots with real or artificial hearts over and over and I’d take it every time.
But that doesn’t mean Planetarian is generic. It doesn’t feel generic, but I’m also not really sure where it’s going. There’s a huge contrast between the super anime Yumemi and the more serious Junker (I can’t remember if he even had a name in this episode), but it does work – especially as Yumemi isn’t human. What’s most interesting to me is that in a flashback sequence, one of the other Junkers warns our main Junker to never talk to ‘that robot’, no matter what.
This show is being released as a web-anime and since the game it’s based on is apparently very short, it will probably only be 5 episode max if even that. The episodes themselves are also slightly shorter than the average anime episode – around 18 minutes total. I’m definitely going to watch it all and I’m sure it will make me very sad.