Soya is a boy who suffers from amnesia after an accident which apparently killed the rest of his family. Despite this, he lives a relatively normal school life alongside his only friend, the class representative Takamagahara. Well…mostly normal, except that he lives with a cheerful girl in a maid-like outfit named Ginko and a giant, creepy-looking (not to mention) perverted cat simply known as “Sensei”.
His “ordinary” daily life is brought to an end when giant, bizarre-looking creatures suddenly appear around the world. The creatures can shoot missiles which destroy everything they touch and are completely unaffected by normal military weapons. To the surprise of the general population, seven heroes in powered armor appear and begin fighting the creatures. Soya has a strange suspicion that the heroes are connected to his missing memories. However, Ginko and Sensei seem to know more than they are letting on – and, to Soya’s surprise, they tell him that he will be joining the fight, not to help take down the monsters but to eliminate the seven superheroes!
The leader of the heroes, a former firefighter named Hideo, travels inside the giant enemy with the hope of destroying it from within. Inside, he is confronted with a happy illusion of getting to talk to his long-dead mother. However, when he successfully manages to come to his senses and destroy the illusion, it not only destroys that creature, but every one at once all around the world. Content that their job is done, the heroes disperse and return to their homes.
Encouraged by Ginko, Soya confronts Hideo and demands “the source of his power”. To his surprise, Soya learns that he can “fuse” with Sensei to gain access to a cat-themed suit of power armor. The two fight, and Sota – with Ginko’s help – successfully gets his hands on the “source,” which turns out to be a small vial of dust-like substance. Something about the “power source” causes Soya to begin regaining his memories. Although the viewer does not get to see just what Soya has remembered, it causes him to immediately declare that he will destroy all seven of the heroes.
Let’s get this out of the way first: I am probably not the most qualified person to be writing this review. Planet With marks the anime debut of longtime popular mangaka Satoshi Mizukami – and, although he is a fairly well known figure in the manga world, I am in fact not at all familiar with any of his works. I have been informed that everything about this show, from the character designs to the rather bizarre plot, is indicative of his “signature style”. So it is quite possible that Mizukami fans might get a lot out of this first episode that I, as a newcomer to his body of work, was unable to.
That being said, my feelings about this episode were…unfortunately not overwhelmingly positive. It just felt like one of those anime that is just a bit, as bad as it sounds, TOO anime for me? The character designs, while unique, were not particularly compelling, plus we had all these random shoehorned in elements like “mysterious girl in a maid dress” and “giant perverted cat”. There was also a bit of an over-reliance on “people yelling really loudly is funny, right?” especially when it came to Soya’s frustration with Ginko constantly serving him vegetarian food. Also, I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but…Sensei’s design creeps me out. He’s just got that particular style of blank stare that I’m REALLY not fond of. Also why did he have to be a pervert? Seriously? What did that add to his character? (NOTHING, THAT’S WHAT!)
However, I do think the plot has some potential to be interesting. Soya is a bit generic as a protagonist, but I like the concept of “fighting to take down the heroes who are protecting Earth by taking down the giant aliens”. I do hope we get to see a bit more of the heroes in future episodes, because I found Hideo’s illusion/flashback while fighting the enemy to be the most interesting (not to mention downright heartwarming and tearjerking) part of the episode. I honestly found the seven heroes a lot more interesting than Soya, Ginko or Sensei, even though only Hideo got any sort of development or focus this episode.
I think this series has the potential to do really well and is going to have a lot of fans, especially those who already like Mizukami’s works and are excited to see his distinct style in anime format. Whether or not I’ll end up liking this show? Well, at this point, who knows. The first episode wasn’t great, but I would like to give it at least a second try. I don’t think I’ll blog it unless the second episode REALLY impresses me, though, because I could see every single review just being about how creepy Sensei is.
I had a really hard time deciding what score to give this episode due to my mixed feelings. In the end, out of 5 Dios, Planet With receives: