Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume – 05

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If one believes we were made in our creator’s image, we do our creators honor by making robots in oursPlanetarian posits the possibility that we might’ve done a better job, as Hoshino Yumemi exhibits the kind of pure, unswerving selflessness and nobility befitting an angel; a kind not all humans are capable of summoning, for myriad reasons.

Unlike God with us, Yumemi’s makers kept things simple, both due to their limited budget and the more important limits to how human we can make robots. Because of this, Yumemi sacrifices herself to save her customer, following to the letter the Three Laws of Robotics.

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The Customer doesn’t run out to stop Yumemi from approaching the giant battle mech, and you can’t blame him. It’s a miracle he’s managed to stay alive with such an unrelenting mechanical monster firing high-caliber round after round at him, in addition to flinging and armored vehicle in the air as if it were a Hot Wheels.

Yumemi provides a diversion at a crucial moment that the Customer, down to his last grenade, cannot squander. So he fires his last show and disables the mech, but not before the mech opens fire at Yumemi, tearing her in two in a fraught sequence that’s painful to watch in its inevitability.

The balance of the episode is an extended, and at times unbearably sad goodbye, as the halved Yumemi only has 600 seconds of battery life left.

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The Customer weeps for her as he would a fellow human; no, moreso, as her following of her robotic directives bore the sheen of heroism, and at the end of the day it makes no difference whether she was artificial or not; she was a person to the Customer, and to us.

She’s a person because she’s utterly unique in her collected experiences, memories, and the evolution of her programming stretched across over 44 years—29 of them waiting, like Hachiko, for her co-workers and customers to return like they say they would. When they don’t, and she starts to think no one is ever coming back, she thinks she must be malfunctioning.

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The Customer’s arrival reassured her that she was not wrong to trust that someone would return. And while her body goes off-line, and it’s gutwrenching to hear her voice fizzle out and her green eyes go gray, the show fittingly leaves a sliver of hope by having the Customer retrieve her memories.

Perhaps, one day, when…whatever is going on with the world ends and peace returns, those memories can be put in a new body, and Yumemi can continue her job immersing customers in the vast, inspiring sea of stars.

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P.S. The stirring piece of music that accompanies the end credits of this final episode is stunningly, hauntingly gorgeous; melancholy and hopeful all at once. If I ever find it, it will surely be included in a future Weekly ED entry.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume – 05”

  1. Thank you for your review of the Planetarium anime series. I’d been tempted to watch this since I have watched other KEY anime adaptations like Clannad, AIR, and Kanon. However, I find that I just can’t handle the heavy, depressing melodrama stuff any more. Heck, I didn’t even watch the anime; I’m only reading your reviews, and I am tearing up at the depressing ending. I know the Japanese love to have an ending whereby the audience can come up with solutions to provide a happy ending, but I’m not really a fan of that style of writing.

    Anyway, I just wanted to express my appreciation here.

    1. Thanks! It’s not usually my preferred genre either (I’m enjoying Alderamin but Preston is hanging on to reviewing duties for that) but I have to admit it was a quality show, that felt like it was made with love and didn’t try to do too much.

      I will note that one of Key’s biggest names, Maeda Jun, was not involved with Planetarian, but I for one loved Angel Beats! (though I’ve seen neither Clannad nor AIR).

  2. Another great post but dang I wish I hadn’t read it… Too many bad feels. Is there some kind of seasonal cycle with sad anime feels I’m not aware of? :(

  3. I have watched this last night, and yeah i got teary eye lol especially when she cry, i dont know if that is just the rain or her tears. but its the best! i hope this is not the end because its way too fast. it should get atleast 12 episodes. and i cant image him being a star teller. lol

    1. There’s apparently a film coming out this Fall, though whether it’s a re-telling or continuation I do not know.

      Funny you mention “star teller”…what IS a star teller? A Google search seems to indicate it has something to do with Indian astrology.

      I for one thought he was going to say “customer” after that dramatic pause.

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