In my constant search to have something to watch or listen to while I sew, I have just finished rewatching the anime Planetes. (Planetes is Greek for “wanderer” which makes the title make a little more thematic sense.) This series is one of my favorite animes, and it’s one that not many people have seen.
It’s a slice-of-life sci-fi show about a group of in the year 2075 who clear space debris. They are essentially space trash men with the lowest status in their company. The department is a refuge for misfits whose wacky character traits give the show much of its humor.
The main character, at least at the beginning of the series, is Ai Tanabe, an idealistic young woman who is just starting at debris section. As the show continues much of the focus shifts to Hachirota “Hachimaki” Hoshino, her senpai, an irascible young man who dreams of owning his own spaceship one day.
While both a slice-of-life anime focusing on character stories and a comedy, the show also tackles a lot of serious issues. It’s got a very philosophical core, and stories about topics such as death, war, poverty, class, suicide, and terrorism are common.
So it’s a must watch for anyone looking for intelligent and thoughtful storytelling. I also recommend it for fans of hard sci-fi and those who, like me, get lots of feels from stories about realistic space exploration.