Resides in Austin, TX (USA). Long time connoisseur of anime and manga - I'm an art director, media critic and eccentric. I love to write, draw and travel.
Planetarian continues its emotionally destructive rampage towards my heart, in episode 2. Episode 2 opens with The Junker explaining the current state of the world to Yumemi. He explains to her that a country launched a bioweapon and this triggered thermonuclear war. The planets population was devastated. ‘Survivors don’t like the stars’, he mentions while repairing the planetarium’s projector, Miss Jena. Yumemi simply responds by asking if The Junker will need a tool. He tells her to use it to shut herself up.The projector repairs drag on and the Junker decides to stay the night in the planetarium, as it’s not safe to travel after dark. Yumemi anxiously (well as anxious as a robot can be) asks him if he has an estimate for the projector repairs. He says he doesn’t, and she disappointedly cancels the planetarium show for the next morning. The clock nears midnight and she announces she must go into power-saver mode. The Junker learns she does this from 12am – 9am every day. Before she shuts down she says “75 hours left of current activation”. The Junker takes a moment to process this and asks what she means by this, but it’s too late – she’s already ‘asleep’. The scene transitions and The Junker suddenly awakes from a nightmare. In his nightmare, he dreams of a biohazard suit and the pendant he wear around his neck. Yumemi checks on him and mentions that she would like to dream. The Junker responds that dreams aren’t worth it and she seems sad. She goes on to tell The Junker that she is only operational for 1 week out of the entire year, since electricity to the center has declined over that past 35 years. She runs in energy saver mode and has been in operation for two-days. It’s somewhat fortuitous and strange timing for The Junker to meet Yumemi during her operational phase. He learns that she’ll return to power charge mode in only 5 days. The Junker continues his repairs on Miss Jena, and again Yumemi is forced to cancel the next show. The Junker discovers that the light bulbs on the projector are burnt out and sends Yumemi to find more. While he tests the new bulbs, she explains the limitations of her model compared to other robotic models. She wishes that she had the ability to cry and asks what it’s like. The Junker doesn’t have an answer.
The Junker tells Yumemi to pray to God for the repairs. They go into a lengthy discussion about gods and robots and she shares a story about robot heaven. His answer makes her smile and she enters power saver mode. 60 hours left of activation. Will he complete the repairs before she wakes up?
I’ve never wanted to see a star show so much until now. Yumemi’s eagerness for the repairs to be completed makes me anxious and I wanted very much for The Junker to finish them before the end of the episode. Even though no one is around to watch the show, I feel like this star show will be important – it’s all Yumemi has. During the episode, she shows hints of several human emotions, such as happiness, anxiousness and sadness. She claims she has no emotions – but as the viewer I can see them peeking through, and so can The Junker. The countdown to the end of her activation is daunting. Though she says she will enter power-saver mode again for a year afterwards, will that be the case? I’m hoping.
The Junker can come through and make something happy happen, but there are too many unsolved mysteries up until this point.
For a mini-series and short run-time, Planetarian does an excellent job of telling a story without it feeling rushed.
Next week won’t come quickly enough.Anime’s official website：planetarian-project.com