I am not sure if Planet With is going to be the one mecha series that’s going to revive the genre, but it is probably one of the few mecha series that we’ll be getting in the future, and as a mecha fan, I had to put it in my Summer 2018 anime list. Was it any good? Let’s see.
Japanese Title: 光, 七閃
Planet With doesn’t waste any time in introducing the world and the protagonists of the story. Kuroi Soya is a kid with amnesia. After a terrible accident where he lost his parents and his memories (or so he was told), he was adopted by a purple humanoid cat called Sensei and a weird maid called Ginko. Not the most plausible of foster families, but we are watching a mecha science fiction series. They live in the town of Soramisaka where Kuroi attends school and befriends his class’s representative, Takamagahara-san, a rather friendly girl and member of the occult club. She knows a lot about UFOs and conspiracy theories and I am sure that her knowledge will be used in future episodes as well.
After a huge thing that looks like a Play-doh nightmare appears near major cities around the world, the military is sent to deal with the threat. The huge thing is immune to weapons, which it turns into cotton. Its main method of attack is trapping its victims in an alternate reality where their biggest life tragedies never happened, thus robbing them of their will to fight.
That same tactic was used on the leader of a group of superheroes that were sent to deal with the threat. They use the power of psycho and proton (it’s always something incomprehensible) to wear exoskeletal robotic armors which, in my eyes, looked like animals.
And here comes the big catch of the episode. Our protagonist, Kuroi, is not sent to help them but to take them down. After encountering and defeating one of the seven, he gains back some of his memories and vows to defeat them all. What the hell is going on here?
Bring on the Meat: Kuroi’s infatuation with meat was more of a comical element in this episode. Yet, I have a feeling that the maid and the cat are not letting him eat meat on purpose.
Ridiculous Enemies: Actually, we don’t know if they are the enemies or not, but those weird-looking things reminded me of a Japanese version of Mr Potato Head. Ears and noses and hands and all in the wrong place.
Cat Hammer: Special Movies cry Super Robot and that cat hammer was almost amazing. It could have been an ax or a sword or a Gatling gun… but the stomping hammer was fine. I guess.
Themes & Trivia
Oneiromancy: Oneiromancy, like every other difficult word that has to do with the occult or medicine or biology, comes from the Greek word ‘oneiro’ that means dream, and ‘manteia’ which means prophesy. It is a form of divination based upon dreams and of dream interpretation that uses dreams to predict the future. I am guessing that each culture has its own list of symbols as I don’t think ‘dragon’ would be applicable to western oneiromancy textbooks.
Planet With does a few things right. First, we really don’t know who the good guys are. Yes, it is usually the protagonist who is tasked with saving the day, but the sever stars genuinely believe that they are fighting to save the world. On the other hand, their boss looks like the main villain with that big physique and those big cat eyes. But, Sensei and the maid also seem a bit sinister. I am going into the second episode eager to learn more about Nebula and who all these people are.
I am not sure how this story is going to play out but at least it keeps the mystery high. Who is Kuroi? What happened to his memories? Why is he so keen in defeating all those guys?