So not really an Episode Review but considering how I last blogged about this show, I think an update of some kind is needed.
I did drop Planet With at its second episode though to be honest, I was getting wary over that decision as time went on. Creator Satoshi Mizukami is, from my understanding, a very well-regarded mangaka and gradually, I was seeing a lot more people praising this anime. After some consideration and getting some time to kill, I decided to give Planet With another shot. I’m now halfway through the show at Episode 6…and yeah, this is actually pretty darn good.
There really wasn’t anything wrong with the first two episodes. I think it was just as matter of it having a slight barrier of entry. With a lot of characters and terms introduced and a lot of strange imagery, I couldn’t help but find Planet With a bit overwhelming. And look, I do love me some weird and out there anime. My favorite anime this Summer season is about girls having magical duels with each other because a talking giraffe told them to. But weirdness can be a pretty subjective quality; it either clicks for me or it doesn’t and when it doesn’t immediately, I usually put it off and see what others say about it.
To my surprise, if you sit through Planet With for long enough, following the story isn’t actually that hard. It’s actually quite compelling in fact as you have multiple factions to follow all with a variety of motivations. It’s still a good vs. evil sort of conflict but it’s not entirely black or white. Most of Grand Paladin turn out to be pretty decent people who genuinely want to use their powers for good. It’s just a shame that their leader was overtly ambitious and misguided in his sense of justice. That Souya plots with Sensei and Ginko to steal Grand Paladin’s powers seems too fueled by revenge but you get why he goes along with the plan as his planet was destroyed by those same powers. Even the two factions of Nebula just have differing opinions on how to best police other species. The Pacifists firmly believe in sparse intervention while the Sealing Faction desire to sap species of all ambition and desire. They obviously oppose each other but they’re also two sides of the same coin.
I’m also liking the characters so far. They’re not the most complex individuals out there but you get to know a lot of them and in just six episodes which is impressive. Just to name a few that I like:
- Souya – A fun protagonist; hotheaded and vengeful but also grows attached to Earth and has his heart in the right place. He’s an impressive fighter too; applying Sensei’s abilities in creative ways and throwing off the experienced Grand Paladin from time to time.
- Sensei & Ginko – Both very eccentric and fun to have around. I heard you learn more about these two so I look forward to that.
- Harumi – I thought her relationship with Miu was pretty compelling and I was stunned how she went from a little meek to super angered and headstrong.
- Benika – I heard she gets more prominent later which makes me a bit happy as I liked that she was the first one willing to work with Souya and even quit Grand Paladin on principle.
- Takezou – Him enjoying his dream and still do his job was entertaining and his willingness to stick with his corrupt son humanized him a bit.
Now I wouldn’t call Planet With perfect. Visually, the show has its share of highs and lows. I have warmed up to the character and mech designs but whatever appeal the weird Seals Nebula summons is entirely lost to me. The action is well-choreographed but it’s still hard to shrug off the CGI and actual 2-D animation just looks average to me. As far as writing goes, I’m still not fond of the comedy. The more one off jokes work but gags such as Souya being eternally denied meat simply doesn’t.
Still, I’m glad I decided to give Planet With a second chance. It’s proving to be a compelling and imaginative story and I now plan to watch it to completion. Plus, in a season as dry as this one, I could definitely use another good anime.
Thanks for reading!
Planet With is officially available on Crunchyroll.
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