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Logo of Planetes (Anime).

Planetes (in Japanese プラネテス Puranetesu, in Ancient Greek Πλανήτης) was a Japanese hard science fiction television show which aired on NHK from October, 2003 through April, 2004. It was made up of 26 episodes adapted from the manga of the same name. It was about a team of space debris collectors based on the debris ship Toy Box in the year 2075. Both the manga and anime received the Seiun Award for best science fiction series.

Plot

The story of Planetes follows the crew of the DS-12 'Toy Box' of the Space Debris Section, a unit of Technora Corporation. Debris Section's purpose is to prevent the damage or destruction of satellites, space stations and spacecraft from collision with debris in Earth's and the Moon's orbits. They use a number of methods to dispose of the debris (mainly by burning it via atmospheric reentry or through salvage), accomplished through the use of EVA suits.

The episodes sometimes revolve around debris collection itself, but more often the concept of collecting 'rubbish' in space is merely a storytelling method for building character development. The membres of the Debris Section are looked down upon as the lowest membres of the company and they must work hard to prove their worth to others and accomplish their dreams.

Ongoing plot elements include an upcoming exploratory mission to Jupiter on the new fusion powered ship, Von Braun, and the lead character's decision to join the mission, no matter the cost. Many other plot threads are also developed throughout the series that help to explain each character's motivations and personalities. The Space Defence Front is a terrorist organisation that believes mankind is exploiting space without first curing global problems such as mass famine and the widened socio-economic divide on Earth.

Characters

Hachirota "Hachimaki" Hoshino

Hachirota "Hachimaki" Hoshino is the protagonist of the official anime. He's from Kujukuri, a city on the east coast of Japan and near Tokyo. His father, Goro, is an astronaut and his mother is a housewife. Hachimaki is a bit pompous in the beginning of the show and as he trains Ai Tanabe how to perform EVA work. His EVA teacher or sensei as he called it was former astronaut and debris hauler Gigalt Gangaragash. As the series progresses Hachi enlists himself into the Jovian expedition onboard the nuclear fusion powered spacecraft, the 'Wernher von Braun'.

Ai Tanabe

Ai Tanabe is the second protagonist of the official anime. She's 20 years old. Ai Tanabe always dreamed of working in space, and that dream comes true in an unexpected way: her initial assignment is to Debris Section, where she becomes the partner of veteran astronaut (and eventual love interest) Hachimaki in what essentially amounts to space rubbish collecting. Although Ai participates in several critical missions to remove space junk before it can cause harm, her heroism is less about what she does than who she is. She becomes the heart and soul of Debris Section, with her infectious enthusiasm pumping up everyone around her, even eventually the recalcitrant Hachimaki, and she continues to care deeply about even those who seem to be turning into enemies. Her greatest individual feat is carrying an incapacitated friend numerous kilometres across the moon's surface to seek help despite knowing that the extra exertion would more quickly deplete her precious air supply and despite her friend being perfectly willing to die where she was. She ultimately suffered greatly for this but never cast blame on her friend or others.

Fee Carmichael

Fee Carmichael is the commander of the debris hauler Toy Box as well as its successor Toy Box 2. She was born in Richmond, Virginia, and the daughter of a prominent lawyer. Even more loud and brash than Hachimaki, Fee often becomes violent at others' actions and inaction, but she always means well. Being a heavy (and slightly ashamed) smoker, she has difficulty finding places to indulge her habit in space, as smoking is a strain on life support systems and is thereby restricted to designated smoking rooms. This often makes her quite irritable, especially after all smoking rooms are shut down as the SDF began planting bombs in them. In the anime, she's able to get around this with an enclosed personal "smoker's seat" (which is prone to inadvertent sabotage). Married with a young son, Fee lives in Florida when not in space, which isn't very often. While working with the team, Gigalt gave her the nickname of 'Turbolighter'.

Yuri Mikhalkov

Yuri Mikhalkov (Юрий Михалков) is the Russian membre of the Debris team. Calm, stoic, kind and compassionate, Yuri often acts as the level head of the group. Several years before the events of the story, he and his wife were in a low-orbit craft travelling to England when a small bolt slammed into one of the ship's windows at high velocity, causing the plane to depressurise and make an emergency landing. Many died in the highly publicised incident, including Yuri's wife, who was never found. The incident and Yuri's desire to recover his wife's lost keepsake, a compass she wore around her neck, drives him to collect more debris. In the anime, Yuri and the Debris Section Office Staff are responsible for looking after the ISPV 7's resident animals. Gigalt apparently gave Yuri a nickname, though it's never spoken within the anime.

Claire Rondo

Claire Rondo is a membre of the Control Section, a combination of mission control and air traffic control for spacecraft around or based in the ISPV 7 Space Station. She was raised in the United States, but born in the impoverished South American nation of El Tanika, like Kimberly. She was Hachimaki's girlfriend in the past, but they broke the relationship. She makes a fateful friendship with Hakim, of the Orbital Security Agency and later, a Jupiter Mission candidate. Gigalt gave her a nickname too - 'The Swan'. He gave his reasoning for this nickname to Tanabe: Claire's personality is, on the surface, serene and relaxed. But below the surface, she's working (paddling) very hard just to keep pace with the world around her. In this way, Claire's career-driven personality is well described, very penetratingly by Gigalt.

Episodes

0. All started with… (Tot va començar…)
  1. Outside the Atmosphere (A ľexosfera)
  2. Like a Dream (Com un somni)
  3. Return Trajectory (Òrbita de retorn)
  4. Part of the Job (Professionals)
  5. Fly Me to the Moon (Porta’m a la lluna)
  6. The Lunar Flying Squirrels (Els esquirols voladors de la lluna)
  7. Extraterrestrial Girl (La noia extraterrestre)
  8. A Place To Cling To (Allà on ens hem de donar suport)
  9. Regrets (Neguit)
  10. A Sky of Stardust (Les estrelles residuals del cel)
  11. Boundary Line (Fronteres)
  12. A Modest Request (Un desig humil)
  13. Scenery With a Rocket (Un paisatge amb coets)
  14. Turning Point (Punt ďinflexió)
  15. In Her Case (Ella i la seva situació)
  16. Ignition (Ignició)
  17. His Reasons (Ľescollit)
  18. Debris Section, Last Day (Ľúltim dia del departament de deixalles)
  19. Endings Are Always… (Els finals sempre són…)
  20. Tentative Steps (Dubtes i més dubtes)
  21. Tandem Mirror (El mirall tàndem)
  22. Exposure (Revelació)
  23. Debris Cluster (Una munió de deixalles)
  24. Love (Amor)
  25. The Lost (Persones desorientades)
  26. And the Days We Chance Upon… (Els dies que ens tornem a trobar)

Soundtracks

  • Opening Theme: "Dive in the Sky" by Mikio Sakai.
  • Ending Themes: "Wonderful Life" by Mikio Sakai and "PLANETES" by Hitomi only in episode 26.

Disk 1

# Title Artist Length
1 Outside atmosphere Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:22
2 Dive in the Sky Mikio Sakai 4:27
3 Jupiter highway Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:26
4 Urgent mission Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:33
5 Floating ruin Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:53
6 Music for universe Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:52
7 A secret of the moon Hitomi 5:03
8 My address Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:24
9 Work with dance Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:32
10 Circular style Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:38
11 True stories Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:57
12 My first experience Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:54
13 Paradise and cola Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:25
14 Terrible workplace Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:22
15 FB Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:45
16 The enterprise Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:07
17 Fate of man Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:52
18 Turn into space Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:36
19 There is no Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:44
20 Our world Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:10
21 Wonderful Life Mikio Sakai 4:36

Disk 2

# Title Artist Length
1 Remember Me? Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:56
2 Thanks my friend Mikio Sakai 5:14
3 Bingo Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:37
4 Hoshino's Family Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:30
5 Wishes Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:57
6 Make Your Canvas Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:04
7 Perfect Answer Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:49
8 Target Loss Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:43
9 Great Father Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:18
10 PLANETES [affettuoso] Hitomi 3:10
11 Flying Anonymous Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:32
12 United Nations Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:35
13 Avoid Object Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:43
14 The Confession Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:59
15 Turning Sequence Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:44
16 Our Debris Section Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:25
17 Dream Space Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:10
18 Enemy Inside Kōtarō Nakagawa 1:53
19 God Only Knows Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:25
20 Be a New Man Kōtarō Nakagawa 2:19
21 PLANETES Hitomi 8:13
22 Previous Notice Kōtarō Nakagawa, Mikio Sakai 0:29
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