Let’s talk about Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi No Yume. It’s been a long time since I’ve come across an anime like this. The last time I felt so torn up about an anime like this was when I watched Angel Beats. Yes, I’ll be upfront and say that this is one of those soul-crushing animes. Surprisingly it doesn’t follow the standard 12 episode, 25 minutes long formula that most animes do! It has only 5 episodes and each episode varied in length!
This was the first thing I liked about it. This anime did what it needed to get the point across without adding unnecessary filler and took it’s time.
But let’s talk about the anime; the story takes place in dystopian future where the human race has nearly gone extinct. Before the war that caused all this, humanity lived with robots that helped and served them. This is when the main character Yumemi, a young robot girl was created. Her job and only passion is to help humans. A junker (who is unnamed in this anime) plunders for goods and artifacts visits the abandoned shop meets Yumemi and she believes that he is the first customer to visit in 30 years (she names him Mr. Customer). Yumemi is determined to tell him the story about the stars but the planetarian projector is broken. Unable to ignore her, he agrees to try and fix the projector.
IM GETTING INTO SPOILER TERRITORY SO HERES A LINK TO WATCH IT!! BUT IF YOU DON’T CARE, CONTINUE. ( It’s the dub because the dub is actually good IMO)
Yumemi is such an amazing character I forgot she was even a robot. It’s actually difficult to describe her. She is so kind-hearted but naive to what has actually happened around her. Even with the evidence of what has happened, I don’t think she understood till the very end. And even then, I still don’t think she fully understood it. Yumemi is a robot doing what she’s programmed to do. I hate remembering she’s a robot because it begs the question whether or not her feelings are real. But we can talk more about her feelings later.
Yumemi is an annoying character, but a good kind of annoying (it reminds me of the relationship Ellie and Carl had in the movie UP only Yumemi isn’t as crazy). She doesn’t annoy the audience, but more so the Junker. The Junker is more of an aloof character. He isn’t rude or mean, he just doesn’t know how to express himself (until the end of course). He has charming interactions with Yumemi since he doesn’t really know how to react to her. He tries sarcasm (which Yumemi doesn’t understand) and scolding her (which she also doesn’t understand). Even though they are opposites, they develop a strong relationship. And over 5 episodes!!!
I want to say it felt father/daughter like but it kinda didn’t feel that way for me. Even though Yumemi is naive to a lot going on around her, she never felt like a child-like, and The Junker never felt father-like. This was not a love story where they kissed or anything like that and thank-you, thank- you God they did not do that. I’m so glad they didn’t throw pedophilia into this anime just to start controversy. Yes, I know one could say “B-but she’s not actually a child!” but either way I say, just…..no. I’d rather not have any of this:
But anyways, The Junker stays to help Yumemi repair the projector named Ms. Mina, and after awhile he finally repairs it. What comes next is one of the best scenes in the anime. When the lights dim, Yumemi tells the story of the stars. She speaks about the constellations and humanity in such a passionate way that she unknowingly was doing a little acting with her talking too. This is a very well done and emotional scene. The English dub did a perfect job showing the emotion and passion in Yumemi’s voice and the surprise and wonderment of the Junker.
I think this is where the Junker is starting to really appreciate the friendship he made with Yumemi and is beginning to see as an actual person than a robot. Although I don’t think he realizes this till the next episode. He even lets her continue after all the power in the building goes out saying that he only needs her voice to telI the story. In the episode, because all the power is gone, the Junker is running out of food, and his job is done, he has to leave. He lies to Yumemi and tells her his car broke down and is far away. But Yumemi goes with him to make sure he gets to his car safely! He agrees and they head out. They have to stop a few times because Yumemi will over-heat if they don’t.
A few episodes back the Junker asked Yumemi asked what would she would pray to her robot God for (yeah it got a little religious but who cares) and Yumemi never got to answer. She tells him she would wish that she could continue serving humans and that robots and humans wouldn’t be separated at the gates of heaven. She wants to bring people joy and that’s all she ever wants to do (dear lord she is such an amazing character!!!) This is where the Junker finally realizes how much he truly loves and appreciates Yumemi. But he realizes that if he leaves her, her batteries will run out so he comes up with a plan to try and convince her to leave. But there is a huge robot that kills anything it sees and the Junker has to destroy it if he wants to get past the wall.
And now we are at the last episode. This….was so emotional and well done I cried when I rewatched it for this review. Yumemi saved him. SHE SAVED HIM! The robot was destroyed and she took the bullets for him! Even though the Junker told her to stay where she was, she disobeyed because she remembered that if a human was ever in danger she was allowed to ignore a command in order to protect that human.
It has been said that since Yumemi is an older model robot, she doesn’t have the new feature that other robots have such as crying. But rain starts falling and:
The Junker takes the chip, with all of her memories stored in it and limps away.
And that was Planetarian Chiisana Hoshi No Yume. Another amazing, soul-crushing anime. I love Yumemi and the Junker. They skyrocketed on my favorite anime characters list for how realistic and great characters they were. And if this anime couldn’t rip out and burn your heart anymore, after the credits, there’s another scene where the Junker is found sprawled out on the ground. They ask him if he’s a Junker, just like they are, and instead of saying yes, he says that he’s now a star-teller. That right there was the best scene in the anime. I personally thought the anime had more religious tones then I first thought. I felt that Yumemi represented Jesus in some way but maybe I’m thinking too much into it. Even though she was naive, she always asked questions when she didn’t understand something and only wanted to help humans. Bringing up her feelings again, I’m going to say yes, she did have feelings. They might have been programmed feelings but she still had them. She even showed disappointment and confusion a few times. The crying scene confirmed it fo me. They might not have been real tears, but it shows that if she could’ve cried then she would’ve.
As for the Junker, I’m happy that he finally opened up to someone even if that someone was a quirky robot girl. Just watch that crying scene! Look at how he’s trying so hard not to cry over his friend but just ends up breaking down. But they story still isn’t over, since there will be a movie that continues the story between Yumemi and the Junker. When people see Yumemi I don’t want them to think, “Oh she’s just an anime girl.” Well, she is an anime girl but she is way more than that. I understand she looks all moe and anime girl like, but even in the anime, they said the newer models look more realistic. And in the trailer for the movie, she does look more realistic. And for the Junker…I just can’t say because it’s just too sad. They never said his name, (or I didn’t catch it) but he was so well developed he didn’t even need one and I don’t really care. But I DO care that you GO WATCH THIS ANIME AND SHOULD DO IT IMMEADIATLY IF YOU HAVEN’T!!! Please watch this for Christmas! I really want some Planetarian merchandise.
Thank you! pls like, comment, etc.