...the Manga is a lot better.
This Review is written by someone who read the Manga first and then watched the Anime. I believe that just a small minority read the Manga before watching the Anime, and this is why Planetes (TV), is in my opinion overrated.
I believe that if I hadn't read the Manga I would score this better, but still it's a fact that this anime has flaws, and the one that i hear the most is that the crisis of the poor country, isn't convincing. Other flaws pointed out is the boring start or the sometimes annoying characters. Well If you remove those flaws and add some great character development to the story, you have the Manga.
Now my Problem is if the Staff of the anime has such great material to use, why would they bother to add ridiculous characters like the Indian clown and the chef, and add fillers like the space ninjas? It's not like they hadn't used everything from the manga, and needed fillers to complete the 26 episodes, because there removed a lot of themes that appeared in the manga.
Well at least the second half of the show (and much better one, in my opinion) follows the manga more closely. And the end, although it's different from the manga is a scene taken from it.
I understand that the studio tried to give the anime a different atmosphere then the one from the manga, but they failed. So I recommend that if you are thinking of watch this anime, go read the manga first. And for those who already watched the anime, and felt those flaws, go read the anime.
PS: If you find this review not helpful try to comment why, so I can improve my reviews. Thank you