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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2005
Usually when you view the scifi-genre of manga/anime you end up getting the same kind of meal of lazerbeams, mechas, secret organizations, marsian-earthling intrigue and usually alot of superficial action.
Planetes is much more mature than the usual peers in its genre.
It feels more like a really good drama taking place in todays world if today were the 2070:ies.
The drama based on the space theme feels both classic and original and might not be very strikingly new as scifi but I feel the scifi part has a more settled profile. What isn't new to the people who have lived in space a long time isn't posed as new excitements of space (if not conveyed through a touristing medium) and the drama seeks deeper into a more established fictional society of earth and space and finds more elaborate things to portray and events to stage. Or atleast well towards that direction compared to conventional scifi-manga.
So a mature and intellectually interesting theme within the space-theme.
A very good basis on actual science which is served in an easily digested way and a modest and respectful way of imagining todays worlds consequencial developement into a controllably near future.
But most of all I'd like to commend the acting of the characters or what to call it. Characters feel very live and round (in contrary to flat that is).
And their drama could hold water without the space-part I feel.. and I don't mean the space-part is anything but well applied.
Oh and it has everything else like great action, humor and some romance too.... :P
I wouldn't waste 5 star ratings but this is definately one for me. I hope mr.Yukimura will release a new work in a near future cause I'm bitterly hooked :¨)
Oh and read this before you watch the anime! absolutely you should! The anime is like a consolation for those who didn't get enough of the manga I feel. Not to say how good it is I'll say it was alot better for me when I had read the manga than when I started with the first few episodes before I read the manga.
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on 17 November 2003
In the near future, mankind has begun to colonize space. There are cities on the moon, orbital stations in space and soon manned research missions to Jupiter will be launched. But for Hachimaki this is all a distant dream. Sure he's working in space, but only as a garbageman, collecting the junk mankind has left in space. Together with Fee, a nicotine addicted woman and Yuri, who lost his wife in an accident, he spends his days collecting old satellites, fuel tanks and other parts of junk. Debris collecting isn't exatly a glorius job but Hachimaki and the others are never the less professionals, performing an essential task.
The first volume of Planetes follows the daily life of these three and basically serves as an introduction to them and their world. It's a great manga and it's easy to see why it won the 2002 Seiun Award. The artwork is top notch and the story is interesting and fun. It's realistic and different from most other sci-fi stories. The only reason why I'm not giving five stars is that I'm expecting more from volume 2.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2005
As you've probably realised already, Planetes is a manga set in the sci-fi genre. However, this doesn't mean that it contains the general trappings often associated with much science-fiction, and other genres regularly perceived as 'male' genres (notably the fantasy genre), i.e. copious action scenes, revealing clothing and fantastic technology. In fact, throughout the series there is a distinct lack of such themes, and the series is a much more personal story than one might expect from the genre.
Unlike most other sci-fi, which often concentrate on intergalactic struggles and strange technology, what Planetes is most interested in is the life and struggles of a group of individuals whose job it is to keep the space around the earth free of floating debris - captain Kirk and the Enterprise this isn't.
While we see the main characters (initially the experienced Yuri, tired Fee and fresh-faced Hachimaki) at work, what the manga actually concentrates on is the way that the various characters feel and behave, and how this changes over time. As the plot goes on each character is more and more fleshed out, as we learn more about their past and way of thinking.
While occasional incidents do occur - terrorists, and then governments, threatening to cause Kessler Syndrome - a scientifically proven threat, whereby an explosion of debris in orbit causes exponentially more debris to be created, constantly, effectively making it impossible for humans to safely get into space - these events are used more to show us other sides of the characters, than to simply get the heart pulsing.
Through the show there are aspects of love - romantic, familial and between friends - and all of these are handled believably and in a way that could fail to move only the most hardened hearts.
The other side to the show is the science-fiction, and as you may have guessed from the inclusion of such real problems as Kessler syndrom, this is hard sci-fi - everything detailed within is believable, with the designs of craft and other technology of the time never entering the realms of fantasy - no laser-cannons here!
As things stand, the sci-fi interested me less than the characterisation, as it isn't a primary interest of mine, but I feel that I can safely say that fans of hard science-fiction won't be disappointed by this series.
In short, the brilliant characterisation and handling of dramatic elements ensured that I fell in love with the series, while the realistic science-fiction impressed me, and my only real problem with the series was that it ended so soon - five volumes seems so little! This is an absolutely brilliant manga, and one I can safely recommend to any reader who wants more from their manga than just action.
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on 26 September 2014
This is a fantastic read and a unique one in the world of anime as it presents a very hard sci-fi look at how colonisation of space would affect the politics of Earth,
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2003
In the near future, mankind has begun to colonize space. There are cities on the moon, orbital stations in space and soon manned research missions to Jupiter will be launched. But for Hachimaki this is all a distant dream. Sure he's working in space, but only as a garbageman, collecting the junk mankind has left in space. Together with Fee, a nicotine addicted woman and Yuri, who lost his wife in an accident, he spends his days collecting old satellites, fuel tanks and other parts of junk. Debris collecting isn't exatly a glorius job but Hachimaki and the others are never the less professionals, performing an essential task.
The first volume of Planetes follows the daily life of these three and basically serves as an introduction to them and their world. It's a great manga and it's easy to see why it won the 2002 Seiun Award. The artwork is top notch and the story is interesting and fun. It's realistic and different from most other sci-fi stories. The only reason why I'm not giving five stars is that I'm expecting more from volume 2.
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