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on 23 July 2009
Due to increased activity in Space debris has become an increasing problem to space travelling and other activity in Space as well. An accident involving a collision between dumped debris and a spacecraft lead to the establishing of Debris section a section whose sole purpose is to collect this debris whenever necessary.

The protagonist in Planetes is Ai Tanabe a young woman with ideals that
seem naive to some, if not many, of the other characters in the series.
The series centers around her newly acquired job, and all that follows,
in Debris Section aka. Half Section. It is called Half Section because it is only occupied by half the staff it should have. This on the other hand makes the viewer get close to every single staff member in the section so he/she cares more about them, both as individuals, but also as a group. The characters in the series are very well balanced meaning that some are used for the more comical and hilarious moments while others represent the more serious parts of the series. The aforementioned is partly a generalization so do not be fooled most characters both have serious and funny scenes/comments.
Planetes has been described as
being one of the most realistic animes science-wise. While this may be
true Planetes is so much more than just a science based anime.
The series progresses really neatly throughout the 26 episodes it spans and at first the episodes are about general debris retrieval, but later
develops into other subjects like the gap between the poor and rich
down on Earth due to space exploration etc. and what consequences this
may lead to.
Furthermore it is a love story between Tanabe and the male
protagonist Hachimaki and their struggle to maintain their relationship
through hardships since they both (especially Hachimaki) have some
existential problems to solve.
The animation is great and the mood is even greater, it is a joy to watch a scene where the characters float in zero-G or when they are out in space in total silence.
A series that shouldn't be missed if you like love and Space or just one of those.
You Copy!
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on 3 August 2015
Planetes takes us to a future that is not too farfetched. There are no lasers, robots or aliens in this science fiction series - it's very much a drama about regular people working regular, unglamorous jobs. In space! Planetes stars a group of characters who's job is to clean up debris floating around in space, in order to maximize safety for vessels making trips between earth, the moon and other space stations. It is serious, thankless work, and so the show takes a smart look at class issues as our team has to struggle with prejudice from higher ups who constantly look down on the "junk jockeys" of space and make jokes about them.

The first episode is a great introduction to the main cast, and there are a few weak episodes here and there, but the characters are well developed. There is plenty of comedy and a lot of touching scenes as well, and the stories do go out of there way to make this time that the characters are living in seem believable. I'm no expert on space travel by any means, so I can't tell how accurately the lives of these astronauts are portrayed, but the show looks heavily researched to me and the animation and artwork are quite beautiful.

I have a couple of minor complaints about the show - first of all the two main characters are very squawky. They do have strong personalities and back stories and I even enjoy their relationship as it develops throughout the series, but you do have to put up with a lot of high pitched shouting from them both. It's usually the supporting cast who keep me entertained, as these characters often do surprise us with little plot twists and turns.

The second thing that bothers me is the soundtrack during the closing credits - its a very thumpy pop song that kicks in immediately after the final scene. So you could watching a very touching ending that closes on a very thought provoking quiet moment, then this song just jumps in once the credits start rolling, so brace yourself for that. The opening theme is lively and exciting and matches the overall tone of the series very well, but I do wish they went for a more laid back closing theme.

The dialogue is mostly good, but it does get a bit preachy in places.

There are plenty of extra features on each disk, including comics and removed unfinished scenes and commentaries, but they're all in Japanese so I haven't really explored the disks much beyond just watching the episodes.
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on 4 January 2008
amazon lists it as 1 dvd disc and 600+ mins long, i just recieved the box set and it's 325 mins long on 3 discs, it has 13 shows which make it half a complete season so calling it 'complete' is incorrect..the usa version i believe has all 6 dvd discs for the entire show...i should have bought that!
as buying this 'complete' show need you to buy a second box set making it £80 which is a rip off in my opinion...uk gets ripped off yet again..if you like this show don't buy the uk version go to amazon.com and buy the FULL 6 disc version.

it's a good story but i'm rather disapointed that amazon listed the item incoprrectly so my product is actually 50% of what they descibe.

steve g
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on 27 May 2015
Well..... Sci fi that I went after after seeing it praised in a review blog. This is wonderful - I bought (because cheap) vol 1 and vol 3 but I've enjoyed watching vol 1 unfold so much I've held off vol 3 until vol 2 arrives (YAY AMAZON MARKETPLACE!!). This is the tale of an underrated,underresourced department doing an essential job (collecting up loose crap in space that threatens the stuff whizzing about there that is wanted to be there!) The folks working in Debris Section are a mixed bag of nationalities bonded by their status in the company and the importance of the work they do. Ai Tanabe, an idealistic young girl with a strong personality joins the department and finds that life at the bottom isn't quite what she expected on becoming an astronaught (accent on the naught within the company). She's paired with a 3 year veteran cynic....
The personalities within Debris Section are extremely engaging and I want to see more of them.
Anyone starting off on a career at the bottom will know the culture shock faced by Ai. Yet when at the bottom, people bond under pressure and Debris Section are a fantastic team. BUY THIS!!!! There are 6 volumes and various collections so make sure when you buy that you get em all. Gotta get em all but you wont regret it. BTW research was done to make the science beleivable and it is.
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on 21 June 2011
Based on good reviews I had seen for this Anime here and elsewhere I purchased the double pack(Volumes 1 and 2 together), Volume 3 separately, and Planetes Collection part 2(which has vol's 4,5 and 6 together). I did this because I wanted to have the entire series. Well what a mistake that was, now I wished that I had just bought the first volume for a taster - because this series stinks.

So far I've only watched Vol. 1 and that's all I'm going to be watching I can tell you. These DVDs are going straight back on Amazon for sale.

So what's wrong with this series. OK, let's start with what's right: It looks good, the main characters are generally likable and have potential to be interesting and the concepts is also pretty good. The major problems are with the plot and particularly the "Lessons in life" we see from the characters that our heroes encounter in each episode. These are so simplistic, so ridiculous and so badly executed that it made me want to puke. In the first 5 episodes one encounter with a floating coffin and one with a family taking drastic measures to escape debt were both particularly vomit inducing.

In addition to this, as another reviewer has pointed out, the subs are too fast to read. We had to reluctantly switch to Dubs after 3 episodes. However this didn't reduce the quality of the entertainment for 2 reasons:
1. The dubs aren't that bad and...
2. The series is so annoyingly rubbish that even if the dubs were bad they couldn't make it any worse.

You've been warned.
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on 15 August 2006
I'll start by saying I love this anime, and you should buy it if you like sci-fi or just good characters.

Now to explain a bit about it: The anime follows the day-to-day life of Debris Section, an under-funded department of a large corporation, given the task of retrieving space debris around Earth to make it safe for satellites and ships. The job is thankless, low paying and makes them the lowest workers on the corporate ladder.

From a sci-fi point of view this is something really special, as it is by far the most 'real' feeling science fiction show I've ever seen. The low-budget corporate environment, the office politics, the way that the ships aren't warp-powered cities in space with lasers and shields, all of these things make it so easy to accept as a real possibility in the future. The importance of this is that you can relate to the characters instantly without having to consider alien cultures or fill in big gaps in your imagination; as it is said in the show; "Astronauts are wage slaves just like everybody else."

The show isn't really about spaceships and exploring the stars; it just uses the setting to show us the characters working there and explore issues closer to home that you'd normally not see looked at in Sci-fi. People escaping debt, office workers saving up for that spaceship they've wanted since they were a kid, the series shows these almost everyday occurrences using space to make them stand out so much more than if they were in a soap opera or Earth-bound film.
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on 18 April 2010
...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
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on 1 March 2007
I love this anime. I first watched it as a fan sub and have patiently waited for the commercial release. Yukimura wrote this anime from the view of Tanabe, where as the manga is around Hachimaki, and this works very well. The story is a masterpiece, highly entertaining with little action, limited violence, and no fan service, making it a rarity.

With my comments you might wonder why I rated it as a 4, not a 5, and why I'm still in two minds about buying volume 2. Well it's simple. it's down the the subtitles. There is a lot of conversation, and it can be quite technical. The fan subbers went for showing several lines at once and this worked, where as Beez just give 1 line, resulting in the text vanishing before you've finished reading it. The dub is good, but if like me you prefer subs, this is a pain. Also you can not change language/subs during play, as Beez have for some reason recorded them as separate shows.

If you're happy with dubs, want some thing different and are not bothered about violence, but want plot, character development, and a well paced story, then this has to be a must. If you are a subs person, i'd still recommend it, though I'm hoping the way the text is given may be redone by Beez.
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