Planet With is your next anime stop after Evangelion – / movie
(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)
Now that Neon Genesis Evangelion is finally widely available for everyone to see and lose my mind, newcomers will join in asking the question anime fans have been asking since the 90s: what’s going to fill that Evangelion-sized hole in my heart? There is no straightforward answer to this, as no show has been able to replicate what made evangelization so special, but there have been anime shows that took one of the many elements of that show and did it right. While many say that Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann is the closest in terms of plot and character development, criminally underrated last year Planet with is the best spiritual successor to evangelizationThemes of the futility of violence, self-acceptance, love and compassion, all while featuring giant robots fighting monsters.
Planet with talks about a high school girl named Souya Kuroi who suffers from a severe case of amnesia and lives with a maid named Ginko Kuroi and a giant purple cat they call Sensei. One day his town is attacked by a kaiju-type alien monster and seven humans Power rangers– lookalike called the Grand Paladin. Despite her best efforts, Souya is drawn into battle to fight… the seven superheroes?
From there, the series becomes a story of fast-paced mystery and evolution, with twists after twists and turns that make no episode the same, and with an inspiring and reassuring message about empathy and love. compassion. At a time when most anime shows are based on manga series or light novels, manga author Satoshi Mizukami (Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, Circle of spirits) chose not to adapt one of their own stories, but to give us a completely original story of power, love, and forgiveness that also features giant robots in the form of giant dogs and cats.
What makes it awesome
The first thing to notice about Planet with that’s how short it is and how much history it covers around this time. Where most other shows take years and over 50 episodes to tell their story, Mizukami spent 4 years meticulously plotting the story of Planet with in storyboards, which equates to a lean, fast-paced 12 episode show. The plot advances at lightning speed, but nothing seems rushed. Instead, the show moves at a constant, fast pace that always has something going on. The action never goes beyond its welcome, and the little downtime never undermines the action, all the while raising and resolving conflicts so often that you wonder what they can do in the remaining episodes (the answer is a lot).
Although you only spend a little time with these characters, you end up feeling deeply concerned with them and you take an emotional interest in their well-being. The story is also very unpredictable. While some points of the story will be immediately familiar to anime fans, you’re sure to have more than a few surprises along the way. As a mecha series, the series follows all the typical tropes of the genre, but manages to exceed expectations and subvert those tropes through repetition before suddenly shattering them. The show’s antagonists, the Grand Paladin, start off as a stereotypical super sentai team (think Power rangers) who activate their “Psychokinetic Mega-God Photon Armor” to fight the invading nebula forces and their strange kaiju. There is an “off-ness” in the show that is both ridiculous and ridiculously charming, whether it’s the humanoid cat Sensei eating a whole lettuce with his human teeth, the mecha form of Sensei getting a bonus by drinking a ” adult energy drink “that gives him terrible hangovers, or monsters that look as dumb as a giant rubber duck with dozens of little baby paws. Throughout the series, however, we see those stereotypes immediately crumble to reveal endearing, lovable characters with much more depth than you might think you can in such a short series.
What he brings to the conversation
The thing that does Planet with really special is the way he deals with the themes of compassion and empathy in the midst of violence. The first episode mostly plays like many other mecha shows where a young boy has to stand up and defend his house, while also being a typical revenge story of a guy who lost his house due to some force of evil. ‘invasion, and finds that same strength in her new home and wanting nothing more than to get some refund. Only we follow an alien living in Tokyo, and the people he wants revenge on are the heroes who defend the city from other aliens and derive their powers from the same cosmic dragon that destroyed our protagonist’s home planet. This is a lot!
Any other show would make us root for the annihilation of the antagonists and cheer as our hero becomes more mighty and mighty, but not Planet with. This show is totally against the idea of violence and power for fun. The more we learn about the show, Soya’s home planet, and the mysterious alien group called the Nebula, the more the show begins to question the idea of a “hero” or “villain” and uses violence. to achieve power. But Satoshi Mizukami doesn’t just preach a message of non-violence. Soya Kuroi doesn’t need any authority figure to tell him what to do or how to behave, instead, audiences learn the show’s messages through Soya’s actions. We see him make mistakes and learn from them over the course of the series, growing from an angry kid motivated by revenge to a full-fledged adult hero who knows forgiveness is more powerful than hitting someone with it. a steel shoe.
Planet with in many ways resembles the thematic and spiritual sequel to Neon Genesis Evangelion, especially in the way the soldiers of Nebula want to stop the evolution of humanity by making us complacent and trapping us in a dream world free of pain and suffering that is certainly not real. There’s an episode that even brings to mind the Third Impact sequence of End of Evangelion and how he gives everyone a chance between staying asleep in a pleasant dream or facing the cruelty but also the beauty of life, and this is where the heart of Planet with lies. The show confronts us with the question of whether it is fair to kill almost an entire civilization based on its ability to likely become violent tyrants, rather than giving them a chance to find out for themselves, as well as of the usefulness of revenge and violence. to get justice. This show is a testament to the power of empathy and the futility of trying to dominate others by force, even if it is with good intentions.
The best way to sum up this whole show is with a quote from Sensei himself: “Change your perspective with love, and behold, the universe is filled with blessings. “
Why Non-Animated Fans Should Check It Out
If you haven’t yet experienced the utter madness that is Neon Genesis Evangelion (and you should), Planet with is a good, shorter way to prepare for the weirdness and themes of Hideaki Anno’s masterpiece. With just 12 episodes, it’s a great way to get acquainted with some of the tropes in the mecha genre before jumping into longer sagas like the Almighty. Gundam. In just six hours, you get an epic sci-fi tale of action, revenge, evolution, war, love, and forgiveness, all starring a giant humanoid purple cat.
Watch this if you like: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gurren Lagann, Power Rangers, crying.
Planet with is streaming on Crunchyroll.
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