planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume – Episode 3

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Ah, I finally understand why that excursion to a planetarium years and years ago didn’t leave any lasting impression. You see, with my high-school, it’s mandatory for us to take an annual educational trip for fun yay academic purposes. Normally, these yearly outings would be a blast if not for the fact that whatever is taught to us during the trip will appear on our exams. Such is why staring at blinking lights under the pretense of watching and learning about the constellations and shit felt boring. However, after watching this week’s planetarian, I decided that it would be worthwhile to pay our local planetarium a visit.

What separates my personal experience with a real planetarium and with planetarian is certainly due to the experiences I have accumulated over the past years. planetarian hits harder at home once you absorb the show figuratively. I’ve been through tough times, circumstances that may explain why I’m a little broken, and these past experiences makes it easier for me to understand and appreciate planetarian‘s narrative. The same can be said about Junker, as Miss Jena’s projection became reminiscent of his mother.

No worries! I’m not really here to tell you my boring biography. It’s just that planetarian resonated with me more than I expected it to. Needless to say, I was a bit teary whilst listening to Hoshino’s monotonous and gentle voice. This episode sure is thick with emotions and beauty, even amidst the tragic setting it established itself with. I did exclaim how great the OST was in episode 2, but episode 3 easily blew that out of the water. The execution, both visual and auditory, was nothing short of smooth and dreamy. However, I should probably place a portion of my praise to Hoshino’s VA, Keiko Suzuki.While there really isn’t anything outstanding with her voice, the way she captured Hoshino’s narration was perfect. Actually, her voice is a perfect choice for Hoshino who is a half robot and half moe. Sure, she is a chatter-box and may often end up as grating and annoying, but she still managed to keep a level of robotic monotone to her voice, while injecting that gentle touch only humans can produce. I swear that if I also closed my eyes and just listened to her, I’d be on the same trance as Junker was. Well, of course that would be impractical considering that I don’t understand Japanese.

Another noteworthy thing I noticed with planetarian is that it doesn’t constrain itself with its run-time. Episode 3 runs for 20~ minutes, which is a quarter longer than last episode’s. Ironically, none of which felt lacking nor overflowing. By that, I mean, planetarian has total control on its pacing by showing us what is enough to  be delivered within a single episode, which they effectively did through managing its length. Episode 2 felt perfect even if it only lasted 13 minutes, episode 3 is even more so on-point with 20 minutes. There’s no excess or lack thereof  when it comes to exposition and pacing; every minute matters with planetarian.

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Anyways, we’re almost at the end with two episodes remaining and… I still can’t settle my own internal argument whether or not Hoshino has real feelings and emotions, or if everything is just pre-programmed of her (see episode 1 and 2 posts). Reading between the lines, Hoshino may be escorting Junker because she really doesn’t want to be alone again, given that her creators and colleagues went on a trip 30 years ago and still hasn’t returned. She seems like she’s self aware, and is simply under the pretense of following “rules and protocols”. She knows that she doesn’t have much battery-time left, and that it’s now impossible to fix the planetarium’s electricity; but is she really aware that what awaits her next is akin to death? I feel like Junker is asking the same questions that I have, after seeing him hesitate to ask Hoshino on what she’s going to do next. I mean a robot asking about heaven, dreams, tears sure doesn’t sound like a robot to me. Or maybe that’s what she really meant by “a little broken”?

Short thoughts:

  • I have a feeling shit’s about to go down in the next episode. Oh God.
  • I’m getting ahead of myself but planetarian is Top 1 on my Summer 16 list, followed by 91 Days and Amanchu!
  • Okay. She is certainly a robot; not a sentient robot.
  • Nevermind. Arguing whether or not Hoshino is indeed sentient and self-aware is besides the point and message of planetarian.
  • Featured image reminds me of Death Parade’s OP.

I guess that’s it for this week! I honestly hope more viewers will pick this series up, as it is by far one of the best story ever told by Key. Until next week!

 

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2 Replies to “planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume – Episode 3”

  1. ive always loved planetariums, but i definitely find stories about constellations to be generally boring. the stories behind the constellations are just a story of how humans try to imprint images upon the stars and i always find it more interesting to learn about the stars themselves and what they tell us about the universe.

    as for the escort request from Yumemi, i personally didnt interpret this as evidence of self-awareness. it’s dark outside (rain suggesting poor weather conditions) and junker is walking alone to his “car”. sure, it’s strange to ask a dude, but it seems like a fairly reasonable protocol for a robot to have.

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    1. True that. I do think that actual star gazing/viewing would be a more fun activity, though of course you’ll learn a lot more in a planetarium.

      Like

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