Review: Planetes

Planetes
I learned that I couldn’t stop loving people.

Author(s)
Makoto Yukimura

Volume(s)/Chapter(s) – Status
4 Volumes – Completed

Plot Summary
Around year 2070, derived by the curiosity towards the universe and the urge to find new alternative source of energy, the technology of space traveling had quite advance. Space travel is common and being an astronaut is not a rare thing.

This is a story about a man’s ambition, love, and dream of the outer-space mixed with political interests of countries that still exists.

Hachimaki Hoshino is a member of space debris collector team. Like any other astronauts, he love space so much. He is not content with his current job, so he decide to join the crew member selection of the first manned mission to Jupiter. Not everyone support that mission. There is a terrorist group called ‘Space Defense Front’ (SDF) who is against that mission. Neglecting the threat from SDF, Hachi thrive to be a member of the mission. But the space is to big to face alone. Hachi starts to have doubts. He started to have fear and confusion of many things he can’t understand.

Personal Opinion
If you need proof that comic or more specific manga is not just a mere fantasy story for kids, Planetes is one of them. The mangaka surely put quite an effort of research when creating this manga. Inspired by one of Japan’s most renowned author, Kenji Miyazawa, and his deep love of space –well, tell me it’s not true after you read this manga :p. Reading this manga, is like reading a realistic sci-fi novel. The mangaka doesn’t simply take any random science theories and stuck it up in the manga. He really know what he wrote.

This manga consist of 4 volumes, but I like to say it 5 volumes because the 4th has 2 parts and each one of them is a full volume length. At the end of each part of the 4th volume, there is an essay about space travel. A mix of current science facts and the mangaka’s thought about the world of Planetes, which occurred roughly 70 years from now. It’s quite rare to read an essay in a manga –and quite a long one too ^-^. But that’s what made me love this manga even more.

But of course, as a fan of life-and-philosophy-themed-story, it’s not enough for me. This manga has that side of story too. Good ones if I may add. I think the mangaka is trying to say that no matter what, we’re mere humans. We are simply a tiny existence in this vast universe.

Personal Rating
9.5/10

[Reviewer: Adityo Ananta K.]

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