Well, the new anime season came in. Unfortunately, nothing particularly stuck to me when I checked out anichart, and animemes isn’t exactly blowing up about anything either. These being my personal barometers, I going to have to say that the current anime season is a dud. April truly is the season to be catching up with backlogs, and considering that one anime I really enjoyed is getting their one year anniversary soon, Planet With, written by the quirky author, Mizukami Satoshi.
A Quirky Hit or Miss Author
Mizukami is generally this hit or miss kinda guy, he writes in a way that would be difficult to place in one category, but most would probably place him in the ‘seinen’ category, meant for adult readers. His more popular stories generally involve a lot of characters with their stories spanning great distances across space and time. With a generally romantic flavor of people attempting to defy fate or some sort of obstacle much, much larger than they can imagine. That’s probably the most general take I can have on him, and if you think that sounds so far out of what you normally hear from anime, that’s probably why he’s not popular compared to mainstream titles.
In fact, Planet With seems to be the most in-line with mainstream ideas for a show, but he of course throws in his own curveballs to make things more interesting, pretty much every episode He opens up with a typical amnesiac high schooler, whose town is attacked by a strange looking nebula weapon. Fortunately, they are saved by a team of seven psychic super heroes. Our protagonist, Kuroi Souya, is later thrown into battle not against the town’s attackers, but it’s heroes. That last line may have thrown you off, but that’s exactly what Mizukami likes to do.
A Bait and Switch That Keeps You Hooked
He relies on the usual tricks for anime stories like strange settings, characters, or unknown pasts. But instead of stretching it out to produce a convoluted narrative, he moves the story forward with a very cut-and-dry approach. His stories don’t have characters hung up on some issue for more than two episodes. For Planet With, characters are pretty much cookie-cutter tropes, but instead of using this to fill out a checklist of what people might be looking for, the author makes use of these tropes so that character arcs can be moved forward very quickly. This way they already have their motivations properly set within the context of the greater story. And that’s probably one of the things I found that I really liked about this Mizukami, the works I found that I really liked from him have characters developing right in front of you, and they also proceed to interact in a story far greater than themselves.
Another thing I highly appreciate about Planet With is how the anime really never does anything twice. While it presents itself as if it’s going to be a monster-of-the-week or some sort of round-robin presentation of several character arcs, it never really falls into a template. There’s always something slightly different happening in the next episode even if it looks like it’s going to be the same thing happening. Even if there’s a character arc going on, the story itself doesn’t pause and wait for it to finish. Fights happen but there’s always something new in every successive battle. This in particular really caught my eye as the how one moment to the next didn’t feel predictable. Even if you know what’s going to happen, it’s probably going to happen that once in the show, so you better pay attention.
In conclusion, Planet With for me, is a show that should’ve been a hit but may be held back by the quirky designs and storytelling that the author seems to have a knack for. This guy also authored Spirit Circle, which in my opinion, deserves its own anime. Some other fans might recognize the title ‘Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer’ as well, same guy. Both of these stories I’m never going to forget, and if you’re up for a unique story that actually plans to progress and end properly, do consider watching this one.