It seems I have have gone crazy this week and I ended up watching all the anime I was planning to and still had plenty of spare time. So I decided that a change of pace was needed. Of course being being the massive otaku that I am, I went with the obvious choice of playing a visual novel. I was going to play One ~To the Radiant Season~ but I found planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~ waiting to be played.
What do you think about the Planetarium?
That beautiful twinkling of eternity that will never fade, no matter when…
All the stars in all the sky are waiting for you.
I have had planetarian for a while but never got around to playing/reading it. It’s pretty short and can be read in a few hours so I decided I would spend the afternoon reading. The story takes place several decades in the future. 30 years prior to the start of the story, the world was embroiled in a terrible war. Since then, mankind has nearly been wiped out by biological and thermonuclear weapons and autonomous war machines, relics of the old world, remain to continue the foolishness of the war. Some of the remaining people survive by raiding abandoned cities for any thing they can find. These people are called Junkers.
One such nameless junker ventures into what he believes to be an unplundered city. He is attacked by several “warmongers” and in the process uses up many of his supplies including ammo. Instead of heading back, he ventures even deeper into the city towards what he believes to be a military installation. Inside he discovers a domed room on the top level surrounding a massive 20m construct. He is greeted by the friendly voice of a 15 or 16 year old girl. After some time, he realizes that the girl in front of him, Hoshino Yumeni (also called Reverie Planetarian), is in fact a robot built before the war. She presents to him a “bouquet of flowers” crafted from incandescent light bulbs, wires, and other assorted items. She says he is the 2,500,000th customer (even though he is the 2,497,290th customer) and asks him if he wants to view the commemorative show but rejects the offer. Being in no condition to leave the city, he decides to sleep the night here.
The next morning he awakens to find the bouquet in his arms and the girl waiting. He eventually decides to watch the show but they soon find out that Miss Jena, the large projector is not working. He decides that he will repair the projector which takes him several days. He finds out that meeting Yumeni was just a coincidence. There is a generator still active somewhere in the city that is providing minimal power to the planetarium. Thus, Yumeni can only remain awake for a week each year before she must recharge. After a few days of struggling to repair Miss Jena, he finally finishes. Yumeni connects to Miss Jena and presents an astonishing view of the starry sky, something that cannot be seen from the outside world due to the constant rain caused by the nuclear fallout. However, the show drains the remaining power from the generator before Yumeni can move on to the special commemoration. Touched by Yumeni’s presentation, the junker asks her to go on without the visuals.
I don’t want to get into the second half of the story because it is too depressing for me to talk about. Just thinking about the end is making me cry. I would not by any means be able to do the novel justice. It was hard for me to finish reading planetarian because tears were inundating my eyes and drenching my hand. By the end, I had my hands covering my face as I continued to cry profusely. The last time I cried this much was at the end of Kanon. The sole fact that Key’s stories always makes me cry is why they are without a doubt my favorite company. I suggest that anyone with a heart to read planetarian. I hope that one day, KyoAni will make a planetarian movie so that more people can see this beautiful story.