After Torai’s defeat, the Citizens’ Safety Center’s Grand Paladin team convenes to figure out what to do about the mysterious boy that beat him. Soya vents his frustrations at Ginko and Sensei. When another Nebula Weapon appears, it’s up to Paladin’s youngest member, Miu, to defeat it. This puts her firmly in Soya’s crosshairs, and as his thirst for vengeance grows, so does his recklessness. Unfortunately for him, Grand Paladin is not about to take his abuse lying down.
Episode one left me a bit unsure about Planet With, but this episode has definitely cemented it for me as worth following, if only to see how all the pieces of the show fit together in the end. While the show has been dropping some unsubtle hints as to who may be the true antagonist(s) behind the events so far, we’re starting to get a more complete picture of Soya, his mentors, and the Grand Paladin team, and it paints most of them as genuinely believing that they are the good guys.
Character-wise, the members of Grand Paladin are a bunch of deliberate cliches, such as the good-hearted leader, the ice queen, and the spunky kid. Soya is driven purely by a desire for revenge against them and a somewhat-overplayed craving for meat. I assume everyone’s broad characterization is meant to keep the door open for their various internal conflicts as they continue to face new Nebula Weapons and the illusory memories within, but for now, they’re good for a chuckle.
Grand Paladin appears to be focused on protecting the Earth from the alien Nebula Weapons. However, these things only just started appearing, and they’re nothing like the dragon that their predecessors fought in Soya’s memories. However, Ginko and Sensei seem to have messed with those same memories, so their reliability is in question. For their part, they claim that they’re part of a Nebula faction that wants to guide humanity towards love and compassion, confiscating the power to form the Paladin’s mechs. They also claim that the Nebula Weapons are being sent by another faction, which is trying to seal humanity… so my question becomes; what’s the difference? Perhaps there’s a subtlety in the language that isn’t yet clear, or Soya’s bosses are just making it all up.
The fighting continues to be energetic, and the wonky mech designs are starting to grow on me. At the very least, I’ve never seen anything like them before. The designs of the Nebula Weapons on the other hand, well…
My main interest in Planet With right now is trying to figure out exactly who is playing who in this alien punch-up. Delving deeper into Soya’s memories should provide some answers, and I’m sure we’ll start learning more about each member of Grand Paladin as they face Soya and the Nebula in combat. Hopefully the answers will be as interesting as the show’s design aesthetic is bizarre. For now, we can content ourselves with the knowledge that the conflict between our various “heroes” is about to escalate intensely.