The Paladins have all been knocked out and Soya has to contemplate what he wants to do with himself. Before he really has time to understand what he’s done, whether or not his revenge was worth it, or if he thinks Nozomi Takamagahara is his type, he’s immediately brought back into a new conflict. What will happen now that the Sealing Faction has declared war?
You know that scene from a movie where the hero faction hits the enemy, generates a giant cloud of dust/smoke and goes, “Did we get it??”
No…of course you didn’t get it. There’s still 100 minutes of runtime in this movie.
This is where we are with Planet With. Last week’s explosive episode felt like a finale and like Brendan, I half wondered if they were going to just call it a day and we’d be left contemplating the show’s brief existance. I knew that wasn’t true given the Episode count on MAL, but hey…you never know…
This episode is another wild jumble of concepts, but thankfully the plot is starting to congeal together.
Let’s review before I go any further:
– There were three factions at play in the show. The Pacifist Faction, the Sealing Faction, and the Paladins.
– The Sealing Faction and the Pacifist Faction were both seeming part of a group called “Nebula”. They split into Sealing and Pacifist Factions due to a difference in idealogy.
– Soya is not human. He is of the race known as the Siriusians (from the planet Sirius)
– There was a dragon that destroyed Soya’s homeworld.
– The Paladin’s are psychic humans who have the power of the dragon, and were brought together by Ryuzoji Takashi to fight against the Sealing Faction’s Nebula Weapons.
– Soya randomly regained his memories of his home world after the encounter with the first Nebula Weapon. He then wanted to destroy the Paladins for using the power of the dragon that destroyed his home world.
Okay so we all read the spark notes? Excellent!
Through the need for plot to progress, Soya’s psychic powers have awakened, which means he gets special dreams that give just enough insight into the backstory of the show to help us along.
We get an exposition dump on the dragon, and its place in Nebula. We learn about the destruction of the Sirusians and the origin of Ginko/Sensei. We also gain more insight into Nebula’s splitting ideals.
The highlight in this episode is the show’s art direction for the dragon. To start, I do not stand by the CG in this show. I think it’s hideous and off-putting and it moves like garbage. That being said, it works here with the dragon. The Nebula dragon’s otherworldly weirdness, massive size, and forever open mouth with dead eyes give it the intended feeling of ominous and foreboding.
The other parts of this episode reveal Shiraishi’s (not so) triumphant return and the stake upping by the Sealing Faction. Our new conflict is here.
I’ll end with the major problem of this show. It’s narrative and tone are a mess. I’m not even saying that because it chose to tell its story psuedo-backward. I say it because it’s whipping ideas around and never taking the time to care about the impact of them, and so much randomness is built into it’s storytelling. We spent six episodes with Soya hungry for revenge, only to have him get his way. He spends about a minute and a half contemplating the fact that he may have killed a man, and then we are immediately brought into a comedy moment with Shiraishi and Takamagahara. We have spaceships that look like things out of a Sanrio catelog and then we introduce the concept of genocide. We have genocide happen right on screen and everyone speaks like a child just spilled milk on the table. What the hell is this show trying to be?
Shiraishi returns and declares war on the earth. The backstory of the dragon is revealed, Soya has a psychic awakening, and we understand more about the splitting of the Nebula faction. The show overall feels like it read Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End and just wanted to half-ass steal concepts from it.
It’s throwing big ideas around and doesn’t fully adhere to any tone or narrative structure. Here’s to hoping the show figures itself out in this second half and thay Soya actually has to contemplate his actions somwhere in here for longer than a minute and a half.