Archive for the ‘Planetes’ Category

Planetes: selfishness leads to Jupiter

Friday, February 12th, 2010

In real life, I can say that I’m decent at best. I have my own quirks, and I’m not a very nice guy. If there’s anything I could be proud of, though, it’s that I’m no asshole. I don’t think I can have my cake and eat it too. I don’t live life under the shadow of romanticism, but I do believe in an illeity, in a love that is other-oriented, although not as extremely as Levinas proposes. What other people saw as realistic and gritty in Planetes I saw as self-serving and borderline uncaring, and this was represented with its protagonist, Hachirota Hoshino. I won’t be illogical and attack the technical aspects of the series, as they are top-notch and well-done, but I didn’t feel empathetic towards Hachimaki. I didn’t like how he disrespected Ai, even though she was all right with that. It felt to me as if he led her on to a relationship, let her go, led her on again, and leave Earth, because what he really desired was to go to Jupiter. He married her and impregnated her, and went to Jupiter afterwards. I really just don’t see an iota of a sense of responsibility in him with regard to relationships. It’s a very personal problem, but I would be very willing to put farfetched dreams of mine on hold to take care of my wife. I saw my parents did that for us, and while we’re imperfect and sometimes grating children I believe we’ve grown to be relatively good people. Sometimes we do evil, of course, but I sincerely think we’re better off than most of the children of our time.

planetes

Does it really justify leaving one’s wife to pursue one’s own dream? If I’m so determined to pursue something I try my best not to damage other people I care about: I’m even very willing to push them temporarily aside so as to prevent them from being hurt. I guess he’s a lucky asshole that way. It’s something very weird, because while technically speaking, Spike was a criminal and also pretty much self-serving, one can really see that he continued to exist for the sake of his love. He kept on living because he was single-minded towards his goal of reuniting with Julia. He did not have her as merely another one of his goals. She was his goal, his utter reason to exist that not even space could stop. By the end of the show I really, really liked Ai and I really despised Hachimaki. She was truly a loving human, while he was a self-serving bastard. And nothing really changed.

The difference between Planetes and Honey and Clover is that while Honey and Clover is essentially tragic, it had one of the most endearing protagonists I have ever seen. He was imperfect, and prone to jealousy as well as failure. Takemoto was also prone to doubt and loving, but his love was true. I like people who are single-minded, and those who respect the existence of women, not as mere harbors, but as people.