I like Key a lot. This is something that is quite easy to notice if you’ve seen my favorite anime and visual novels. So let’s review a short 2-10 hour visual novel by them, Planetarian.
Planetarian takes place in a post-apocalyptic Earth after a war. Humanity is nearly extinct, however few still live in horrible circumstances. They are called “Junkers” because they search for resources in the previous cities.
Our story follows one of the Junkers, who finds himself in a planetarium when trying to escape the deadly rain. From there, he meets Yumemi Hoshino an AI who worked there. From that point on, Yumemi and the Junker try to fix the planetarium, since it, obviously, doesn’t work.
The thing about the story is that it is slow. This is because there aren’t many major plot moments. However, the atmosphere, characters, and world building are spectacular.
The previously lively world destroyed creates a wonderful and extremely creepy atmosphere.
There are only two characters in this story, but they are both some of the best to ever be created.
The Junker (Kuzuya)
The main character is the previously mentioned Junker, or Kuzuya is Japanese. He is unpictured in the visual novel, though the recent anime has now shown us what he looks like. If I’m honest I pictured him to look a lot like Solid Snake. Anyways, he is sarcastic, sharp, and stoic. Though he does have a soft side for Yumemi. While not original to Key main characters, he is probably my favorite of their’s, since he’s super cool and likable.
Yumemi is the other character in this story. She is an extremely bubbly AI who works at the planetarium. However, she is blissfully unaware of the outside world. She is upbeat and playful, among having quite a few glitches. While she feels like a robot at many times, but there are just as many moments where she acts like a human. While I don’t like her as much as the Junker, she’s still a very likable character.
Overall, the character cast focuses on quantity over quality, which is always a nice thing.
Do I really have elaborate on the art? It’s beautiful. Strangely enough, the art isn’t by Itaru Hinoue or Na-Ga, but by Komatsu E-ji who’s done a few other works. I found the art to be beautiful, in both CGs and sprites. Even if Yumemi’s the only character drawn, she is absolutely beautiful.
And it looks even better on the HD remake!
While the OST only has ~12 tracks, they are all wonderful. Many of the songs make me tear up when I hear them. It’s definitely one of my favorite soundtracks.
As for the voice acting it’s also very good. Both actors bring their all, and preform wonderfully.
I loved Planetarian. It gave me the experience of a Key visual novel in only 6 hours, vs. the 50+ it would have taken to play Little Busters, Clannad, or Rewrite. On top of that, the ending is amazing, almost bringing me to tears.
Scenario: 8 x 2 = 16
Characters: 9 x 3 = 27
Art: 10 x 1 = 10
Sound: 10 x 1 = 10
Enjoyment: 8.5 x 3 = 25.5