In Planet With episode 4, "Avenger 2," Harumi Kumashiro, desparate to both avenge her friend Miu Inaba and to look good in front of her, pushes her dragon vial power too far. The consequences are dire not only for her targets Souya Kuroi and Sensei, but for the Grand Paladin who were nearby! Can any of them survive the night with Harumi in her current state? And if even if they do, what does the secrets she has revealed mean for Grand Paladin -- and the world?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What's in This Post
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3 Favorite Moments
I like a show that's not afraid of using humor in a way that meshes with and advances the plot. This episode of Planet With starts off where the last episode ended. Remember how the Grand Paladin soldiers saw Seigi Nezuya falling from the destroyed Nebula weapon? Well, we get to see how the Nebula Weapon attacked him -- and I gotta tell you, I feel for the guy (0:05). A goddess figure welcomed him and gave him these choices:
- Become the only male student at the "Pretty Girls Academy"
- Become a producer at a "super-popular" idol agency
- Be the oniisan to a younger sister (imoto) who just won a lottery for a trillion yen (about $9,005,400,000.00 in US dollars at the current exchange rate, I think)
- Be the recipient of his father's news that he actually has a "large-breasted older stepsister"
To his credit, he tried to resist, but the entire student body from the Pretty Girls Academy rushed him and began tossing him joyfully into the air. He even apologized mentally to everyone before completely surrendering. I think he sounded very happy in the end (1:03)...
How did this further the plot? Ginko Kuroi tells a worried Souya that Seigi's not dead; he's in a state of bliss. So now we know what happens if someone succumbs to the Nebula Weapons, and it's not fatal!
When Harumi re-created her armor's arms (6:45), even her teammates Benika Takatori and Yousuke Hitsujitani were surprised -- and a little scared. Benika said that she sensed some kind of terrible power (6:59), and I noticed that the arms looked kind of dragon-like. Was this an example of the fears of the Sealing Faction coming true? Wouldn't that be Souya's worst nightmare after seeing the dragon consume his world? Then Miu showed up and distracted Harumi long enough for Souya and Sensei's strike and push her to the brink of defeat. Harumi fought back and amped up the power she drew from her vial -- and transformed into a dragon (9:26). First, we only saw the claws and hands. Then we saw part of its body. By the time we finally see the snout, we know the awful truth: it's the same shape of the beast that Souya saw devour his planet in his native Sirius system. And even just "born" on Earth, the beast's power was terrifying! A stray shot from its mouth destroyed several city blocks in the nearby city! The sound effects, the action, the characters -- everything came together for a totally satisfying battle. And it looks like this battle's going to change the course of the series (see Thoughts, below)!
Because of the dragon's overwhelming power and insanity, Benika and Yousuke teamed up with Souya, Sensei, and Ginko to defeat the beast. During that fight, Benika in particular came to understand that the Team Nebula wasn't her real enemy -- especially seeing how Ginko helped Miu get through to Harumi (19:26)! I can't tell you how many times I've seen a series hand-wave the obvious implications of a scene like this -- the characters just go back to their pre-cast roles and keep fighting as if nothing happened. One of the things I'm coming to love about this show is that its plot is honest and self-consistent. Benika, Harumi, Miu, Yousuke, and even Hideo Torai all came away from the fight changed. My third favorite moment of this episode is when Benika charged into Takashi Ryuuzouji's office and demanded answers (22:39)! For a brief moment, I was afraid he'd spin some lie to keep her in line. But no, this is Planet With. He spilled the beans! He even admitted that his plan was to use their psychic powers to conquer the planet to establish his vision of peace. This scene let the consequences unfold realistically, and I just love that in a show!
The sound effects, once again, enhanced the action and didn't sounded (at least to me!) fantastic. I think it's a sign of just how good the sound design/editing is that it sticks out in a show that's already standing out for its craftsmanship across the board (plot, character, action, theme, etc.).
I literally applauded twice in this show for reasons that might not be immediately obvious. First, remember how the dragon destroyed several city blocks with an errant fire blast? I was afraid they'd come up with some magical way to repair everything and put it back the way it was. Nope! The city's damage limited to property because giant cat spaceship had already convinced everyone to evacuate -- but the damage wasn't magically transformed. The world saw the destruction and was left to wrestle with the consequences. That's good stuff!
The second time was when the show demonstrated the courage to destroy its own status quo. Benika confronted Takashi, who confessed his plan is to dominate the world and enforce his own brand of peace. She can't accept that, so she returns her vial of dragon power and storms off. I'm curious why he let her go; and I'm also very curious about the pleasant smile on the face of Takashi's aid, Kogane Shiraishi, who I still think is working for the Nebula Sealing Faction. But all of this enjoyable conjecture is only possible because the show's giving me a clear message: I can trust it to make sense!
I think that's a huge deal!
What do you think of the plotting for Planet With so far? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit Discussion of Planet With Episode 4
- Random Curiosity: Planet With - 04
- Anime News Network: Planet With Episode 4