Planet With Episode 7 Review: The Princess of Riel and a Brotherly Gesture

August 21, 2018

Quick Summary

In Planet With episode 7, "Sirius," while recovering from the previous battle, Souya Kuroi dreams of the fall of Sirius and the role that Sensei played -- along with a surprise guest! A new character breezes into Souya's school -- or is she really new? She looks familiar... Nozomi Takamagahara shows some surprising skills that she's not even aware she has. She's also keen to learn more about Souya, who's obviously burned out from fighting. Will meeting his "brother" on the way home from school give Souya the peace he longs for? Or has all of this only been the beginning?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.  

What's in This Post

Interested in the Sensei mech? You can buy it from CD Japan!

3 Favorite Moments

Moment 1

From the moment we meet Princess Ginko of Riel, we see that she's responsible enough to stand up for her people -- in spite of potentially lethal consequences. Notice that the cat paw design is missing from her skirt? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Wait -- Ginko Kuroi is a princess (2:07)? From the planet Riel? And she was defending her planet against invasion from the Siriusians? I always knew she wasn't Terran, and it seemed unlikely she was from Sirius. But now we find out she's a native of Riel -- and royalty to boot! She tries to protect some of her people from an attacking squad of Siriusian soldiers, so right from the start, we know she's a Good Guy (tm). She tries to throw up a telekinetic shield, but their telekinetic skills exceed hers and they smash through. She's preparing to die with her people when the soldiers stare in shock at something behind her. The sequence where she turns around to see Sensei for the first time is really cool (2:42)! We also find out she and her people knew about Nebula, which is apparently is like a Federation of Planets, and were really happy Nebula was there to save them. It also explains why Ginko joined Sensei -- she wanted to learn from him so she could be ready for the time when Riel joined Nebula. I love science fiction, and this show's respectful treatment of science fiction concepts is really appealing to me.

There's no way this was an accident -- Kogane planned this moment to throw Souya off balance. For the record, it worked! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Moment 2

Looks like we found out what happened to Kogane Shiraishi after last episode's battle: She subtly changed her appearance and decided to join Souya at school (14:28). And apparently, she's not in the least bit above using some not so subtle psychological warfare to put Souya off balance -- as she showed when she stood over Souya and let the wind blow up her skirt (14:32). At first, because she changed her appearance to look more like a student, I couldn't place her -- then she hypnotized him to make him think she was a transfer student, and I connected her tone of voice with Kogane. After the heaviness of the introduction (the show presented the death of Sirius in a very effective way), I was ready for a bit of humor. Mystery, too, as I wondered a) why was the hypnotizing Souya and b) why the hypnosis didn't work on Nozomi (15:38). This show never does anything without a purpose...

Souya is done with fighting, and it's not cowardice that's driving his decision. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Moment 3

Didn't you feel sorry for Souya during his conversation with this "brother" in the same playground where Nozomi tacked him back in episode 5? From the episode's mid-point, we saw how Souya felt guilty about Sensei's injuries (13:08). He wrestled with the idea that he might have killed someone just before Kogane's skirt flip (see Moment 2). Just moments before the playground, he had confided to Nozomi that "..a lot of things have ended, and I'm feeling burnt out" (17:08). And now, he meets his "brother" standing on a swing set. A "brother" who reveals he's actually a member of the oldest race in the universe, the People of Paradise, and that Souya's battle isn't over yet. Souya's had more than enough of fighting; he wants no more part of it. That's why I've selected his point-blank rejection of the Sealing Faction's invitation to fight. He wants no part of the battle to determine if the Nebula Sealing or Pacifist faction will decide the fate of the human race (21:56).

Thoughts

In my review of episode 6, I wondered where the show would go next. Would it visit the past to revisit the fate of Sirius? Plunge forward into a new conflict? Yes and no! The show continued its unpredictable course by dramatizing the fall of Sirius (which really deserved more than the flash-back treatment it got before), then bringing into focus some trends and themes that it sowed earlier. Like how Souya wasn't hallucinating when he saw his "brother"standing over the dead  Takashi Ryuuzouji -- that was actually one of the People of Paradise who he perceived as his brother -- for reasons still unknown. Or how Benika Takatori and  Yousuke Hitsujitani have joined forces with the Sealing Faction in an attempt to save Earth from the same fate as Sirius. The clues were all there! I'm excited to see how they play out.

The clues were all there: Benika would side with whomever she thought could save Earth; Yousuke would side with Benika; and Kogane is, well, just dangerous. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

There were so many things to talk about in this episode, but two things stood out above the others: Sensei's confrontation of the dragon and how his decision compared to the Sealing Faction's response to danger.

Do you remember how, after witnessing the complete destruction of the Siriusian's home planet and its entire space fleet, Sensei confronted the enormous dragon (8:50)? The shot showed a tiny Sensei mech hanging in space before the dragon's enormous head. He was just a nearly invisible spot before the enormous beast! Yet, he didn't back down. 

Instead, he challenged the dragon, asking, "Dragon! Why did you do this?" When the dragon answered that "I simply destroyed an evil race. I meted out justice" (9:02) and demanded that Sensei turn over Souya to be killed, Sensei not only refused. He proclaimed that he would raise Souya to be a man who would chose the evolutionary path of love and prove that the Siriusians could have gone that way. In other words, he wanted to prove that they were worth saving. The dragon become more and more angry, but Sensei didn't relent. He said, "We forgive, accept, and watch over them" (9:57), concluding with "This is what Nebula does, as races who chose the evolution of love!"

See the tiny blue-white dot mid screen on the left? That's Sensei. The dragon is on the right. The flecks all around? The remnants of the Siriusian fleet. Sensei refused to back down in spite of the overwhelming odds. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That might be the most hopeful description I've ever read of an advanced race's philosophy. Complete benevolence, a lack of judgement, and a commitment to help other races along the evolutionary path of love. If I wasn't sure which Nebula faction to back, this cleared it up: I can only support the Pacifist faction. 

If that's not enough reason, consider: How did the Generalissimo and Kogane handle their fight in the last episode? When the fight became difficult, they punted! They forced Sensei and Souya to take care of it. Confronted by the dragon's destruction of an entire planet's biosphere and its defending star fleet, did Sensei run? Did he try to duck his responsibility?

No. He held the line. 

Did you notice something else? I think Sensei's plan for Souya is bearing fruit. Sensei wanted to prove that if Souya were raised right, he would chose the path of love. At the end of this episode, faced with the prospect of more violence, and fresh from the experience of killing someone, Souya declined. His decision wasn't made out of cowardice. He wanted nothing more to do with death.

I think he justified Sensei's faith in him!

What did you think of everything that happened in this episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

Other Posts of Interest

  • Highway says:

    This episode sure didn’t do anything to change my opinion of the morally feckless Sealing Faction. They let the dragon run wild, then try to ‘dispose’ of it. “Eh, it’s what he did, now we’ll get rid of him.” I am trying to keep in mind that the show may not be a reliable narrator, but it’s really painting the Sealing Faction as utterly horrible people, no matter that they’re part of Nebula, which is supposed to be some galactic government. It seems like their usual method is to, not to put to fine a point on it, kill two birds with one stone. I wouldn’t put it past them to have whipped up the dragon into destroying Sirius, and then use that as an excuse to get rid of the dragon. Because it seems like they’re using the same plan on Earth: provide them the means to fight, entice them to use those means through mysterious attacks, and then condemn them for doing what they were enticed to do. Classic entrapment. Meanwhile the Generalissimo just stands back with his arms folded acting all nonchalant, while his executive secretary is the one doing the whispering in people’s ears to get them to spring the trap on themselves. Then she bounces off to the next target.

    And I so love the crush that Nozo has on Souya. So so much. I just hope that she’s able to get through to him.

    • tcrow says:

      Regarding the Sealing Faction, you can say that again! I’m almost wondering if they’ve been infiltrated by some other group who wants to destabilize Nebula! It’s just as you said — they’re not just advocating for sealing a race, they’re entrapping races so they can say “Gotcha!” and seal them.

      Or destroy them…

      And Shiraishi… She’s wickedly manipulative! That skirt flip, while funny, was intentional, I’m sure! She was just messing with Souya.

      Nozomi is just a dear. Souya seems so comfortable with her and the club President at their after school meetings. Seeing the contrast against where he is at the end of the episode is approaching the tragic! And yeah, I’d like to see Nozomi and Souya get closer. Plus, I have a feeling she’s going to be a good counter weight to Shiraishi!

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