Key, the studio who brought us both Angel Beats and Charlotte, are back with another visual novel adaptation. This time they’re bringing the beauty of ‘Planetarian’ to anime lovers everywhere. Planetarian is the story of a nameless ‘junker’ in a post-apocalyptic world. Junkers are people who scavenge the dangerous machine-infested cities of the world for material goods for a living.
Our junker makes a trip into the city and, after a brief encounter with some of the automated war-machines, takes shelter within the fictional Flowercrest Mall where he discovers a planetarium that has power for 1 week (168 hours) out of every year. Stumbling inside to rest, he meets its robotic attendant Yumemi Hoshino who treats him as if he were just another customer coming for a visit to the planetarium.
ReLife Laboratories, a strange research organization working on a way to rehabilitate unproductive members of the world – people who are paying little more than lip-service to society, while not actually participating in it. Sounds like a noble goal, and a worthy one. The weird part is their methods… they have created an experimental drug that makes people look like teenagers so they can attend another year of high school in an attempt to reintegrate them into life itself.
During this year, they’ll have their basic needs provided for and based off of how their time at school goes, they might even get offered a permanent job. The catch? They can’t let anyone know about ReLife, and as soon as the ReLife program ends – either at the end of the year or if something goes wrong – everyone they knew will apparently forget about them. Our protagonist, Kaizaki Arata, is 27 years old and has become a recluse since quitting his first real job after only 3 months. One day, after drinking himself into a stupor, he’s approached by Yoake Ryo, a representative of ReLife, who offers him the opportunity to enter the program.
It’s time for another card-game-turned-anime: Ange Vierge. In Ange Vierge, there are five worlds with extremely strongly define themes – for the most part. For example, the Black World is full of demons and vampires and the white world has an extremely defined tech theme. The Blue World is our Earth as we know it, a mixed bag of everything, and is the only world among the five that doesn’t have one defined theme. One day, out of nowhere, all four of the other worlds are suddenly connected to Earth and start gradually converging, destined to collide destroying everything. At the same time, strange forces known as the Ouroboros appear, determined to speed up the process, hastening all worlds towards destruction.
Fortunately, girls from all worlds start developing special abilities. These ‘Progress’ girls are gathered together on Seiran Island, a remote island isolated in the Pacific which has been turned into an academic facility devoted specifically to their training. You see, it was discovered that these girls possess the powers to not only defeat the Ouroboros, but also that the energy generated by their abilities help to delay the inevitable collapse.
War came suddenly, as gates opened in the sky and legions of aliens called simply ‘the Unknown’ poured out from it. In order to preserve humanity’s future, children all over Japan were put into cold-sleep to be awakened when the carnage ended. Unfortunately, the war lasted longer than anyone expected and these children woke to a Japan under perpetual siege.
Fortunately, the children awakened this way had developed mystical powers during their long sleep, said to be somehow related to whatever they dreamed of while they were sleeping. Their powers, known as ‘Worlds’, were then put to use by the defense forces to protect the Japanese islands against the mysterious invaders, with the various defense academies being ranked according to their effectiveness in battle.
Welcome to Kazamatsuri, a city in Japan that has devoted itself to trying to promote a greener Earth. The city is surrounded in forests, is home to companies devoted to afforestation, and holds a massive annual festival devoted to nature.
It is in this city that our story begins with protagonist Kotarou Tennouji awakening from a strange nightmare. In his nightmare, he is running through a ruined version of Kazamatsuri and when he enters the forest on its borders, he encounters a strange girl with ribbons, who promptly kills him. After he awakens, he starts seeing this girl for brief moments, and one day he wakes up with bitemarks on his arm. In his pursuit of some explanation, he’s drawn to the Occult Research Club at school.