June 12, 2022
Planetarian: Storyteller of the Stars takes us into the world of Kuzuya. A world that no longer resembles ours and in which humanity is on the verge of extinction. But even in these dark times there is something that makes people dream again. The anime was released in Japan back in 2016, followed by the OVA Snow Globe in 2021. KSM Anime secured the license for this poignant story and released both together on DVD and Blu-ray on March 17, 2022. John Schwab
ATTENTION: Any statements in this review only reflect the personal opinion of the author and not (!) those of ITweakIT and its partners.
How about a visit to the planetarium?
We are in the distant future. After humanity nearly wiped itself out in a biological and nuclear war, the earth is only a shadow of itself. But Yumemi seems to have passed all this by, because she is a highly developed service robot and has been in service for ages. Since then, her tasks have included inviting visitors to her planetarium and presenting her show to them. Unfortunately, those times are long gone, because those people who still exist live widely scattered outside of the cities. Yumemi, however, still stands at the entrance of the planetarium, where she waits day after day to welcome enthusiastic customers.
And this is where Kuzuya's story begins. He is a simple scavenger, moving steadily from place to place like a nomad. Today it is hardly what it used to be. He is an old man and can hardly stand on his feet. When he tries to reach the next village packed full in a snowstorm, his body slows him down and he is buried under a blanket of snow. Luckily for him, he is found by three young children who, despite the rules, are out and about outside the village limits. They let their parents know, who are skeptical but helpful. So Kuzuya recovers quickly and immediately makes a decision.
He wants to pass on his knowledge and tell his story. A stirring and gripping story about how he met the robot lady Yumemi and how she changed his whole life. Two things have now become clear to him: the children of this village are incredibly inquisitive and he himself doesn't have much time left before he disappears from the face of this world. He is also a man of the stars and this knowledge is therefore of great value.
image and animation
Planetarian: Storyteller of the Stars hit Japanese theaters on September 3, 2016, followed by the accompanying OVA episode Snow Globe in 2021. While the anime film is based on the visual novel Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet , served Snow Globe took on the visual novel of the same name, which Key implemented to mark the 15th anniversary of the Planetarian series.
The approximately 117-minute film was directed by Naokatsu Tsuda at the David Productions studio and the OVA with a running time of almost 25 minutes at the Okuruto Noboru studio, with Jin Tamamura directing. KSM Anime secured the rights in Germany and released both together on DVD and Blu-ray on March 17, 2022.
Visually, Planetarian is appealing, while partially showing its age. However, this is hardly noticeable in the overall picture and especially in the OVA episode, the visual implementation is fairly adapted to that of the film. In both cases, the character design of the main character Yumemi stands out, whereas the other characters look a bit clumsy. In both cases, I noticed the running animations, which instead of being striking, appear very rigid and unnatural. Due to the predominant closeups and still images, the picture also lacks any dynamics, which I really miss.
On the other hand, the rest of the image is very harmonious, the animations are almost entirely smooth and the colors are well balanced. If the current world or a scene is shown without Yumemi, the image will be dark and desaturated. On the other hand, really vibrant colors are used for the world in its original face, which makes for an exciting picture. Ultimately, what I liked the most was the look of the OVA episode with its animation.
German translation and music
For the production of the German dubbing, KSM Anime relied on the studio G&G Tonstudios in Kaarst. Sebastian Hollmann wrote both the dialogue book and also took over the dialogue direction.
The German dubbing caught my eye straight away. As the voice actress, Christina-Ann Zalamea stands out from the start. In the film and the accompanying OVA, she lends her voice to Yumemi Hoshino, the little android, and is completely convincing. She gives Yumemi a lot of personality, character and charm, while her voice suits this awkward and fragile-looking character beautifully. In this way, the robot, which is actually portrayed as quite callous, becomes a lovable and interesting character.
David Schulze also manages to authentically present his character Kuzuya, who was initially very distant. The voices are clear, spatially recognizable and the soundtrack is of high quality overall. At least as good is the original Japanese soundtrack, which is included on the disc and can also be recommended to everyone.
The music is well chosen, set appropriately and underscores the scenes skilfully. This is the case in both the film and the OVA. Bigger and important moments are highlighted with panache, while smaller scenes aren't overloaded with too much music. Ambient noises are realistic and create an overall harmonious sound that accompanies the anime well from start to finish.
Planetarian: Storyteller of the Stars is a heartfelt little story that puts the character Yumemi in the foreground. Both the film and the OVA Snow Globe offer an appealing and compelling score. Here I can recommend both the German dubbing and the original subtitles, as the characters are well presented in both cases.
Visually, both works are coordinated with one another, although the first title now shows slight signs of aging. Yumemi's cute and elaborate character design was particularly positive, but it contrasts a bit too much with the rest of the characters.
In addition, you use a lot of closeups and stills. The reason for this is the poor representation of movements that are not natural and fluid. On the other hand, the picture looks very appealing overall and scores particularly well in the OVA with strong colors and shows a harmonious overall picture with the well-tuned music.
In the end, I liked the OVA episode better than the movie. One of the reasons for this is that the film needs too much time to build up tension, which in turn ends abruptly. In contrast, the OVA works very purposefully. In addition, the OVA offers improved animation and a more detailed and colorful image.
With a successful image, Planetarian: Storyteller of the Stars and the accompanying OVA Snow Globe show a touching story about two lives that could not be more different and yet will be linked forever.
Images: © VisualArt's/Key/planetarian project