A long time ago, the Earth had died. Humanity was on the brink of extinction, until out of the blue, a mysterious man appeared. His name is "Y", and he proposed to reconstruct the entire Earth using nothing but clockwork gears. And thus, the Clockwork Planet is created.
A thousand years later...
Naoto Miura is a high school failure who seems to only care about clockwork machines above all else, but what people don't know about him is that he has an extraordinary ability to hear and feel gears in motion, even from very long distances. Then, one day, a random container falls into his home, and inside the container is a clockwork automaton he has never seen before. With beautiful white hair, smooth skin, and a personality that can pierce through the hearts of many, her name is RyuZU, and with their faithful encounter begins a journey to discover the truth about the world around them.
Clockwork Planet is a series of light novels, written by Yuu Kamiya (No Game No Life) and Tsubaki Himana and illustrated by sino, composed of 4 volumes. The light novels were licensed by J-Novel Club on June 1st, 2017 with the first volume getting chapters posted online as they're translated before a full ebook release in August 2017. You can read the light novels as they're released here.
An anime adaptation by Xebec aired in the Spring 2017. A manga adaptation illustrated by Kuro commenced in 2013 and ran until 2018, compiled into a total of 10 volumes.
A character sheet is currently in the works. Please contribute.
Complete spoilers below:
Clockwork Planet features examples of:
- Alternate Universe: 1000 years in the past, the Earth started dying due to unexplained energy loss billions of years earlier than the natural death of the Earth was predicted. Some humans went into space to start a new society, while others stubbornly stayed on the planet. Fortunately for them, a mysterious man named Y fixed the entire planet using nothing but gears.
- Adapted Out: The explaination for why the Earth died is left out of the anime, giving the impression that the Earth just suddenly died one day and Y showed up to fix it instead of the Earth being in the process of dying before Y arrived.
- Alternative Calendar: The animé has a "Sprocket Calendar" apparently beginning with the conversion of a dead/dying Earth into the Clockwork Planet and seems to be simply a knock-off of our Real Life Gregorian Calendar with a different starting point.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Limons is perfectly ready to allow 20 million people to die, just so that he can blame it on Marie Breguet and her family.
- Armies Are Evil: The Army is willing to allow 20 million people die just to cover up their mistake. Even when the mistake is fixed, they still continue with the purge just to cover up any evidence of said mistake. They are also willing to purge an entire city on the belief that a secret might get out.
- As You Know: The first part of Chapter 1 has a class lecture revealing how the Clockwork Planet came to be.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Naoto can walk into a building with quadrillions of moving parts in it, identify the four thousand odd individual gears that are faulty, and out of them, which eighteen are the reason for the system failure that needs to be fixed, and why they're broken, in a matter of minutes, just by listening to them.
- Big Little Man: Prior to Anchor's HeelFace Turn in the manga, she's almost never shown in the same panel as the other characters, making it seem like she's the same size as them (and thus more intimidating). When she's repaired, it turns out that she's tiny.
- Child Prodigy: Marie and Naoto.
- Clock Punk: An entire flipping Planet of it.
- Clockwork Creature: Ryuzu, AnchoR, and the rest of the Y Series automata.
- Contrived Coincidence:
- Marie and Halter seem to walk across Naoto and Ryuzu by pure luck.
- When Marie is suffering from a Heroic BSoD from believing that she got Naoto and Ryuzu killed, they climb out of the sewers, in the middle of a random part of the city, days later, right in front of her. Though in this case Naoto could easily track her by hearing.
- Cut-and-Paste Translation:
- In the Japanese original, Naoto called God stingy for not giving him an automaton. Due to religious censorship, the Funimation dub changed that to begging "fate" for one.
- In the Japanese original, when Naoto expressed his interest in Halter's powerful and sophisticated cyborg body and didn't show any overt signs of lusting after RyuZU's, she suspected him to be gay, whereas the Funimation dub has her euphemistically say that she's "not his type".
- Didn't Think This Through: After Naoto smacks the hand of a thug away from Ryuzu and blatantly insults them, his facial reaction makes it clear after that he did not think this through.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Considering that Naoto finds gears attractive he goes into a dazed state when he sees RyuZU's inner workings.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening theme of the anime is sung by fripSide, a group that Naoto's VA, Yoshino Nanjo, is a part of.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Marie often hits Naoto when she get upset with him.
- Evil Wears Black: Both the Army and Limons wears all black contrast to the Guild wearing all white.
- Faking the Dead: Marie pulls this off so Limons won't have a scapegoat.
- Flash Step: Ryuzu is able to move her giant scythe so fast that, even in a crowded classroom, the teacher is unable to see her use it to destroy and stop any pieces of chalk from hitting Naoto. During a later meeting with Marie's friend Princess Hoshi, when Hoshi concludes Naoto should be killed, Ryuzu is able to step behind her from across the room, and place her scythe on her neck. Note that before this, she was giving Naoto a lap pillow!
- Foregone Conclusion: Chapter 1 ends with a flashforward to 30 days in the future. So we know full well until that point none of the four will die.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Limons reveals his true scumbag intentions and nature to Marie in private, as detailed in Scapegoat below.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: Marie wants to invoke this. She wants Naoto, Ryuzu, Halter, and herself to go out and reveal the conspiracy that is still going on. She knows full well that they will never be known for stopping it or their involvement but wants to do it simply because Good Feels Good.
- Green-Eyed Monster: The entire male side of Naoto's school is clearly jealous that the lovely Ryuzu is giving him so much attention.
- Then the entire student body towards him when he is so casually friendly with the prodigy Marie.
- Ryuzu seems to suffer this anytime Naoto shows interest in any machine other than her. Even once getting jealous when Naoto showed interest in a tower.
- Heroic BSoD: Marie is hit hard by this after she believes she got Naoto and Ryuzu killed and her actions to stop the Army has only made things worse.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Anytime Naoto talks about himself, it's usually this. Ryuzu tries to cheer him up by stating how only he could fix her. However, due to the fact that she has no filter, her compliments often don't help much.
- Hope Spot: The Guild manages to fix the gravitational problems just in time to stop the purge. Only for the Army to initiate the purge anyway to hide the evidence of their mistake.
- Hotter and Sexier: A relatively minor case: In the manga, RyuZU has her service hatch on the back, in the anime, between her breasts (in both cases Naoto had to bare her upper body to access the hatch, though).
- Humongous Mecha: The Yatsukahagi. It seems like the scientists from purged cities are building a really huge robot out of the cities that have been purged, using the gears from said cities for spare parts. It wields electromagnetism which is Kryptonite to the clockpunk automatons, and forbidden by international law.
- Kill 'Em All: The army's plan to deal with anyone finding out their plans. They are willing to purge an entire city of millions just to keep their secrets hidden.
- Kill Sat: The "Tall Wand" is a Clock Punk version of the "Rods of God" Orbital Bombardment system. It's also too weak to defeat the Yatsukahagi
- Kill the Poor: It is quite clear that the purge has this as an added bonus to the ones involved, as they made sure to evacuate the rich and powerful but did not reveal the severity of the problem to the normal citizens.
- Love Hotel: After Naoto's house is destroyed, the suitable and affordable place Ryuzu finds to stay turns out to be this. Naoto, knowing how much trouble he would get into if he was caught going into one of these with a pretty girl would get him, decides on a Manga Cafe instead.
- Misplaced Retribution: Lampshaded in Chapter 11. When Ryuzu insults Marie, she starts to argue with Naoto over being insulted. He asks why she's attacking him, to which she answers is because she can't attack Ryuzu without being killed.
- Monumental Damage: Tokyo Tower is destroyed by Naoto along with a few other buildings in order to provoke an evacuation of a part of Tokyo.
- Multinational Team: Naoto is Japanese, Halter is American, and Marie is French.
- New Transfer Student: Ryuzu and Marie become this. Halter takes it one step further and becomes a New Transfer Teacher.
- No OSHA Compliance: Taken to the logical extreme here. With an entire planet running on gears, there is a lot of exposed machinery that clocksmiths have to risk exposing themselves to in order to keep the mechanisms running. In the first novel, Marie had to repair a broken gear by hopping in-between the machinery with virtually no solid ground to stand on, and one misstep could've ended in death. This was even discussed beforehand where Naoto suggested bringing in a repair bot, but since they were in a time crunch to prevent the purge from happening, Marie had no other options but to risk her life repairing the gear. This even extends to the planet's surface itself, which is nothing but exposed gears with no solid artificial surface to cover them, thus, preventing land travel. Travel in-between civilizations is done either by aircraft or circumstantial cylinder trains instead.
- Obliviously Evil: The Army seems to not understand why one of their own would try to stop the purge from happening.
- Race Against the Clock: The first few chapters have the Meister Guild racing to repair the gravitation towers in Japan before they shut down and kill 20 million people. They succeeded but the Army decides to cause it anyway so as to erase any evidence.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: Ryuzu as well as any other Automaton. It is suggested that none of Naoto's classmates are aware that Ryuzu is a robot.
- Scapegoat: Limons and the Army plan to use the Meister Guild (mainly Marie) as one when the purge happens.
- Scenery Porn: The manga loves to show off the planet made entirely of clockwork gears.
- Sexbot: RyuZU said that unlike "love dolls"/"pleasurebots", she has free will, something unheard of in automata, and chose to serve and like Naoto.
- AnchoR also has free will and disobeyed Naoto when he ordered her to stand down instead of fighting the giant superweapon from Shiga.
- Shout-Out: Marie's last name Breguet is a reference to French-Swiss luxury watchmakers Breguet. Her first name might also be a reference to Marie Antoinette...the watch aka Breguet no. 160, that is, originally commissioned for the Queen herself.
- Skewed Priorities:
- After something crashed into his house, Naoto is more worried at the fact he dropped his magazine in the bathtub.
- Then played for drama immediately after. Despite his house falling all around him, he can't help but want to fix Ryuzu.
- It is pretty much a trait of Naoto. Naoto seems to be more interest in trying to get Ryuzu to admit she has feelings for him than the fact his city is about to be destroyed. Marie even calls him out on this.
- Take That, Audience!: A funny one. In Chapter 5, instead of giving a Recap Episode of the last four chapters, it just blatantly tells the readers to go back and read the past four chapters.Narrator: For those just tuning in: go back and read the first four chapters!
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Occurs between Marie, Halter, Naoto and Ryuzu.
- Tokyo Tower: Naoto destroys it along with a few other empty buildings to provoke an evacuation of a part of Tokyo to avoid civilian casualties during the fight between the Tokyo military and the remnants of the Shiga grid military.
- Tsundere: Naoto, Ryuzu and more obviously Marie have displayed their tsundere sides towards each other. Marie does care for Ryuzu and Naoto even though she bickers with them occasionally (and resorts to physical violence towards Naoto). Both Naoto and Ryuzu also does care for Marie despite their occasional squabbling. Ryuzu sometimes uses harsh words towards Naoto but she still harbors romantic feelings for him.
- 20 Minutes into the Future: Ironic, since despite the fact that it is stated to be 1000 years in the future, everything is essentially the same as it is today, but with gears and clockwork automatons being common.
- Villainous Breakdown: Marie imagines Limons having one after she fakes her death and therefore he has no scapegoat. Which then seems to play out as she predicted when he is left in a vegetative state after a breakdown caused when she revealed evidence of his involvement.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Marie when she thinks she caused the death of Naoto and Ryuuzu.
- World Pillars: The newly-reconstructed Earth has civilizations placed on giant gears, which are held aloft by enormous core towers that are stated in the novels to be 90,000 meters (90 km) tall. The plot of the first novel revolves around Naoto, RyuZU, Marie and Halter trying to stop the government from deliberately tampering with Kyoto's core tower and purging the city into the void below.
- Would Hurt a Child: Hirayama has no problem shooting AnchoR in the abdomen area. She is a robot, but still.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: The series loves to throw a lot of numbers around, especially when it comes to gears, but there are a few mathematical discrepancies found that don't match the actual equations well or are just plain wrong.
- This paragraph quoted from page 126 of the first novel."Right now, Marie and her staff were working 8,200 meters below the city grid - the third floor of the core tower. Even this elevator, which moved at a speed of 1,000 meters per second, took eight minutes to travel one-way between the surface and the third floor."
- If the elevator was exactly moving 1,000 meters (1 km) per second at a distance of 8,200 meters (about 8 km), it would actually take the elevator eight seconds to reach the third floor from the surface, not eight minutes, clearly not enough time for Marie to forcefully interrogate the Technical Force officer for information. For the elevator to reach the third floor in eight minutes, it would have to be moving at a much slower speed than what is described in the novel. Estimates would put the actual speed of the elevator at around 17 meters per second.
- Another discrepancy found in the first novel is that Kyoto's core tower is mentioned to be 50,000 meters (50 km) in diameter. This is in reference to its width, since the tower's height is listed at 90,000 meters (90 km). However, if the core tower was actually 50,000 meters across, it would be much larger than even Kyoto itself, which contradicts the official illustrations in the light novels and manga showing core towers to be no wider than a couple of buildings in one block. The average width of a Japanese high-rise building is about 30 to 50 meters, so measuring the distance of an entire block of buildings would put the actual diameter of the core tower at around 150 meters.
- A reddit user named A_Wild_Noob_Appeared did some math concerning the gears in Ryuzu's body. The odd part about it comes down to mainly how little the gears could be, and how large the gears in the anime and light novel are shown to be."Based on the average weight of an 18 year old human female (56.7 kg) and the average density of human flesh (1062 kg/m3 the volume of the robot would be around 0.0534 cubic meters. Add a liter for the air in their lungs for make a total of 0.0544 cubic meters. If we assume the entire robot is made of cogs and everything is perfectly packed, each cog would have a volume of at most 1.29 x 1014 cubic meters. That's the size of a medium sized grain of silt. This is actually not too far-fetched."
- This paragraph quoted from page 126 of the first novel.