The beautiful twinkling of eternity that will never fade, no matter what...
All the stars in the sky are waiting for you."
Planetarian (full title Planetarian ~chiisana hoshi no yume~, meaning "the reverie of a little planet") is a Kinetic Novel (a type of Visual Novel with only one path) made by Key/Visual Arts. Like CLANNAD it is completely "clean", with no adult content.
In a dystopian future where most of humanity is dead and acid rain falls constantly, a Junker — someone who goes into ruined cities to scavenge for useful things — takes shelter overnight in an abandoned planetarium.
... Well, a nearly abandoned planetarium, that is. There's still one staff member left: a robot girl named Yumemi Hoshino (Reverie Planetarian in the Fan Translation). She seems not to realize what has happened, behaving as though she's still living in the era before the war which caused all the destruction, and is still waiting for the return of her human co-workers, who were evacuated long ago. She enlists the Junker's aid in fixing the planetarium's broken projector; over the course of the repair project, he grows fond of her, and begins trying to convince her to leave the planetarium and come with him.
The visual novel spawned a light novel that contained stories set in the same world, which was eventually turned into three separate drama CDs: Snow Globe, which serves as Yumemi's backstory; Jerusalem, which provides some insight on the war that's leading the world to ruin; and Hoshi no Hito, a tale that serves as a Distant Finale to the events of the visual novel.
Now also available for iOS devices (with English translation) through iTunes and on Steam, also with an English translation.
An animated adaptation done by David Production was announced on April 1st, 2016, and began to air July 7, 2016. A companion film, which adapts Hoshi no Hito, premiered on September 3, 2016. Funimation has picked up streaming rights for the anime and released a broadcast dub on August 4, 2016.
Provides examples of:
- After the End: The visual novel takes place in a city ruined by war, and juxtaposes the ruins with Yumemi's memories of what used to be there.
- Apologises a Lot: Yumemi.
- Bittersweet Ending: Hoshi no Hito makes the Downer Ending of the visual novel less harsh; the Junker not only survived the Bolivian Army Ending, he became a "Stargazer" and, as he'd planned on doing, traveled the world with a homemade projector sharing the dream of the stars and reenacting Yumemi's presentation about "Mankind Spreading its Wings" with new generations for decades. He succumbs to his long illnesses and dies at the end, but passes on his dream to the three children in the last village he visits, who intend to carry on his work for future generations.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Played heavily in the ending of the visual novel. The question regarding his survival is answered in the light novel segment/Drama CD Hoshi no Hito, which serves as an epilogue to the parent story. The eponymous "Man of the Stars" is revealed to be the same Junker from the visual novel, having lived an elderly age and abandoned his former profession to become a "Stargazer."
- Catchphrase: Although Yumemi's pitch for the planetarium (see page quote) might be too long to count and is not used in any context besides her practicing it for customers that will never come, the very last time she says it, it's a bit symbolic. In any case, she says it enough times for it to be considered her catch phrase.
- Companion Cube: The planetarium projector, especially from Yumemi's point of view. She even has a name for it, referring to it as "Miss Jena" due to its manufacturer: Carl Zeiss-Jena.
- The Cutie: Yumemi, but of course. But later we find she's a bit more complex than that.
- Compilation Movie: Hoshi no Hito, in a sense. While the movie does adapt the events of the drama CD from which it gets its name, it also features the events of the web-series, presented as flashbacks the titular Man of the Stars is having.
- Crapsack World: The world is completely screwed after the wars that destroyed the biosphere and left armies of autonomous death machines roaming the surface, killing any humans they can find. In Hoshi no Hito the everlasting acid rain has at least stopped, but it's been replaced by an Endless Winter.
- Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: The main setting in the visual novel.
- Dies Wide Open: This is how Yumemi shuts down the junker closed them for her.
- Disaster Scavengers: The Junkers' main job.
- Distant Finale: Hoshi no Hito takes place long after its parent story, serving as somewhat of a wrap-up to what Planetarian provided.
- Do Androids Dream?
- Downer Ending: Oh boy, is it ever. Slightly softened by Hoshi no Hito.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The main character, known only as "the Junker."
- Flashback Nightmare: the various "The Junker's Dream" chapters, flashbacks to the main character's past as a child soldier
- Giant Enemy Crab: A mechanical one in name, at least. More likely an example of a Spider Tank with the crab name attached.
- Hope Spot: The acid rain stops at the end, and turns into snow. The hope is not for the Junker, but for the world... And then Hoshi no Hito reveals that it has been snowing for decades since.
- Humans Are Bastards: The endless rain is caused by a war that had happened way before the events of the visual novel.
- I Will Wait for You: Possibly subverted, in that Yumemi knew no one was going to come back after all.
- Killed Off for Real: Yumemi's eventual fate. The same goes for the Stargazer at the end of Hoshi no Hito.
- No Communities Were Harmed: The department store and it surroundings are based on locales in the town of Hamamatsu in Japan's Shizuoka prefecture.
- Let Them Die Happy: As Yumemi is dying, the Junker lies to her that he was actually sent into the Sarcophagus City to retrieve her and bring her to her new workplace beyond the walls, where her coworkers and crowds of people are waiting for her.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Yumemi's outfit is a really fancy dress, with loads of robotic decorations.
- Ridiculously Human Robot
- Robot Girl
- Scavenger World: The Junker's daily routine involves scavenging food and other supplies from the ruins of modern civilization.
- Three Laws-Compliant: Although alluded to, they are not in full effect. Yumemi is compliant with the First Law, but demonstrated the ability to ignore the Junker's orders to get her to shut up.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Yumemi. No duh!
- Utsuge: Again: boy, is it ever. Try to read Planetarian once without at least feeling down at the end.
- Video Game Caring Potential: Yumemi absolutely demands this without trying at all. It's almost a requirement for Planetarian to successfully pull off being an Utsuge with a Robot Girl.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: In Hoshi no Hito, the Stargazer incredibly finds an intact robot body in the last village he visits, being worshipped as a statue of a goddess, but collapses and eventually dies before he can attempt to insert Yumemi's memory card into it. He passes the card on to the three children who become his successors, but they have no idea what it is. However, the robot inexplicably activates on its own and comes to his side to be with him as he dies regardless.