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Planetes Volume 1

Holy Smackaronies! I just could not put this book down. While in Greenlight Comics I remember picking this book up and reading the synopsis, right below that there are some high praise quotes from well respected websites and people including Archie vs Predator! writer Alex De Campi who said Planetes is “My favourite sci-fi comics series of all time”. It was then I thought to myself “well this book should be worth a read” and thank goodness I picked it up. It wasn’t just worth the read, it is now my top read so far this year!

“I respect the selfish dreamers. Without them, space would still be a mystery.”

That is a line from about half way in this epic manga series written and drawn by Makoto Yukimura and it really sets up the tone of Volume 1’s story. Each chapter beautifully opens with a few full colour pages; It just blows my mind this book was written and drawn by the same person. So much talent and thankfully it is all on show on every page.

The journey within is set over the course of 3 years and though based around a team of Astronauts, the story mainly focuses on Hachiroto (Hachi) and his quest/obsession to own his own spaceship. The rest of the team include Yuri: A wise man with a tragic past. He is sort of the ‘Grown up of the group’. Fee: The comedy of the crew. If she isn’t piloting the DS-12 (their Garbage Truck Ship) she is smoking… hell sometimes she is doing both. Tanabe: The heart of the Bunch. Her importance comes more into play as Volume 1 concludes.

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I said to a friend that Planetes is like the movie Gravity except with a deeper story and a stronger heart.
The Japanese are geniuses when it comes to putting multiple themes in one story without it losing focus and direction.
There are moments that are funny, silly, terrifying, heartfelt and sad.
I won’t forget the story I read. It touched me and left me with so much to think about.
Why do “the selfish dreamers dream? Why is it when we are living our dream we then dream of home?
Those are just some of the questions the book asks and I am so thrilled there is more to the story than shown thus far.

If you’re a fan of sci-fi or human exploration and contemplation you need to read Planetes.

This is now my favourite read this year and it is gonna have to take something mighty good to knock this off my number 1 spot.

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