Friday, February 26, 2010

Planetes: Boundary Line

Boundary Line is the 11th episode of Planetes, and the first episode of an anime I've ever seen that deals with migration in a serious manner. This review has spoilers for the episode. The plotline that I am interested in involves a man from a fictional South American country. He is shopping around a spacesuit created in his country, and every company, and most of the departments at Technora[the company that our heroes work at] turn him down. In one exchange, Claire, who is revealed to have been born in that same fictional country, notes that the Space Equal Opportunity Act or whatever, says that companies should at least consider things made in fictional South American countries, but her coworker says 'We considered it. We looked at the brochure'.

Tied into this storyline is Claire's discomfort with her heritage. The man [Tamara is his name] seems to remind her of the poverty and lack of gloss of her old country. She cringes at his less than beautiful eating habits, and reminds him that she's an America, and was only born in El Tanika. However, at the end, she asks him if she is 'running away'. She can't read her native language, and remembers how far behind she was, starting school in America- 'at age 8, I knew less than a kindergartner'. However, the man reassures her, saying that just knowing that one of them is one of Technora's elite is enough, although even though his family fled to China, he returned in hopes of starting a space industry in El Tanika.

And yes, his spacesuit meets all the international requirements, with the help of our heroes providing space testing. Everything would be beautiful, except for the Space UN has now invaded for peacekeeping purposes[don't ask me!] and all El Tanikans outside of the country are to be detained. Also, their spaceship factory is blown up in the war. But, tearfully, this man looks down at earth, and says, from up here, I see no boundaries, I see only earth. And it's a beautiful episode of anime.



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