“Far Away” – Planetes (manga) – 10/10 Turkeys

Through space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; through thought I comprehend the world. ~Blaise Pascal

Genre: Sci-fi/Drama/Slice-of-Life

Review Status: Full (4 Volumes/ 4 Volumes)

: Licensed in the US

Art: Done by the same mangaka that created Vinland Saga (Makoto Yukimara), the art is beautiful, detailed, and realistic. A delight to look at!

Summary: Haunted by a space flight accident that claimed the life of his beloved wife, Yuri finds himself six years later as part of a team of debris cleaners on a vessel called the Toy Box charged with clearing space junk from space flight paths. The team consists of Hachimaki, a hot shot debris-man with a sailor’s affinity for the orbital ocean; Fee, a chain-smoking tomboy beauty with an abrasive edge; and Pops, a veteran orbital mechanic whose avuncular presence soothes the stress of the job. (Tokyopop)

Review: Since I’d seen some of the anime, I thought I knew what I was in for with this manga. I was… pretty wrong! Instead of following Yuri like the summary says, or following Tanabe like the anime does, this is a story about Hachimaki (or Hachi for short).

Hachi wants nothing more than to buy his own spaceship. And the fastest way to do that? Get on the seven-year space mission to Saturn! Nothing will stop him, not politicians, not terrorists, not his family or friends…. Until an unexpected development between him and one of his partners. Suddenly he finds himself questioning himself and his desire to go out to space. Can he do it? Can he do it without love?

And while Hachi is dealing with his own problems, his fellow debris collectors must face their own life choices and what they’re doing with their lives- and why.

Overall, this is one of the best sci-fi manga out there. If you can find it, read it!

Recommended: 15+. There is some partial nudity in it, due to one of Hachi’s crewmembers trying to get Hachi out of a mindset that is slowly killing him… by attempting to get his attention by stripping. You only see from the wait-up, but what you do see is detailed. There’s also mention of pornography.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Planetes (anime)
To Terra… (manga and anime)
Saturn Apartments (manga)
Eureka Seven (anime)
Moonlight Mile (anime)
Twin Spica (manga)
The Wings of Honneamise (anime)
Real Drive (anime)


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