by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Planet With ?
It turns out my prediction of the plot's roadmap from last week's episode was a bit flipped from what we ended up getting in Planet With's tenth episode, “Karellen and Rashaverak”. Instead of having the Sealing and Pacifist factions set aside their differences until they defeat the dragon sleeping on the dark side of the moon, Generalissimo and Sensei decide to make some space on a rocky crag of an island to hash out their conflict once and for all. The title of the episode is a reference to the show revealing the pair's real names, which makes sense since the entirety of this episode is devoted to letting the cat and the dog finally get personal, without any Sealing Device proxies to get in the way. The rest of the Grand Paladins show up too, but they're mostly around for support, and until the surprising coda at the end of the episode, the vast majority of “Karellen and Rashaverak” is devoted to serving up an immensely entertaining and satisfying giant robot throwdown.
So to update the scoreboard, Planet With has managed to deliver no less than three episodes this season that each could have functioned as perfectly satisfying series finales. The sixth episode brought Takashi's bid for world conquest to a close, last week was the perfect emotional resolution to the Sealing Faction's campaign against humanity, and here we wrap up the more intimate side of that same battle. Sensei and Generalissimo aren't just resolving a personal grudge; they're laying their ideals on the line, engaging in a physical and psychological debate that encapsulates Planet With's central themes. Generalissimo and Shiraishi genuinely believe they're the heroes of this story, serving as a watchful and mature guiding hand for the immature races of the universe, while Sensei, Soya, and Ginko are fighting to prove that the Rielians, the Siriusians, and the Earthlings all have the right to prove themselves and forge their own path in the universe.
Of course, none of these philosophical clashes would be much fun to work out if they weren't accompanied by some rousing action, and Planet With delivers that in spades this week. Satoshi Mizukami's storyboarding is as strong as ever, and the well-lit open battlefield is the ideal space for showcasing the mechs' special moves and fighting form. Both Shiraishi and Soya convince their mentors to partake in more energy drinks to boost their power, and eventually both bots get consumed by the Sensei and Generalissimo Ships and take off into space, giving the fight a nice Gurren Lagann-lite kind of vibe. Never one to forget its supporting cast, we also get some cute moments between all of the Grand Paladins, along with Nozomi, who is watching the events unfold on a holographic projector from the safety of her room.
But the best moment of the episode goes to Takezo, who initially abstains from joining the other Paladins before rushing in at the last minute to land a decisive strike against Generalissimo, which is what gives the Pacifists the opportunity to strike back and win the day. It's a triumphant and powerful conclusion to Takezo's post-Takashi arc, with Takezo seemingly giving his life to protect the people responsible for his son's death.
It turns out in the end that he's only sleeping though, and the whole fight ends on a typically peaceful note. Soya has fully committed to his role as a protector of Earth and a friend to the Grand Paladins, and with the Sealing Faction problem now resolved, he requests their help in defeating the dragon when he wakes up—in five to six years. That's right folks, with only two episodes left to go, Planet With has decided to give us a good old-fashioned time skip, closing out episode 10 with the reunion of a visibly older Nozomi and Soya. In most shows, this kind of sudden development could easily be taken as a red flag for a rushed and poorly-plotted climax (I'm looking at you, DARLING in the FRANXX). I love the way Planet With has handled things so far though, and I'm eager to see how the rest of the cast has grown and changed in the years they've spent preparing for their final battle.
Planet With is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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