Planetes is a magnificent series, probably the best I watched for the first time this year. I was often surprised at how human and hilarious it is, but what really stands out to me about the series is when Hachimaki decides to go from a man who is comfortable with his position as a galactic garbage man to someone who wants to push his talent to its limit and see how far he can go, to see if he can achieve his dreams at all costs.
For me, even though the series prior to that is very good, this is the point where the quality spikes from “very good” to “amazing”. Hachimaki straddled the line between sympathetic and unsympathetic beautifully; he acted like a total douche to everyone around him, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but be enthralled with someone who saw what he wanted and pushed himself at the highest possible level to attain that. Whatever you can say about Hachimaki, he didn’t take the easy way out for himself.
I love seeing characters with ambition wrestle with fulfilling those ambitions and the consequences those same ambitions have on their lives. To make one’s ambitions a reality, something in one’s life must necessarily be sacrificed. Hachimaki sacrificed his friendships to get that spot in the Von Braun that would have ensured him immortality. If he had stayed completely on the path he chose (instead of finding the balance he does at the end of the series), only he would have known whether it was truly worth it. But it was fascinating to watch nonetheless.