Planetes Phase 4: Part of the Job


Department Manager Dorf Azalia and Claire discuss the various sections of the Second Department of Technora. Dorf notices that, despite overall growth of the entire Department, Debris Section is still showing a loss. He shoots Claire a dirty look when she refers to Debris Section as Half Section. Dorf seems to have a plan and asks Claire for a favor. Down in Debris Section, Hachi helps Tanabe practice with her helmet display, when an obnoxious college student wanders in and begins to make himself at home. Hachi demands to know who he is and he identifies himself as Colin Clifford. Lavie flips out and whips out a large book listing all the important Technora executives and clients. Colin is the son of Jentro Clifford, chairmen of INTO. At that moment Claire enters the office and announces that both she and Colin will be accompanying Debris Section on their next mission. Hachi tries to ask why they should have to babysit some daddy’s boy, but is cut off by the ever-brown nosing Lavie. Myers and Lavie spend time sucking up to Colin by asking him about his schooling. Colin tells them it doesn’t matter what kind of degree he gets, as his father will get him into any job he wants. Claire makes plans for the Toy Box to launch from the VIP gate and tells Hachi–who’s still angry–that this was an order from the director in order to help Debris Section–if they do a favor for INTO, they might get assigned more valuable debris. They move down to the airlock, where name dropping gets Colin on board Toy Box, despite that he is not listed in the records as being scheduled to fly on this trip. As they prepare to leave, Lavie and Myers detain Tanabe at the airlock and ask her to keep tabs on Hachi. They fear that if somebody does something to upset Colin, all of their jobs could be in danger. Later, Colin continues to prove himself to be an obnoxious, spoiled brat and Hachi threatens to throw him out an airlock before Tanabe manages to silence him. Colin insults Toy Box while comparing it to the ship his father owns, which distracts Hachi who gloats that it is actually possible for an individual to own his own ship. Claire asks Hachi if he’s still holding on to that old notebook. Back on the job, Hachi and Tanabe lash debris onto a Fishbone and Tanabe asks Hachi if he and Claire know each other. Hachi explains that they joined the company at the same time, but after a year or so they fell out of touch–Control Section employees usually don’t deign to spend time with lowly Half Section personnel. When the job is finished, Fee prepares to put the ship back on course for Seven, but Claire has Fee make a detour to take Colin to see the Yuukawa communications satellite. Hachi balks at deviating from the flight plan, but once again, order from the top leave Fee with nothing to do but change course. Hachi manages a private chat with Claire and asks her why she’s bending over backwards for such a useless kid. Claire is ambitious and hopes that this will help win her a promotion.

Toy Box approaches the Yuukawa satellite and upon close inspect find a rather flashy-looking camera caught on it. It turns out that Colin and his friends forgot it there when they were out on an unsupervised spacewalk. Tanabe is taken aback and Hachi is infuriated by Colin’s utter lack of responsibility or respect for space. Leaving an item like that in space is a serious felony–as something as small as a bolt can easily cause the destruction of an entire spaceship. Colin is unimpressed, and remarks this is why he’s having Debris Section collect it for him off the record like this. Claire reminds them that INTO is one of Technora’s most important clients–this is just a matter of keeping the client happy. Hachi asks Colin if he’s embarrassed at having his father clean up his messes, and Colin responds by claiming that talented people tend to inherit their abilities from their parents–just like money and power. Colin concludes that Hachi is just suffering from an inferiority complex. Just as Hachi is about to slug Colin, Fee interrupts, saying she will be the one to go out and get the camera. Hachi expresses his disappointment that even Fee is sucking up to the higher ups. Fee reminds him that–despite the circumstances–that camera is still debris and it has to be collected before it kills somebody. Hachi backs down. When Toy Box returns to Seven, Myers and Lavie are waiting outside the airlock and begin sucking up as soon as they catch sight of Colin. Dorf also arrives to greet Colin, who tells him that he’ll be sure to tell his father what a big help Dorf has been. Dorf tells Colin that his friends arrived some time ago and connects Colin to them over a video link. Colin assures his obnoxious friends that he got their camera back okay and suggests that they go shoot off zero-G fireworks in the graveyard orbit. One of them doesn’t seem interested and asks if that won’t just create more debris. Colin brushes her concerns aside and says that he’ll just have these guys clean it up again. He proceeds to suggest that he’s doing them a favor by giving them more work to do. Hachi chooses this moment to put Colin in a headlock but, before he can do anything more, Lavie and Myers attempt to intervene. Hachi says he’s going to turn Colin over to INTO police but Colin reminds Hachi that–according to the records–Colin was never even aboard Toy Box. He goes on to suggest that Hachi is probably ending his career, but who would want such a lowly, pathetic job anyway. Finally pushed over the edge, Hachi pulls back to slug Colin, but Tanabe beats him to it, nailing Colin right in the nose. She angrily defends debris collectors, saying that it’s them that keep space safe and some useless child shouldn’t be talking down to them. Shocked about being hit and being made to look like a fool in front of his friends, Colin appeals to Dorf, asking what he plans to do about his underlings assaulting a non-employee. Fee, however, suggests that nothing happened here at all. After all, according to the records, no one was here but Technora employees. As Colin is escorted away, angry, but unable to take any action, Dorf decides not to take any action against Hachi or Tanabe. Hachi happily suggests that they go get some food, and the Toy Box crew leaves Lavie and Myers to fret. Inviting her along, Hachi calls Tanabe by her name rather than “Rookie.”


Though Colin’s personality might have been a little over the top in terms of blind arrogance, this episode still manages to entertain quite well. A number of supporting characters get a little fleshing out here; we find out that Lavie’s brown nosing is to keep up with the child support payments he makes for his seven children and Claire’s ambition makes its first appearance. It’s also fairly amusing how, though Tanabe and Hachi were playing different sides throughout most of the episode, when Colin finally crossed the line it was Tanabe who threw the first punch.

Overall Rating
Planetes Info

Goro Taniguchi

Ichiro Okouchi
Makoto Yukimura (manga)

Mechanical Designer(s):
Seiichi Nakatani
Takeshi Takakura

Character Designer:
Yuriko Chiba

Musical Composer:
Kotaro Nakagawa

26 episodes

Japan 10.04.2003 – 04.17.2004
U.S. 08.06.2008 – 11.12.2008


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