I get how the kid feels. I just wish his sentiment had come in a better package. Planet With has its moments, but it’s hard to love.
— The episode opens with Benika attempting to recruit Hideo to her side. The guy doesn’t understand what she means, because he no longer has his vial. She explains, however, that the vial isn’t the source of the power. Rather, it merely helped them unlock what they already had within them. When Hideo is ultimately not persuaded, she activates her own powers without the need of a conduit and blasts off.
— Be that as it may, Benika is not a great villain. After all, she’s trying to recruit the one former teammate who is least likely to be a baddie. Hideo just looks and sounds like a generic anime good guy, y’know? Not only did she try to recruit the wrong guy, she even tells him how to unlock his powers should he ever need to. It’s almost as if she’s sabotaging herself.
— As for the vial that Benika gave up, Ginko had apparently stolen it at some point.
— We cut to the school where Nozomi is excited to go on her first date with Soya. But to her chagrin, he’s already forgotten all about it.
— And since this is anime, Nozomi’s first choice is the aquarium. Sadly, with all the nonsense happening around them, the place is closed for an indefinite amount of time. Soya can’t help but blame himself. Sure, he protected the city, but what did he manage to protect? In the end, people are fleeing anyways. In the end, the city is turning into a husk of its former self.
— Still, the two kids try to make the best of a bad situation, and this is enough to drive Kogane crazy. She’s spying on Soya in order to study her enemy, but instead, she got an eyeful of teen love. This makes her seem silly, but that’s because she is silly. Other than the Dragon committing genocide on a planetary level, no one else on this show really fits the bill of a true antagonist. The Sealing Faction simply wants to lockdown humanity’s evolution. That makes us stagnant as a race, but eh… we’ll still be alive.
— Anyways, Kogane insists on ruining the kids’ fun, so I guess that’s kinda evil. In the meantime, Generalissimo wants to grill Benika about her motives. In order to foster trust between the two of them, he has a rather curious suggestion that involves an onsen.
— But surprisingly enough, Benika goes along with it. She’s certainly not shy about her body. Hey, more power to her.
— Benika begins to spill the beans about her past. To make a long story short, she became a police officer because she admired (and loved) an older detective. Unfortunately, he lost his life in the line of duty. She then joined the Grand Paladins to attain greater power, but when she saw Harumi nearly lost herself, Benika was convinced that allowing humanity to unlock its psychic potential was far too risky for her tastes. Well, I’m glad she thinks she can decide for the rest of us.
— I guess I can kinda see where Benika is coming from. Sure, we have a lot of destructive power at our disposal, but it’s not something that any random schmoe can dredge up whenever you want. Yes, a kid could tragically pick up a gun and foolishly murder a score of people. But on the plus side, no one can just create a dirty bomb in their basement. That’s a little more difficult than acquiring a firearm. What if humanity unlocking its psychic potential meant each and everyone of us having the ability to level cities on our own, though? Maybe the Sealing Faction has a point.
— On the other hand, however, how come we can trust the Sealing Faction to hold onto their own psychic abilities? Why can’t we teach humanity to control themselves the same way? I just feel like Planet With isn’t ready to follow through with all of the questions that it raises. The show has a decent premise, but the execution is far too simple and mundane to really tackle what it could honestly say.
— Back on Earth, Kogane tries to ruin a date for no other reason than that she’s probably petty. Unfortunately, there are limits to her deception. You can’t fool a boy’s heart when it comes to breasts, apparently. And just like that, Kogane can no longer fool Soya.
— After Generalissimo is done listening to Benika’s sob story, he gives her a sealing device. The girl doesn’t hesitate to attack either. She’s almost too eager to fight. The problem is that Soya isn’t going to give her one.
— Nope, the kid refuses to fight. He’s done. And in one short but painful speech, Soya explains perfectly why he’s throwing in the towel. Revenge didn’t get him anything. Revenge won’t bring his brother back, but it’s more than that. After he defeated the Dragon, the full extent of what he lost finally dawned on him. He won’t ever see any of his family again. He won’t ever see any of his friends again either. It’s just all gone, and no amount of revenge is going to change that. He can’t even protect this city, because people (e.g. Seigi) are leaving no matter what. At the end of the day, Soya is just a kid. Kids aren’t soldiers.
— Oddly enough, it’s Kogane who insists that Soya continue on with his mission. Apparently, Generalissimo does not want to win if the other side is just going to roll over and accept defeat. Sensei and Ginko, however, aren’t going to try and push Soya to do what he doesn’t want to do.
— Plus, Nozomi definitely won’t let Soya keep hurting himself. She insists on protecting him since he’s protected her. The problem here, however, is that she doesn’t really have a clue what’s going on. She has no idea what she’s being protected from.
— Anyways, Hideo is driving around the city, warning people to get to evacuate. But when he sees that he’s speaking to all these familiar faces, he also wants to know why Soya doesn’t want to fight. He readily accepts the kid’s answer, though. He even pats Soya on the head as if he understands that it’s his responsibility to protect others, not a young child.
— As a result, Hideo is now determined to fight in Soya’s stead. He carefully recalls Benika’s words, and just like that, he’s able to reactivate his psychic armor.
— Even though Hideo is the opponent that Benika expected to fight, she leaps into battle without hesitation. From afar, Harumi and Miu are surprised to see what’s unfolding before their very eyes. I suspect they, too, will join the battlefield before this series is over. We just need a bigger threat to compel them into action.
— In the meantime, that strange being from last week’s episode suddenly appears right before the kid. No one else can see him, though. He or it continues to look like Soya’s brother, a fact which pisses our hero off. This almost awakens his psychic powers, but in the end, he manages to calm down enough not to make a huge mess.
— In the end, however, the guy manages to overpower his former teammate. He even adds that she’s not really fighting at her max potential. Essentially, Benika’s begging for someone to stop her. She says she wants to seal away humanity’s evolution, but her heart doesn’t really seem to be in it. Maybe she just wants someone stronger than her to show her the way. She lost that someone when the detective passed away, and maybe she thought Takashi could fill that gap. As a result, it’s not all that surprising that Benika appears happy to see that Hideo is strong and determined enough to stop her.
— Anyways, Hideo shatters Benika’s psychic armor and flies off to deal with the sealing device. Yosuke shows up in time to catch the girl before she falls into the ocean, but he appears to lament the fact that Hideo is strong like the man Benika used to love. Well, it’s not too late to change yourself, buddy.
— Was Hideo really going to let Benika fall into the ocean, though? Did he know that Yosuke was going to show up? I can’t really imagine that he was going to let her die. Ah well…
— Even though Hideo has taken care of the sealing device, all is not well. The representative of the People of Paradise tells Soya that the Dragon is not dead. Instead, it’s just sleeping on the moon of all places. Not only that, it will return to threaten Earth. Christ, I was just thinking about this minutes ago. When I saw Hideo jump right back into action, I was wondering, “Gee, what’s next? Takashi suddenly coming back to life?” Well, the Dragon returning from the dead doesn’t necessarily mean that the former leader of the Grand Paladins will be making his triumphant return, but it wouldn’t surprise me either if he did.
— In any case, the strange being wants Soya to finish the job this time. Take the Dragon out for good. Are the People of Paradise not able to do it themselves?
— In the end, Soya still insists that he’s done fighting. I understand his frustrations, but at the same time, it’s just not entirely convincing. Because we’re watching a rather light-hearted anime, it’s hard to brush aside the plain and obvious fact that Soya will eventually rejoin the fight — he will eventually admit that he loves Earth and swear to protect it. Maybe he just needs to spend more time with Nozomi, who is obviously gunning hard for his heart. It’s not a matter of if but when. As a result, this drama doesn’t have enough punch behind it. So sure, let’s waste another episode with the kid acting like he’s down in the dumps. He’ll come around, though.