Anime Review: Planetes (2003)

Planetes is a science-fiction story about the crew of DS-12 "Toy Box", whose responsibility is to remove space debris. The first episode shows a screw bringing down a spaceship, and hence the seriousness of the job. However, clearing space debris is merely a storytelling tool to aid character development. This is one of the best character-driven anime I've watched, across all genres. There's comedy, suspense, surprise and some romance.

The main character is Hachirota "Hachimaki" Hoshino who's struggling to decide whether or not to pursue his dream. Meanwhile, he coaches rookie Tanabe who has just joined the Debris Section. She's simple girl, kind and sweet, and thinks that everything can be solved by love. The captain of the crew is Fee who is easily agitated when denied smoking. And there's the calm and thoughtful co-captain Yuri.