When Asumi was just a baby, a space shuttle accident changed her life, and the lives of the townspeople of Yuigahama, forever. As a young woman, the spirited Asumi has only one desire: to someday travel to the stars in a rocket, with her father and ghostly friend Lion-san along for the ride. With heartache, happiness, and plenty of determination, Asumi and dozens of talented teenagers now face the greatest challenge of their lives: the test to enter a prestigious space academy, so that they may one day reach out and touch the stars...
In the year 2075, humanity has spread to the stars, along with their technology, colonies, and... waste? At such great speeds in orbit, even a tiny bolt can cause a tragic disaster. Enter the team of the half division. Their job? To gather the garbage and debris that circles the Earth, in order to keep space safe. From broken-down satellites to bolts and nails, there's nothing that the underpaid and underappreciated staff can't salvage. Join Hachimaki, Tanabe, Fee, and the rest of the gang as they risk their lives to keep space clean, and keep their wallets... empty.
There is a sense of hope and destiny involved in space travel. Taking that leap into space requires some form of deep commitment to a dream of Humanity's destiny in space.
In Planetes, the first rush of human expansion into space is ebbing, and the tawdry underside of living in space is beginning to show itself (space trash, slums on the Moon, etc.).
In Twin Spica, the hazards of space travel are tragically apparent from the beginning of the story. Yet the protagonists of both series will not budge from their dreams - they're going up and out, and they know it. If you've ever wanted to ride a space shuttle, both these animes are likely to strike a chord in you.
Somehow the character development in both of these feels the same to me. In addition, I really love both of these series... some might find them to be slow, but I think both have a very persistent main character who won't give up, and a generally good feeling.
Luna is an orphaned girl with dreams to attend a prestigious academy. After her celebrated acceptance, the class embarks on a field trip to see a world being colonized first-hand. However, in the middle of the journey, a storm overtakes the space vessel, causing a pod with Luna and a small group of students to be jettisoned into a gravity well -- stranding them on a planet far from home. Now, with monsters at every turn and supplies running short, the group of strangers must do the only thing they can -- survive.
Both Twin Spica and Mujin Wakusei Survive are stories of camaraderie under unusual circumstances, and of young people thrown into a situation where their friendship determines their likelihood of success or even of survival. At the same time, both stories have a strong undercurrent of quiet spirituality.
Both of these anime deal with space and survival though in different ways. However, they both center around a small group of students and their relationships. They both have a family friendly feel to them and if you love one you will love the other as well.
It is the year 2356 AD, 189 years after a shockwave from a distant supernova decimated the Earth. Since that fateful day, humanity has begun training for a final mission to protect the planet from the inevitable oncoming 2nd shockwave - a mission whose failure means the annihilation of mankind. For Katase and her friends, their training at the foundation Stellvia is just the beginning of an adventure that could lead to saving the world, or seeing its end...
Although Stellvia and Twin Spica both revolve around space or space travel, the reason I recommended is not because of that. Rather, both of these series have a female lead who has remarkable drive and determination to succeed in a space related field. Although Shipon and Asumi are both a bit on the odd side, they still manage to make friends and be the best they can be. I highly suggest checking both of these out. At the very least, you'll walk away with each episode enticed to watch the next.
While transporting bio-weapon lifeforms, Agent DD, member of an alien police force, is forced to crash land on Earth. Amidst the chaos of the crash, a bio-weapon escapes and DD is forced to fight it, while accidentally activating a Liberus, a liquid battle suit. Tsubasa, a shy girl, unwillingly comes into contact with the Liberius and is thereafter forced to fight for the survival of Earth.
If you enjoy slower slice of life series with a great deal of character development and charm, Figure 17 and Twin Spica are for you. Both contain a great deal of sadness as well as growth with the main characters, and are a light and pleasant watch.
After discovering an element on the moon that, when used to create a nuclear reaction, would power the Earth for the next 1,000 years, the leaders of sixteen countries declared that their space programs would be combined into the International Space Agency (ISA) – and fifteen nuclear reactors would be built on the moon by the year 2023. Lostman and Goro are two young climbers who have conquered the highest point on Earth – Mt. Everest – and now look to the skies for their next challenge: to become astronauts and explore the stars. While Goro becomes a construction specialist, Lostman joins the air force; both will work their hardest to make their way into space, by whatever means necessary.
The comparison should be obvious; both Twin Spica and Moonlight Mile follow people who want nothing more than to go into space. Twin Spica is more of a childish tale, while Moonlight Mile is (unfortunately) overtly adult at times - regardless, both are realistic stories of space travel and preparation, and fans of one would surely enjoy the other.