Planetes is the typical coming of age, struggling-to-find-a-place-in life with self and friends story set in the not-so-typical back drop of space. Specifically, in one area that one could consider the least glamerous area of space to be covering.
Planetes story isn't entirely new or original. It's a formula that we have seen before. A group of misfits that shouldn't really belong, who squabble or argue yet grow and mature with one another while facing the everyday--to the not-so-every day in space--troubles and tribulations life throws at them. No, the story might not be new, but the backdrop, the setting and the way the story is told with a mix of believable science fiction that ultimately helps a viewer ease into the plot.
The sound was a bit dated in some spots, but focus in Planetes (I'd like to think), wasn't really centered on sound and more with the characters and story.
Speaking of story, let me just preface everything by saying if full out action is to your taste, Planetes won't be something you'll likely finish past the first few episodes.The series starts out almost as if it were an episodic in fixed setting. The tales, at first, focus on individual stories and aspects of character's lives which may trick you into thinking not much is going to happen. Planetes is deceptive, however. There's a very major plot and immense story with a very interesting message lurking behind the series slow start--if you can stick with it, I recommend doing so.
The deconstruction and reconstruction of characters were a delight to watch, over all, I count this series as one of the better out there. The quiet one waving their hand in the distance while the flashier, louder, brasher and generally fluff-filled ones shoulder their way ahead of them in order to trick you into not paying attention to the quiet one.
This is a great story I recommend to anyone who enjoys slice-of-life, science fiction, drama, character building series.