As I have been doing for most of this bookclub, I’m analyzing how planetarian uses some of the ideas presented in the Bible in its own story. Here’s part one and two if you want to check it out. Also definitely talk to me or reply if there are parts of my writing that aren’t easily understood as I am trying to do my best to write in a way that provides all the necessary context.
It’s been said many times by me and by others that Yumemi is like Jesus in this story. I still am going to continue pointing out all these instances because I think they are interesting and explain certain aspects of the story’s design and especially its rhetoric. The rhetoric is definitely one of the reasons why I love this story so much so in this post I will be explaining how some of the biblical Old Testament prophecies pointing to Jesus appear in planetarian and the role of waterproofing in the story.
First let’s look at a prophecy that seems to relate to planetarian. In Genesis chapter 3, right after humans have sinned, God issues his punishments towards the offenders. Verse 14 and 15 say, “The LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field… I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.’” This is the first prophecy written in the Bible which tells of a person who will conquer Satan but at a certain cost. This is of course, fulfilled in the New Testament with Jesus’ coming, death, and resurrection. His death was the cost to triumph over evil but in the end he did.
In my last reading of planetarian, I noticed some of the wording in during the fight with the fiddler crab that I hadn’t noticed before. As the Junker readies his last shot, Yumemi steps in between him and the fiddler crab. The fiddler crab starts its machine gun and the text reads the following, “The line of 13mm machine gun rounds kicked up a path of water towards her like a murderous red serpent… The fiery serpent continued to track toward her delicate body, as if to eat her alive.” I think you can tell where I’m going with this. In the same way that Jesus had to die, Yumemi also was killed by the serpent. But there are still more prophecies I want to mention in regards to his scene. But first let’s take a slight tangent.
One thing I haven’t really seen mentioned or discussed yet is waterproofing. In the story, we know that the Rain is extremely destructive, painful, and blocks out the stars. It’s been essentially established that the Rain is a representation of sin as it was a direct result of human action. Because of this, the Junker has to use a waterproof cloak to protect himself. But when the Junker begins to leave the planetarium, Yumemi tells him that she can last through the Rain because she has class II waterproofing. The Junker has her wear the waterproof cloak anyways. Now here’s my theory. If the Rain is sin, then the waterproofing is protection from sin. Perhaps we can call it righteousness. We see that the cloak can’t completely protect the Junker because early in the story, it says that he had some pain from being in the open air and in the Rain for a long period of time. Meanwhile, Yumemi has an inherent resistance to the Rain that the Junker does not. Even when she falls into puddles of water as they walk through the city, it’s not as if the Rain actually damages her. The point here, I believe, is that Yumemi is exposed to the Rain in a larger amount than could be withstood with just the cloak. Her waterproof righteousness is being tested in this manner, which I believe, is not unlike how Jesus was tempted by the devil. This story is detailed in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-13. The gist of the story is that Jesus intentionally goes to the wilderness to fast for 40 days and be tempted by the devil. By the end of the trial, Jesus has proven that he can withstand the most temptation any humans will legitimately face and thus be completely righteous and perfect. It’s in the same way that Yumemi even points out the places where people are susceptible to falling into puddles yet still does so anyways to show that even when tested, she will not be ruined by the Rain. We’ll address the rest of this line of thought in a bit.
Coming back to prophecies is Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12 which describes a suffering servant. Christians, including myself, believe that the servant of God detailed in this passage refers to Jesus. Extrapolating off of that, some of the elements here also describe Yumemi. I’ll pick out a few verses that are most relevant here but this whole passage is generally really interesting and I highly recommend reading the whole thing.
Isaiah 52:13-14 (and part of verse 15) says, “Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you – his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind – so he shall sprinkle many nations.” From chapter 53, verses 3-7 and 11 say, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – every one – to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that is before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth… Out of anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.”
So after actually typing that out I’ve realized, wow that was pretty long (and probably should be a block quote), but there are a few significant points I want to make which make it all necessary. One is generally that this servant had to be so badly afflicted and destroyed that he would not even be recognized as a human. Two, that he was rejected and despised by men. Three, he would die for our sins and mistakes. Four, he would not complain but rather take the punishment willingly and silently. And finally, five, because he was righteous, many would be made righteous when he would take on the sins of the many.
So lets take each of these one by one in planetarian. First, Yumemi was so badly destroyed by the fiddler crab that her body was essentially ripped in half. I think it’s safe to say that she would not exactly be recognized as human. Second, we see that Yumemi (or someone similar) was also rejected and despised by the older Junker who said that the robot was the most irritating thing in the city. Third, Yumemi essentially died because the Junker could not overcome the fiddler crab alone. Fourth, when Yumemi stepped in front to sacrifice herself, she did not make any noise but rather silently sent a force stop signal to the fiddler crab. She also willingly did this because of the promise that was put in place long ago to never harm humans. Finally, for this last point, we will bring back the theory on waterproofing.
We established earlier that Yumemi is resistant to the Rain just like how Jesus was resistant to temptation. In the greater story of the gospel, the whole point of Jesus dying was to become a substitute for sinners. Because he was righteous, he could take on all of the sin of the unrighteous. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” In a similar way, when Yumemi was completely destroyed, her body became completely exposed to the Rain, to sin. Her waterproofing is gone, but she willingly allowed this to happen. At the cross, Jesus took on all the sin of the world and was judged by God. He not only suffered the physical pain and humiliation, but he also experienced the hell meant for us when he was forsaken by God, his Father. It’s absolutely impossible to wrap our heads around this. Again, in a similar way, we can’t really know how destructive water is on Yumemi’s body. I think it’s pretty safe to say that the damage from the Rain is greater on a robot than it would be on a human. So basically with all this, Jesus conquered sin. But what about Yumemi?
When Yumemi dies, the Rain still continues. Is this theory completely BS then? Well I sure hope not because I spent a pretty dang long time writing this. I think that while canonically it doesn’t make sense for Yumemi to be the direct cause, the symbolism still holds when at the very end of the credits, the Rain changes to snow for the first time since the Rain has been falling.
I do have a bit more to talk about regarding this topic but I might have to wait til Hoshi no Hito to get there. In the meantime as always, feel free to ask questions because I can’t tell if I exactly explained everything in a way that is easily understood by everyone. I’d also like to ask if you think there are any other functions of waterproofing in the story. If so, what might the purpose of that be?