Border Planets: Galaxy Investigation 2100. Ginga Tansa 2100 Toshi: Border Planet. August 24, 1986. 73 minutes. 10:00 p.m. to 11:35 p.m. Original idea: Osamu Tezuka. Development: Osamu Uemura, Iuchi Shuji, Mukojima Wataru, Natsuhime Ryonosuke, Hamatsu Mamoru, (with support of Hosaka Kazuhiko). Director: Osamu Tezuka. General animation director: Shinya Takahashi. Character and mechanical design: Shohei Obara. Art director and setting design: Geki Katsumata. Music: Kentaro Haneda. I have pluralized the title since three frontier planets are shown.
The 1986 Love Will Save the Earth telethon animated feature was considerably shorter than usual, at only 73 minutes. Was Tezuka tiring of these? Border Planets was an original “galactic love story”, much more serious than any of the other Tezuka Pro TV Specials. It was somewhat similar to his earlier Phoenix: Nostalgia, but using the format of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles: separate stories tied together by an overall framework.
Mira, a little girl and two young boys (Prokion, blond, and Subaru, brown-haired) grow up together. During the six-minute opening credits, the dialogueless background establishes that the three advance from playmates to best friends together, but both boys love the girl. Prokion and Subaru both become space explorers. The two boys propose to Mira, who accepts Prokion. Subaru is his best man at the wedding in 2050. Subaru takes the attitude that “the best man has won”, but he is still really in love with Mira.
During Prokion’s and Mira’s honeymoon, Prokion gets an emergency call from the spaceport. An exploration spaceship has landed from Centaris Beta, but it won’t open up and the crew doesn’t answer. Prokion is an expert at opening sealed spaceships. He and the other two spaceport officials investigate and find the crew dissolved to dust. Prokion returns to his honeymoon, but almost immediately succumbs to the space virus.
The question is whether Mira caught it from him before he died. If she did, she will die in agony in four to six hours. She is immediately put into suspended animation to stop but not cure the virus. Subaru, with Mira frozen in her capsule, vows to spend the rest of his life searching space for a cure.
Subaru’s first stop is the planet Tazil. He and the crew of his exploration ship find a colony fully built but abandoned some time ago. Its mission was to grow food, tended by robots. Subaru’s crewmates disappear, one by one. It turns out that the robots are killing everyone and using the bodies for fertilizer. Subaru is the only survivor. When he escapes from the colony buildings, the last robot follows him outside, and is overwhelmed by the native animals that are attracted to the robot’s electricity.
Scarabe, the second planet, is like a wild Western town. All of the Earthmen are gold prospectors (and Tezuka characters) who came to Scarabe because of false rumors of gold, and they all want Subaru to take them back to Earth. When he refuses, they take him prisoner and try to steal his ship. A girl, Michelle, who has never been to Earth, seems very cynical but helps him to escape. He learns from Sukurabe, a native, that the Scarabeans have been disassembling the humans’ spaceships to trap them there and study them. Subaru helps the humans to build a huge spaceship out of the disassembled parts, and all return to Earth.
The third planet is a desert world. All life is concentrated in the city of Eden, but a native soldier, Lieutenant Lint, tries to keep Subaru from going there. Lint doesn’t know why except it’s orders. Subaru has learned that the virus is manufactured in Eden as a bioweapon. Subaru and Lint learn the truth behind Eden, and Lint helps Subaru to escape offworld with the virus sample.
Mira is finally awakened in the Human Hibernation Center on Earth in 2100 by Zenta, a young doctor who looks just like Subaru. Fifty years have passed while the vaccine was developed. During the final weeks while Mira is fully cured, she and Zenta fall in love. Subaru, now an elderly space commander who had returned to Earth and married Michelle, introduces Zenta as their son and gives Mira his blessing to wed Zenta.
Border Planets qualified as Love Will Save the Earth, although only one human was involved instead of the whole planet. It was released as a VHS movie, but I can’t find any reference that it has ever had a DVD edition. Since DVDs replaced VHS video tapes years ago, this implies that it is practically ignored among all the Tezuka Pro TV Specials.
Border Planet full movie