Ai Tanabe always dreamed of working in space, and that dream comes true in an unexpected way: her initial assignment is to Debris Section, where she becomes the partner of veteran astronaut (and eventual love interest) Hachimaki in what essentially amounts to space garbage collecting.
Although Ai participates in several critical missions to remove space junk before it can cause harm, her heroism is less about what she does than who she is. She becomes the heart and soul of Debris Section, with her infectious enthusiasm pumping up everyone around her, eventually even the recalcitrant Hachimaki, and she continues to care deeply about even those who seem to be turning into enemies. Her greatest individual feat is carrying an incapacitated friend numerous kilometers across the moon's surface to seek help despite knowing that the extra exertion would more quickly deplete her precious air supply and despite her friend being perfectly willing to die where she was. She ultimately suffered greatly for this but never cast blame on her friend or others.
|Characters of Planetes|
| Main characters: Hachirota "Hachimaki" Hoshino • Ai Tanabe • Fee Carmichael • Yuri Mikhalkov|
Minor characters: Claire • Hakim • Gigalt • Nono • Philippe Myers • Arvind Ravi • Edel • More…