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Japanese Title: Kanata no Astra
The anime is part of our weekly anime previews and our weekly reviews.
Episode 1 Review
In the near future where space travel is routine, nine boys and girls are on their way to star camp. With their chests tightening in excitement before the thrill of their first space travel, unforeseen circumstances arise…!?
I am a sucker for this kind of stories. I was raised a Trekkie. I loved Firefly. One of my favorite series is Battlestar Galactica. This is basically a treat for my tastes. Yet, if I have to, and I should, be fair: this was an incredible first episode and since it was a 50-minute special of the first 3 episodes, Astra Lost in Space officially passes the 3-episode rule. And thank the anime god because it’s my assigned weekly review for this season. I would have been really disappointed if this turned out a flop. Now, what makes this special? First, we don’t get too many space stories lately. Science fiction, yes; space? Well… not unless there is a mecha involved. Second, unless it’s the shonen trope of ‘let’s become a team because friendship is amazing’, we don’t get many ‘we need to stick together if we want to survive’ stories neither. In Astra, 9 students (who do follow some character stereotypes) get stranded 5000 light years away from home and they need to find a way to survive their journey back. Think of Star Trek Voyager in anime, and you have more or less a general idea of what this anime is all about. They need to combine their talents as they visit 5 planets on which they will need to restock their food and water supply. Space; FTL travel; a crew; a spaceship. What more do you want?
One of the summer titles that caught my interest was Astra Lost in Space. For some reasons, everything about space, galaxy, and various things beyond the atmosphere really fascinate me. This anime didn’t fail to meet my expectations. The first episode already shows a unique setting of vast space. The story starts with a typical conversation among high school students, getting to know each other and establishing a strong bond of friendship. Everything, however, changes in just a snap. They are transported into the darkest dimension they wouldn’t expect, and this was the moment I felt there are a lot of exciting adventures coming. Everything in this episode already offers a lot of beautiful things about space, and I could see there are more great stories to come aside from the characters’ galactic journey. It was very pleasant to see these young individuals doing good teamwork to overcome their fear in their most terrifying fate. This is worth the summer’s hype especially if you’re into breathtaking space adventures and survival games. This episode didn’t disappoint me.
An impressive debut for Astra Lost in Space provides the potential for a great student survival story. The cast is an intriguing mix of personalities with hints of backstory sprinkled in here and there that I expect the anime to explore later on. I’m so far invested in seeing how these kids will survive with the limited resources they have and the things they’ll encounter on the planets they visit.
With an episode thrice the usual anime episode length, it was a great setup to a grand space adventure centering on kids flying through the galaxy to find their way home. It’s not a unique science fiction premise at all, but Astra Lost In Space does a fantastic job of making the premise its own. Why? Because of the cast. Each person, even those who were only given a small amount of time to grow, showed that there is more to them. The last scene of the episode showed that. The only major complaint I have is the fact that the visuals are lacking. It’s just straightforward story with no interesting visuals to give us more emotion from these scenes and there is a lot of CG. Can’t wait to see where this one goes though.