Astra Lost in Space

Astra Lost in Space

Astra Lost in Space anime series cover art
Astra Lost in Space

Overview

Astra Lost in Space (Kanata no Astra / 彼方のアストラ) was at one point near the top of my rankings for the Summer 2019 season. You know, up there with things like Vinland Saga, Takagi 2, and How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift? But unfortunately, the series spiraled out of control towards the end.

The initial premise of this series didn’t sound all that interesting to me. At some point in the future a group of high school students gets lost in space while on a “camping” trip and they need to make their way back home. Really, it was the inclusion of the words “high school students” that turned me off from the series originally.

But, I kept seeing people mentioning how great this anime was while it was airing so I caught up to it about five or six weeks in. And, as you may be able to tell by the fact I actually caught up with the series, it was good. The first episode — which was double length — was especially good.

Kanata Hoshijima from the anime series Astra Lost in Space
Kanata Hoshijima

The background and main characters were set up like normal in the first half of the first episode, and if it had ended there it wouldn’t have been anything out of the ordinary. However, the second half of the episode is where the plot really kicks off and you’re sucked in.

Then we have the rest of the series, which although is fairly episodic, is a good adventure. In order to get back home the students must hop from planet to planet, stocking up on water and food at each one. Each planet is vastly different and comes with its own set of trials for the students to overcome.

And, let’s not forget, there’s also plenty of drama.

Characters

There are nine main characters of the series who are sent off on the camping trip together. I won’t be spoiling it in this section, but they all have something in common. If you can figure out what that something is just from these brief descriptions then you win my respect for the day.

Female Characters

Aries Spring is the female lead and protagonist of the series. Out of all the students involved in the trip, she may be the one most excited to go and she hopes for them all to become friends along the way. Two facts about Aries are that she has different colored eyes and a photographic memory.

Quitterie and Funicia “Funi” Raffaeli are sisters taking part in the trip together. Quitterie is the older sister, and Funi is the only member on the trip who isn’t a high school student. Facts about the sisters are that Quitterie wants to be a doctor and Funi’s best friend is a hand puppet.

The fourth and final girl on the expedition is Yunhua Lu. I don’t know how to say this nicely, but Yunhua is literally the worst and most useless character in the entire series. Sure, you could say Aries is useless too, but at least she brings a good attitude.

For the beginning of the series Yunhua is basically a background character. Then, she has one episode of “development” which didn’t actually amount to anything. And finally, she went back to being a background character. I think she also had the least dialogue by a long shot.

Male Characters

Kanata Hoshijima is the male lead of the series, but no, the series is not named after him. I doubt it was a coincidence that he was named Kanata, but the “Kanata” in the Japanese title is not referring to his name. He’s generally carefree, but is also a natural born leader who one day wants to captain his own spaceship. He’s also a world-class athlete.

Zack Walker is the most responsible and level headed of the students. I believe he wants to be some sort of engineer after graduation, but I forget exactly what kind — probably mechanical. He’s also Quitterie’s childhood friend, making them (and Funi) the only ones who previously knew each other.

Charce Lacroix is the future biologist of the group and plays a vital role in their survival. Whenever they land on a new island, Charce is the one who determines which plants and animals are safe, and which are dangerous.

Luca Esposito is the son of a prominent politician. He doesn’t have any particular skills which will help ensure the survival of his comrades, but at least he doesn’t actively hold them back like Yunhua does.

The final character is Ulgar Zweig, the token emo kid. Think of him like Sasuke from Naruto, or Toi from Sarazanmai. I know, those are very different series, but it just goes to show that there’s always a character like this. Also Ulgar hates everyone — as expected.

Plot Issues

Alright, if you want to avoid major spoilers for Astra Lost in Space, now is the time for you to scroll down to the conclusion. Got it? Okay, spoiler time.

Let’s start with Luca because the issue with him has the smallest effect on the rest of the story. We eventually learn that Luca is actually a hermaphrodite — sort of. He claims to genetically be both male and female, though he only has male genitalia. The female part is that he has breasts.

Now, that alone doesn’t matter to me, but what doesn’t make sense is that we and the other characters see him in a skin tight suit many times and there is no sign of his breasts. He’s flat. So what’s the issue? He looks male, he identifies as male, and as far as anyone knows, he is male.

Aries Spring and the other students from the anime series Astra Lost in Space
Aries Spring and the other students

Then there’s the whole Quitterie and Funi thing. Quitterie claims they’re adoptive sisters, but it’s pretty obvious that’s not the case to anyone with working eyes. They look exactly the same. We eventually learn that’s because they are exactly the same, but how did nobody recognize that earlier?

And why was there a working ship in space near where the portal dumped the whole group? Was that ever explained? Because I don’t think that was explained — at all. Give me some sort of explanation, anything. Don’t just leave it as, “there just happened to be a working space ship there after 100+ years.”

Also, and this is the last thing I’ll mention though there are more issues, how did nobody know humans moved from the planet Earth to Astra when it happened less than 100 years ago? The explanation is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. They claim that the entire population of Earth was able to keep it a secret for no real reason.

Conclusion

You know, I had this series at an 8 at one point. Unfortunately, everything started going downhill all at once. Multiple plot twists were revealed that made little to no sense — like the ones I mentioned above — and it really harmed the series. When all is said and done, it’s a 6/10 from me.

And do you know what the worst thing about that is? This anime will likely never get a sequel since it finished the source material, but the epilogue set up a better story than what we got. I’m not going to say what the epilogue was here because spoilers, but if you watched the series you know.

I can’t think of a better way to make your series disappointing in retrospect than by including an epilogue that sets up an even better premise you never plan to explore.

Anyway, if you enjoyed this review or found it helpful in any way, let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. You should also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama to be notified every time a new post goes live, and join us over on Discord for anime discussions.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Loading Likes...

Leave a Comment

Bitnami