Posted by SuperMario on 15 July 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kanata no Astra

Welcome to the first week of Kanata no Astra, aka Astra Lost in Space in English localization. The double-length premiere remains a flawed but decent introduction for me, and this sophomore further underlines the strengths, as well as the potential weaknesses of this show going forward. For instance, many of the anime’s changes baffled me. The ratio aspect makes little sense and visually it looks like it has been cropped out from the original frame, as a result we see lots of shots where part of characters’ head being cut off. It’s a good gimmick once we get into the space where the screen “opens up”, but consider how the majority of time we follow them exploring new planets, the feeling of inside-the-box defeats the purpose greatly. Second, in the premiere, in one dramatic event, the anime decided to alter the source and makes it even more dramatic (the human chain) that it sadly disregards the common sense (THE ROPE). I consider that a manipulating tactic where Kanata no Astra purposely creates unnecessary conflicts in order to make us FEEL rewarding once everyone joins hands to save Kanata and Aries. Well, it just didn’t work for me.

This second episode does excel on another strength, however, and that is the background art. As the group encounters the first planet of their journey, Vilavure, they find the planet full of natural resources. The art alone brings to life the richness of that place, and kudos to the animal/ plant designs that bring so much quirks into this planet: the trampoline trees, the parachute flowers and the turkey-dragons AKA tur-gons. I suspect that each planet they’d go will have some specific traits (like in ACCA’s 13 territories), and it’s understandable that the first planet they step in is more about the thrill of exploring a new place completely different than their own rather than any life-threatening events (although there is one).

This episode also establishes the cast whom is skillful in many areas beyond their age (if you can’t tell if I being sarcastic or not by that sentence, I am). Last week, we learn a kid who already experienced life/death situation and a bloke whose IQ is about 200, this week add to that mix is another boy who has a master-level knowledge of biology and a girl with a photographic memory. Shameless over-the-top-ness aside, it further proves the theory that this string of misfortune event is set-up by someone or some organisation. There’s also a reveal of someone in the cast intentionally sabotage the communication system. This is an interesting development for sure to figure out who the traitor is and what is their reason behind all this.

While I am excited for the upcoming plot of exploring new planets as an A plot and finding out the traitor as an overarching plot, I remain mixed on the characters chemistry and character development so far. The jokes, in particular, are pretty bad with typical anime-humor and exaggeration, which for me simply doesn’t belong to this series. By saying that I don’t expect the show to go full dark like Lord of the Fireflies and the likes, but take the sequence in this week, where Kanata and Quitterie bickering about “leader”, something that has already been sold last week, it’s just a total misfire for me. Yes, characters this age can act childish but why the need to amp it up to 11? For character development, this week we deal with Quitterie and her inability to communicate with other people. While I appreciate the amount of backstory Kanata no Astra focus on her character (and I’m sure the rest of the cast will have their shares), it’s a tad bit obvious that the show reminds us again and again about her issues, by her childhood friend Genius, by her bickering, by her backstory with her little sister, by Quiterrie herself when she admits it later on. Show don’t tell, Kanata no Astra, the less said the greater impact you eventually deliver.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Firechick says:

    As someone who’s read the manga, everything you mentioned was technically present in the manga: The kids having special skills (Which does have a reason behind it, but not explained until later), Quitterie’s issues constantly being mentioned, the over-the-topness, and the silly jokes are all from the original source. That doesn’t make your issues with it less valid, as even I felt some parts could have been toned down, even in the manga, but I thought I’d point them out just in case you haven’t read it.

    Personally, I’m wondering how the hell you pronounce Quitterie’s name. I’ve heard two possible ways to pronounce it: Kit-tree or kit-er-ee, but the Japanese version isn’t much help in that department. Maybe FUNimation’s eventual dub for it will clarify things.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      Ahh, all my criticism towards the anime adaptation is just in the first paragraph, so basically the aspect ratio and the cheap alteration in the first episode. I didn’t touch the 1-cour only decision since I haven’t read the manga so I won’t know. The issues regarding the jokes and the characters are more about the material itself.

      I spell her name as the latter, kit-ter-ree but that’s just me and hell anime can come up with strange names at times

  2. Avatar dP says:

    “Lord of the Fireflies” – several children are lost on a deserted island and build a new society, only to have the island targeted by the US Air Force for a bombing test and they all die.

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