Aries Spring was excitedly looking forward to space camp, where she and seven others in her high school would spend five days on a planet not too many light years from home. Sure, they would have to take care of one of her schoolmate’s ten-year-old sister, but she’s cute, so no problem, right? Unfortunately, these nine kids’ excursion soon turns into a nightmare, when a strange phenomenon warps all of them over five thousand light years away. They find an abandoned ship to take quarters in, but with no way to communicate back home and only a few days’ worth of food on board for a journey that would take at least a few months, they will need to put all their wits together to make it home safely.
Astra Lost in Space (Japanese title: Kanata no Astra) is the latest Shonen Jump title to get an anime adaptation, and while I have yet to read the original manga, I was nevertheless looking forward to this one because I find something exciting about the concept of kids in space. (Fun fact: my username, short for “Star Defender 29”, refers to my own “kids in space” story setting I had when I was younger.) I really enjoyed Stellvia, an older kids-in-space title, and figured it was about time for a newer take on this setting. And Astra did not disappoint at all. The first episode was a double-length setup for the series, and it did a great job of showcasing the main cast as well as the general predicament they face and a sense of the danger that awaits them. The cast is definitely a high point, with both Aries and the main male lead Kanata getting the lion’s share of screentime but with enough shown of the others to get an idea of their personalities and a glimpse of character development to come. (Also, with a cast of four male and four female high schoolers, the shipping potential is out of this world.) The show also lays out a path that should lead to an exciting story as the kids stop by five planets in order to stock up on supplies to make it to the next planet, which should allow for plenty of great adventure. All in all, this premiere has got me excited for a space saga that is both adventurous and character-driven, just how a kids in space story should be.
Astra Lost in Space is streaming on FunimationNow.