These Kids Solve Every Problem
Astra Lost in Space Episode 8
Last week I ended my review by saying things were definitely going to change for the crew in Kanata no Astra. While that turns out to be true in a way, it certainly wasn’t what I expected and the danger of being stranded on a planet ended up being far too quickly and easily overcome this week to really feel like it was satisfying.
I’m not suddenly turning on this anime by any means, because episode 8 is still a very solid viewing experience bringing us some decent character moments and a few more reveals, as well as confirmation that the cloning theory that has been hinted at more than once is actually something the story is going to delve into. However, episode 7 felt like it got us to a major turning point in the tone of the story and then episode 8 of Kanata no Astra gave us more of what we’ve seen up until this point. The kids figuring out a solution, carrying it off largely without a hitch, and then going about the other tasks needed to prepare to leave while we have a few significant conversations along the way.
Narratively unsatisfying while at the same time still delivering something that on its own merit is as good as anything we’ve had in an excellent series up until now.
Yet, I feel this episode missed its chance to really mark this series as one that isn’t just good for the season but could become a classic sci-fi to watch. Instead of taking that step it feels like we’ve stuck to the safe route and having Luca in episode refer to the anime itself as a mix of comedy and sci-fi more or less confirmed that the writers knew they had backed down from taking that other path. Admittedly, safe is possibly better given it means the show won’t over-reach.
Anyway, forget just salvaging parts from the other Astra. Turns out the ship can split into blocks and they just take a whole undamaged block from the other ship and replace the one damaged block on their own and problem solved. I still want to know why it was so easy given they lack actual equipment for such a major move and Zack raised the point last week that even if they had parts they didn’t have a dock. It seemed like that might have actually been necessary to remove a whole third of a space ship and replace it. But it is done and the journey continues.
On the positive notes, we get some very cute Zack and Quitterie moments as they discuss their families, their past, and potential futures. While Quitterie’s shouting girl act is getting a little old, the scene was largely adorable. We also get some more wondering about how all these kids ended up getting spaced and after some blood testing results raise at least one interesting point I think we’re back to wondering about the whole new law on Earth and whether or not all these kids are cloned or part of some kind of experiment and are now being hidden from compulsory DNA testing.
Not to mention the new member of the crew, the woman from the Ark that was rescued. Her question about the year and then muttering something about it ‘not happening’ makes me wonder if the planet was meant to go through some cataclysm which is why the arks were sent out in the first place looking for inhabitable planets. What it might have been and why it didn’t happen I guess we’ll find out later.
This series as a whole is brilliant so far and while episode 8 has left me feeling a little disappointed, overall there’s very little to complain about and a lot to look forward to.
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Images from: Kanata no Astra. Dir. M Andou. Lerche. 2019.