A Falling Ship Raises The Stakes
Astra Lost in Space Episode 3
Three episodes in and Astra Lost in Space has cemented itself as the new anime of the season that has fully grabbed my attention. The set up this episode is pretty simple but executed incredibly effectively. As the kids start putting together the information they have they start to realise maybe their getting stranded in space wasn’t an accident and with the broken communicator they are now forced to suspect the others of being involved.
However, finding out who the traitor might be is put on hold as potential death looms. A collision with rocks in space damages the ship and they are now in danger of an uncontrolled re-entry causing them to crash onto their next destination planet rather than landing on it. The team need to work together and scramble if they aren’t all going to just go splat onto the surface.
I liked that this episode shows that Kanata is definitely not some unshakable rock. While routinely the one who has taken action and found solutions, this week faced with insufficient information to narrow down who might be someone to suspect he really started to come unstuck. And when the ship was in danger and physical strength and effort weren’t going to be enough to save it, Kanata very quickly lost his cool to be brought back into check by those around him. It is a nice bit of character work.
The story is also quietly working away at giving each character some area of strength to demonstrate so that they can contribute to the team even if in a quieter way than Zack and Kanata. The exception so far is Yunhua who remains the enigma of the team revealing nothing of herself and constantly apologising. I kind of hope they crack her shell soon because it would be very sad if her character just remained sidelined and used to bungle the work of the others for the remainder of the series.
Basically though this one looks quite nice, the story is simple and well established after three episodes, the cast have been pretty fun to get to know, and they have managed to inject real tension into the scenes that need it. Honestly there’s very little to complain about and a lot to like about this anime so far.
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Images from: Kanata no Astra. Dir. M Andou. Lerche. 2019.