Kanata no Astra Episode 2: Fun times in space

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The gang prepares to forage for food

This series got a lot more lighthearted than I was expecting (though admittedly not for the entire episode). That being said, I thought that this episode was a solid follow-up to the opening episode. It forces the characters to bond more, and it successfully introduces a couple of larger mysteries that will likely span the entire show, with the sabotaged communicator and the return of the sphere.

Exploring a new planet

While I enjoy seeing the character explore an entirely new planet, I admit that I’m a little disappointed that they reach the first planet so quickly. The journey to the first planet may have been the shortest one, but it’s also the most critical one. On subsequent trips, they’ll be setting off with a much wider range of resources (given that they’re foraging from entire planets). However, the initial journey forced them to survive with just the supplies that they had thought to pack for camp. That’s how I saw it, at least.

Quitterie refuses to help

Quitterie gets some pretty quick character progression in this episode, but I still liked her story overall. I thought it was interesting that she called her mother out for not being there for her and simultaneously asking her to be there for Funicia. It makes sense for her to think that, and I think it’s hard to blame her.

The sphere returns

I was honestly not expecting the sphere to return, but it heavily implies that there’s something sending it to these kids. Since it seems to like pulling them out into empty space, it sounds like it’s probably sent by someone trying to kill them.

Aries sees everything

Giving Aries photographic memory was kind of a random development. I suppose it’s meant to perpetuate the idea that each of the crew members is going to have something specialized to contribute.

Funicia is caught out

Putting Funicia in danger seems like a fairly predictable way to get Quitterie to contribute, but I think it works in this situation. It seems to serve the extra purpose of giving Kanata some time to shine as well. On top of that, I liked that Funicia was mostly put in that situation because she was looking for a way to look like her sister.

Kanata is recognized as the leader

I also liked the idea that Kanata is recognized as the leader not because he has all of the answers, like Charce. It’s not that Kanata is capable, but rather that he’s the one who can call the rest of the group into action.

The case is afoot

And there we have it. There’s potentially an entity sending the spheres to transport the kids back into space, and there’s potentially a traitor on the ship. Are they even the same person? The fact that the communicator is what’s sabotaged is interesting as well, since it suggests that Kanata and Aries are in the clear. After all, they were floating in space in the moments immediately prior to discovering the broken communicator.

Kanata no Astra First Impressions (1): Space is rough

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Lost in space

Well, that was definitely a longer episode than I was expecting. I wasn’t sure what to expect for this series, but it honestly seems like a promising survival journey (as advertised). The story follows a group of students in a futuristic society. After being dropped off on a planet for a harmless camping trip, the group is suddenly warped to an unknown location in space. With the help of a conveniently placed spaceship, the students, led by the charismatic Kanata Hoshijima, must make their way back to their home planet before their resources run out.

Airports never change

I wonder if there’s supposed to be some kind of hidden pattern to the names here. Otherwise, I’m going to have to conclude that we eventually run out of unique names in the future and resort to randomly mashing letters together. Also, it’s nice to know that airport security isn’t getting any better in the next 50 years.

Aries introduces herself

I know it’s too early to be saying this, but does anyone else find Aries annoying? I understand that her personality makes useful in a situation where unstable kids are locked together in a spaceship, but it just feels like a lot of work for me to parse what she says. I’m sure there will likely end up being more to her. It’s clear from her scenes alone in the vacuum of space that she doesn’t actually cope with loneliness well, so I suppose she’s not just a constant fountain of optimism.

The group is introduced

The characters in this series seem like the typical “diverse crew” of mostly standard character types. There’s plenty of time for each character’s unique background to come to light, but there’s not much to go on so far. I guess you could say that they’re pretty much all bratty teens.

Aries comments on Yunhua's spacesuit

I don’t know if I’m too paranoid, but I feel like this scene about Yunhua and Aries having the same spacesuit is supposed to be important for some reason. Given that Aries’s spacesuit will randomly malfunction later in the episode, it feels like a nontrivial statement.

Kanata talks about his background

Are we sure that this is actually the first episode? Kanata got a surprising amount of characterization for an introduction. I think that certainly seems promising for the series as a whole.

Kanata pushes forward to save Aries

I hate to be that guy and all, but come on, Kanata. Zack just told you that you could take advantage of inertia to conserve fuel, and you’re just burning your thrusters away.

The gang works together

I’m all for a moment of friendship and everything, but this seems incredibly impractical. If Ulgar was able to get to Kanata with his thrusters, he could have just done the same thing while holding on to the rope. That way, the group could just reel him in safely rather than collectively jumping out of the ship.

The group tries to figure out their situation

This conversation gets sidelined pretty quickly, but it’s actually a fair question. The fact that spaceship happened to be nearby is too unlikely to be a coincidence. It definitely suggests that there’s someone orchestrating this scenario somehow. Aliens?

The group comes up with a plan

I know I shouldn’t make fun of this scene because it’s exactly what I wanted to see. This seems like a fairly obvious plan, but it’s treated as some big revelation. That being said, I can’t be too upset, because I think that the series becomes more interesting if the group has to periodically stop at various planets to forage. If they were constantly travelling in space, I feel like the story might get stale. I look forward to seeing what kinds of planets are in this story’s universe.

The route is planned

I’m curious to see how tenuous this route will end up being. Given the low number of stops, it’s highly likely that transit between each of the points on the path will leave very little room for error. What will the characters do if something goes wrong halfway between two planets? I think that question gets at why I think these kinds of shows are intriguing.