Within two months, the anime adaptation to Kanata no Astra is scheduled to hit the airwaves in Japan. Kanata no Astra is based on the hit manga by Kento Shinohara, who you likely know as the original author to Sket Dance. Kanata no Astra takes place in the year 2063 and as paved way by Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, space travel is now the norm and thankfully not as expensive as present day prices. And for some of you 80s and 90s kids, do you remember how space camp was a prize for winners on Nickelodeon game shows like Get the Picture and/or Double Dare? Well, this anime takes that notion to a whole new level as space camp is literally going on a camp in space.
While a group of high school students head for camp on another planet, a mysterious light transports them a little over 5,000 light years away from home. Their only hope is an abandoned spacecraft which they name the Astra. Due to the age of their ship and the limited supplies they have, they routinely must take the risk of visiting some planets in order to make due. So, what is it about Kanata no Astra that makes us want to recommend it? Read to find out!
It’s Based on a Completed Manga
The good news is, it’s based on a completed 5 volume manga series. Without any excuses, the anime can offer the complete story without having to finish mid-way when something is getting good or to have the series stop, or have pointless fillers. So, if you want some idea as to how the story can go regardless of spoilers, then the manga is there for you to read as a preview. Granted it’s 5 volumes, so we can anticipate a 25 or so episode series that can be faithful to the original source material. However, there may be instances of some changes at the insistence of Shinohara, but other than that, we can get something concrete and not get a series that ends in one story arc just to encourage you to read the manga to see what happens next.
Promising Seiyuu Cast
Playing Kanata is Yoshimasa Hosoya, who you know as Kaito from Ajin, Daryun from Arslan Senki, and Joe from Megalo Box. Considering the leadership qualities that Kanata possesses along with some qualities that make him physically fit, Hosoya based on his resume seems to be a perfect fit for Kanata. As for Aries, Inori Minase is confirmed to play her. You likely have heard her in Eddelrittuo from Aldnoah.Zero, Hitomi from FLCL Progressive, and Rem from Re:Zero. Considering that she has played all types of personalities, fans already familiar to the original source material and her previous performances, she can easily get a grasp of Aries’ innocence and awkwardness.
And the rest of the cast consists of many up and comers from the present generation of anime. Shunsuke Takeuchi, who you likely know as the voice of Kunihito from All Out!!, Shuto from Saint Seiya Saintia Sho, and Ryota from Ajin is playing Zack Walker. For Luca, Risae Matsuda, who you likely know as the voice of Hakumei from Hakumei to Michiko has been casted to player her. So if you are a buff of today’s rising talent, then this anime is perfect for their resume.
Animation and Music
Based on what we’ve seen through promotional images and trailers, then the design and everything else is still faithful to the style of the original manga, and we give credit to the anime’s official character designer, Keiko Kurosawa for doing so. You probably know of her as the character designer and chief animation director of Ansatsu Kyoushitsu and Re:_Hamataora. While her portfolio is small, they are big in success and fans should feel that her contributions will do great in making this series come to life. We can’t really say much about the music, but one of the composers to this series is Masaru Yokoyama, who is also contributing to the 2019 Fruits Baskets anime, Occultic;Nine, and Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. While we only have a small quick teaser, we are positive he can capture the atmosphere and emotion of this series.
For those of you that love sci-fi, space opera, or something akin to Star Trek (especially the Voyager series), then this is for you. Granted the whole “lost in space” thing has been done before in Western media, we have yet to see it in modern anime and hopefully, the adaptation to Kanata no Astra can contribute to this trope and make it fresh to all audiences. This time, you don’t have a fleet of trained space explorers or a group of scientists, this time, it kind of takes more from Nickelodeon’s Space Cases from the 1990s and spices it up in a creative manner that only anime can pull off.