The Breakfast Club Meets Star Trek: Voyager
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Sci-Fi, Adventure, Space, Shounen
- Airing Date : July 3, 2019 – September 18, 2019
- Producers : Lerche
Kanata no Astra (Astra: Lost in Space) Introduction
In the year 2063, mankind has finally migrated to space (without any mention if it’s thanks to the efforts of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and/or Richard Branson) and intergalactic travel is now possible. For the students of Caird High School, they get to go to space camp! We’re not talking about the space camp you used to win in 90’s Nickelodeon game shows, but go camping on a distant planet! For Group B5, all of that changes when they’re engulfed by a mysterious sphere that transports them over 5,000 light years across the galaxy and into orbit outside an icy planet! Thankfully, they manage to find a functional spaceship, and use it to plot their journey home!
1. Every Character Has a Role
With a cast of 10 core characters, each character contributes and plays a role. We get to know all of them and their backgrounds. One character serves as a captain, one serves as a medic, one serves as a cook, etc. Yes, we can admit it’s for convenience but allows an appropriate balance. Every character stands out in their own way and you get the chance to know them and see how they work with one another.
2. It’s Well-Paced
For 12 episodes (well, with the first and last episodes being double in length), the series is excellently paced. There’s danger and excitement at every corner and you see how the characters have to improvise, adapt, and overcome the obstacles on each planet they visit in order to keep their ship supplied with food and water. The situations provide opportunities for not only individual character development, but for their relationships to develop as well.
3. Unpredictable Plot Twists
If there’s one reason to enjoy this series, it’s certainly for its unpredictable plot twists. We understand they can come across as a little forced, but the conditions under which the first major plot twist is introduced as it relates to the characters does help make the introduction to that twist somewhat make sense. As you progress towards the end, everything starts to come into place and it will possibly shock you in ways you couldn’t expect.
4. Excellent Voice Cast
The Japanese version has some really excellent actors that capture their respective characters. Yoshimasa Hosoya excellently gets Kanata down to a “t.” He has the appropriate charisma to be a leader, and does an excellent job of how he’s somehow who keeps it together based on his personal experiences and his motivations. Inori Minase as Aries masterfully portrays her as a regular teenager who’s also unassuming. Shunsuke Takeuchi as Zack makes you believe that he knows what he’s doing as the ship’s pilot, and the confidence he has with his knowledge in navigation. Risae Matsuda as Luca also does a great job of portraying the character for who that character is (which we don’t want to get into due to spoilers). We hope that the cast can win awards for their performances!
1. Every Character Is a Stereotype/Archetype
While the cast is pretty diverse with their personalities, the personalities portrayed are by no means original. Kanata is your typical Shounen hero who is always thinking positive and feels like he has something to prove. Yun-Hua is the girl who lacks confidence and feels useless when all she has to do is open her heart. Ulgar is the anti-social rebel and the list goes on. So just about every archetype you have seen in any teen oriented anime is more or less portrayed here.
2. It’s A Little Slow
Despite praising the series for it’s pace, there are some elements that initially don’t make sense until the end. If there’s one thing that’s going to stand out to you, it’s that no one in group B5 seems to know each other and are meeting for the first time (ok, Aries is a special case) despite going to the same high school for the past year or so (then again, we don’t know how big their school is). It’s funny that it’s not directly addressed until the last third of the series as to why these kids who allegedly go to the same school, don’t really know each other, or act like they’ve seen each other for the first time (and those reasons we won’t share to avoid spoilers).
When we say that Kanata no Astra is The Breakfast Club meets Star Trek: Voyager, by no means are we insulting the series or the franchises we’re comparing it to. That’s the way we see the series in a nutshell. The cast is full of teenagers who come from different walks of life, and they also have issues with their parents. Like the crew of the Voyager, they have to make the journey home with their spaceship (thankfully, it takes less than 5 seasons). So, if you’re someone who likes survival anime and space opera, this is probably the anime for you. As for the notion of migrating to space within 40 years, lets just hope that Elon Musk watches this anime first (and he claims to be an anime fan) so he knows what not to do if he wants to make space camps a thing.