Notes on Streaming: ASTRA LOST IN SPACE, Sci-Fi Winners
What happens when you are unmoored from familiar surroundings?
When you're young, getting lost can be a terrifying feeling. Now magnify that a thousand fold, and try to imagine that you've gotten lost in outer space.
High school students go on a field trip to the Planet McPa, a week-long journey that's intended to be fun and educational. A diverse group of personalities assemble, launch into space, land on the comfortable-looking planet, and prepare to have a good time during their (equivalent) spring break. But wait a minute ... what's that mysterious sphere? Why is it gobbling people up?
The fun-loving students find themselves floating through space, wondering if this is the end.
Of course, it's not the end -- it's only the first episode! Based on a manga by Shinohara Kento, the anime adaptation Astra Lost in Space debuted last Wednesday with two episodes, which gave balance to the tale by making clear that the intrepid troupe of teens survive that hungry sphere, only to find themselves thousands of miles away, with a very difficult path ahead. Having reached a spaceship, they must jump slowly through space, landing on a series of different planets so they can accumulate food and other supplies, and eventually arrive back home.
I hope they had killer travel insurance before they left on this unexpectedly far-flung trip.
Through three episodes so far, the show demonstrates a welcome mixture of action, adventure, and humor, filling in the backstories as it goes. The characters act like recognizable teenagers, for good and for bad. The steady stream of unpredictable hazards emanating from strange creatures and alien flora keeps things nicely off-balance.
Beyond that, I'm not entirely positive why the series is connecting with me so well. Perhaps it's my own youthful dreams of traveling through space? Maybe it's because no nasty, humanoid villain has appeared? I don't know, exactly, but I want to see more.
Summing up: I welcome future adventures with this crew of travelers.