Astra Lost in Space - Reviews

Alt title: Kanata no Astra

Astra Lost in Space
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Ebonyslayer's avatar
Jan 10, 2018

It can be pretty cool when there are manga publisher sites like Viz Media that can advertise some of their newer series by having chapters on their site free to read. One such series that got my attention would be Astra lost in Space. By the author of Sket Dance, this is a sci-fi epic that got my interest, and these points are why its worth checking out.

Story- Aries and other teens her age are about to enter a summer space camp where they get to spend a week on another planet. Talk about a sci-fi fantasy come true. It doesn't long for the situation to go awry, when they end up in space with a floating ship. It doesn't take long to figure out how they're going to get back home. I have to admit, the story had some big bombshell twists for the characters, with the series itself being a slowburner.

Art- The character designs for Kanata, Aries and the other characters feel pretty stylized, and their space-suits are sleek and colorful looking too. The author himself has a lot of imagination for the planets the characters visit, as well as the various lifeforms on each planet.

Characters- The characters themselves actually get some pretty good development over the course of their space voyage. It is through crisis that we see the other characters open up and we learn more about them, such as with Ulgar and Luca. But I think it was the part with Charce that felt the biggest. All and all, the characters will not disappoint.

Overall- I was really impressed impressed with Shinohara-sensei being able to do a different genre after he did his slice of life series Sket Dance. Although Astra did feel a little short for me, I'm happy it didn't get stretched like Naruto or Bleach. The author was able to end the series the way he wanted to and for that I'm glad. So if anyone wants to get into a new short sci-fi manga, I think Astra would fit the bill. Edit) On another note, the Astra series was very funny. Shinohara really knows how to lighten the mood with humor, given his experience with Sket Dance. Fans of Star Trek will love this series! 

9/10 story
9/10 art
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
AKAAiri's avatar
Mar 3, 2023

Story

Sometimes it takes a while before a series starts to show it's full beauty. I grabbed this manga from the library's bookself without much thinking, expecting to see some average teen survival story.

Boy was I wrong.

This manga has so many brilliant plot twists. It is so well-written thag it completely threw me off-guard. The world-building has a lot more thoughr put to it than what first seems (never judge a book by its cover - or specifically in this case, by its skin-thight space suits). The travel log -type narrating fits incredibly well, I really enjoyed reading about the adventures these kids encounter on different planets.

Art:

The art is basic good, usually nothing too stunning but some background visuals are pretty breath-taking.

Characters:

The characters are this manga's strength - but sadly also it's weak point. Aries is so much of an airhead "the girl" archetype it kinda made me non-interested to continue (glad I did!). Kanata is such a shonen character it's sometimes jarring. Yun-Hua didn't get as much spotlight as I would have wished and Quitterie was often just another "the girl', this time just more mean and less of an airhead. Funicia was most of the time just "the child". The rest of the characters, however, were quite alright. I did not expect to like Luca so much as I did in the end (not to spoil anything but you gotta see his character arc). Ulgar was a bit of an edgelord but in this case he ended up becoming a likeable edgelord. Zack is a basic stoic guy but also quite likeable one. Charce was nicely parodying the "prince charming" trope, he had a lot of entertaining moments. Polina was a nice addition to the series and I did not expect to see a character like her. And even Kanata, Aries and other characters I previously bashed had a lot of positive qualities and I couldn't help but root for these kids

Overall:

A solid manga and a positive surprise!

9/10 story
9/10 art
7/10 characters
8.5/10 overall