What do I want in a good anime in the first few episodes? A story concept that impresses me and/or has a lot of potential to be interesting. A plot that shows some seriousness balanced out with cute, heartwarming, or humorous moments. Engaging characters that aren’t too forgettable, and that I’m able to sympathize or empathize with. Visuals that help keep me focused on the content, with a style I like. Cute, hot, or interesting character designs that stand out. And voice-acting that catches my ears right away and makes me want to keep listening.
The story concept is solid. A bunch of teenagers are lost in space and must survive by traveling from planet to planet on the way back home. They are quickly learning to band together to solve problems. There’s a strong element of mystery. What was the sphere that sent them so far away? Why was there conveniently a ship there? The rising suspense of saving Aries was handled well, as was the heartwarming (if somewhat sappy) sense of bonding between the characters. The humor might be hit or miss for some. It does seem like the show tries too hard to be funny. However, most of it seems self-aware enough to me, so I still enjoyed it. I didn’t laugh out loud or anything, but I smiled a lot while I watched.
Voice-acting succeeded in hooking me right away. I recognize Hosoya Yoshimasa from being Shichika in Katanagatari and Reiner in AoT, plus Charce (something Shimazaki?) from being Shinichi in Parasyte. I also recognized Uchiyama Kouki (Ulgar) and Hayami Saori (Yunhua). The others also have voices that sound great. The instrumental music was good, too. As for the song at the end, I liked it quite a bit. It’s “Glow at the Velocity of Light” by Riko Azuna.
To me, the visuls seemed like a step down from series like Assassination Classroom or Magical Girl Raising Project. That’s just an opinion, not based on much actual knowledge of art, animation, or cinematography. I do like the character designs. They remind me of a mix between Assassination Classroom and Kiznaiver. However, with my memory, they’ll be very easy to forget unless I keep reviewing them all for a few episodes. Same with the character names.
The main girl Aries is too stupid to be believable. Unless she has a developmental disorder, in which case her stupidity somehow isn’t very funny. That aside, most of the the characters are funny or cute, but seem pretty typical. At first they do, anyway. But I was surprised how their reactions were so varied starting in the second half of the episode. For example, the resident bitch, Quitteri, exclaimed that they have to save Aries once she realized the ditsy girl was out in space. It’s nice to know she cares when it counts. Basically, the characters don’t seem too one-dimensional. I don’t know who is my favorite character yet; only time will tell.
My enjoyment level for this episode was moderate because I had trouble focusing, especially for the first half. Still, there was a lot about the first episode that I enjoyed, such as story concept, humor, voice-acting, and the element of mystery.
I think the first episode of Kanata no Astra deserves a 7.0/10.0, on the border of Fine (6/10) and Good (7/10). I look forward to watching more of this show. Hopefully, the rating will go up a little. This is Anime Rants. Thank you so much for reading! Ja ne!
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