Previously on Astra Lost in Space
The parents of the lost kiddoes are arguing as to whether it’s financially beneficial to send out a search party into space, while said kiddoes make it to the next planet on their journey home; a planet that is a breath-taking tropical paradise!
For more information, you can visit my First Impressions and other episodic musings for the series, which are linked at the end of this post. The rest of this write-up shall contain mild to major spoilers for episodes five through eight. Please, read at your own discretion.
I felt validated after watching episodes six and seven due to revelations involving Ulgar and Charce. Starting with the former, I knew that there was no way Ulgar was acting with saboteuristic malice. His motives had to have been private and pertaining to family trauma and the reason for this is because going after Luca was extremely personal, an attempt to strike at Luca’s father at what Ulgar believed would be a very crucial and intimate target, yet it was also done so out in the open. A proper saboteur would not have risked such attention so early on and with so many witnesses, even if their plan is to kill everyone eventually. Also, based on the previous segment or two where we got a look at how the parents were reacting to this situation, I just knew Marco was a grade-A douchebag.
The revelation of Luca’s gender identity did surprise me quite heavily. Not only is it extremely rare to see intersex characters in anime, but to have the revelation and explanation of how their gender shapes their individual, familial lives shared in a respectful and tasteful way was even more shocking. Typically, anime can be quite tactless and unforgiving in their use of humour and crude jokes while discussing non-straight, non-CIS characters. Yet, here Luca was treated like a person who just happens to have been born as an intersex individual and it didn’t hinder or significantly skew their personality in toxic ways.
Luca’s gender reveal does add some interesting food for thought with respect to the teens (allegedly) being a target for a mass assassination attempt. Marco viewed his adopted kid as flawed and imperfect, someone who wasn’t suitable to be an heir to a big badass legacy. For this prick politician, the kid is more of a burden whose existence he tries to ignore. Every kid on this lost mission, in one way or another, is a mistake to their parents, or others around them, and gives the adults ample reasons to have the kiddoes removed from their lives. Failures cannot be tolerated, and those failings do not necessarily have to be as tangible as one would expect to warrant child-killing (for the purposes of this series).
Another example of these kids being “failures” is evident by the revelations about Quitterie and her little sister, Funicia. It feels that whoever ran the experiments that led to the creation of Funicia is trying to eliminate all evidence of their experimentations, which would also include taking out the source and clone DNA, or in this case, both sisters. Either the experiment was a failure, or the experiment was a success, and this information has become a very dangerous source of knowledge to have.
When I think about these revelations as separate pieces, it comes off as being all over the map and utterly disconnected. However, if you toss in notions like government conspiracies and political warfare, then the variables start to make much more sense; a bigger picture from the smaller mosaics. I find this both brilliant and mildly frustrating, though. The questions that arose with this specific conflict just keep adding layers of dimension to an already vividly fascinating show, and I love that it can make the audience feel like we’re getting answers and progressing forward, while still be taken for a ride of ambiguity as more uncertainties sprout up like weeds.
The final fun bit in segments six and seven were about Charce. The inconsistencies in his story that Aries caught made me laugh-out-loud literally because of how much it reminded me of the android from Alien, especially the shift in his facial expression when Aries was essentially like, “You’re a lying, ho. What’s the truth, man?” My whole “Charce is an android and thus the saboteur” theory was made on an outrageous whim just for kicks, but the more that we learn about him, and have scenes like these, the more that I’m convinced that that’s precisely what he is: a robot killer on some secret mission.
When he revealed that he’s of a royal bloodline, I literally threw my hands into the air and shouted, “YUP!! You’re a fucking robot!” I woke up my cat by scaring him half to death, but what can I say, I was immensely amused. I can completely, 1000% visualise Charce as being a creation to either replace a dead child, or to the be heir that the family could never have for whatever reason. Given all of the zany plot twists in Astra Lost in Space thus far, I wouldn’t even be surprised if Charce was some kind of political ploy crafted by the royals for some ridiculous power-move, which would connect the assassinations to him (with him being a saboteur) in a pretty neat and narratively cohesive way (maybe I just read too much politically charged sci-fi).
With segment eight, the kids end up crash landing on a planet and are devastated to learn that specific damages done to the ship will prevent them from returning home. Then as they explore what little liveable space there is on this hardcore, fuck-you of a planet, they discover another crashed ship, one that seems to have been there for many years. They find a woman in cryogenic sleep, decide to wake her up, and have to deal with the fallout of that whole situation.
I don’t have many thoughts on the woman they found yet. I think it’s curious that she’s an adult in a similar ship who just so happened to crash on the same exact planet as the kids. That’s too strange to be a coincidence, and I’m sure that this will play into the conflict and conspiracy that the kids are currently confronted with, but the main question is: will it help them or hurt them?
The next couple of segments should bring us more revelations as the anime is going to get wrapped up in the coming week or so (there are twelve total episodes). Everything thus far has been supremely enjoyable and intellectually stimulating, as well as amusing and entertaining. My sincerest hope is that Astra Lost in Space won’t end on a colossal disappointment because that would be a great disservice to the suspense, science-fiction, and storytelling prowess that the anime has going for it at the moment.
Astra Lost in Space First Impressions
Astra Lost in Space Episodes 2 & 3 Musings
Astra Lost in Space Episodes 4 & 5 Musings
Source: Manga by Kenta Shinohara
Season: Summer 2019
Director: Masaomi Andō
Content Warnings: Theft. Brief violence. Mildly intense paranoia and anxiety. Caution advisory for claustrophobia, kenophobia, acrophobia, and nyctophobia. Mild language. Preparation and consumption of food. Bullying. Psychological child abuse. Mass illness. Animal death and dead bodies.
AniList: Kanata no Astra
Streaming: Funimation, Hulu, Anime Lab (Aus)