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Kanata no Astra – 05 »« Kanata no Astra – 03

Kanata no Astra – 04

「STAR OF HOPE」

Considering we’re back for week four of rowdy adventures in space it’s probably no surprise Kanata no Astra has been picked up for coverage, but seriously, how could one turn their nose up at such cheesy sci-fi glory? Star Trek this may not be, but there’s certainly enough of it present to keep the amusement coming, and with that conspiracy plot just waiting for further detail, plenty of additional fun waiting down the line. It’s all minor events in KnA’s world right now, but don’t bet on it staying this way for long.

After all the fun of potential killers flinging about previously you’d expect KnA to delve deeper into that bombshell for obvious reasons—i.e. aggravating suspense—but this time we got more of what I expected for the first little while: character introductions. For all we know about the cast so the majority actually remain black boxes underneath the archetype fluff, and Yunhua was the first of them to receive some fleshing out. No real shockers concerning the girl of course: her quietness and melancholy is entirely down to backstory, with one ridiculous mother having some obscene effects on how Yunhua perceives the world and her role in it. I’d say it’s a little surprising her goal is to be a singer (not the first dream that comes to mind with a mentality liker that), but then again it’s not the first character here who’s wound up having an interest or skills seemingly conflicting with personality. That’s right Zack, I’m looking at you.

Where KnA proved surprising this week though was definitely in its plot setup, and not really for the right reasons. Anyone with post-secondary ecology learning can effectively tear KnA’s description of ecological niches a new one for example, as suggestions of conscious species evolution and ecological positioning can quickly lead to some very bad misunderstandings. Simply put species of all make and variety—especially those lower on the nervous system complexity chain—do not “decide” to fill a gap missing in the current ecosystem and develop towards that goal, it’s a randomized process occurring over years to millennia that’s predicated on the principles of natural selection. I can get behind some sentient magic mushrooms deliberately manipulating things to their benefit (a la your typical Star Trek plot), but a basic fungus deliberately arranging the whole thing? That’s a little much even for this kind of sci-fi. At least we got some choice interactions out of the whole crazy setup, because if there’s one thing KnA has proven quite good at so far, it’s having its cast do some ridiculously spontaneous and entertaining things when the urge strikes.

Whether or not KnA continues on the same path of episodic development in the immediate future is anyone’s guess right now of course, but considering the attempted murder mystery elements apparently at play, I wouldn’t bet on conventionality being followed here for long.

July 24, 2019 at 10:39 pm
16 comments »
  • July 24, 2019 at 11:40 pmMagnus Tancred

    I’d say it’s a little surprising her goal is to be a singer (not the first dream that comes to mind with a mentality liker that), but then again it’s not the first character here who’s wound up having an interest or skills seemingly conflicting with personality.

    Her dreams got nipped in the bud by her toxic mother, that’s why her personality developed that way. Her face looked a lot brighter when she was younger.

  • July 24, 2019 at 11:57 pmKessler

    Plants were manipulating fungus and animals, by releasing toxins/antidote. Fungus wasn’t a mastermind, just a crop grown by, I guess in some way sentient, plants. I liked the whole concept, the series is pretty light sci-if, but it makes things fun.

    P.S. My main realism gripe for episode was how undomesticated animals could be easily ridden.

    • July 25, 2019 at 10:48 pmPancakes

      If it was sentient it would make sense, but there wasn’t any mention of it being a possibility so my biology knowledge got rubbed the wrong way haha.

      And as for the riding of the animals funnily enough I thought it made a little more sense. Herbivores being dumb and happy and easily manipulated is another ubiquitous sci-fi trope :P

  • July 25, 2019 at 2:02 amewok40k

    space survival rule no1:
    always ahve helmet on when on unknown planets, even if atmosphere is breathable
    there is all kind of biohazard out there ready to kill you

    at least Yunhua has some light shed on her past and reasons why she acts so
    also, what kind of lame power is singing… she is still useless
    unless they stray into Macross territory

    • July 25, 2019 at 3:03 amMagnus Tancred

      1. Right-o about the helmet. It’s something I’ve wondered. Space camp planet was OK as it’s a known planet (presumably with environmental controls), but on uninhabited worlds, better not risk it. I remember an episode of Voltron where one of the explorer teams got in trouble because it turned out the planet’s atmosphere had lower oxygen content. :O

      2. Her singing calmed them down, I guess? What’s important in this case is her character development; her discovery of the medicinal plant, albeit in a serendipitous manner, upgraded her status from dead weight (in her eyes) to lifesaver. While it’s likely that other characters will be in focus in the next episode, it would be nice to show her being more proactive, whether in helping themselves survive, or simply hanging out and interacting with the others.

    • July 25, 2019 at 11:28 amLoliHat

      Their suits might not have enough breathable oxygen for extended periods of time.

      Also, Yunhua made the connection between a cure and the flower pod, so she was responsible for finding the solution.

      • July 25, 2019 at 10:50 pmPancakes

        Pretty much this, the entire episode was a way to show Yunhua not being as useless as she thinks she is and actually doing certain things the others would not be as quick to do.

  • July 25, 2019 at 9:05 amChris hall

  • July 25, 2019 at 10:02 amWorldwidedepp

    Someone in reddit, dropped the old name “Uninhabited Planet Survival” and some parallels is here visible. Just that Kanata no Astra still have their Spaceship.

    I marathon the “Uninhabited Planet Survival” and i think at the present time with some tweaks here and there would still be watchable

    Just some Arc was to strong for the Anime, it was way out of their league. Also in the end we had 3 deaths

    i hope here they avoid this

    • July 25, 2019 at 1:05 pmmac65

      Nothing looks like a death flag to me on any of the characters.

      But I wonder if we’ll get to the heart of the mystery. Like that
      bubble that transported them, no one mentions anything about its
      technology. Other than being surprised about being dropped in the
      middle of space near a ship, no one said anything about the technology
      used to get them there (at least I don’t remember hearing anything).

      Also, what happened to the gun from the last episode? Guess I expected
      to see it again this episode…

      All in all, still a good series — a nice kinda science fiction that
      explains things rather than “that’s the way it works” about the
      plants and the animals relationship. So, there are no “animal”
      predators; plants are the predators.

  • July 25, 2019 at 1:29 pmNayrael

    There is more Star Trek here than ever was in Discovery XP

    • July 25, 2019 at 10:51 pmPancakes

      Hah you’re not wrong there! XD

      • July 26, 2019 at 9:26 amWorldwidedepp

        o.O

  • July 25, 2019 at 4:47 pmGaachi

    No man sky the anime. There are fungal planets in game. Good to see alien creatures which look like aliens not humans in suits. Reminds me of classic pulp sci fi from the 40s and 50s. Classic space opera. Its done well.Compare with uninhabited planet survive. came out 2003.This is A trimmed down version. done better.. I love the series done well. it has its faults but entertaining. Killing them seems excessive. Just mire them in bureaucracy and pointless work.
    Its a light novel so plot will be thin. Im enjoying it though.

  • July 25, 2019 at 10:50 pmSMinstrel

    My suspension of disbelief is already running on overdrive since the first planet, so this fungus thing doesn’t bother me.

  • July 26, 2019 at 7:55 pmMcLXIX

    Studio Lerche doing there best adapting this anime.

    Even cutting the opening and the ending this episode which sucks because I think they’re both awesome.

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