Kanata no Astra – Episode 7 & Episode 8

Episode 7

Honestly, Charce’s story is again just a bit too convenient. This isn’t to say I don’t believe it, but after saying he’s been in the class with them, then saying he transfered is mighty suspicious. His excuses seem plausible enough, I suppose, and I’m all right with going along that he isn’t the enemy or the spy. Right now I’m suspecting they’ll pull off a sort of ‘it was Funni all along and she was psychologically programmed and that’s why she had to come!’ kind of twist later on, but it seems to be that the identity of this supposed spy matters less and less as we move along the narrative.

Charce’s story is interesting and I wonder if that friend he mentions will have any sort of relevance or appearance later on. The crew gets over that mix up real fast once the emotional moment is over and now the excitement of exploration of the new planet takes center stage. Icriss is a complex planet. It doesn’t rotate on its own axis, so this makes its geography very particular. One side is always being directly hit by sunlight and the other is always in the dark, so those two sides have very extreme temperatures and conditions. Only a band of the surface located where the two other zones collide in the middle of the planet is in habitable condition.

The characteristics of this planet were very well planned too, since it makes possible certain things later on that may have been perceived as miraculous otherwise.

As they get closer to the planet and try to find an area to land, the ship gets attacked by a native plant. The plants in this planet seem very aggressive! In the end the ship crashes down and the reactor for space travel gets damaged, so the crew is once again stranded in a planet they can’t escape from. As always, Quitterie is the first one to freak out. I am starting to like that about her, I think. As they discuss their options and try to recover from the bitter news, they mention the possibility of cryogenic sleep pods, which of course makes me see where the story is going right when the crew find another crashed ship, almost identical to the Astra, stranded close by the area they’re exploring.

In the end Zack, Kanata and Ulgar decide to check out the crashed ship and soon enough they find that the ship was not entirely abandoned, but there’s a help message waiting for them in the console. After they listen, they remember the crysleep pod, lo and behold! There a woman sleeping there and they decide to wake her up.

I thought it was a bit cruel that they woke her up without thinking twice about the fact that they were now also stranded on the planet and they might not be able to offer help to this person, but well, they’re kids and this was necessary for the plot to advance, but a bit of ethics wouldn’t have hurt here, in my opinion.

Episode 8

Once again the comedy in this show is on point! Quitterie and Luca are the best at setting up the pace for it. Anyway, this was a very well-balanced episode in terms of comedy, sci-fi and reveals. Polina makes a pretty interesting addition to the cast. She’s still weak and doesn’t quite understand much yet of what’s going on and how the kids got their hands in the ship, but once she finds out they may not be able to leave the planet, it’s quite a shock.

This conundrum is easily solved by Aries who suggests to Zack the (honestly obvious) idea of combining the two ships in order to repair their own. It works out and they have a working ship soon enough. Charce also made some pretty useful discoveries about the plants of the Icriss planet so it seems they won’t have food shortages either.

The three highlights on the episode are the scene between Zack and Quitterie as they discuss their future plans. The description of their families is note-worthy and then we get sidetracked by their confessions. What a cute and funny moment that was! The similarity between Zack and his father doesn’t go unnoticed and the fact that he described himself as a sort of doll was a very poignant choice of words.

Polina’s conversation with Yunhua was the second interesting point. She seems to be hiding some pretty important knowledge about what the future was supposed to be like and it somehow seems like nothing happened? Pretty intriguing. I can’t wait to see what kind of conversations  they will have with her after the big discovery made by Zack at the end of the episode becomes public news with the crew.

Which takes me to the third highlight! It’s finally confirmed that Quitterie and Funni are the same person! Kanata is the first one to find out and we didn’t get to see their reactions, but Zack seems to have figured out a lot of things from these results. I can’t wait for next week and more testing and hopefully bigger reveals.

4 thoughts on “Kanata no Astra – Episode 7 & Episode 8

  1. A few weeks ago I theorised that some or all of these characters are clones of their “parents”. The thing I wasn’t sure of was why.

    Zack’s mention of his “father’s” research into memory transplantation suggests that it might have been some scheme to achieve some kind of immortality by cloning yourself and transplanting your mind/memories into your clone.

    If Yunhua is a clone of her “mother” and her “mother” didn’t want that fact getting out then the last thing she would want is Yunhua drawing attention to herself. If people started paying too much attention to Yunhua they might notice how much she resembled her “mother”.

    Aries might be a clone of Charce’s childhood friend Seira. Seeing as Aries is Seira spelt backwards.

    I have so many questions that I’m tempted to read the manga to find out the answers. So far I’ve managed to resist but the further along we get in the story the more I want to know.

    1. I suppose to carry on legacy or for organ harvesting as they are the most common ones, but the memory transplant experimentation really was the missing link for this to make more sense, yeah. Good attention to detail! I didn’t catch Aries’ name being Seira backwards, but it would explain why Charce feels a sort of pull towards Aries as well.

      I’m in your same position! I’ve been trying really hard not to pick up the manga because I don’t want to ruin the viewing experience for myself, so I’ll hold out, but it’s so exciting and mysterious that sometimes I just want to know!

  2. Some plot points from episode 5, because all of it is relevant to the reveal in this episode.

    1) Human Genome Management Project. What is it meant to do (we don’t know yet)? It could be a red herring, but it seems odd to bring up and note that Luca’s dad was the leader against it. Also something about illegal campaign donations.
    2) Yunhua and her mom have a mole on the exact same spot on their faces. Not even identical twins, who have the exact same DNA, experience this.
    3) Zack mentions that his dad and Quitterie’s mom are working on memory transfer technology.
    4) Some of the parents seem oddly eager to declare their children deceased. Specifically, only Aries’ mom and the woman to the left of her seemed to be still concerned about the kids.

    Now on to this episode. Remember the good old story-telling rule called Chekhov’s Gun; don’t introduce objects or characters that do not contribute to the story. There are now two unrelated plot points going on: Why was the assassination attempt made on the kids and why did Polina blurt “so nothing happened after all?”.

    1) Ulgar’s brother was investigating campaign finance violations, but said “he was in over his head” and was killed.
    2) After telling Lina that she was asleep for only 12 years, she panics and blurts out the line “so nothing happened after-all?”. Yunhua has no idea what she is talking about.
    3) Lina’s space suit appears to be archaic in design compared to the kids’ suits. It is bulkier and has a screw-on helmet. It looks closer to the technology we have today than the high-tech slim suits the kids have, but still more advanced than what astro/cosmonauts wear.
    4) Lina prays to god. It’s odd only in that we’ve never seen any of the kids or their parents do the same, and the show goes out of its way to have Lina pray.
    5) Zack’s dad’s research into memory transfer hit a brick wall. What was it, and does it tie to the cloning reveal?

    1. I hadn’t considered the praying, but it’s an interesting point. Another thing is that most of these children seem to have very unconventional family lives and upbringings. If someone is planning to transplant memories into them and carry on in their bodies, then what they experienced before is completely irrelevant. They are also being treated as disposable by the ones who know the truth.

      Another thing is that line from the parents episode, the ominous ‘it’s like having a part of me ripped’ or something along those lines. In retrospect it’s pretty heavy handed haha.

      I’m really super curious as to what Polina is talking about when she says nothing happened. Can’t wait for next week’s episode!

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