Kanata no Astra – Episode 9

This wasn’t quite a transition episode, but it felt that way to me since it went back to focusing on the relationships between the characters instead of advancing in terms of information that we were given. Well, except at the end, but besides that it’s just really a confirmation of things that had been hinted at beforehand and that characters must come to terms with.

The reveal hit the hardest and most obviously on Quitterie, like always. It was tough for all of them to find out and it was a very emotional episode. I like the relationship between Kanata and Ulgar the most now, since they have made tremendous progress in their friendship. It was interesting to see that Charce was the least affected, but his explanation is believable. They have forgotten about the fact there might be a spy or an enemy, I feel like i’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop on that one.

It was interesting to have the originals’ meeting right after the children discuss the reveal. They are all despicable people and this was very well presented. Luca’s original is really weird, but he’s also a sort of genius. His idea behind making Luca both sexes was really intriguing too, something an artist would come up with. The differences in talent explains why they had such a mixed group of individuals attempting this in the first place, but yeah, they’re all very narcissistic and gross.

With this show I can’t avoid commenting on the humor every week and this time it won’t be the exception. The group scenes where Zach and Quitterie announce they will be getting married are absolutely hilarious. The voice actors really make a great job at portraying things properly and giving each character a palpable identity. The dialogue itself is super funny already and although i haven’t read the manga, I’m going to assume this part of it was done great justiced when adapted into animation form. Aries and Zach take the cake this time around.

My favorite thing about this episode was the comment about how both nature and nurture (DNA and your experiences) both influence your personality and what you’ll actually be like. This puts emphasis on how different the clones are to the originals and how even Quitterie and Funni are pretty different. I’m an identical twin and me and my sister are super different, so it’s interesting to see explanations to this. Of course it’s just fiction, but they present it in a way that makes it seem like it’s true.

Finally, I must comment on the last reveal of the episode. The music and Polina’s reaction made it seem much more dramatic than it actually felt for me, but although the reveal that they’re not from Earth was not particularly expected by me, it doesn’t really shock me as much as it seems it should have. We were never told that they were from Earth. Considering that they already have space travel and both Charce and Aries mentioned transfering from a different place, I imagined they were from a human colony of sort if a different planet and that there were several of them.

This does open up that other storyline of what happened to Earth. Maybe this is connected to how Polina reacted to what year it was. Either way, I’m looking forward to them going to the next planet (imagine if that one is actually Earth! Though I doubt it since they would have recognized the name) and then getting home and seeing how the originals deal with that. There’s just a few more episodes left and several things to address, so I wonder what else is in store for viewers of Kanata no Astra.

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4 Responses

  1. Katy says:

    I feel like we’ve finally gotten far enough along in the story that I can chime in without fear of spoiling.

    The announcement of Zach and Quitterie’s engagement was so, so much better than I remember it being in the manga. This is definitely one of those times that voice acting, sound effects and movements add so much to a scene. I was giggling so much.

    The revelation at the end was, in fact, the ending panel for the manga chapter that dealt with these events. I think they’ve been pretty faithful in ending the episode on the final page of a manga chapter, with one exception. IIRC, Polina’s reveal came in the middle of a chapter, and the prior chapter actually ended with the reveal of the second Astra (ship). It’s a shame they didn’t end the episode with that, because I feel like it laid the groundwork for much more theorizing for first-time viewers.

    All in all, I’ve been very happy with this show. Compared to the source material, it’s one of the most faithful adaptations I can think of. Ironically, this episode was one of the first that had significant cuts, probably for time. There was a lot more discussion in the manga about what Funi and Quitterie’s test results meant for everyone else and further testing to prove that more of the crew were clones. The episode seemed to hand-wave away those concerns to focus on Kanata touching base with everyone, the party and engagement announcement, and setting up the cliffhanger.

    For better or for worse, I think the early translations of the manga DID have the characters reference the name of their home planet as Earth. Kanata’s announcement that their planet’s name was Astra was a bit more mind-blowing because of it.

    I hope you enjoy what’s to come!

    • Tsuyoku says:

      It’s interesting to know about the source material! Thank you for offering the comparison. I definitely hope to enjoy what’s to come as well.

  2. Sam says:

    I’ve been enjoying this anime up until now. It’s been pretty good at laying enough breadcrumbs that we can figure out things for ourselves slightly ahead of the characters but not too far ahead.

    However I’ve come to realise that there are things I don’t like about this series. I’m totally fine with the twist that the kids aren’t from Earth. However I don’t like the fact that their home planet has the same name as their ship and they never once commented on it. In the first episode when Zack explains that Astra is an old word for star and they decided on that being the name of the ship no-one mentions that it is the same name as their home world.

    I also find it passing strange that neither Quitterie or Zack noticed how much Funicia looked like a younger Quitterie. Not noticing that you look just like your parent makes more sense because of the age gap and the fact that you never interacted with your parent as a child. Surely Zack or Quitterie have photos of themselves from when they were younger. I could see Zack looking at Funicia then going through his digital archive and finding a photo of a younger Quitterie to compare her with.

    I’ve come to realise that the biggest flaw of this series for me is that it relies on these characters either not noticing or not commenting on obvious things in order to keep the audience in the dark until the reveal. And none of the characters are stupid enough for it to make sense.

    The closest analogy I can think of for no-one realising Quitterie and Funicia are identical is no-one being able to tell Clark Kent and Superman are the same person because of a pair of glasses. I let that slide because it’s deeply rooted in the character’s history but if someone came up with that trope today I wouldn’t let it slide.

    • Tsuyoku says:

      Very good point. I also felt something was a bit off but couldn’t quite put my finger on it until now and you articulated it perfectly. It feels convenient to just skip these things and bring them up later on, but it’s also a bit like cheating the audience. I feel this kind of narrative is a bit common in stories with convoluted plot twists.

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