The year is 2061, when space travel is now possible and commercially viable, and the students of Caird High School embark on their Planet Camp.
But soon after Group B5 arrived at their planetary camp site, a mysterious and unforeseen sentient light sphere warps its 9 members into outer space, stranding them 5012 light years away from their home planet.
With the discovery of an old, unmanned spaceship nearby, the students must stay strong, manage their limited resources and remain united in the darkness of space, so that all of them can survive their long and likely perilous trek back home aboard the Astra.
I came across this series right after consuming one of SJ’s recent series The Promised Neverland. A friend I know on Twitter recommended two titles to me, Kimetsu no Yaiba and Astra Lost in Space. The latter was the one he loved the most and he told me it was a more obscure SJ title that has yet to see deserved praise. Given my sense of empathy, I wanted to look into Astra Lost in Space first to see if I would love it as my friend.
I was highly impressed with the art and character design, immediately thinking about why this has become notable
to the manga community. Astra Lost in Space does start out fairly generic with a nice little premise about nine kids being mysteriously sent to space, wanting to return to their home planet. As the chapters progress, I gradually started to get attached to the characters. The combination of teamwork and leadership with the element of survival on an unknown planet created intrigue and decent character development.
As the story progresses (Particularly in the halfway point), the plot starts to really kick in with so many plot twists that made all of the character development more impactful. The connections the kids have had some of the most intense moments that highly entertained me and had me caring for the characters by a big degree. Reading that last chapter, seeing everyone happy with things back to normal, I could not help but feel empty.
Astra Lost in Space is a short, but powerful journey about friendship. I highly recommend reading the entire series in a day, as the manga has only 49 chapters. Give it time to let its story take loose, and I can guarantee you will be hooked to the end. I really hope to see an anime adaptation in 2018, because the creator (Kenta Shinomura) deserves to earn many rewards for creating a fantastic manga. I look forward to his next work. I hope his new series will follow similarly to Astra in terms of focusing on great character development and story.
Okay wow, I don't know why no one has reviewed this manga yet, but I'll give it my best. Do realize that I am only on chapter 43 (which is the most recent chapter as of October 18th, 2017) so I might have to update my rating as more chapters are released. I'll try not to spoil anything, so my review will be pretty generic and non-specific just to avoid those small spoilers, but I'm only human so there will be tinise tiny spoilers ahead. I'll keep it small, but I won't be going over individual character traits or plot details, but other than that
we should be good!
Where do I even begin? I guess I'll start off with the category I ranked the lowest: The story (8).
Now the story for this manga goes something along the lines of some famous sci-fi media like "Event Horizon," "No Man's Sky," and "Firefly". The best line I can think of from firefly to describe this manga is "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!" Honestly it sums up the whole premise of this manga. But incase that didn't help you understand the plot line I'll spell it out a bit more clearly for you. In the not so distant future, human kind has evolved enough that we can travel from one planet to another, and we have invented a way to travel faster than the speed of light. This enables us to send kids to camp, like most parents of elementary schoolers do, EXCEPT IT'S TO OTHER PLANETS. But unfortunately for our characters, everything goes south extremely quickly. I think they are on that original camping planet for maybe a page. MAYBE. From there the story line takes a bit of the premise of No Man's Sky and runs with it (except they do a waaaaayy better job than no man's sky did of space exploration). Honestly, if not for all the "stuff" that happens along the way I'd really love the plot line. But the drama that pops up is necessary but done weirdly so it detracts a little bit from the story overall.
Next up is the Art category (9)
I'm definitely not an art critic, but the art in this manga is really clean, well done, and extremely nice to look at. The mangaka does an amazing job at detailing alien flora and fauna, although the lips seem to be a troubling point for the artist as all of the alien lips in the series are a bit........ weird.
After that comes the most important category, Character (9)
I honestly was really surprised by this one, there were a lot of twists and turns, but each character has their own moment of glory, and their own time to develop. In forty something chapters, there's a pretty good amount of development for each character although there is a Naruto like character in this series where everything he does he succeeds in so if that's not your thing then abandon all hope. I honestly liked all the characters in this series and I have only found to truly dislike one character for reasons I'll avoid stating.
I started this series today October 18th, 2017 at around 9 or 10 pm. I have just finished binge reading the entire series that has been translated as of today (up to chapter 43) and I'm now writing a review for it. I haven't wanted to binge reading something in quite a while, and usually if I do get the urge it dies out after ten or so chapters. But nope, here I am having to write a review for this manga because I loved it so much after binge reading every chapter. It's a great series if you are interested in shounen like manga based in space. Imagine what No Man's Sky should've been, with a touch of FireFly.
I gotta average the scores of this one, and it almost reaches 10, it so close that it can taste it. If it weren't for the predictable plot points, the weird alien lips, and the "bad guy" character in this series, I'd have rated it a full 10. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and had to binge read the entire series in one go, the characters were amazing, the art was eye catching, and the story was able to keep up with the rest of it for the most part. Overall, I gotta say this manga is absolutely great and it should have a way higher rating that 7.whatever that it is currently rated.
If you're looking for a space exploration manga with likable characters and awesome plot, This is the manga for you
Story = 10
I like how the story unfolds, it isn't slow nor was it too fast-paced but just about the right amount. It hardly have any filler since each chapter builds up the story, stacks nicely, and how it kept me wanting for more.
Art = 9
""The art compliments the story"
It's a tip top quality as you can get. From the ships detail, to the scenery of different Biome, and the food they eat. Great quality.
Character = 9
If the plot is the cream, then the characters
are the cherry! Each have their own distinct character traits. Sure their archetypes are quite often used now and then, but they are handled quite smoothly so they aren't too annoying or boring for the readers.
Enjoyment = 9
Heck yeah! I like firefly and some swashbuckling space adventure so I got easily leashed on this series. A little side dish to relieve some taste from reading an abundant amount of Isekais that the manga industry is pumping this year.
In other word, Yes, this is worth the read as each adventure is enjoyable and just as amusing as the previous one.
Overall = 10
Give it a go and let 'er seep deep within your deepest darkest consciousness, to fill your companion longing heart, mind boggling plot that will keep your butt cheeks tighter to the chair like a vacuum sucker to keep you glued on to your reading chair, Let those serotonin spread all over the brain cell and feel...