Kanata no Astra was one of those shows I really didn't think I was going to like. I'm typically not a fan of Sci-Fi related stuff, and from what I had seen of it prior made it look like some sort of harem anime. I am fully willing to admit I was wrong. It might be because I went in with low expectations, but I was certainly very pleasantly surprised with this series.
The story was somewhat all over the place; at least in terms of plot holes and backstories and world building/lore. However it had interesting concepts that I felt were unique to see explored. Again, I don't watch a lot of Sci-Fi but the ideas and issues discussed within this show were very attention grabbing to me. Dealing with government issues, family - and I LOVE me some found family trope, alright? - and other futuristic world concerns, Kanata no Astra might not have the strongest backstory/world overall, but the ongoing story that concerns the characters is amazing. Again, I'm such a sucker for found family tropes. It's good stuff. I will get to the rest of this with discussion of the characters.
The art is pretty darn good! There was little to no fan service and what was done wasn't boom in your face gross, like I was partially expecting it to be. The character designs are very nice, the art done for all the different planets and outer space elements were definitely unique and vibrant, while the camera effects and animation style added rather than detracted from the show. I'll put music and such in here too; the voice acting was pretty darn good! The sound effects and music set the tone for each episode properly.
The characters took the show. Everything else was just side stuff (and some of it was really good!) but the characters were truly the selling point for me. I laughed with these characters, cried with them, got angry with them. They all have such different personalities and quirks and flaws and skills and they just feel real. That's something this show does well is immerses its viewers with its characters and makes you feel like you're part of the journey. Sure, the plot gets a little convoluted and bizarre, but seeing these characters bond and overcome such pressing obstacles, never giving up hope, makes you want to root for them and makes their victories feel like yours as well! Such a stellar cast of characters.
All in all, if I could choose to erase this show from my memories just to experience it again for the first time, I would. I really, really enjoyed and hopefully others will too! It's a fairly underrated show, as I don't see it discussed very often. Which is honestly one of the main reasons I wrote this review.