Genre: Sci-fi, Adventure, Shounen Season: Summer 2019 Episodes: 12 Score: 8.5\/10 On the surface, Kanata no Astra is a futuristic anime about space exploration, showcasing an advanced Utopian civilization as well as its modern sci-fi tech. Despite the anime seemingly innocent first impression, it is one of those anime that will immediately suck you in due to the straightforward approach to its plot buildup. Kanata no Astra plot is simple enough to follow. A group of high school students embarked on a field trip to another planet, McPa. However, an unidentified spherical object, let's call it USO, somehow teleported them into space. Luckily, the students were somehow teleported next to an abandoned spaceship. After realizing they were thousand of light-years away from home, they must make the tough decision of whether to die alone in space or work together to return home. Some of my initial thoughts of this show are that it somewhat reminded me of the series Kakumeiki Valvrave. Like Kakumeiki Valvrave, the initial plot buildup is extremely fast-paced. Within the first episode, viewers are thrown into chaos as characters were met with some of their first deadly challenges. Think of it as an extreme 'hook' to a sophisticated research essay. The 'hook' definitely worked, and I quickly find myself sucked into binge-watching the entire series. In terms of character development, Kanata no Astra is quite frankly straightforward, yet unique in its own ways. In fact, viewers learn more about the members of the Astra crew as more challenges arise. From poisonous plants and carnivorous Wyverns to ship failures and natural disasters, these challenges proved to further allow the Astra crew to formulate a deeper bond. In addition, it is also a way for the anime to introduce its dynamic characters. Overall, Kanata no Astra straightforward approach to character development ultimately succeed, and it did not fail to suck me into the very end. One thing that Kanata no Astra did wrong, however, is its somewhat forced comedy as well as the occasional cringe-worthy dialogues during serious and emotional moments, especially during the first 3 episodes. Although I felt the need to watch them to truly understand the theme of the anime, I always feel the compulsion to either look away or roll my eyes. It might be just me and my picky taste in anime, however, I truly feel that Kanata no Astra could have done better in delivering their comedic punchlines as well as making emotional feel natural rather than being forced. Conclusion: Kanata no Astra is definitely a surprise for me. To be honest, I was expecting the anime to be a harem\/romance genre, and that it would contain something along the lines of epic space battles. However, different from what my initial thoughts are, Kanata no Astra definitely went beyond my expectations with its well thought out plot and character development. Though there might be cringe-worthy moments throughout the show, Kanata no Astra is still definitely worth the watch for its amazing adventure that the Astra crew must go through to return home.