Anime Best in Show

Review: Astra Lost in Space Episode 06 – Best In Show

Quick Summary

In Astra Lost in Space episode 06, "Secret," Ulgar Zweig held a pistol to Luca Esposito's forehead, obviously leading the crew to conclude he was the traitor. He told them that no, he wasn't their enemy, but he was still going to kill Luca. He then told the story of how Luca's father the senator was behind his brother's "accidental" death. Can Aries Spring's good will change Ulgar's mind? Can Kanata Hoshijima do anything to defuse the situation? And why does Luca seem angry instead of terrified? 

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Best Moment in the Show

Some moments feel inevitable after you see them. Not because they're contrived, but because they flow naturally from the characters and situations. Capture from the Hulu stream.

In an episode that had some really dramatic moments, you might think my choice of Best of Show moment is something else. I mean, Ulgar's backstory was powerful; Luca's backstory was surprising and unexpected, yet flowed seamlessly within this show's narrative framework. And then there's the cliff-hanger that came out of the blue! Generally speaking, any one of those moments could have been my favorite in an episode.

So what was my favorite moment?

Just before the tsunami struck, Zach Walker got the Astra airborne. Kanata got to the boarding ramp and tried to help Ulgar and Luca board, but the wave hit them and knocked the last two off the ramp. Luca managed to grab a branch to avoid being swept away, and generous soul that he is, he grabbed Ulgar's arm to prevent him from being washed away. Ulgar still felt conflicted (well, he had just pointed a gun at Luca's forehead!), but Luca snapped that there was no way he'd let a companion get killed. As Ulgar tried to protest further, Luca said, ""Shut up, wannabe lone wolf! Quit yapping and hold on" (13:55).

At this point, I'm thinking "Good for you, Luca!" I'm not sure I could be that generous. But Ulgar wasn't done. Instead of encouraging him to hold on, Ulgar felt terrible remorse and knew he was putting Luca in danger. The strain was already showing in his grip on the branch, after all. Saying he didn't want to add the two of them to Kanata's list of regrets (recalling Kanata's teacher who died in the woods), Ulgar let go (14:14). Ulgar prepared to drown.

Then my favorite moment happened.

I honestly think Ulgar was trying to be noble -- maybe redeem himself for what he'd done to Luca -- when he let go of Luca's hand. Capture from the Hulu stream.

A shadow hit him, and he was shocked to see Kanata leaping from the hovering ship. A cable trailed behind him; Charce Lecroix operated the winch. However, Ulgar was exhausted, and he couldn't hold on. He was also slippery. He told Kanata to "do what you have to do."

But Kanata was ready for this moment. Ever since he lost his teacher, he'd been preparing. Saying he never wanted to go through that again, he said "That's why I've been lifting weights this whole time!"

Katana leaping from the ship was just such a Kanata thing to do. It was heroic and it was reckless and it was brave. But best of all? It wasn't random. He'd been preparing himself just for such moments. That's why I like his character so much. He learned from his past and he prepared for the future.

What did you think of the confrontation between Ulgar and Luca in this episode? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Review: Astra Lost in Space Episode 06 – Best In Show

  1. Luca has been my favourite character from episode one, but I still wasn’t prepared for this episode. He impressed me the most while he had the gun pointed on him; honest, straight-forward emotion. No lying about Dad. Just straight forward honesty, which must have involved a gamble with his life. I think I just like his attitude (also expressed in the line 7mononoke quoted).

    Also, I now know for sure that it’s okay for me to say “he”. For some reason I was never sure about that.

    When the show’s good, it’s really good and cements its status as being among the favourites of the season (if not even the favourite, though it’s wrestling with Wasteful Days of High School Girls for that spot, which has grown on me to a surprising extent.)

    1. “He impressed me the most while he had the gun pointed on him”

      That was good stuff. It’s hard to be courageous with a gun literally in your face! But he responded with what seemed to me to be complete honesty.

      “I think I just like his attitude ”

      It’d be hard for me not to like his attitude. I want to work with or hang out with people like Luca.

      “Also, I now know for sure that it’s okay for me to say “he”. For some reason I was never sure about that.”

      I think it was refreshing how clear he was about that in this episode. It was a relief — I don’t want to offend even a fictional character if I can help it (because mental attitudes burst out under the wrong circumstances)!

      Yeah, I know — I’m an idiot. But I’m a writer, and my characters react badly within my imagination if I don’t align my inner dialogue with the real world.

      “When the show’s good, it’s really good and cements its status as being among the favourites of the season”

      That’s good to hear! I always enjoy reading your perspective, so that means the chances are higher you’ll visit and share your thoughts!

  2. Beautifully written as usual. 🙂 That was a good favorite moment. Like you, any of the parts with Luca and Ulgar could have been my favorites. If I had to choose a best in show moment, it was one of Luca’s lines. It’s when he’s explaining his intersexuality. He says, “But, no matter what, I am who I am. I don’t treat it like a big problem.” 🙂

    1. “If I had to choose a best in show moment, it was one of Luca’s lines. It’s when he’s explaining his intersexuality. He says, “But, no matter what, I am who I am. I don’t treat it like a big problem.””

      That _was_ a beautiful line, wasn’t it? Luca’s character just keeps getting better and better! I really admire his confidence.

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