Anime Best in Show

Review: Astra Lost in Space Episode 10 – Best In Show

Quick Summary

In Astra Lost in Space episode 10,  "Culprit," the crew use their knowledge of history to compare notes with Polina Livinskaya, since they now know their home planet, Astra, is not the home planet Polina was expecting (Earth). The histories are practically identical up to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which unfolded very differently according to Astra's natives. Later, they land on the last planet before Astra. As they begin gathering food, the glowing orb attacks Kanata Hoshijima, and he only escapes by encountering Aries Spring. Afraid that the traitor will now make a move, since there're no more planets let, Kanata comes up with a plan. Who does he suspect? Who can he trust to help him apprehend the culprit? Do any of them have any hope of getting off the planet alive?

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

Best Moment in the Show

Charce was surprised at how Kanata figured it out -- until he wasn't. Capture from the Hulu stream

I'll give you one more chance to delay reading this post if you haven't seen episode 10. We learn who sabotaged the communications device; we learn who was the saboteur. It's a major development that's well worth watching! So if you haven't seen the episode, please consider going to see it now.

True to what this series has shown us in the past, revealing that Charce Lecroix was the culprit -- notice I didn't say traitor -- was done with style and grace. From how Kanata figured it out, and particularly how he confirmed it; to how he "confided" in Charce and Zack Walker that he suspected Ulgar Zweig and wanted their help apprehending him; how the camera angles made it unclear whose wrist Kanata was twisting until the last instant; even how the entire crew turning up (as was appropriate -- they've all earned the right) for the interrogation. That was some fine interplay between plot and character. 

My Best in Show moment was what I consider a perfect example of that interplay. At the beginning of the episode, Kanata had almost figured out who the culprit was. But his memory was hazy on one detail.

Kanata had informed everyone -- even the "suspect" -- without Charce being any the wiser. Capture from the Hulu stream

Who was it that the glowing sphere, a device we now know was a portable wormhole, consumed last? That would be the guilty party, because they would have wanted to make sure they'd gotten everyone.

When presented with that logic, Charce's mask slipped (20:51). "You think, in all that confusion, you remember who went in the sphere last? It's not like you were filming that incident..."

Then it hit him. He realized who Kanata had gone to for advice and why. 

"Yes," Kanata confirmed. "Aries remembered."

Do you recall how we learned she had a photographic memory? That detail proved to be critical in confirming the culprit was Charce. I think it's wonderful when a show treats details like that with such respect. It rewards the viewers for being observant. 

It call came down to Aries' photographic memory. What it revealed broke her heart. Capture from the Hulu stream

On a side-note, wasn't it almost heart-breaking to see Aries trying to give Charce every chance to deny the accusation? She didn't want to believe anyone was the traitor. That's why I'm not prepared to come out and say that Charce betrayed them just let. I think there's more to the story.

What did you think of how the series handled the reveal? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Review: Astra Lost in Space Episode 10 – Best In Show

  1. I very nearly laughed when I saw Kanata pointing out Ulgar standing outside in his look-at-me-I’m-the-bad-guy pose. The moment I saw Charce in the room, I knew it was him. I mean I suspected him anyway. The “who” is a diversion anyway. The real mystery is the why. I mean in a worst-case scenario they’re coming home, reveal the plot and get executed for being illegal clones. It’s not out of the question. And what would you do if you knew all that?

    It’s possible the sphere might have targeted Kanata specifically, because Charce is jealous about Aries’ liking him? I’m not giving up on the Seira/Aries connection; they looked too much alike (and that’s viewer exclusive information, since I’m pretty sure he didn’t tell them that).

    And, yeah, the puppet is up to no good. Those who planned the entire situation mentioned it specifically, according to what Funicia overheard.

    The direction, though, was really good. There were moments where I almost felt it would possible that it’s not Charce. Is it any wonder that Masaomi Andou is one of my favourite anime directors? (Hakumei to Mikochi –> White Album 2 –> School Live –> Kanata no Astra –> Scum’s Wish –> Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle [forgettable other than the reaction faces] –> Muv Luv Alternative:Total Eclipse [dropped])

    1. “I very nearly laughed when I saw Kanata pointing out Ulgar standing outside in his look-at-me-I’m-the-bad-guy pose.”

      Wasn’t that awesome?

      “The real mystery is the why.”

      That’s why I’m not willing to call Charce a villain yet. I’m dying to know what’s really going with Polina/Earth and the puppet/Astra’s government (or whoever/whatever it’s aligned with).

      The way this show’s been executing, I’m pretty confident they’re going to deliver something interesting.

      “It’s possible the sphere might have targeted Kanata specifically, because Charce is jealous about Aries’ liking him?”

      Jealousy, huh? That’s interesting!

      “There were moments where I almost felt it would possible that it’s not Charce.”

      Even with Kanata was wrestling with the worm hole controls, I told myself, “Yep, that’s Charce!” But I still wasn’t _sure_!

      And the same director did School Live? And Muv Luv Alternative? I thought the former did an amazing job; I loved the first 2/3 of the latter. Can’t really put my finger on why the last 1/3 felt unsatisfying to me.

      What I hope doesn’t happen here is that we get a major cliff hanger, only to end the first season!

Please let me know what you think!

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