Space exploration is both exciting and filled with threatening dangers. The 2019 anime Astra Lost In Space beautifully captured the thrills and challenges of adventuring through space. This emotional, well-plotted series lasted only one season, but it should be regarded as a hidden gem.

The premiere episode sets the tone. Aries Spring is a girl who attends a trip with a number of other teenagers to the planet McPa. This trip originally is supposed to be a relaxing experience, but when these teenagers lower their guard they are sucked into an orb of light that takes them deep into space. While they are fortunate enough to have space gear and helmets, they all struggle to unite together on an abandoned nearby ship. On their ship called the Aries, these teenagers discover they have to travel and take pit stops at multiple planets on their journey home.

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The characters of Astra Lost In Space bounce off of each other well. Stories centered around groups are dependent on the ways that individual personalities connect with each other, and as these teenagers carry out their adventure, they end up building camaraderie. One stand-out character is Yun-Hua, a girl who starts the show as a shy girl whose personal experiences with her mother restrict her from opening up. Undergoing this adventure, she becomes more confident and embraces her own talents. All the characters go through major changes over the course of the series.

As the story deepens, mysteries about the teenagers' predicament are unveiled. The dangers are not just external -- the crew faces danger from within through a traitor related to the cause of this incident. The presence of this traitor forces the crew to adapt to those circumstances, not wanting to lower the team's morale with a witch-hunt while at the same time not entirely neglecting this potential problem.

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The planets that Aries’ crew face are all interesting. It’s important for the crew to stock up on inventory such as food, and as they visit their various destinations they have to adapt to the planet’s resources. Not every environment is particularly hospitable, so they have to avoid becoming prey to the organisms that would eat them. In regards to their survival, every crew member has their role to play. Whether it be the role of a medic or as the leader of the crew, this show reveals how they end up needing each other in order to achieve their goals.

The show's conclusion is probably one of the most well-executed anime endings in recent memory, with enough finality to leave the viewer satisfied with the show's short but sweet run. Of course, this show is such a gem that it wouldn’t be upsetting to have more material in this universe. However, this particulary story of Aries’ crew doesn’t require any additional content. If you want a great show that you can binge through quickly, make time for Astra: Lost in Space.

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