Astra Lost in Space is a sci-fi space adventure series created by Kenta Shinohara, also the mangaka behind the slice of life comedy Sket Dance and the popular rom-com Witch Watch. However, for those interested in space exploration, tense drama and a compelling coming-of-age story, the underrated Astra Lost in Space is absolutely worth checking out. Here's what the story is about, and how newcomers can get started with both the manga and anime.

The Plot of Astra Lost in Space

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In Astra Lost in Space, a group of teenage students from Caird High School embark on a space expedition to the planet of McPa as part of their school’s Planetary Camp experience. When they arrive on McPa, however, they encounter a mysterious sphere of light that transports them into a deeper area of space, far away from their home planet. While floating around in space they discover an abandoned spaceship, which they name Astra, and decide to embark on it. Under the leadership of Kanata Hoshijima and the amateur space pilot of the Astra, Zack Walker, the group set out on a journey to return home while visiting various other alien planets.

Although the premise of Astra Lost in Space is simple -- a group of high school students are lost in space and are trying to find their way back home -- there’s much more to this story than it appears. Each character has a unique personality and trauma they are trying to battle within themselves. As the students travel alongside one another, each one fights to overcome a personal trial, allowing their friendship with each other to strengthen. Furthermore, as they travel back home, they learn the actual, shocking purpose of their “class trip.”

Where to Read the Astra Lost in Space Manga

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The Astra Lost in Space manga won the 12th Manga Taisho Award in 2019, as well as the 51st Seiun Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 2020. It was serialized from May 2016-December 2017 on Shueisha’s Shonen Jump+ website and app and was then published online on Weekly Shonen Jump in the U.S.

The series was also published into five volumes and licensed for English release by Viz Media. All five English-translated manga are on sale in paperback format at the following websites: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Viz Media for $9.99 each or RightStufAnime for $7.99 each. For fans of digital copies, they are available on Viz Media’s website for $6.99 or ComiXology’s and Barnes & Noble’s websites for $6.49 each.

Where to Watch the Astra Lost in Space Anime

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The Astra Lost in Space anime was produced by Lerche and consisted of 12 episodes, airing in 2019. The entire series can be streamed on Funimation and Hulu in Japanese with subtitles or English dubbed. For physical collectors, the entire series is available on Blu-ray as well. The Blu-ray includes special features such as a commentary for Episode 6 and promotional videos of the series. The original retail price for the collection is $64.98, but it's available at cheaper prices on RightStuf ($43.87), Funimation ($48.74) and Amazon ($49.99).

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