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Manga / Astra Lost in Space

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Astra Lost in Space is an online Shonen manga created by Kenta Shinohara of Sket Dance fame for the online Shonen Jump Plus app. It ended on December 30, 2017 with 49 chapters.

In the year 2063 A.D., eight high school students are sent to a space camp with a ten-year-old girl, only to be mysteriously teleported 5,012 light years away to the depths of space. Fortunately, the group finds an abandoned spaceship, which they dub the Astra. Furthermore, they learn that they can hop between a string of hospitable planets in relatively close proximity to one another to find their way back home. They travel their way through all sorts of dangerous environments, only to gradually unravel a bigger conspiracy...

The manga has been licensed by Viz Media in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries they cover. The series can be read (The first three chapters for free) on their website.


An anime adaptation will premiere in July 2019.

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Astra Lost in Space contains examples of:

  • Alternate History: We're led to believe that the series' world history diverged from ours sometime in the 1960's, with the Cuban Missile Crisis resulting in WW 3 and wiping out a big chunk of the world's population, leading to massive changes in the structure of the world. Though later revelations seem to suggest that there's something up with that history, given that Lina's time frame would set Earth's destruction a mere six years before the plot kicks off. And indeed there is, given that the entire populace agrees to set back the calendar 100 years and tell an alternate account of their history so that future generations can distance themselves from the horrific deeds of ages past and the tragedy of Earth's destruction.
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  • Always Someone Better: A comedic example in the final volume's omake. Quitterie released a moderately successful diary of her experiences in space, only to be beat out by Zack's novel. That is beat out by Charce's lifeform paper, but all of their books' popularity combined can't hold a candle to Yun-Hua's gravure magazine.
  • Apocalypse How: Type 6. A meteorite hit Earth, causing it to wipe out all life on the planet. The debris from that impact shaded sunlight to the point where the planet became completely encased in ice, sometime before the start of the story.
  • Beach Episode: The crew's trip to Arispade serves as one. As far as planets went so far, Arispade was the least openly hostile and had resources to spare, letting everyone breathe for a while and the girls to have their fun in swimsuits. At least, until Luca and Ulgar's respective family dramas come into play.
  • Blatant Lies: Despite being nothing more than the King's tool, and despite knowing his purpose as a clone, Charce still follows his every beck and call and was perfectly alright with dying as the king wills it. That's what he says, but he really did like bring part of the Astra crew. Kanata sees through the bull pretty quickly.
  • Captain's Log: Not Kanata, who's actually the captain, but Aries. She gives the brief overview of what's been going on as they pass through and explore planets.
  • Cassandra Truth: Thanks to the world government, the mass exodus to Astra is now seen as one. The only people alive that know exactly what happened are over a century old by now, but by this point either no one will believe them or the survivors themselves would have forgotten by that point.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A rather literal one in the form of the gun we see Ulgar take from a cabin in an earlier chapter.
  • Clip Show: The second half of Chapter 48 was a walk down memory lane for all of the kids, as they recount their misadventures through the stars before landing back home.
  • Clones Are People, Too: A rare setting example, as apparently the government in the story has laws against cloning specifically so that no one will do things like Group B5's parents.
  • Cloning Blues: The entire Astra group (save Paulina) are revealed to be clones of their same sex parents, though how Aries fits into this isn't revealed until later.
    • As of Chapter 44, we learn that Aries is the clone of Princess Seira of the same country that Charce hails from, which in turn causes the entire Murder-Suicide gambit to at least partially fail.
  • Contrived Coincidence: It's damn lucky that they found the Astra in the beginning of the story, given that it was a leftover ship from the mass exodus of Earth, parked just in Earth's orbit... and the glowing wormhole spheres were made specifically for that exodus, spitting them right in front of the ship.
  • Death World: Icriss. No matter where you go on that planet, you're going to have a tough time there. The half closest to the light is barren and dry, the half farthest away is cold and unrelenting, with the habitable middle plane filled with aliens that evolved to kill each other.
  • Determinator: The whole cast could qualify, but Kanata in particular, thanks to surviving a harrowing disaster that included the death of his teacher, has grown averse to hopelessness.
  • Driving Question: Why did the B5 crew get sent into space? Who is the traitor, and are they even among the group?
  • Earth All Along: That lifeless planet that they get warped over to in the beginning? Yeah, that's the Earth.
  • Everyone Can See It: Aries and Quitterie's respective crushes on Kanata and Zack are so obvious that the other girls can see their feelings coming a mile away.
  • Feudal Future: Somehow, the world government has a monarchy.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • Luca being intersex had a very small visual clue while they were on Arispade. As Charce is explaining how the planet's animals can reproduce without the aid of a male and likely evolved to be sexless, Luca looks on more seriously than anyone else on the ship.
    • After the Astra becomes incapable of space flight on Icriss, Zack tells a distraught Quitterie that there's a possibility that one of them can go into cryostasis and wait for rescue if they can't handle adjusting to life on the planet they're stranded on. Keep in mind, he says this just before he stumbles onto a second ark ship with a single working cryopod.
  • Government Conspiracy: The government is hiding the fact that humanity moved from Earth to Planet Astra years before the story began, and covered it up by fabricating World War III. The long version is just mind boggling— It took a little while to terraform Astra before the world governments thought it safe to tell everyone about it. The result? Global war, to the tune of billions dead. The survivors going into Astra vowed never to do something like that again by hiding the existence of the wormholes from the general public and rewinding the calendar 100 years.
  • Gratuitous Latin: The Astra, like many other large crafts, comes built with with a Latin phrase "Per Aspera, Ad Astra" ("Through hardships, to the stars"). A description more than fitting for our unlucky heroes.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Icriss, the fourth planet the kids land on, is this. One half of the planet is constantly in the light of the Red Dwarf it orbits around, so there's no moisture and it's a super-hot desert. The other half is all ice due to the lack of light. There does exist a sweet spot where the environment is habitable, which is where the B5 crew lands.
  • He Will Not Cry, So I Cry for Him: Seira acts as the empathizer between her and Charce, and openly weeps for the fate of both him and Aries even though he doesn't quite get why she's so upset.
  • Hermaphrodite: Luca is biologically intersex. He spent most of his childhood raised as a boy, and didn't realize something was off until he went through puberty, when he couldn't grow like his peers and started to look more feminine (including the development and growth of breasts). This turns out to have been a deliberate choice on the part of his "father", artist Felice Genma, who wanted an intersex clone so he could have a new body that "transcended the limitations of gender", and was lucky Olive Raffaelli had the means to make it happen.
  • The Homeward Journey: A space trekking road trip across 5 planets and millions of light years, just to get back home.
  • Hostile Weather: Each planet has its problems, but the third planet Arispade takes the cake for its constant tsunamis. One of which the B5 crew gets stuck in just as they've finished learning about Luca and Ulgar's backstories.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: By the time they get home, one of them does, in fact, write about their experiences in space. It becomes a bestseller.
  • Latex Space Suit: the Crust Suits worn by the main cast. They're form-fitting, with a bubble helmet, thrusters, and radios. The kids (smartly) use them when exploring new worlds, as they do protect against many environmental dangers.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Charce is stuck in a rut after he reveals that he plans on taking Aries back to Vixia. On one hand, he does want to give the King his daughter's clone and feels he has to carry out his duty, since he was raised not to defy the Vixian King; on the other hand, he really did like being a part of the Astra crew, and doesn't want any of them to be hurt by his actions. So he decides to kill himself to spare them and himself from the guilt until Kanata defies his death wish.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Luca compares how some of the native life blurs the lines between plant and animal (like how he blurs the lines as an intersex person), he mentions boy/girl, plant/animal, and sci-fi survival thriller/heartwarming gag manga blurs.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Everyone except Charce knew of the plan to lure out who they thought was the traitor, and trick them into using the wormhole to expose themselves. This is because they were trying to lure him, and the plan works perfectly.
  • Love Triangle: A seemingly apparent one between Aries, Kanata, and Charce. Aries likes Kanata, but Charce is especially fond of her due to her resemblance to Seira, a childhood friend of his.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident:
    • Their being stranded is too much of a coincidence, considering their wealthy backgrounds and the backstory of a couple of the crew hinting at the truth behind their grouping. The truth of it all was that the children's parents wanted to make younger clones of themselves in order to body hop into them at one point. But cloning people is illegal, and a paper trail was starting to add up, so they had to arrange things to get all the clones in one place and kill them off so as to not arouse suspicion.
    • Seira's death was designed this way, as her assassin simply pushed her off a cliff and let her die from the fall.
  • The Mole: There's some evidence, such as a cut communications device, that suggests that one of the nine is a traitor. But they were only helping the rest of the group in order to get back home, and then use the wormholes to take everyone else out. Chapter 41 reveals that the traitor is Charce.
  • Multinational Team: Group B5 comes from a variety of nationalities: Yun-hua's Chinese, Luca is Italian, Ulgar is German, Kanata is Japanese, and so on. Although their last names suggest their apparent nationalities, there aren't any such things as countries on their planet.
  • Murder-Suicide: The original plan for the assassin was to round up all of the main characters, use the wormhole to shoot them into space, and die along with them to leave no witnesses.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: Oh boy, is it. The constant struggle to get supplies is an uphill battle from planet to planet, whether it be because they disturbed something that shouldn't be touched, or because the flora and fauna are out for blood.
  • The Namesake: The title of the series comes from the spaceship they're traveling in, dubbed the Astra by Kanata. Astra is also the name of the B5 team's home planet.
  • Oh, Crap!: Plenty of moments throughout the entire series, but the big one goes to when they run into the sphere again, first on Vilavurs, and then on Galem when they're just about to get home.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The wormholes here are roughly the size of a car and chase people down. And that's just the artificial portable version. The original ones were almost skyscraper sized and stationary.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: In this timeline at least, the Astrans don't have a concept of God anymore after a century passed.
  • Plant Aliens: The crew runs into a variety of weird plant life on the various planets they go to, but actually end up mistaking fungal lifeforms for plants at one point.
  • Poison Mushroom: The second planet they go to is a whole planet like this. The apex predators are skyscraper-sized mushrooms, and they periodically release spores that poison and paralyze their prey. They even Bait the Dog by handing out an antidote spore at the base of its nutrient pile, but the ones who can get it will live, and the ones who die trying will get absorbed into the mushrooms. You probably should have expected this from a planet dubbed Shummoor.
  • Production Throwback: There are a couple of references to Shinohara's previous work, Sket Dance, including a red haired horned caterpillar (a nickname Himeko gives to Bossun due to his wild hairstyle and his red-horned hat) that is seen as part of the habitat of planet Shummoor, and Ginji Chuma, the son of this universe's Tetsuji "Chu-san" Chuma, a gifted scientist who is responsible of the theory that led to the creation of the artificial wormholes.
  • Raised as a Host: The entirety of Group B5 were raised to be new bodies for the people that they were cloned from.
  • Reality Ensues: After Paulina gets taken out of the cryo-pod she was in for 12 years, she talks to the B5 crew about her learned experiences, discover some shocking information...and immediately goes right back to sleep from the shock. She's been immobile and frozen for quite a while, so it's expected that she isn't completely back to normal motor functions.
  • Relationship Upgrade: In becoming a couple, Zack and Quitterie move up from friends all the way to engaged. In the epilogue, it's revealed that Kanata & Aries are engaged as well.
  • Running Gag:
    • Charce's constant Bishie Sparkle, or pairing his peculiar personality with his dashing looks.
    • The extras have Quitterie accidentally stumbling upon certain conversations the boys have with each other, that sound suspiciously like they're checking each other out. They're usually talking about something more mundane.
  • Significant Anagram: Each of the planets that Group B5 visits has a name made from something important from the planet.
    • The first planet they visit is Vilavurs, or "Survival".
    • The second planet, Shummoor = "Mushroom", given its status as a spore planet.
    • The third planet, Arispade = "Paradise", which at first seems like the Breather Episode, but really gives them time to restock with all of the resources on it.
    • The fourth planet, Icriss = "Crisis"; though it doesn't just specifically refer to the hostile environment, it also kick starts the Wham Episode and important revelations of the series.
    • The fifth and final planet, Galem = "Gleam", a planet filled with glowing or reflective items.
    • All of the continents on Astra are anagrams of continents from Earth.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Beego and a couple of Charce's gags stop getting used once the major revelations start coming to light.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some chibified reactions from the group B5 are drawn similarly to the likes of several characters from Motoo Abiko and Hiroshi Fujimoto, the manga artist duo formerly known as Fujiko Fujio, including Manga Michi and Doraemon.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Very idealistic, with everybody showing character development thanks to trusting between the team and taking the time to admire the planets why are visiting, and the total death count on this manga is negative one (and an arm)
  • The Theme Park Version: Vixia, the land that Charce comes from, is a distilled and idealized version of European kingdoms, especially those from Fairy Tales. Much of the aristocracy lives there too.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Set in the year 2063, with notably advanced space travel and other technology. Actually set even further into the future than previously thought.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: In order to prove to Uglar that he's not wanted in his family, Luca takes off his top and reveals his breasts to everyone, informing them of his intersex nature.
  • Wall Pin of Love: One of the volume extras has Zack make a pair of robots who do nothing but this trope, as a result of Zack trying to ease the sugar cravings of the crew.
  • Wham Line: In a series built partly on uncovering the mysteries of the situation everyone is in, a lot of these can be expected. But perhaps the biggest one yet comes in chapter 37:
    Kanata: What is "planet Earth?"
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final chapter serves as some minor resolution to the main cast's character arcs, then skips ahead to seven years later. Charce is now king of Vixia, Yun-hua is a professional singer, Ulgar became a reporter like he wanted, and Aries got married. Kanata, Zack, and Charce go adventuring through space from time to time, as well.
  • World War III: Astran history tells of a World War III sprouting from the Cuban Missile Crisis going sour. As it turns out, it is false, but it's based on a very real war that happened a century later in Earth. The world's nations broke out into all out war trying to figure out who and what would be able to get through the wormholes to Astra, and because of their bloodshed billions died and the population was thinned enough to travel to Astra.
  • You Are Not Alone: Luca ends up telling this to Ulgar after the Arispade tsunami, reassuring him that the crew's experiences are more alike than previously thought and making him realize that he has allies.

Alternative Title(s): Kanata No Astra


Example of: