Asteroid in Love
When they were children, Mira Kinohata and Ao Manaka promised to discover an asteroid together, but they would not see each other again until they reached high school.
To further explore their mutual love of stars, planets, and satellites, Mira and Ao become the newest members of their school’s Earth Science Club, which came about following the merger of the Astronomy and Geology Clubs. Although they are with people with varying interests, the two girls quickly make friends, and as a group, they begin to appreciate one another’s fields of study.
Unremarkable doesn’t need to mean bad. The only thing “unremarkable” always suggests, is a lacking sense of presence. Over time, the details of an unremarkable story will fade from your memory. However, while you are in the moment of such a narrative, no rule says you can’t enjoy yourself. As evidence of that, I present to you Asteroid in Love.
This show was wonderfully animated, and that is not counting the many settings that heavily incorporated starry night skies; it is not difficult to have space come off as awe-inspiring. Even when the Earth Science Club was in their meeting room or walking around their school, this didn’t have the look of a cheap slice-of-life. Also, this series did a particularly excellent job of blending its characters with real-world locations.
Along with that: Although I wouldn’t call Asteroid in Love a laugh-out-loud comedy, it did have its moments. This show didn’t rely on slapstick or high energy jokes. Things went at a much slower pace, and overall, that was to the series’s benefit. Characters, events, and situations went at a speed that allowed for more well-roundedness. For example, you could get a clear sense of what the goals were for each of the Earth Science Club members; this included much more depth than the mere existence of a goal.
Limiting ourselves to protagonists Mira Kinohata and Ao Manaka, it would have been easy for this show to say they wanted to discover an asteroid and then leave it at that. What happened instead, Asteroid in Love went into length about how much Mira and Ao cared about astronomy. Through self-discipline and study, both girls obtained the knowledge to not only explore the night sky, but they could also express their passion in a way that inspired others to pick up the hobby as well.
Therefore, when Mira and Ao attended the space exploration retreat in Okinawa, it felt like a genuine attempt at bettering themselves.
I can’t tell you how many anime series I have seen that have gone down to Okinawa (essentially Japan’s Hawaii) just for the sake of having bouncy-bouncy bikini time. Asteroid in Love brought its story to this place because this was where the science was.
And that is touching on the critical question we need to ask about this series.
Asteroid in Love was a show that focused on – for lack of a better word – schoolwork. Follow me on this: Astronomy and geology are not often depicted as the most riveting subjects. Both have a lot of technical terms, and astronomy, in particular, involves a ton of math. Now before people gang up on me in the comments, let it be known that astronomy and geology were among my favorite classes when I was in high school. Thus, I am not saying they aren’t exciting topics. What I am getting at is, any discipline – be it history, literature, or, yes, even math – can be fun provided they are presented in a fun way.
So, our question for Asteroid in Love is:
Were astronomy and geology shown in a positive light?
For me, the answer is “yes.” While I was watching this show, I thought it would be fun to go out on a rock hunt during the day and enjoy a bit of telescope stargazing at night. In my mind, a series can’t be bad if it gets you interested in doing the very thing it is doing. Yeah, I might not remember the nitty-gritty details of this show in a month, but the idea of a nice relaxing evening is now firmly in my head.
To that, I say, “Thank you, Asteroid in Love.”
Let’s move past the previously mentioned unremarkableness of this series. Don’t go into this one expecting it to wow you. With that said, Asteroid in Love did need to tone down the whimsy.
I will be the first to admit that space is inherently wonderous, so I am not surprised this show wanted to play into that. However, there is a big difference between beholding the raw awesomeness of the universe under a beautiful night sky and preparing for the upcoming culture festival.
Much in the same way Asteroid in Love wasn’t a peddle-to-the-metal comedy, it wasn’t a gripping dramatic piece either.
I am not saying this series had no business being as serious as it was. Unfortunately, its insistence on throwing as many heartfelt moments as possible was what caused this show to be unremarkable. The story wasn’t engaging enough to warrant it. The characters weren’t anything special, the narrative was straightforward, and any obstacles that came up were quite paint-by-numbers.
Although Asteroid in Love was decent enough, it sure as hell didn’t help that it aired during the same season as Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, a vastly superior club-centered anime.
Oh, and before I forget, this wasn’t the first season of Asteroid in Love. Instead, this was more like season one and a half. This show had a defined ending in episode nine, and anything that came after had all the makings of a chapter two. Sadly, that was a problem. The latter episodes were only that, the makings of something.
The last few segments of Asteroid in Love had a much quicker pace. This series not only brought in new elements to the Earth Science Club’s established dynamic, but it also wanted to give Mira and Ao the chance to accomplish their goal.
I doubt if Asteroid in Love would have ever had the chance to explore its story more in a season two, but to tack one on at the end here weighed the whole thing down.
If you do decide to check this one out, then I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The animation was good, the characters were well-rounded, the atmosphere was enjoyable, and it was a fun representation of how interesting science and learning can be.
Therefore, I am more than happy to recommend Asteroid in Love.
Asteroid in Love Series Review: To The Earth, The Sky, and Beyond
Writing - 7/107/10
Plot - 6/106/10
Character Development - 6/106/10
Production - 7/107/10
Music - 7/107/10
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