The ball has started rolling on a new anime season, and Asteroid In Love (Koisuru Asteroid in Japan) is here to give you a shot of sweetness. The series is a romcom, but unlike say last year’s Kaguya-sama: Love Is War!, it’s much more sedate. It leans a bit more heavily on the “rom” side of that equation, and in general it’s more focused on being cute than being funny, with two major wrinkles in its structure. This works mostly to the show’s advantage, but we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of why in a bit. Let’s start with the positives.
The show is genuinely sweet. Our core premise here is that Mira, our heroine, met a mysterious boy named Ao at a summer camp some years ago. There, they talked about the stars, and the boy’s desire to discover an asteroid and name it after himself. This sparks a life-long fascination in Mira, and astronomy becomes her passion well up until high school.
In any other school life series, this would be where Mira joins the astronomy club. Wrinkle the first: her school’s astronomy club folded the year before she entered the school, merging with the also-down on its luck geology club to form the Earth Sciences Club. This despite the fact that, well, let’s put it in the show’s on words.
Heaven & Earth
The show’s first conceit is thus that the two halves of the club must learn to get along and support each other despite their different interests. That’s enough of a hook on its own, and here Asteroid In Love introduces its other cast members. Including, as you might suspect, Ao.
Wrinkle the second: Ao is a girl.
This revelation is quite the shock for Mira, and it remains to be seen exactly how textually romantic their relationship is going to be. But, as visible by that screenshot right up there, Ao certainly seems happy to be reunited with her old friend. The two spend a good chunk of the first episode’s middle third texting each other (a recent staple in this sort of show), and it’s downright adorable how well they hit it off again after a short adjustment period.
Supporting all of this is a small but varied b-cast. Some of these are great additions; like the wonderfully weird and straightforward former head of the Geology Club, Mikage. She tries to offer our protagonists “power stones” when they join the club, and turns distant when they turn out to be more interested in astronomy. She’s counterbalanced by the more reasonable Mai, providing a second interesting character dynamic just between these two on their own.
Others however are not yet particularly well-fleshed-out. The purple-haired Suzuya is a downright negative, being a fairly dated yuri manga character type; an overprotective best friend who tries to set her friend up with other girls. Not to mention another, Mari, who’s introduced to us with an eyeroll-worthy gag about a “sexy planetarium” that feels wildly out-of-tone with the rest of the show. This is the kind of thing it feels like the series should be avoiding, and hopefully, going forward, it will.
Nitpicks aside, Asteroid In Love is shaping up to be the seasonal sweetness. Something we have a bit of a soft spot for here. We can only hope that it continues to shoot for the moon.
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