This Week in Anime
Is Asteroid in Love Worth Watching?

by Michelle Liu & Andy Pfeiffer,

This season's cute girls in a club show is mixing it up with mistaken identity, possible yuri romance, and visiting a lot of genre staple hotspots (maid cafe anyone?) Is it just more of the same comfort food or does Asteriods in Love have something truly unique to offer? Micchy and Andy try to pin down what makes the show so cute.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network. Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead.

@Lossthief @Liuwdere @A_Tasty_Sub @vestenet


Micchy
Andy, I don't know about you, but I usually go to cute girl anime for good times and an escape from the drudgery of daily life. Sometimes you just need a break! So it's incredibly rude that they've started calling me out.

I'm in this image and I don't like it.
Andy
I know what you mean.

Asteroid in Love, this season's obligatory cute girls doing mundane things anime, is about exactly what you think it is. The minor change compared to the rest of its ilk is that these girls literally love rocks, both terrestrial and extra.
So these were the aliens in OBSOLETE! Inhuman proportions, bizarre priorities, checks out. Though if I'm to be perfectly honest, Asteroid in Love can be pretty thoroughly summed up as
I've a pretty low tolerance for the kind of harmless voyeurism this genre usually offers. It's kind of like trying to eat a ton of cotton candy as a meal, and then sometimes the fluffy blob tries to be horny and it takes me completely out. That said, Asteroid still managed to hold my attention better thanks to its devotion to occasionally throwing out low level science info from supposed high schoolers.
Look, these girls are dumb enough to livetweet their espionage missions, ya gotta cut them some slack.
I do very much appreciate Mira's top tier texting style.

Let the emojis flow.
Now sure, Mira might be virtually identical to every other redhead genki anime protagonist out there, but it's hard to be mad when she's so gosh darn cute like that. In the cast of Asteroid in Love you have one of the critical components of a good "cute girls doing hyper-specific activities" show. The other one, of course, are whether the jokes are funny (and to a lesser extent, whether the hyper-specific activity is portrayed faithfully but not esoterically). But never mind the jokes, just look at how cute these dorks are!
Honestly the most surprising thing about Asteroid to me is the pacing. I know these shows specialize in wheel spinning and stretching a mundane activity, but it's in such a hurry to hit all the mandated cute girl things that we're four episodes deep and have already done:
Hot Springs

Maids

and Summer Camp

While the girls are cute, it's a lot of them reacting to whatever they're currently around. Sometimes this means a joke and other times an explanation of a rock or space thing. It gives a very odd vibe of a constant stream of children's edutainment that is sometimes horny. That balance takes getting used to at this pace.
Yeah, I'm not getting much of a horny vibe from this show, Suzu's antics aside (which are imo still mostly harmless, even if the photo schemes are a bit much).

But you're right in that it is going through the usual beats a tad quicker than usual, which could either open up opportunities for later episodes to branch out or lead to half a season of progressively blander fluff. The first four episodes sure are pleasant though!
I'm hoping for the former! The better parts of the show have been when they spend more time on the characters beyond their single personality traits. Seeing their interests shared and where they want to go with them is a lot more fun than generic anime setting #11. I nearly forgot that we already had group BBQ too. It may as well have cut that part and got straight to the rock and zodiac stuff that carried the episode.

Sakura as a crab is VERY funny to me. Not entirely sure why, maybe the claw antennae? But yeah, this is gonna be my new go-to "signs as X" meme.
I'm glad that more zodiac images snuck into the cutaways. They better fill them all out by the end.
And sure, most of the cast has approximately 1.5 personality traits, but sometimes that personality trait and a half is "looks calm and collected but is just incredibly awkward, and dumb."
Stoicism is the show's way of saying she walks into double entendres so often that she's afraid to speak up.
No, no, you're supposed to embrace the double entendres and make your brand "horny on main," is that not how you do middle school?
Agreed, especially because that's the kind of mentality that gets you that coveted TWIA spot. How dare you reject our existence Asteroid!
Really, Asteroid is at its strongest when it leans into Ao's insecurity about her position in her relationship (romance?) with Mira. It doesn't happen often, but I do see the foundations of a nice little character arc there. We all know the odds of them actually finding an asteroid are astronomically low, but I'd like for this all to go somewhere. Any forward momentum at all will do.
I really hope it does. These shows have a tendency to play fast and loose with friendship/attraction and never culminate in anything. The principle setup of the show is that Mira had a fated girl x boy encounter, and well:


And it only ever continues to lean in.
So yeah are you ever gonna kiss ooooooor

I mean, I'll eat my hat if they really do, but I can't help but have this faint glimmer of hope anyway.
I know what you mean. It'd be such a shame if they don't yet it's so unlikely they will. Such is my frustration with these things. Anyways you need anything from the gift shop while we're here?

How about an eons-old mackerel?
Good choice! Honestly the scenes with anime girls slapped over tourism are so visually disjointed that I can't help but be amused. More anime needs to look like it was made to be posted directly to Twitter.
Now that is truly galaxy brain.

Also galaxy brain: pan-ties
We could keep this up all day tbh. That's principally what you're getting if you check out Asteroid. Plenty of pictures of girls making expressions. No different than if you drew them on anything else.
Which, if you ask me, is a perfectly respectable reason for an anime to exist, even if it's kind of unremarkable otherwise. Asteroid in Love's a pleasant time, and maybe that's all it needs to be.

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