Astro Note Ep. 1 is, in my opinion, one of the most unique romcom anime of the Spring 2024 season. On the one hand, it’s a genuinely touching romantic comedy featuring some deliciously high quality animated food. On the other hand, it also appears to be a space opera that gives homage to the glorious sci-fi anime series of the ’80s and ’90s. With the addition of some of the most ridiculously hilarious comedy I’ve seen in a while, and you’ve got one of the best romcom anime series in recent times. Truly out of this world, in my opinion.

Astro Note Ep. 1: Details

Astro Note NA key visual.
Everything you need to know about this anime in one key visual.

Astro Note Ep. 1 is the very first episode of what may or may not be the first and only season of this anime series. Said anime is not the anime adaptation of any manga, funnily enough. This anime is its own original work created by Shochiku (Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll) and studio Telecom Animation Film (Gargoyles (Hunter’s Moon Part 2, credited as TAF), Tower of God, Shenmue the Animation).

Unfortunately, we don’t know who is behind Astro Note Ep. 1 specifically. However, I can tell you that for the anime as a whole, Shinji Takamatsu is the chief director, with Haruki Kasugamori as a co-director. Kimiko Ueno is the writer for the anime. Kōhei Munemoto composed the music for the same.

Speaking of which: the opening theme music for Astro Note as a whole is “Hohoemi Note” (ホホエミノオト, “Smile Note”) by Ai Furihata. Meanwhile, “Kokoro no Kagi” (ココロのカギ, “Key to the Heart”) by Maaya Uchida and Soma Saito is the ending theme music.

Voice Cast

Astro Note Ep. 1 features the voices of Soma Saito as Takumi Miyasaki and Maaya Uchida as Mira Gotokuji. Other notable voice roles in this episode include Rie Kugimiya as Ren Wakabayashi, Tomokazu Sugita as Tomihiro Wakabayashi, Shin-ichiro Miki as Shokichi Yamashita, Ai Furihata as Teruko Matsubara, and Junichi Suwabe as Naosuke.

When and Where to Watch

Astro Note Ep. 1 made its airing and streaming (aka. simulcast) debut on April 5, 2024. You can watch this episode only on Crunchyroll. Actually, you can watch this anime period only on Crunchyroll, due to the anime being an exclusive there.

Astro Note Ep. 1: Synopses

You can already tell that this romcom anime has a twist to it. The poodle is a big giveaway.

Alas, Astro Note literally only just premiered today as of this writing. Thus, I will not be able to give you all a spoiler-filled plot summary. However, Crunchyroll does have the official synopsis for the anime as a whole. You can check that out below:

Takumi, a gifted chef, just landed a new job. He works at the Astro Manor apartment building that offers breakfast, and there he encounters the beautiful landlady—Mira. It’s love at first sight, and he hopes to charm her, but the quirky tenants and bizarre phenomena don’t make it easy. He even learns by pure chance that Mira is secretly an alien! Will their love survive these unearthly oddities?

In addition, Crunchyroll also has the official synopsis for Astro Note Ep. 1 specifically. Alas though, the episode lacks a title like what anime episodes normally have. We’ll just have to be satisfied with the synopsis below:

Takumi reports to his job interview venue, expecting it to be a fancy restaurant. What he finds there, however, is a rundown share house and its wacky inhabitants.

Astro Note Ep. 1: The Good

Astro Note Ep. 1 screenshot showing Mira enjoying one of Takumi's dishes: what looks like egg on rice.
She certainly knows what’s good about the anime she’s in. Just look at that food even from this distance.

I know I technically reviewed Astro Note Ep. 1 already for that Spring 2024 preview screening, but this is where I go into some more detail as to why this is one of the best romcom anime in recent times. First off, the story is just…magnificent. Not in a dramatic or philosophical kind of way though. No, the story is maginificent because of its comedy. Its utterly ridiculous and hilarious comedy. There’s just so much comedy gold here, not just because of the sitcom antics, but also because of the facial expressions. It’s been a while since I’ve seen facial expressions this insane. Not since Gintama, I think. It’s always nice when the animators decide to change the entire animation style just for the face for the comedy value.

And don’t forget that intro sequence. That glorious ’80s to ’90s sci-fi action was just superb. It’s a gret homage to the great sci-fi anime of that era, including Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, and Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Maybe this intro sequence alone might revive that genre? It’s a long shot, but I do hope it pays off.

That said, the story isn’t the only great thing. The animation quality is just superb. Telecom Animation Film did a marvelous job there, especially in the food department. Of course, this makes perfect sense for an anime in which food is one of the central focii, but it’s nice to see animated food look mouthwateringly delicious. Especially when the usual animation quality for food in anime is basically blobs, blobs, and more blobs.

Astro Note Ep. 1: The Bad

Astro Note Ep. 1 screenshot showing the sci-fi intro sequence.
Hard to see anything bad about this.

Honestly, my only complaint is the cliffhanger Astro Note Ep. 1 left off on at the end. They have to keep audiences coming back for more though, so I’ll forgive them here. Other than that, this episode is pretty promising, so I’ll eagerly await more next week.

Although, I have to address something: some viewers have noted that Astro Note seems pretty similar to Maison Ikkoku, A Galaxy Next Door, and other anime with broadly similar premises. And because of this, some viewers appear to be review bombing the anime on Crunchyroll. My only response is “Seriously?”. Just because it has a broadly similar premise to a few other anime doesn’t mean that it’s automatically bad. If you’re not convinced, then please watch this anime on Crunchyroll for yourself before judging it.