Another week, another episode of Space Brothers. This time, episode four makes its appearance, and begins to put the wraps on the second examination arc. Without further ado, let’s get started.
As usual, the episode opens with a short montage documenting the events thus far, including: the physical tests, Mutta and Serika’s moments with the display case, and the realization that as a consequence of being related to Hibito, Mutta doesn’t have the easiest time. The scene then shifts to NASA, where the current prospective astronauts are undergoing training in the vomit comet. Among others, Hibito is singled out as the “most animated astronaut”, and is clearly an object of attraction for the female candidates in JAXA’s astronaut selection process. Typical Mutta doesn’t really care about the weightless environment, however. Pervert Mutta only pays attention to the two women behind Hibito.
The last part of the astronaut selection process is comprised of an interview, which is only the latest in a long string of technical, psychological, and English interviews. Kenji and Serika seem to have done fairly well, as they both walk out of the conference room confidently. Kenji, with his suave self-confidence; Serika with elation. Both react to something on the wall, which causes them pause. On the other hand, everything seems to be going well with Mutta’s interview, until one of the interviewers asks him the following:
His answer isn’t revealed until later, but suffice to say that he answered rather randomly (and rather stupidly too, I might add). We now see what Kenji and Serika were looking at: a wall with portraits of Japanese astronauts, with Hibito (the newest astronaut) on the very end. Mutta, ever childish, decides to smear saliva on the spot next to Hibito. Speaking of Hibito, the scene then shifts to NASA, where Hibito learns about their family support program, which reunites astronauts with their family and/or significant others. Since his parents aren’t exactly in the picture (speaking of that, where are their parents?), he proposes to bring Mutta over to the United States.
In the interview conference room, the interviewers narrow down the list of possible candidates down to a select few: someone by the name of Mizoguchi (seen in the background of a number of examination scenes), Kenji, and Serika (of whom the interviewers universally regard as not only the most talented, but also the most beautiful). When Hoshika Masa (Hibito and Mutta’s mentor in their childhood) suggests Mutta, the other interviewer gives him an uneasy glance. Doesn’t look too good for Mutta at this point, eh?
In order to celebrate the end of the second round of examinations, all the prospective astronauts hit up the local bar. Mutta’s response to the interviewer’s question is still bothering him, so he asks Kenji how he responded. Kenji, ever prepared, answers thoughtfully, remarking how he had a newfound love for fiction after realizing that in the end, they were in no way inferior to non-fiction. How did Mutta, respond, you might ask?
Mutta is such an idiot. Anyways, they all start exchanging numbers/e-mail addresses, much to Mutta’s dismay. He dropped his phone in the toilet, remember? Never fear, though! Kenji comes to his rescue, with everyone’s contact information on a piece of paper. The next morning, he sets out to the local cellphone company. Shortly after he activates the phone, he receives a call from his brother, summoning him to NASA. And that is where the episode ends.
There isn’t really much to talk about, to be honest. This episode fits all too well into the “transitional” category, and doesn’t really expand on anything. While it does tie up the end of the examination arc, we aren’t really introduced to anything new, aside from the closing scenes clearing showing Mutta in America.
Sometimes, I wonder if Mutta is really as he seems. The show really paints him as a sort of simpleton, even though it’s obvious that he is really quite intelligent. He doesn’t seem to use that intelligence for anything useful, though, as he locks up immediately when confronted with Serika, and he seems to let his manhood lead his thoughts. Still, he seems rather harmless.
Anyways, this week’s episode was okay. I would’ve liked to see the examination arc shortened, with this episode covering more than just tying up loose threads. I’d expect (given the manga’s pace) that the show will cover “Mutta in America” for three or so episodes before returning to Japan with the start of the final examination arc.
Till next time.