What They Say:
Mutta has learned that Kenji and Serika have strong reasons to become astronauts, while Mutta is simply trying to achieve a childhood dream. This causes Mutta to begin to question himself.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Mutta’s return to Japan in the previous episode definitely brought a lot of promise for him in a number of ways, especially when it comes down to a certain woman also trying to get through the exam phase. He’s lucked into things a bit at this stage, which is definitely a factor in being an astronaut and getting ahead in life in general, but he’s also shown some strong skills that didn’t show up through any of the testing that JAXA did. He had resigned himself to not getting further and feeling that while being at NASA was painful to him in his own way, especially in seeing how his brother has changed so much, yet remained the same, and made real progress on their childhood dream of getting into space.
As events move forward, things take a curious and spooky turn from the start here as the eight members that passed and another set of eight strangers are being put onto an enclosed bus and whisked away. It sets up things to be really curious since it gives them the feel of going to someplace top secret where nobody can know where it is. But it’s also a prat of the exam as well since there are individual cameras above everyone that are monitoring them. How people react to situations and what they do is a big part of being an astronaut and being in this tin can, hurtling along into the unknown, can reveal a lot about a person just from how they handle that pressure. Seeing how Kenji, Mutta and Serika handle it is definitely interesting just from their internal monologues. Okay, Mutta not so much, but Kenji at least makes the right connections early on.
Where the shows focus goes is really well done in the end because it’s simply showing those watching how each of the primary candidates handles dealing with a variety of people. Some of the tensions kick in quickly, others take a bit more to simmer, but the ability to handle being in a small space for a length of time is a big part of being an astronaut and this is an amusing way of going through that part of the exam. As it shifts around with everyone talking with everyone else in order to connect and see how they perform, there are some very cute bits when it comes to Serika and Mutta’s turn. But the testing also takes a curious turn when it comes to the truth about this part of it as they all have to grade each other in rankings. It’s a good bit of critical approach for everyone to go through and offers a different look at how everyone thinks of themselves and everyone else.
Space Brothers has what could be called an unusual episode here, but it’s a good piece of character material that deals with their exam progress. Rather than the physical for the third part, it’s purely psychological and really challenges them to step up. They’re being tested in a lot of ways and it’s both fun and disturbing when you get down to it, almost a form of torture. But there are so many reasons to do something like this that it’s a must-do kind of test in order to make sure the right kind of people are chosen for the missions. There are definitely a lot of very fun parts to it, especially seeing how Kenji picks up on it quickly and Mutta’s simple excitement about getting to talk to Serika, but the serious aspects of it are very well done as well.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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