What They Say:
The final exam is set to take place in two months. Mutta heads to Houston, ahead of the other candidates to look after Apo and tour the Johnson Space Center. Meanwhile, Hibito is training hard for his lunar mission.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Life in Houston while waiting for the final exam to start is certainly fun, at least for some. With Mutta crashing with Hibito again in order to help out and be ready, he’s having to deal a bit with the way Apo wakes him up, a perfectly solid and enjoyable way to kick off the episode. There’s a certain charm about how these two brothers work together in the household while Apo tweaks it just right. For Hibito, he’s deep in training though so his time is limited and that leaves Mutta to himself, where he’s helping out doing some yard chores and the like with people such as Ozzy. It’s killing time but it keeps him close to where he wants to be and stops him from over thinking much on the upcoming exam.
The show works a rather cute and fun parallel here to what the brothers are up to. With Hibito training with his crewmates for dealing with setting up the safety of the containers they’re going to live in on the moon by working through how to add the regolith coverage using specialty construction equipment, Mutta is working at mowing the lawn in a somewhat complicated area of the NASA grounds. With Apo in tow. There are plenty of obvious parallels going on here, too obvious really, but it works nicely and shows how both brothers are doers rather than readers, though they know when that needs to be done. Hibito and Mutta both learn by doing and tend to do it pretty quickly and intuitively.
The show begins to expand more on Hibito’s mission and how thing work, such as introducing some of the back-up crew, especially Lowry, a very avid fan of all things Japanese that gets a few things wrong. His enthusiasm is comical and you can see an American anime fan in him in a way. But the show also gives us a look at others out there, such as Azuma, the one that many thought would be the first Japanese person on the moon instead of Hibito. The expansion of the cast is well done and not forced, more of an opening of a new window and seeing what’s been going on there all this time. It’s the little things like this here that works to expand the show overall but also the characters with what they have to deal with.
While the episode is largely one that you can view as a bit of a wheel spinning exercise, it’s done mostly to give Mutta that down time and exploration he needs after everything that happened in Japan with the JAXA testing and those final few weeks in the isolation team training. Getting some time with his brother, with Apo and with others around works really nice and helps to humanize them all, even if it is just in a montage scene or two here and there. There’s a lot to like with it, especially as Hibito gets a bit more of a look with what he has to do but also with his own inspirations and admirations. The challenges for the future are laid out here and while it’s blunt, it’s also not terribly problematic. Some things like this work in a simplistic manner, but it’s the nuance of the characters, tone and situation that makes it so much fun to watch.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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