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Space Brothers Episode #82 Anime Review

4 min read

Space Brothers Episode 82
Space Brothers Episode 82
The truth of the training is revealed.

What They Say:
Mutta is now underwater participating in NEEMO training. He’s happy to be assigned to the same team as Kenji, but it turns out that he shouldn’t be celebrating.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Revealing that the astronaut trainees in the NEEMO program are actually competing against each other for their positions isn’t too much of a surprise in some ways. Seeing who can handle things best and slotting the other for a backup makes a lot of sense and having them undergo the same training is obviously the best way to do it when there are enough similarities. But it’s still difficult to watch because you’re rooting for them all and really want them all to make the grade. But it’s even worse when it’s characters you really like, such as Kenji, because he’s a good guy we’ve gotten to know well over the last couple of arcs and he’s someone that Mutta obviously considers a friend.

The underwater training does certainly put the two to working together, unaware of the competitive side that’s being placed on them, and they have a fun little project to work on in designing a new moonbase and figuring out how to do it. Cost isn’t that much of an issue with it in terms of what they use, so they get to exercise some creativity, which can in turn lead to new thinking and ways of doing things. Having had Mutta do just that with the rover, it’s certainly an ideal situation for him and for how NASA does things since it can introduce so many new ideas into the operation. There’s also just the fun in coming up with something new, which can be a good driver, but we also see through Mutta and his design approach that he’s coming up with ways to handle a crisis better, such as getting astronauts out the door faster that could have helped his brother during his accident.

While there is a nod that gets slid in that hints to Kenji and Mutta that they’re not both going to go, the show does a heavy focus on Kenji and his life in Japan before they ended up going off to Houston again. Seeing him with his family is certainly welcome since his daughter is cute and there’s a lot to like with the dynamic overall until Mutta shows up to join him on the trip. It’s a good reinforcement of the kinds of things that are motivating him in his journey, especially as we see the really cute moments of him explaining things to his daughter. Bringing it full circle to where he is now, even showing us his part of the dive, it’s a good full circle moment that takes up half the episode to reconnect us to this character. And to hate that we hope he doesn’t succeed in taking the place Mutta wants.

In Summary:
Putting a more competitive element into the show and this arc with what’s going on, especially between two people we really do like, will add something new to the dynamic as it goes on. What we’ve seen so far is that the pair definitely work well together and there’s a lot to like with that, but there’s also the idea that they may provide better and more interesting ideas if they’re competing for the spot since that’s what drives people of this nature who want to go into space. It’s not an easy thing and it’s not meant to be, so seeing the impact on both men definitely hits hard. While this is a small part of the episode, it’s given more resonance because we do see more of Kenji’s recent past in order to empathize with him, which drives the narrative even more. How it will go is admittedly up in the air to some degree and I’m very curious to see how it will play out.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.