Things are looking bleak for Hibito.
What They Say:
It’s New Year’s, and the Nanba family is together in Houston to celebrate. Mutta feels good, as he trains for the moon and talks to Serika, but Hibito doesn’t seem to be in a celebratory mood.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Space Brothers moves time forward nicely here and there, though I’m admittedly glad that it skips certain events when it does so. With this episode, we’re focused on the New Year’s celebration and that means we miss out on the obvious and contrived potential of a Christmas episode, which makes me quite pleased. The fun of the New Year’s episode taking place in Houston means that we don’t get some of the usual traditions, but we have some good family material since the brothers parents end up coming to visit. The two of them are obviously quite different, much as the brothers are, but it’s fun to watch how they all interact together in the house and the kind of simple but understanding relationship that exists between them all
While there’s some decent fun early on for all of this, there’s also some good character material the comes from it, particularly between the brothers. While Hibito has taken care of the panic problem he had and is back on the main side of things, with Chief Butler in his corner, he’s also not getting anywhere at the moment because others in the program still think of him as the astronaut with the panic disorder. Hibito is handling it well and understands the situation, and you have to feel that he has a plan or at least the patience for things to work out for a bit considering some of his support, but you also see how personally Mutta takes it and how he really wants to do something to get things fixed. It’s a protective older brother mentality and one that Hibito has really worked well over the years that we’ve seen in the story.
The show does advance things a bit as we see various aspects of training that’s going on and an area where we find that Butler is working towards his own goals. Some of the training material is pretty fun to watch since it goes into the science and mathematics of it all a bit with a lunar landing, something that’s always fascinating since there’s a lot involved. Mutta spending time with Damien while going through the simulator for it is definitely fun to watch since he takes it in so well and is genuinely curious. Combining this with some of what we’re seeing with what Butler is going through in trying to get Hibito back fully in the program makes for a complicated episode, especially since Butler is able to go only so far and there’s a lot of issues to be had.
Space Brothers has a good, if disheartening, episode as it focuses on the real hurdles that Hibito faces since there are others in positions of power that do not see that he’ll be able to do what’s needed. There are obviously real and strong reasons to believe this when you take the emotion out of it since billions of dollars are being spent, lives are stake, in going to space and with all of these missions. But there’s also that need, which Chief Butler feels, to really believe in those that you work with and that some of that trust has to be born out in a positive way because it’s what will make the whole organization stronger. It’s a difficult struggle and this episode exemplifies it well.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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