Uchuu Kyoudai 3 ~ why do I feel so embarrassed now?
April 15, 2012
In episode 3 of Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers), Mutta Namba is subjected to a number of examinations that leave him feeling humiliated in more way than one. We also get a proper introduction to Serika Itou. The episode had a couple of genuinely amusing moments, and pushed through the majority of the week-long series of examinations that a candidate for JAXA’s space program needs to pass.
Anyone familiar with astronaut training programs (or their depictions in film) is likely aware of the lung capacity exam, in which the exam subjects must blow through a tube to keep a ball aloft for as long as they can. Surprisingly Mutta seems to think this is the one test he has a chance of “winning”. Surprising, that is, until we are reminded of young Mu-chan’s training with the trumpet. This was a great example of planting evidence in a previous episode to support a thesis later on, and it is a very good indication of quality writing to come.
Mutta, dispirited that he isn’t able to best his fellow examinees, complains that he is more of a side-kick character. Kenji, who was introduced as a can-do character who didn’t let the screw get to him, cheers Mutta up, and thus shows that his strength of character is a real positive, not just for himself, but also for his team mates.
After this episode, there are two days of tests remaining, and there was also a hint of a “secret third exam”. Mutta seems to believe he is destined for failure, but there are times when he powers through regardless.
Throughout the episode we got to learn a few things about Serika Itou. She is a doctor. She is also in great athletic condition. She seemingly operates in pretty much her own world; for example, when she was in the lung capacity test, the only thing she seemed to be aware of was the ball she was trying to keep afloat. Also, when she returned to her hotel room for the night, it became clear that she keeps a diary in which she records banal things, such as how she ate a lot of broccoli for lunch.