Space Brothers episode 61 covers Hibito’s return to Earth. I was very happy to see that instead of an entire arc dedicated to Hibito’s return from space, the series dealt with it in one sitting. By this point we were already familiar with the various possible problems, and the emotional backdrop to the events, but I was a little worried that the show would continue with its typical pacing. By handling the events of several days in a single episode, they managed to cover a lot of ground, and capture the tension and excitement. The result was a particularly good episode in contrast to some of the episode in this series that have dragged on too long.

Serika Itou celebrates the successful launch of the Team E's rover.

Serika Itou celebrates the successful launch of the Team E’s rover.

Space Brothers episode 60 seems to be the conclusion of the Comeback Competition arc. Honestly this show can move pretty slowly at times, but that doesn’t change the fact that it has a fresh storyline. I suppose the story will now turn to Hibito’s return from the moon. I’ll be a little sorry to see the attention shift from the engineering competition, because I think that it was a great idea for a story — someone should do a whole series based on this premise (and NOT have it turn out like Robotics;Notes).

Mr. Perfect fails a test for the first time.

Episode 7 keeps the drama going. Back at JAXA, Mutta’s chance for getting into the space program seem particularly weak. Hibito notices that Mutta seems upset about something, but Mutta can’t quite come clean about the whole situation. Finally Mutta gets caught up in an American crime spree.

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Hibito Nanba looks over a pile of NASA training manuals.

Episode 5 of Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers) sees Mutta Nanba reunited with his brother Hibito in Houstan Texas, USA. Instead of going to the NASA space center, Mutta takes the first day off. A lot could be said about the interactions between the brothers, but one thing stuck with me: that stack of training manuals. I think something was being said when Hibito stared at them. My best guess is that he can tell that they have been shifted about. Further, my guess is that one reason, though he doesn’t say it, that Mutta didn’t go in to the Space Center is because he was reading the training manuals. I wonder if this will play a role later on. Mutta is a stickler for details. That was established earlier, and was stressed in this episode. Perhaps Mutta will whip out some knowledge he received by reading the manuals during his visit to the Space Center.

Mutta Namba has pre-interview jitters.

The second episode of Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers) was, in some respects, even better than the first. Or perhaps it is because the first episode did such a good job of establishing our main character that the second episode was able to make such great use of him. Episode two had three main components: 1) the contrast between Mutta’s childhood optimism and his current low self-esteem, 2) the story of how Mutta handled the opportunity to interview for JAXA, and 3) the character insights that were offered at the end.

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The lure of space causes two brothers to make a fateful promise.

Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers AKA SpaceBros) episode 1 does a great job introducing us to its near future (2025) setting, and to the two brothers whose story we are all eager to see. Though this show is ostensibly Science Fiction, at this point it is really a story of human pathos. Our principal viewpoint character, Mutta, is one of the two brothers who finds himself falling behind, while his younger brother, Hibito, pursues his dreams.

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Drum roll, please.

It is my custom to look ahead to the upcoming season, pick out a few interesting shows and predict one that will be really great. As usual, I warn you that this is not a comprehensive preview of the season. Most of those haven’t come out yet, but I have run across two:

  • Star Crossed Anime Blog – this is a comprehensive and methodical assessment of the upcoming season.
  • The Cart Driver – this is a highly subjective and very opinionated assessment of the upcoming season.

Between the two of these you can get a good sense of what anime has in store for us in the coming months. If you want to skip straight to the good stuff, read on!

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