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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Misa Grandwood discovers a problem on the Bentenmaru.

Episode 14 of Mouretsu Pirates (Bodacious Space Pirates) kicks off the third arc of the series. A problem comes up that threatens the very existence of the Bentenmaru, and Captain Marika cannot depend on any of her crew to help her resolve it. A lot of people don’t like the methodical pace of this series, but I thought this was a good set-up to the new arc. It also gave us an opportunity to learn more about some other elements of the setting.

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In chapter 158 of Skip Beat, Kyoko’s street test for her new look is a little too effective. I generally don’t write about manga, but there is something about Skip Beat that appeals to me. Sure it’s shoujo, so there is the comedy and the romance, but it is also a story about someone trying to do her job. Now her job (talent in an actors management company) has unusually glamorous aspects, and insane challenges. A lot of it is plain ridiculous. But in the end, she gives it her all because she is pursuing a career.

For some reason, the anime and manga aimed at boys and men that gets translated into English never addresses this aspect of our existence. Oh, sure, if the job is piloting a giant robot to save the world from aliens, or if the male lead is a spy with super powers, we get to see some workplace drama. Actually, after the break, I’ll list the non-shoujo anime, that I know of, that shows a real (non-sports) workplace. I came up with only 5, and some of these don’t really address the workplace in a credible way, and at least one is arguably shoujo.

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