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Space Brothers: Skinship

Space Brothers 03

The funny thing about weekly watches is the lack of insight into the joys and sorrows contained in a single episode. After waiting all week, I was very pleased with a few of Spring’s new episodes, and the third episode of Space Brothers happened to be equally appealing. Episode 3 continues Mutta’s stellar characterization by stressing his honest nature and his affect on other characters. One the of peculiar things I found enjoyable was the shift away from Mutta being pushed and instead, showing him as he functions during this transition. There was also a refreshing focus on someone other than Mu-chan, Serika Itou, to which I found most suprising.

Space Brothers 03

“more Watson than Sherlock” – “more Robin than Batman”

We have received only a sample of Mutta’s internal repertoire and focused on [necessary] forces pushing him forward. But as we see Mutta tackling the JAXA exams this episode, we see a greater amount of inner-monologue. I feel the overall effect of his strive reveals honesty, especially honesty towards himself. His honesty leads me to wonder if this is what drives his pessimism. I believe people have a way of limiting confidence or faith in oneself by being overly frank, and that would be my guess with Mutta. Though his honest and unabashed nature is what adds a touch of sentiment to a thoroughly entertaining episode.

Space Brothers 03

“Today’s Headline
I saw someone press himself against the spacesuit display.
He looked suspicious… But he reminded me of Dad.
So I was happy…”

Personally, the developments with Serika were unexpected. I did not figure her background would be disclosed after only brief interactions with Mutta. She completely jumped Makabe in the realm character development, perhaps flagging a more significant role in the story. Though I find the triviality, Mutta’s staring into the spacesuit, brilliant in leading her to identification. The way Serika resonates with Mutta’s action, through her dad, shows thoughtful writing and gives her mature character a youthful touch. She is illustrated as poised, capable, mature, and suddenly retains an attractive adolescent energy drawn out through memories of her father.

This is great stuff.

Afterthoughts

Space Brothers 03

I feel the portrayal of JAXA in Space Brothers - the offices, facilities, plaques, and photographs – shows a strong sense of pride in the organization. I admire this because we could see JAXA with more or less prestige depending on context, but I think the representation is true: JAXA is a highly regarded organization through which many individuals have passed and take great pride in. In our reality, it’s scary to ponder the future of the space industry, though this series may illuminate fond memories for those who were/are there.

Also, Mutta went through those tests like a champ, even if he wasn’t at the peak every time. He flashed a highly competitive spirit in the lung test despite losing to his awe of Serika. And I must say the chemistry between those two is pretty adorable.

Update: I could have been more careful with wording in the first sentence where “contained in a single episode” should imply every new episode yet to air as there is potential for surprise in things unseen.

Categories: Spring.

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4 Responses

  1. His honesty leads me to wonder if this is what drives his pessimism.

    Mutta is so endearing. Really enjoying his internal monologues too and it’ll be interesting to see if there was a particular point in his past that lead to such pessimism/ insecurity. I was also (pleasantly) surprised to see so much of Serika so soon, and I hope we see more about her relationship with her father.

    • He is, and he seems the type that would be left out in the cold without knowing why, which would be discouraging in ways. He’s still a pretty cool guy even if he might not realize it. Yes, more Serika family background will be great. I get the feeling her father is no longer around and maybe something big happened in that process.

  2. I enjoyed the freshness of the episode, we giggled as the comical parts of Mutta’s personality were exposed. He seems very innocent at times haha. I concur with the surprising pleasantness of hearing more about Serika so soon. I don’t feel it was distracting. Can’t wait for the next!

    • Yes yes. I think he is pretty innocent, mostly because of his honesty. It’s a good nature but he isn’t perfect or “too good” by any means.