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.
“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.
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.
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.