The truth is fully out there and both Kenji and Mutta are starting to change.
What They Say:
Only one of each team’s two Ants will be chosen to go to the moon. Since the beginning of his journey, Mutta has worked with Kenji, so he isn’t sure what to do.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Bringing in the reality of the situation for Mutta and Kenji about how they’re actually competing for a position definitely can change the dynamic of the relationship, especially since there is a camaraderie among astronauts that transcends national boundaries. But by their nature, they’re largely competitive because only a select few get to the positions they’re in. And that competitive nature can lead to a lot of very good things and the right people for the right jobs. But at this stage of the training they’re at, it does feel unusual that they would be put in this position without knowing it. Or to be in this position at all without the clarity of why it’s being done. The reveal at the end of the previous episode for them is definitely going to impact them and seeing how they handle it considering their friendship is definitely good to watch.
Not surprisingly, both men are struggling with this internally and all the enthusiasm for the project and experience has been sucked out of the room for them. The pair has been together for some time and even though Kenji ended up going for training earlier than Mutta for obvious reasons, each of them can’t really grapple with this in a way that works out well for anyone. It’s good to see that both of them are struggling with it and their friendship really does mean something after all this time rather than something where one or both will just push ahead and push the other out of the way. Instead, we see a renewed and greater focus on the mission itself with what they’re doing and Kenji even comes up with a way to refocus things, though at the sacrifice of the lunar telescope that Mutta wants to get there. Kenji’s not really changed, but he has gotten more serious about doing what’s right overall.
There’s a growing somber sense about the episode as it goes on and seeing the way the pair are operating, and how others are recognizing this shift now that they know the truth, works well to give us a new look at the characters in how they deal with the situation. Interestingly, Mutta ends up spending some time with Andy on the outside in one of the self contained units and we learn more about him and his struggles, which definitely exist because of his height and generally the way he comes across. It’s an interesting perspective to see played with and it definitely makes for a change in how you view him, and how Mutta is viewing what’s going on with the NEEMO training itself.
Not unlike some of the closed space training that Mutta has been through before, we get to see the slow realization of how to handle a difficult competitive training mission like this. The experience here is one that works on a few different levels, from taking the time to enjoy the majesty of being undersea to working together and to really understanding the different things they bring to the table to achieve the mission. Both Kenji and Mutta’s reactions early on make a lot of sense and are wholly understandable, but I like that they explored it in an appropriately muted way before pushing towards the right way to proceed, which you can see coming from Mutta based on what he did seemingly ages ago in the multi-week closed space training. The show is certainly moving at its own pace but I continue to enjoy that and this episode is no exception.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.