Everyone is in Houston and it’s time to get settled in for a little meet and greet…
What They Say:
Mutta and the other astronaut candidates have arrived in Houston to begin training at NASA. First up is a social event to meet the other astronaut candidates from around the world.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Space Brothers took an intriguing turn in the previous episode as we got to see how some of those in the command chain that will be dealing with the new arrivals isn’t all that interested in giving them a fair shot. With some of the differences in the pasts of them compared to what may be considered real astronaut material, especially the disdain some have for those with no military experience in their backgrounds, there’s always going to be some challenges in going the full distance. Mutta in particular has some added pressure because of his younger brother who has achieved so much and there’s even the nod made as Vincent looks over his paperwork and just feels that he looks dim, prejudging him quickly. Of course, there’s the kind of needed snap decision making that is key to being an astronaut, but it leaves you in a position of just waiting for Mutta to show him the real thing in his own time.
Mutta’s able to get into American life fairly easy considering his time there before, and we get a cute nod early on towards the Vividred series with the range of colored sports drinks that American has. We get to see how others are handling it a bit as well, which is nice, since it’s their time in Houston and it’s so different from Japan just in the space available that they get giddy about it. We get to see some cute things as the girls get their place and are amazed by it all, but we also get some time with Mutta hanging out with Murasaki a bit, which is dangerous. Murasaki’s penchant for jokes and tweaks is pretty much who he is, but his casual style is also something that you see Mutta taking very seriously and almost overthinking, which makes it difficult when the topic of how some people drop out even at this stage and beyond starts to get into his head.
With the larger group of people we get to deal with this time around, it’s enjoyable seeing them all go on things like the tour that we saw before when it was just Mutta as Jennifer is back and takes them around. The nice plus this time is that they get to see some of what’s going on up on the moon since Hibito is there, though asleep at the time. Between this and the time spent with everyone at the first local social gathering at the bar where we’ve been to before, it’s a lot of fun seeing everyone getting to know each other and just hang out. It may be slow in some ways, but it’s a great humanizing of everyone and the situation they’re in. There’s a chance that some of these casual introductions will become key later on and in an environment where everyone relies immensely on each other, sometimes without knowing who is doing what, it’s important to have these kinds of connects. Watching how Vincent is involved and aloof is certainly intriguing as well.
Space Brothers works its magic in a very slow manner, but let’s be honest. If you’ve made it this far into the series, you have to be used to what it does and how it does it. With this episode, we get a lot of localizing going on here as the new arrivals from JAXA get familiar with their surroundings, be it the personal space or NASA itself where they get to see mission control and a nod towards events on the moon itself. The social aspect is what’s being built first and it’s a key ingredient considering the way these people will have lives in their hands and a significant level of trust must be built up. Exploring that as it does it very well done here and it keeps itself engaging, fun and sometimes silly with the nods its makes. Of course Kenji would like some of the Vivid red drink….
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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