Uchuu Kyoudai – 10

[HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.35_[2012.06.03_10.41.45] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.57_[2012.06.03_10.55.32] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.28_[2012.06.03_10.56.02]

All things considered, that ended up being a lot more like Hunter X Hunter than I expected…

Given how exhaustively mangaka Kouyama Chuuya has researched space travel and the extent of the geekery for anything space-related, I can’t help but wonder if the components of the Hunter JAXA exam are based closely on real astronaut selection procedures, as the lung capacity test from the first exam was.  In any case it’s certainly an interesting process to watch unfold, as a gaggle of candidates (one of whom is played by Koyama Rikiya, if I’m not mistaken) ranging from their early 20’s to 54 try and secure one of (presumably) three spots in the JAXA family.

The first surprise is that there are fifteen candidates this time around, whereas in previous exams there had apparently only been eight finalists.  The meaning of that isn’t clear yet, but Kenji certainly notices it – just as he seems to notice everything.  I wonder if Kenji is having second thoughts about the whole endeavor, because he seems out of sorts and on-edge – and his extended conversation with his 54 year-old seatmate about their daughters seems to reinforce this suggestion.  It’s interesting too that Kenji immediately noticed the relevant fact about the bus – the cameras – while hyper-observant Mutta noticed that the driver was bald.  That’s classic Mutta – a hyperactive mind, thinking more than is good for it.  But that obsession with minutiae just may end up being his great strength as well as a weakness.

The personalities of the myriad candidates were certainly on display during their long bus ride, which I think was exactly the point.  Starting with the oddball Director Nasuda, it’s obvious that JAXA places a strong emphasis on psychological profiling in making their choices.  Herding everything onto a fortress-like bus and blinding them for a trip to a “top-secret” location is classic interview technique in hyperdrive.  My personal view is that the bus drove around in circles all night and ended up back at JAXA HQ, but we’ll have to wait and see – I hardly see the need for a top-secret location to test candidates.  It was seeing how everyone reacted to confinement that mattered – how they dealt with sensory depravation for boredom, and how they interacted when forced to do so for 140 minutes.

Compatibility is a big part of this, no doubt – and I worry for Mutta a little here, as I don’t think his obvious crush on Serika is going to cast him in a good light.  Romantic tensions in a confined environment in space?  Urgh.  It was certainly interesting to see how everyone coped – Mutta’s first seatmate Shigeo Morishima (Shiga Madoka) talked his ear off about his dog and Tom Cruise (“My dog looks like Tom Cruise, so I named him Tom.  Then I took him on a Tokyo Bay cruise and he really was Tom Cruise.”).  Serika enthusiastically discusses her favorite cuisines and stresses over whether they’re going to get a meal, young Furuya Tasushi (Naitou Ryou) flashes his inferiority complex and badgers his seatmate, and some candidates sit quietly, without talking.  It’s this sort of unplanned behavior that the examiners want to see – the essential nature of the candidates emerging when they’re forced to react to situations rather than keep their façade in place.  And the pièce de résistance is to have them rank themselves as candidates – every interviewer tries to make the candidate assess themselves.  That’s one of the most revealing things a person can do, and it also gives JAXA a chance to test the candidates observational skills and objectivity.

It seems fitting that Mutta should have visited Aunt Sharon (not a true Aunt, as it happens) on the way to JAXA, as she seems to have been instrumental in his and Hibito’s love for space developing as strongly as it did.  His quest for meaning and purpose in life is obviously central to this story, but I think his angst over his “reasons” for becoming an astronaut are a little misplaced.  How is it that fulfilling a dream isn’t as good a reason as what Kenji and Serika can claim?  Mutta too is doing this for love – and pursuing the dream of his life is more than enough of a purpose to justify his quest, if you ask me.  I think that’s the lesson he’ll learn in the end, whether he succeeds (and it’s not much of a story if he doesn’t ) or not.

[HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.25_[2012.06.03_10.43.34] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.38_[2012.06.03_10.43.48] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.43_[2012.06.03_10.43.52]
[HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.41_[2012.06.03_10.44.51] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.24_[2012.06.03_10.45.34] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.19_[2012.06.03_10.47.28]
[HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.09_[2012.06.03_10.48.18] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.57_[2012.06.03_10.49.25] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.18_[2012.06.03_10.50.46]
[HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.56_[2012.06.03_10.51.24] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.47_[2012.06.03_10.52.21] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.00_[2012.06.03_10.52.34]
[HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.03_[2012.06.03_10.52.37] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.15_[2012.06.03_10.52.50] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.22_[2012.06.03_10.52.56]
[HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.09_[2012.06.03_10.53.44] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.36_[2012.06.03_11.36.26] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.31_[2012.06.03_10.55.05]
[HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.22_[2012.06.03_10.56.56] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.30_[2012.06.03_10.57.05] [HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.27_[2012.06.03_10.58.02]


  1. A

    I'm starting to worry about you man. Your posts have been making more and more mentions to Hunter X Hunter … I think your starting to be addicted on the awesome already, and we haven't even gotten to the really good parts yet!

    On the actual episode, I sort of started getting a bit tired of Mutta's continuous self doubt streak. Yeah, I know it's part of him and we are still only a fifth of the way into the series, but man do I just want to tell the guy to stop thinking about it and just do it already. Him thinking his dream isn't as important as the other candidates honestly rubbed me the wrong way.

    I suppose it goes back to how likable Mutta is, and how much I'm willing to let such things slide for nearly 10 weeks now, but I hope he starts to put some sort of limit on that hyper-thinking.

    I never thought that Sharon was actually their Aunt, I mean she had a different sounding name, looked different from the rest of the boys extended family etc. so its not a surprise to learn that she is just someone who helped encourage the boys to get on the proper road for their dreams.

    As for the realism involved with the tests, I think it would be a fair bet to assume that Kouyama-san did do his homework and researched these things and thought it through, though I think that we might be only seeing a sample of reality rather than the full picture, since I think a lot more work is put into testing rigorously these candidates to make sure they would survive in space.

  2. Just OOC – did you find Kotestu tiresome with the self doubt as well? I see some similarities in different contexts there, above and beyond seiyuu.

    I thought Sharon looked quite a bit like Hibito (Japanese blondes! She seems to be half-Japanese, though), actually, but yeah – I figured she was an oba-san in the peculiarly Japanese sense.

  3. A

    Not as far as I can recall it (though maybe it did bother me a little?). The difference between them, I think, is that Kotestu maintained an optimistic outlook regardless of how he felt or how others ridiculed him. It wasn't until he started losing his powers that he had reason to panic and went down the tiresome self doubt path, which he quickly got out of every time Kadae was in danger and he gained enough will power to lift entire trees (which was pretty f-ing awesome!) So there was always that healthy balance in that plot line.

    With Mutta, the balance comes from him being really likable that his self pity trips don't usually come across as annoying as they might have been. The problem is that, because he is very likable, I end up sort of hating seeing him put himself down this frequently. I just want to tell him ''Goddamn it man, you made an award winning car! You saw an alien spaceship! You can make it stop telling yourself you can't!''.

    Also, semi related to T&B


    Here is a fun game, guess who was the artiest who drew this little piece …

    Yeah, the ambiguity in the Japaneses language can really cause a lot of confusion (as I suspect was the intended result long ago …) I can never be sure if the Aunt/Uncle/Brother/Sisters/Cousins/Nephews are really blood related or not.

    (And lol, it the future, I'm sure enough blonds have been merged into the genes poll to allow for them to be naturally born!

    and Yeah, I think she has some Japanese blood in her.)

  4. t

    Thank you enzo,I was feeling weird because I couldn't help but think of HunterXHunter,glad to see I'm not alone.

    I have this crazy conspiracy theory there's actually only 8 candidates and that the other 7 are JAXA employees just there to mess with the 8 candidates.
    Maybe I'm reading too much liar game lol

  5. Now that that be cool!

Leave a Comment