OP3: “Yume Miru Sekai (夢見る世界)” by DOES
As I briefly mentioned, I saw the live-action version on the flight over (as well as Thermae Romae, interesting as I saw the joint advertising displayed at Maruzen in Marounouchi today). It was good, but I have a very hard time getting my mind around anyone else playing Mutta besides Hirata Hiroaki. It’s an interesting function of Japanese drama that seiyuu tend to overact less than live actors, while in the US it’s just the reverse. I don’t think there’s any question that the live version of Uchuu Kyoudai is more fanciful than the animated one, which is an interesting commentary on the differences between American and Japanese views on animation in itself.
It’s interesting to see the anime return to a couple of themes that were important early on, namely the UFO the Nanbros saw in 2006 and the impact had on the central players in the story. I confess the situation with Azuma was handled quite differently – and more quickly – than I expected. His simple question – “Are you prepared to die?” – was a legacy from Brian Jay who, sadly, did just that. It seems obvious in hindsight but I knew as soon as Mutta answered in the affirmative that it was the wrong answer – and as I hoped, he came clean and told Azuma the truth. Mutta, for all his self-doubt, has as strong a sense of who he is as anyone in anime and isn’t shy about going the unconventional route. And of course, no astronaut should be prepared to die – they should expect to be able to protect their lives and those of there crewmates in any situation. In reality that isn’t the way going to space works, but I’d sure want the guy next to me in Apollo 13 thinking that dying is the very last thing he wants to do.
As Azuma answered truthfully when asked that question by Brian, so did Hibito when asked by Azuma – and his brother too. I don’t see a grudge from Azuma towards Hibito – just a bunch of gossiping based on his gruff nature. In any case I don’t see him as an obstacle in Mutta’s path, and if anything he’ll want someone who might potentially be a teammate to be someone he can trust. With that crisis averted, it’s off to Florida for the launch, and the Nanba parents continue to do a very convincing job of showing they’re not worried. I could listen to those two go at it all day – the funniest parents in anime at the moment.
“Kennedy Space Center is huge! They could fit 1011 Tokyo Disneys inside!”
“How many DisneySeas?”
“It doesn’t say.”
The key moment of this sequence is when Mutta returns the DVD Hibito shot to him – “The Miracle of Doha”, footage of the UFO the boys saw behind their apartment. It’s a nice thought, Mutta expressing confidence that he’ll make it to the moon in his brothers’ wake – but I wonder if that element itself is ever going to be explored? That UFO has a Chekov’s gun quality to it if you ask me, but this has so far been a show grounded very much in science fact and realistic speculation. I’ll be very interested to see how it gets worked into the plot – and the new ED seems to suggest it will be.
ED3: “Tete” by Akihisa Kondou