Uchuu Kyoudai – 79

Uchuu Kyoudai - 79 -2 Uchuu Kyoudai - 79 -9 Uchuu Kyoudai - 79 -15

Why can’t Sawashiro Miyuki do the flight announcements when I’m traveling??

I have some issues with the direction Space Brothers has gone over the last few months.  I miss Mutta, though I think the decision to devote this arc entirely to Hibito was arguably the right one – his character desperately needed the depth, while it’s as if Mutta is a member of the family already.  A much bigger problem is the fact that the episodes we’re getting are basically half-length, what with the long recaps at the beginning and the almost indescribably useless cartoons at the end (which seem, if anything, to be getting longer).  Mutta we’ll be getting back next week – Racist Cartoon Theatre seems to be here to stay.

But when you consider the not inconsiderable creepy factor that goes along with the Hibito-Olga storyline, this ep was surprisingly effective and on-point.  Rarely has anime handled lolicon with this much dignity, and what’s really surprising is that Uchuu Kyoudai never fully backed off the notion that Hibito was actually thinking about it.  As far as Olga’s dancing proving an inspiration and the pains of a schoolgirl crush, that figured to be handled well, and it was.  But one could hardly walk away from this episode without thinking there was something more there, which only disturbs me not in the moment, but after the fact.

It was also nice to see the tie-in to Yuri Gagarin, the cosmonaut “whose smile lit up the cold war”.  No space-based story should every leave Gagarin on the sidelines, as he was not only the first man in space but at unspeakable risk to his own safety.  As well, at the time where animosity between the West and the USSR was at it’s most vitriolic Gagarin was an international hero.  While he had some slip-ups in his private life, as a public figure he was gracious and charismatic to a fault, and his determined agitating for more safety precautions in the Soviet space program eventually got him pushed aside to a largely ceremonial job, just as seems to be happening to Hibichov.

I was disappointed there wasn’t a longer goodbye scene with Ivan, but he handled the news from his boss (who knew they had Tully’s coffee in Russia?) – all bosses are alike, it seems – with dignity.  He told Hibichov to suck it up and keep fighting, though it’s going to be an uphill battle for him to earn another chance to prove himself with NASA.  I also liked the farewell scene with Olga quite a lot, and not just because of Gagarin – she behaved exactly as a young girl trying to be grown-up would act, and managed not to cry in front of the man she thought she loved.  The gift of the DVD was actually moving – again though, in the moment, because the more you think about it the creepier it seems.  It was a nice finish to Olga’s story, which was a nice showcase for Hibito to show some real growth – but I really think it’s best for the show and everyone in it if that story ends here, once and for all.

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  1. e

    I wonder if it's due to a few childhood watch&reads on my part or if there's some cultural difference also entering the mix but I'm not feeeling the creepy part considering the two characters involved here (they're both good decent people too) ^^". As uncomfortable as it can be biology and chemistry works the way they want PC be damned and Olga's body maturity is pretty advanced already… can't really fault Hibito for the possibility of nursing some attraction that's Nature at work. That she's also meant to look pretty on top of mature doesn't help.
    TL;DR: for me it's a case by case call In this case insert timeskip + mental maturity level up = who cares she's 15 years younger as long they're both into each other that way if and then they meet again? Bring it on Space Bros dont leave this juicy thread hanging (but if you do then I demand some development on Serika x Mutta as well. Pretty please?).

    About her parting gift… sure she wants for him to remember her by. Again, we're talking about Hibito being the recipient and we have the benefit of knowing him well enough to shave the creepy factor away. Taking this into account I was grinning at the screen myself because if anything that dvd is a libido killer so that's a counterproductive move on that front from her. Inspiration, fondness and gratitude fuel are closer to the mark effect-wise imho.

    Now, one might feel akward trying to gauge at the author's intentions. Are the unfortunate implications – or not – just in the eye of the beholder? But unlike racist cartoon theatre the scenario is working smoothly enough here for me.

    Anyway, between To Russia With Love and the return of Mutta (& Apo <333) onscreen my interest for the series is rising for the first time in weeks and that's something.

  2. K

    Just don't understand why they need to make a girl who doesn't even look 15 that age? Couldn't they have made her in her early 20's instead? I know silly question

  3. I go by the Chevalier Rule – half your age +7 or it's creepers.

  4. e

    So a poor personality-compatible and mentally mature person but falling into 'half potential partner's age + 6 or less ' ID-wise is screwed. I see.
    Shall we agree to disagree?

  5. e

    P.S.: I actually had to google for this dating rule you know. In English because I can't even find a translation for that expression in Italian The things you learn…
    You rise your Chevalier I rise my Jane Eyre (effing awesome Jane Eyre! <3) and the pesky variance of human body & mind maturity ;p – especially when both parties are past the minimum age of consent IRL the accetable age gap being dictated by an algorythm is just… not something I can subscribe to – . Love Rules. <————————————- Now excuse me I'll go prancing in hippie garb scattering flowers while shamelessly rooting for the dancerxastronaut ship (rocket? YAY?) and bearing the creepers badge with all the pride I can muster :°).

  6. If you think it's OK for a 15 year-old to date a 30 year-old, yes – agree to disagree!

  7. e

    refer to my first comment: i dont find creepy what we've been shown in this specific case. Dating-wise I'm fine with them dating in the future (if you want numbers/ages I'd venture when Olga reaches 20. Gut feeling compared to the level she is now plus a bit more life experirnce under her belt – ok this sounds bad – ).
    My subsequent replies tied into your Chevalier rule statement where context seemed to be a general rule rather than just this Space Bros scenario hence I answered including both fictional and non-fictional scenarios in mind. My apologies in advance if anything was – quite literally – lost in translation. Was it?

  8. No, I certainly agree the Chevalier rule shouldn't be as hard and fast as the no dating 15 year-olds rule. It's a matter for personal ethics as long as the other party is an adult.

    That said, it should be noted that the age factor here is effectively the same as in Kotonoha no Niwa – only the genders are reversed. An interesting test of our personal hypocrisies.

  9. e

    Think of Amir and Karluk while we're at it…
    About KnN I'd argue the guy at least was pretty mature mentally for his age – focused on his dream and readier than Olga in terms of pursuing an actual relationship at least – . The math age gap per se wasn't as much of a pressing issue to me compared to other factors like their highschool student&teacher circumstances for instance.

  10. Karluk and Amira is indeed a valid rebuttal. In addition to gender bias there are culture bias issues in play here.

  11. r

    Well, they say patience is a virtue. Wait for your woman Hibito!! Olga wait for your man!!!

  12. G

    If Hibito waits 3 years then everything will be fine. Whats really creepy is Hugh Hefner at 88 with 22 year old girls. I don't really unerstand the whole purpose of the story sending Hibito to Russia only to yank him back (before he gets anywhere with his problem (unless its to introduce Olga)?

    Ever since they introduced the racist cartoon that kills so much time I have been less then happy with this series.

  13. R

    I like the focus on Hibito, and I like that his journey ahead won't be as smooth a ride, and — like his nii-san — he will have to stretch his limits for pursuing the dream that he shares with Mutta. However, I'm starting to lose a bit of patience when the main story is getting shorter and shorter. What's with the direction of the show?

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