Uchuu Kyoudai – 14
OP2: 「ユリーカ」 (Eureka) by スキマスイッ千(Sukima Switch)
Watch the 2nd OP!: Streaming ▼
「壊れたメガネと足の裏」 (Kowareta Megane to Ashi no Ura)
“Broken Glasses and the Sole of the Foot”
This week our focus shifts to Fukuda, the oldest candidate participating in the exam. One of the things I really like about Uchuu Kyoudai is how easily it gets us to empathise with the characters, to understand them better and to want them to succeed. Every one of the candidates has their own dreams about making it into space, each of them very different in nature but all pursued with the same unfailing determination. It’s not just the way in which the character’s personalities and actions are portrayed either, but also in their circumstances – they all have backgrounds many of us might be familiar with and capable of understanding.
We’ve explored the circumstances of several other characters so far, most notably Mutta, Hibito, Kenji and Serika, our core team. But despite the fact that many of these newer characters who were introduced in this most recent exam fall outside this core, that hasn’t stopped Uchuu Kyoudai from thoroughly developing them and encouraging our attachment to them. Fukuda is the latest in this line of development – we learn a lot about his past, his current life, and his motivations this episode. It would seem he’s pursued the same goal unwaveringly ever since his childhood days – to build Japan’s first manned rocket and take it into outer space. Unfortunately, as happens to many, his goals took precedence over everything, leading to his separation from his wife and daughter (and his wife’s refusal to allow him any contact with his daughter). In this day and age, many of us can relate to these sorts of circumstances what with familial separations becoming more and more common.
Yet even despite this, he’s still not willing to give up on his dreams over fourteen years after the Japanese manned rocket project was canned. It’s inspiring to see how dedicated he remains after all the setbacks he’s faced. We’re already aware that this isn’t his first time applying to become an astronaut – that he’s already failed once in the past. But this time he seems to have thrown himself in with an all-or-nothing mindset, having quit his job shortly before coming. Even the destruction of his glasses he takes in his stride, continuing to do the best he can without them, unwilling to show any weakness to the other members of the team (and the examiners). Of course, were he actually in space, getting a new pair of glasses would be much harder if he had no replacements with him, so his continued struggle without requesting new ones must be a mark in his favour to the examiners.
With the events concerning Fukuda going on, we also get to see a little more of Furuya’s character. Even if his eventual decision to request that mission control send new glasses was done solely (sorry, bad pun) to ease his own conscience, it remains one of the brilliantly touching scenes Uchuu Kyoudai excels at. Perhaps he’s not quite as much of a jackass as he’s made himself seem so far – at the very least it shows he does have a conscience – he may not have been willing to apologise, but he took it upon himself to resolve the issue.
Team A has been noted as the rowdiest of the three (no surprise there), Team B is gloomy, and Team C is still completely irrelevant. It doesn’t surprise me to learn that Team B is the least satisfied of the three teams, especially after the obvious conflict we’ve seen roiling beneath the surface. With theirs being the team containing the most intellectuals, it’s no surprise that their pride and competitiveness would get in the way of their ability to bond as a team thus giving way to feelings of anxiety and worry at their inability to group up properly. It can often be pretty hard for intelligent people to work as a team – many intellectuals prefer solitude and conflicting views are always there to get in the way.
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – Nothing will stand between Fukuda and his dream. Not age. Not broken glasses. Nothing. #SpaceBros
- Wow, what’s this? An actual crack in Nitta’s usually impassive mask?
- Fukuda wins the face-pulling tournament!
- There’s always at least one character with a complex about their height…
- Mutta’s afro has become a lot more active lately! This week it’s shrinking to reflect his feelings of inferiority!
ED2: 「告白」 (Kokuhaku) by アンジェラ・アキ (Angela Aki)
Watch the 2nd ED!: Streaming ▼