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Uchuu Kyoudai – 36 »« Uchuu Kyoudai – 34

Uchuu Kyoudai – 35

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「だだっ広い施設のほんの一角から」 (Dadappiroi Shisetsu no Hon no Ikakku Kara)
“From the Little Corner of a Big Facility”

I’m sure what most of us want to know right now is whether or not Mutta has passed the astronaut selection exams. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’re going to be finding out anytime soon what with this entire episode being devoted to Kenji and next week’s episode likely being devoted to Serika. Perhaps the week after that will finally feature the revelation, or perhaps it will be drawn out even longer. Honestly speaking, we’ve reached a point where I’d rather they just came out and told us instead of constantly pushing it back.

It must be a hard job for Tsurumi to perform – being the one to make all the phone calls during this final stage. As amazing as it must feel to inform the successful candidates that their dreams are coming true, it must be at least as hard to shatter the dreams of those who haven’t been selected. The deep breath he takes before beginning speaks measures about what he must be feeling. When he talks to Kenji, he gives a long introduction before finally announcing the results. It’s funny really – while this frustrates Kenji, we in turn are forced through something similar while more of his back story is recounted. While I’m sure they wanted to draw out the time between the beginning of the call and the results in order to increase tension, they’ve already had an entire week and there was never really all that much doubt that Kenji would pass. Other than those final few moments before the sudden burst of light signifying Kenji’s acceptance, I didn’t really feel all that much tension over the whole ordeal.

The majority of the episode focuses on Kenji’s previous line of work and how he met his wife. It’s really no surprise that someone with dreams as large as his would find such a confining and static job to be dull. The lack of traffic, of people, and of nearby restaurants and landmarks seems to reflect the same hollowness he felt about the job – the empty and unfulfilling daily life in which nothing special ever happens. Everyone wears the same uniforms, eats the same food and works in their own small corner of the larger facility, a small fish in a big ocean, another uniform cog in the machine. Since everyone is the same, there’s no passion or motivation, the careless spilling of food by those serving in the canteen another reflection of this. In truth, I can’t imagine how someone as obviously adventurous as Kenji ended up in such a position.

In the end, it was his wife’s influence that actually led him to try and become an astronaut. Thanks to her support for his dreams and use of his own phrase ‘Better to do it than not.’ he ended up taking the tests. It’s amazing just how much making a simple decision can brighten even the most mundane of daily routines – finally knowing what you’re working towards rather than eternally stuck in the same place.

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – This week we focus on Kenji’s former job and what led him to take the tests in the first place. #SpaceBros

Random thoughts:

  • It’s funny to see how Mutta’s mother’s carefree attitude contrasts with Mutta’s nervousness.
  • So Kenji was doing his age guessing thing even back during his university days huh?
  • Hoshika seems to be at least as impatient as Mutta when it comes to finding out how the results are going to turn out!
  • I never really expected Kenji to meet his wife through such a cliché method – that accidental dropped book and series of coincidences has been done so many times in the past.

Full-length images: 09.

 

Preview

Uchuu Kyoudai   35   Preview 01 Uchuu Kyoudai   35   Preview 02 Uchuu Kyoudai   35   Preview 03

Omake

Uchuu Kyoudai   35   Omake 01
December 2, 2012 at 8:48 am
23 comments »
  • December 2, 2012 at 9:12 amAnonymous

    According to calculus and statistical mathematics, the probability of an encounter with you future spouse through the dropping and eventual return of a book (or notebook) is very minute perhaps even infinitely small. In anime, that probability is 80-100%. The moral? In the anime world, math be darned.

    • December 2, 2012 at 9:36 amMoomba

      If only anime logic applied to the real world…

      • December 2, 2012 at 12:23 pmRoguespirit

        In which case we would only need to follow the wisdom of Keima, the “Capturing God.”

    • December 2, 2012 at 1:18 pmZen

      Lol, lazy writing and/or time constraints work in tandem to perpetuate ridiculous tropes like this one. Writers would rather go with easy and obvious ways to move the plot forward and avoid spending too much time on trying to come up with unique and creative events, especially when faced with strict deadlines for (manga) manuscript submissions…

  • December 2, 2012 at 9:15 amHakoniwa

    I just watched this week’s episode, and I have to agree… while it was nice to know about Kenji’s past and motivation, it did take the whole episode away, and, in the end, we’re informed he passed the exams and (probably) is to be considered an astronaut now… at least I hope so. He’ll have to go through a lot of training, but I guess it’s safe to say that he’ll be taking no more tests. I feel glad he did it, Kenji really deserved it, but who really didn’t? I can understand Mutta’s line of thought, it can be all about look afterall… it’s hard to tell who is less capable among all candidates, and I wouldn’t want to be the one informing them of the results. Still, it does look like we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to see Mutta’s result… and it’s kind of frustrating, even if it was expected, given the previous cliffhangers provided by the series. I do think it helps build up the tension, but hey, I think we have enough tension already!
    But somehow… even knowing the next will also put that off, I still find the episodes worth watching – it’s never unpleasant. And I do want to know what will happen to Serika! It would be nice if the three of them could be in space at the same time, but I think that’s not likely to happen.
    So anyway… we wait some more. I wonder what happens after the results are all up, do we get to see some of the training? Will it skip a few years ahead? I want to know all that already, but it’ll be sad when it ends.

    On another note… it’s my first comment here, and such a long one too. I’ve been reading reviews around the site for a long time, here and there, and if it wasn’t for the first Uchuu Kyoudai’s episode’s review, I don’t know if I’d have started watching it… so I’m grateful I took my time to read it just after it was posted, ’cause that the review convinced me it was the best choice at that time, and it was indeed. Thank you!!
    I’ve been reading all Uchuu Kyoudai’s reviews just after watching each episode ever since, and this one time, I felt like I had to leave a comment. Sorry that it’s so long. See you next week!

    • December 2, 2012 at 9:28 amHakoniwa

      About luck*. Certainly not about looks…

    • December 2, 2012 at 9:40 amMoomba

      Glad my original post convinced you to pick up the series! It’s been a great ride so far, even with a few minor hitches such as this.

      While I’m not entirely happy with Mutta’s results being sidelined, I defintely still enjoy watching every single episode – they’re all pretty awesome characters so regardless of whose back story we’re watching, it’s all interesting to learn.

      I’m also looking forward to seeing where it’s going to go after the results are done. At the very least, I’d kind of like to see Mutta achieve his dream alongside Hibito before the series is done.

    • December 2, 2012 at 9:53 amAureateFlux

      Honestly, I don’t feel much tension at all regarding Mutta’s chances. He almost certainly will make it, and if he doesn’t pass this time we’ll end up with a time jump to the next one, which he undoubtedly will pass.

      I wasn’t certain Kenji would pass until Tsurumi mentioned adding his scores from the 3 tests together to determine if he passed– he certainly should have a decent score from the second test and Mutta et al surely did him great service during the third test.

      Serika on the other hand– well, she probably did well on the third test, but JAXA surely knows about the food shortage during the second test. That’s going to hurt her a lot (remember she partly passed the test because the group “voted” her through). She will probably make it, but I see her chances as the worst of the three. It would be a shame to see her stick around in the show purely as a love interest for Mutta– I want to see her continuing to pursue her dream, and the relationship subplot will be much more interesting if Mutta and she are training together.

      And as for Mutta– like I said, his chances are extremely good. I’m sure in the eyes of Tsurumi et al at JAXA, he was the star of his group– maybe the whole test. I got the feeling it was Kenji who took the vacated spot, not Mutta. After all, Mutta was instrumental in making his group successful, and he did it without grabbing for attention for himself. JAXA surely saw as much. And it was Mutta who salvaged the situation caused by the food shortage. As for the third test, Mutta’s observational skills and honest and fair assessments of the other candidates surely put him in a very good place. Add on top of that the massive good will he garnered from approaching Azuma (both from the people who were shocked and worried about his approaching Azuma and from Azuma himself), and it’s almost certain that Mutta got effusive praise from everyone at the third test. Also, he’d basically been playing the third test ever since he first visited Hibito in Houston. All the CES-51 crew members liked him and surely passed on their opinions at one point or another.

      TL;DR? Don’t need to worry about Mutta because he’s always done better than they tell you he has– and because plot. Serika on the other hand might actually be in danger. Let’s hope not!

  • December 2, 2012 at 9:17 amAureateFlux

    Well, it’s not like the book dropping was immediately followed with starry eyes and impassioned confessions. I thought it was refreshing that their courtship apparently had a slow, gradual start over several chance encounters. Their meeting really would have been cliche if it had instantaneously resulted in them getting together.

    • December 2, 2012 at 9:42 amMoomba

      This is certainly true, though I did get a feeling that it may have been love at first sight for Kenji at least. Nothing too wrong with clichés anyway so long as they’re used in moderation.

  • December 2, 2012 at 9:28 amN0216332

    i am happy for kenji >:D in the real world (or at least the UK)… he would have gotten friendzoned… simply because he’s actually nice.

    • December 2, 2012 at 9:43 amMoomba

      Aye, and he certainly seems to have met a wonderful woman. A very lucky man!

  • December 2, 2012 at 9:30 amhwighting

    I was wrong about Kenji yet again. Just ignore my predictions from last week and in the future.

    I was sure we would hear about Mutta this week but somehow they were about the milk Kenji for the entire episode. Next week we’ll be milking Serika (whoohoo). We’ll be well milked before this is all over.

    • December 2, 2012 at 9:47 amMoomba

      I have to wonder if they’re only going to do this for the three who have been together from the start or if they’ll actually draw it out to include the other members of the cast too. As much as an evil part of me wants to see that nasty guy who was in Kenji’s team fail, I’d like to actually see where the series intends to go next.

      • December 3, 2012 at 1:32 amKingofConquerors

        I think this special treatment is only going to be given to the three….perhaps the failures of Nitta and that guy on Kenji;s team would be shock value that would be saved for later…(i’m sure they will have their own flashbacks, but they won’t the Kenji-Serika-Mutta formation…)

        about the episode itself, it was certainly delightful and worthwhile…i can understand Kenji’s gripe for wanting to become a bigger person than he already was (since he had the capacity to do so), and her wife was very thoughtful to provide a way for her husband to channel that desire…

        I hope Kenji won’t end up like Fukuda, though….

    • December 2, 2012 at 9:58 amboo

      I fully predict that after next week’s Serika special after this week’s Kenji special, we will have Nitta special, followed by Mizoguchi special, and then finally in 4th week, we will have Mutta running around with Apo for 13 minutes doing silly things, followed by sitting & talking to the bald guy on the phone for 5 minutes and finally we will find out that he passes with 1:30 to spare….Yay… They wouldn’t dare to milk it further by extending it to 5th week by cutting to ED while slowly showing Mutta’s reaction as the bald guy tells his result. They wouldn’t dare.

      • December 2, 2012 at 10:02 amAureateFlux

        You SAY that. But you know, we all know, they’re perfectly capable and willing to go there…

  • December 2, 2012 at 10:04 amunderMebius

    Actually, I enjoy this episode very much. And uh, I’m quite used to Space Bro prolonging an arc just like the closed space arc and I just started to enjoy the anime as it is.

    Kenji’s backstory depresses me. I don’t want to end up like him working at some factory until I die! D:

  • December 2, 2012 at 3:10 pmBanana Furikake

    This episode made me laugh.

    My name is Kenji.
    I look like Kenji.
    Kenji’s wife looks a lot like my own wife.
    We met in college.
    Kenji’s daughter is the same age as my own.

    Only difference is that I’m no astronaut!

    LOL.

  • December 2, 2012 at 4:09 pmThe Truth is in the Axe

    I like that by going through Kenji’s personal life we see him being more casual and vibrant. Not that he isn’t before, but it’s not everyday to see an “Ace” character showing joyful and hopeful moments in a way that being with his family would be.

    Having him tie up his books with a belt all old-fashioned style is like adding to his “Ace” character, in a way.

    I also like how his daughter sing the A B C song. I did the same thing when I got to L M N O P.

  • December 2, 2012 at 6:53 pmbriex

    Oh syiet. I can’t believe I’m tearing up at the end of the episode. I’m really happy that he passed. I really like Kenji’s personality, no doubt he is my fave character in Uchuu Kyoudai.
    Props to A-1 Picture for this episode.

  • December 3, 2012 at 8:56 amGuilherme Mamede

    Thats why I should save uchuu kyoudai episodes to watch last.
    Now I have a couple more animes to watch but after episodes like this they don’t seem that much interesting anymore.

  • December 7, 2012 at 3:27 pmSgL

    Caught this late this week and actually don’t think I have a problem waiting on Mutta’s reveal at all. I want to know WHY people aren’t chosen. It might make some of the random things explored in the earlier test fall into place.