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Uchuu Kyoudai – 43 »« Uchuu Kyoudai – 41

Uchuu Kyoudai – 42

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「日々人の選択」 (Hibito no Sentaku)
“Hibito’s Choice”

As is the Uchuu Kyoudai norm, this arc continues to be drawn out but without feeling too slow. In truth, not a lot has happened over the past few episodes, but they’ve still been handled in an effective way. The complete contrast to how relatively light-hearted the rest of the series has been is definitely a huge mark in its favour too – it feels like we’re getting something new and exciting. Until now, everything has gone well, perhaps, as I actually mentioned prior to the launch, too well. It’s kind of hard to believe that nothing would ever go wrong in outer space, especially when this is a work of fiction designed for the purpose of entertainment.

I still fully expect Hibito to survive – for the oxygen generator to reach him just in the nick of time. But at the same time, what if that was a red herring? This entire arc feels a little like karma, especially when you take into account how much the series has talked about luck and balance, frequently referring to luck as a finite source. This is the dark patch to balance all the wonders that have happened so far – the reveal that space isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, that maybe luck really does run out. Before this point, nothing truly bad happened to the characters in the series’ run – questions of whether Mutta would pass were frequently raised, but he always overcame the odds, frequently on sheer luck alone, always worrying that it would run out and this would be the end of his journey. What if Hibito’s luck really has run out? What if this is the end of his journey? It seems almost as though everything that could go wrong at this point has gone wrong. If we stuck with the balance theme, we already have one pair of brothers that were tragically separated by death. It seemed like Damian would die, but in attempting to save him (and seemingly succeeding), using up the last flare in the process, Hibito might have traded his own life in return. Balance.

It’s kind of interesting to see how opinions on how to react to the situation differ from person to person and based upon varying factors that cannot be predicted. The personnel at NASA believe Hibito will follow standard protocol and wait to be rescued. If not for Damian’s urgent need for warmth, perhaps he would have. Realistically, it would be the sensible thing to do, yet Mutta seemed to think Hibito would try to leave the ravine anyway, despite having no information on the situation within. I’m honestly not really sure what to think about that, but then I guess Hibito may not be the most sensible of people and Mutta might be reacting to that. He’s caused a lot of worry for the family over the years and always come back relatively unscathed after all. The whole thing has been quite a mess with so many assumptions on what should happen by NASA, none of which came to pass as predicted.

There’s something really powerful about Hibito’s final lonely walk on the moon. He casts away his only remaining method of communication, choosing to spend his final moments in true solitude. I had never expected for the light to suddenly come back into play at this point – it came as a bit of a surprise to me. There’s something really profound about Brian Jay appearing in Hibito’s greatest moment of need, even if it is in the form of the counterpart to Eddie Jay’s doll – one similar to those used in the discussions on leaving behind an injured comrade so long ago. This is the guy that Hibito looked up to as a mentor, someone who also had a brother as an astronaut, and someone who faced death, just as Hibito is now doing. It’s quite impressive how Uchuu Kyoudai always manages to tie these things together and I can only look forward to seeing where it’s going to go next. Will Hibito follow the same path as his mentor and predecessor? Or will he manage to live on where Brian Jay could not? I suspect we’re in for quite the tense ride next week!

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – In Hibito’s true hour of need, an unexpected figure appears before him. #SpaceBros

Random thoughts:

  • Being dragged along like that can’t be good for Hibito. Things really do just keep going wrong.
  • And communications turn out to be damaged too! I’m surprised the Gibson wasn’t trashed!
  • The panic when everyone realises that Hibito only has ten minutes left was quite intense.

Full-length images: 01, 03, 06, 10, 12, 19, 20, 21, 27, 28, 33, 34.

 

Preview

Uchuu Kyoudai   42   Preview 01 Uchuu Kyoudai   42   Preview 02 Uchuu Kyoudai   42   Preview 03

Omake

Uchuu Kyoudai   42   Omake 01
January 27, 2013 at 8:13 am
31 comments »
  • January 27, 2013 at 8:40 amNatsu

    I like how this is one of the more interesting shows this season

  • January 27, 2013 at 9:12 amShuA

    Don’t die Hibito :”(
    What is the name of the oxygen machine? Brian? I hope it will find Hibito and save him

  • January 27, 2013 at 9:44 amwalaoa

    The last scene where hibito went for a walk in the moon in face of death is really powerful.When he about to give up and jump into the hole to view the star , it really scare me . It’s amazing how this show manage to portray the feeling of character.

  • January 27, 2013 at 9:52 amKamui04

    At the current pace I don’t know if they’ll be able to cover the next history arc which is pretty interesting.
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 27, 2013 at 10:08 amunderMebius

    Moomba… your post about luck is really beautiful. This was one of the most beautiful Space Brothers episode and your post about luck really gives more meaning to an already meaningful episode.

    Goddammit, I got chills when Hibito said he wanted to walk along space alone. Shit, Hibito, don’t lose hope! ;_;

    …and the ending song is really really perfect! Arghhhh! This anime is one of the best ever!

    • January 28, 2013 at 6:42 amMoomba

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m really glad you found my post meaningful in some way. This is definitely one of my favourite series that has aired in the past year and everything about it is handled so wonderfully!

  • January 27, 2013 at 11:08 amGermanguy

    This “Dolls”. Is this some habit of the Astronauts? Something like “I was Here!”?

    And Yes. Again a Episode full of Tension. i am curious waht will happen next. We saw that Hibitos Oxygen Display Level runs out (Houston!, We have a Problem!)

    • January 27, 2013 at 11:10 amGermanguy

      But Action aside. This Episode gave us something new (well for me). In the Shadows it can became -210C ? and in the Sun +120

    • January 27, 2013 at 11:53 amShin

      This is due to the moon having no atmosphere. Regolith has low thermal conductivity (so heat from sun can’t reach as far) and the ambient temperature of the solar system is a few Kelvin.

  • January 27, 2013 at 12:04 pmsgl

    The whole time during this episode, I kept wondering about Azuma’s earlier request. We know that all the probes were being sent to the crater but I lost track of the time for ETA. I’m going to hope that either that doll or something else provides Hibito with a solution.

    Frustrated that we’ll have to wait another episode or two to see this resolve, but I’m thinking taht when I watch these all in a row again that I’ll really enjoy it as a more layered experience.

    • January 27, 2013 at 12:12 pmShin

      I assume Azuma asked them to move it to the point where Mutta specified since we don’t see it once the buggy arrives. I agree the ETA and position didn’t make any sense. They should have shown a map with an overview of the situation.

    • January 28, 2013 at 3:41 amNaYa

      Yeah I’ve been REALLY hoping that the drones were relocated and were on Hibito’s way, but… one minute… >_<

  • January 27, 2013 at 12:10 pmShin

    I feel like some of these developments are rather unrealistic.

    I would say it would be highly unfeasible to do with Hibito did with the flare. Also it would have made more sense to keep going to reach the sun faster and keep the flare. Although it isn’t certain how good Hibito’s judgement is.

    In the short span of the flare, it probably can’t heat many rocks very high temperature. A few small rocks will not have that much heat capacity relative to that of the spacesuit and astronaut. Take into account the time Hibito wasted…it doesn’t make sense.

    If Hibito stayed there and waited for help they would have already been found. Hibito’s movements should also consume more oxygen. If he stayed put they would have been rescued. Also it isn’t clear if there is a method to transfer oxygen, but I would have assumed some mention about Damian’s emergency oxygen tank. If they could have hooked that up to Hibito, both of them would have had enough oxygen. All in all it seems like a lot of questionable judgement especially if you keep in mind that moving would subject them to unknown terrain of unknown distance and if there was a further accident no rescuers would have any clue where they were.

    • January 27, 2013 at 12:34 pmScruffy

      There is no way to hook up between suits. That was mentioned earlier and would certainly have been done if it was possible. Damian would have died for certain if Hibito had done nothing and if had followed the rules he should have allowed him to die and not risk himself. He made a judgement that he could save him and if not for his fall he would have not been in too much risk. Once he fell and lost his oxygen he had no choice but to go on with his plan.

    • January 27, 2013 at 1:09 pmShin

      Actually Hibito should have reevaluated after he lost his main oxygen. Moving away from the crash site would mean longer time for rescuers with oxygen to reach you as well as increasing your oxygen intake by a very large factor. They don’t seem to realistically factor this increased intake into their calculations.

      You are probably right in that there is no way to hook up between suits. However, I feel like this is a techinical feature that would have likely been incorporated into spacesuits for an extended lunar mission.

      According to this last episode the buggy reached the location approximately the same time Hibito and Damian made it out of the pit. Thus it is not clear Damian would have died if they rescued him promptly.

    • January 27, 2013 at 1:26 pmShin

      For example, Hibito could have gotten close to Damian and exchanged heat through his space suit to Damain through contact (wrapping the insulation around them). Hey its not exactly what I would want to see two guys doing, but I think realism should trump heroism in this series.

      This would seem like a far more prudent course of action among possibly others.

      • January 27, 2013 at 4:18 pmRex

        They cant exchange bodyheat through their spacesuits. If Hibito stayed put, Damian would have died. Hibito wanted to save Damian, so his son wouldnt grow up without his dad. It’s shown multiple times whenever Hibito thinks about saving Damian.

      • January 27, 2013 at 6:11 pmShin

        It showed the buggy reaching the end of the tracks before Hibito made it out of the crater. Freddie/Buddy indicated they could pull them up right away with the powerful winch on the buggy. Thus given that Damian is alive after that long its highly possible Freddie/Buddy could have saved them even if they stayed put. Thus Hibito’s assumption Damian would die unless he did something seems questionable.

        The main issue is the assumption that moving inside the crater is safe. There is no evidence to support this claim and seems to be based on questionable logic. The fact that the Gibson buggy made it there is no indication that the path is safe for human travel in the reverse direction. For example if you had a steep cliff, its possible that a drone could roll down but not make it back up again.

        I can see how they are trying to present Hibito’s actions emotionally, but logically the math and science doesn’t work out.

      • January 27, 2013 at 6:50 pmTre

        The reason Damian made it to the top was due to the heated up rocks from the flare (I guess that very idea of doing that might certainly be questionable). Hibito could have done that even if they stayed put, but he didn’t think of it at the time, and given the pressure he really needed to just do the first fairly reasonable thing he could think of, even if it wasn’t the best possible plan. Given that he found Gibson first and deduced that it probably got there through a less inclined path, it makes sense that this was what he went with first.

        As far as that assumption that the path was safe, I once read something about planetary rovers being programmed to constantly use their sensors to check for any major changes in the ground in front of them (same as with most current self driving robots). If Gibson got to a steep cliff, it would know not to go off it. If it were a gentle path downwards, however, it might do so. This wouldn’t be much of an issue if NASA were doing a full manual guiding of Gibson, but since they lost track of it, it means they were letting the internal system do a substantial amount of the maneuvering.

        Of course, there could still have been something that went wrong with Gibson’s system that made it get there by rolling down a steep cliff. But given the perfect condition Gibson was in, and the even tracks, it makes sense to consider it a good possibility that it entered the crater through a gently sloping path. At least, it made fairly good sense to try following the tracks given that Hibito needed to act fast to save Damian.

      • January 28, 2013 at 3:54 amFlanders

        There’s this interesting moon crash landing activity here.

        http://astrosociety.org/edu/family/materials/crashlanding.pdf

        Even a raft would be useful for a propulsion source, as I understand it. And flares do work in space.

      • January 28, 2013 at 9:24 amShin

        Flares work the way they are meant to (not really feasible the way Hibito used it). Agree or disagree there are tons of issues with this scenario that seem questionable or contrived.

        For example if the drone was realistic, they would have had far more information. The fact that the drone was at the exact location Hibito fell to implies that it was in constant communication with NASA (prior to getting cut off or battery dying), which makes it questionable that they didn’t have any data to explain its predicament. It is unbelievable that the NASA team would not investigate how/why/where and send the team off on a mission without any planning or preparation.

    • January 27, 2013 at 7:27 pmchaoslimits

      Hey we get it. It may not be completely thought out. But this is an anime; a little suspension of disbelief seems like the price of entry :P

  • January 27, 2013 at 12:12 pmRex

    HIIIIIBIIITTOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • January 27, 2013 at 12:32 pmFlanders

    When Hibito got dragged by Gibson before the OP, my heart jumped like crazy. Even more so when he decided at first to end it all. I was saying to myself, noooo, don’t do it! I’ve got to say, the characters of this show really grow on you.

  • January 27, 2013 at 2:09 pmZephyr

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HIBITOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • January 27, 2013 at 4:15 pmRex

    HIIIIIIIIIBIIIIIIIIIIIIITOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • January 27, 2013 at 5:16 pmnaixil

    oh gosh, it’s another week’s wait to find out Hibito’s fate! why didn’t NASA just listen to Mutta and Azuma. >_<.“

    • January 27, 2013 at 9:49 pmSkins Thunderbomb

      Somehow, I think they will now >>

  • January 27, 2013 at 5:51 pmThe Truth is in the Axe

    When Hibito was all “I’m going to take a walk by myself on the moon,” I was about to lose my shit.

  • January 28, 2013 at 1:31 ambaseone

    I guessing is that Azuma convinced the NASA guy to send at least “Brian”(the one that extracts oxygen) to the point where Mutta points where Hibito would likely to show up and while Hibito is looking at the doll the “Brian” will show up in the horizon.

    Well that’s what I think will happen.

    • January 28, 2013 at 7:45 amTre

      I’m assuming that this is what happened. If you look at the order of the scenes, first the command center announces that Brian probe arrived at the crash site. After trying to see into the ravine with it, Azuma speaks to the director, Claude. Then when Freddie and Buddy arrive on the buggy, the Brian probe is no longer there.

      Of course, Hibito seems to have lost hope a little too early. If he had quickly walked in the direction of original crash site, he might have run into the Brian probe or the buggy within time (I sure damn hope at least the probe makes it to him on time).