「拝啓日々人」 (Haikei Hibito)
How’s that for foreshadowing? To be honest, it was pretty blunt and lacked quite a bit of subtlety, but I guess it works! After hearing about the fire extinguisher robber for the second time I was almost positive that he would be making an appearance (the further mentions only made me even more certain), though I couldn’t be entirely sure they weren’t just leading us on.
Unfortunately, this episode once again manages to skirt around most of the problem at hand – we still have no idea whether Mutta will pass the tests and more and more bleak observations (such as the fact that more than half the people voted against Mutta) are being thrust upon us. Hoshika (Ryuzanji Show) remains as adamant a supporter of Mutta as before, even suggesting leaving the decision up to a computer in face of Tanuma’s accusations of favouring him for personal reasons. Tanuma intrigues me. I’m curious as to whether his objection to Mutta is based solely on the fact he used violence against his boss (which, as much as I hate to say it, would be reasonable) or if it goes deeper than that. Given that we already have one face from the past showing up on the panel to make the decision, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to discover that Tanuma was also an old acquaintance – perhaps one the boys had unintentionally wronged long ago.
Once again Uchuu Kyoudai spends quite a bit of the episode giving us further insight into Mutta, Hibito, and their relationship as brothers. We get yet another glimpse into Mutta’s untapped talent – just like his incessant need to right anything that’s even slightly out of place, he has an impressive aptitude for multitasking. His apparent ability to take in information from everything that’s going on around him is undoubtedly a quality desirable in an astronaut, even if it stems from his attempts to block out unwanted thoughts by flooding his brain with information. On top of that, his focus in removing the stubborn label from the cactus’ pot proves just how determined he can be when he sets his mind to something. It’s unfortunate that JAXA’s early tests didn’t seem to provide a facility to test for these types of extraordinary (and highly relevant) skills!
Mutta finally comes clean to Hibito about his chances of passing (with a very specific statistic!), though he still doesn’t disclose the reason why his chances are so low, which probably leaves Hibito with the impression that his brother is being overly negative about things. But perhaps he’s already aware that there might be something behind Mutta’s reasoning – he’s already shown that he’s far more aware of how his brother is feeling – and how he thinks – than one might assume at first. In fact, Hibito’s inability to complete the test in time this week is likely because he can’t focus on it properly with his mind clouded by concern for Mutta. Additionally, Hibito seems to show far more reason than his brother at times. He laughs down the idea that the Agony of Doha could have anything to do with Mutta’s future (Mutta probably just feels the need to blame something when things go wrong) and he provides some insight – if you can give up on your dream, it was never really your dream at all.
The incident with the fire extinguisher robber is finally the opportunity Mutta needs. Everyone at JAXA is watching and the conditions are very similar to those presented by Hibito’s airlock simulation. In fact, the impromptu nature of this situation would prove just how well he can adapt to sudden and unexpected problems far more than any test would. If he can make good use of his observation skills and take down the robber (which I’m assuming he does… with a headbutt to boot) it might just be what Hoshika needs to make a good case for his inclusion in further tests!
- The amount of knowledge the author shows in all things relating to space continues to impress me. Harrison Schmitt’s experience with regolith and its effect on his lungs is actually something of an interesting read.
- The sheer amount of detail that goes into newspapers is also astounding! I actually paused to read this one to see if it made sense!
- For a moment I thought Mutta might actually be a smoker… but nah… I should’ve guessed he was too much of a child at heart for that!
- Those bubbles do serve an additional purpose though. They’re used multiple times throughout the episode as a metaphor for dreams (in particular, Mutta’s dream) – they’re extremely fragile and it only takes the smallest outside influence to crush them.