「閉じ込められたライバル達」 (Tojikomerareta Raibarutachi)
Now this is the kind of test I’ve been looking forward to! While it may not be space itself, we’re finally going to be getting some episodes centred on the next best thing: space simulation!
Considering just how unusual many of the ‘extra’ candidates on top of the original eight are, I’ve been beginning to suspect something that was brought up by a few people last week – that they’ve been placed there as part of the test and aren’t really candidates themselves. Nitta, for example, seems to act pretty coldly to everyone around him, constantly referring to Mutta as ‘onii-san’ – a low jab at his relationship to Hibito. Furuya too has something of a difficult personality – always speaking his mind and directing prejudices against various people. Heck, even something Nasuda says seems to support this – he suggests that Furuya’s comments gave Team A some leeway to speak more freely, almost as though this was done for that very purpose. However, this speculation seems to be almost entirely fruitless – the internal monologues of both of the aforementioned characters heavily suggest that they too are proper candidates. It doesn’t entirely rule out the possibility that some of them have been planted though.
It was quite interesting to observe the various candidates during the ‘last room‘ segment. I’m sure a lot of people have experienced something vaguely similar at some point in life – I can remember being shown similar videos of car-crash aftermaths as part of some sort of road safety seminar. At its core, it’s a scare tactic – something designed almost entirely to shake your resolve by showing you the worst-case scenarios. If you’re going to do this, you need to be able to maintain your resolve even despite the knowledge that such things do happen. In this case, the candidates were shown a video of Brian Jay (Ootsuka Akio) and his crew in their final moments as they plummeted towards the earth in a faulty re-entry capsule. It was sad footage to watch, seeing them attempt to lighten the mood despite knowing what their ultimate fate would be and it’s no surprise to see more than a few of the candidates shaken by it.
I’m extremely glad to see that, despite this, Mutta’s resolve remains relatively unwavering – he admits that he doesn’t want to die, but at the same time, he doesn’t want to die having never been into space. I can understand that – it’s one thing to die after you’ve achieved your dream, but another to die without ever having reached it. For a while I was pretty sure that Teshima would decide to back out during this final opportunity. If nothing else, he’s definitely seemed the most nervous and indecisive of the candidates so far. On some level though, I wasn’t surprised when none of the candidates chose to back out – to have come so far for their dreams only to give up now would have been a little on the pathetic side. It looks like it took far more than that single cup of coffee for Teshima to make his decision though.
As the episode concludes, the teams are given their very first assignment – to figure out what time it is within ten minutes – something made all the more challenging by JAXA’s attempts to confuse them. With his answer completely different to the rest of the team, it looks like this might be the first of Mutta’s opportunities to show just how awesome he is! Well, that or he noticed a clock somewhere after disembarking from the bus. Tests that trick you into failing to notice something obvious are not uncommon. They’re the best kind of test too!
- Oh Mutta, some of your nightmares make me laugh. That one was kinda tense though!
- Team A. Mutta’s dream… or his nightmare? Sure he’s with Serika, but he’s also with two people who clearly have something against him. It’d be interesting to see exactly how they picked the teams – it seems likely that it was partially based on who you ranked lowest on the survey, but that doesn’t appear to be the only criterion.
- ‘I don’t like them because they’re too tall.‘ Great reasons man. Thoroughly justified.
- Flip that… book!
- I predict that Teshima will snap. I feel kinda bad for the guy, but he’s obviously been on the verge of panic this whole time. Can’t say I blame him really.