「閉じ込められたライバル達」 (Tojikomerareta Raibarutachi)
“Trapped Rivals”

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!

Random thoughts:

  • 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.

Full-length images: 08, 10, 12, 17, 18, 20.





      1. That might be, but turning this into another observation test would not be interesting.
        Here is how I see it.
        This is not about figuring what time it is, it is about setting a reference time.
        It doesn’t matter what time it is outside (besides there are i don’t even know how many time zones) since they can not see outside. There is no sun to take as a reference.

        They just have to agree, all five of them, on a point in time as a reference and start tracking time.

        Alex Voda
      2. Extra:
        Here is what I expect to happen:
        Mutta explains what I just said before but in his mind he acknowledges that the reason he chose 3:00 is because of the bus clock. But then, since it doesn’t really matter what time it is and they should just chose what is most convenient for them Serika openly chooses breakfast time because she is hungry.

        Alex Voda
      3. I dont understand why it is so important to know what Time it is. Peoples that was living for a Month inside a Atom Bunker. without connection to the outside. With time their “inner clock” have found their own peace.

        Sure, you need the Time to do some work or other things. But should you not go to bed when you are sleepy? should you not eat when you are hungry?.. but then. This Time stuff is surly for the community on the “Spaceship/space station” to know when to work, and when to sleep all together.

      4. ..or is this Test more to know “My Time is better then your Time, you know! I am the Boss. If i say it is 12AM then for all its 12AM!!”

        To sort out “Leaders”?

      5. But then if, all Sleeps on the same time on a Space Station. How will be there if something happen when they all asleep? It is better to have some “Timezone” Guards or crew shifts. To have someone take guard 24 Hours

      6. I very much doubt Mutta is wearing a watch, as all the candidates were clearly told “no watches, no phones” last week. How stupid would he have to be to sneak a watch in – and how stupid would JAXA be to miss it? I assume it’s some sort of monitor to track vital signs or something like that, and that everyone is wearing one. Mutta definitely saw the time on the bus clock.

      7. Muta, I think , is actually correct. Since if you been in the bus you WERE TOLD that its already 15 mins even though THE EXAMINER himself didn’t have a watch . Would you trust him?Or probably they were tricked.
        Its better to know your body’s internal clock(body habits per hour) to know approximate time during camping or in an isolated place if you didn’t bring a watch. It comes in handy during rainy forest days or typhoons. My experience during when our city was flooded due to typhoon. No electricity of course. By time I noticed useless things can be useful. For some reason my body tells me what time it is. If its already dinner, snack time, my hair isn’t soft anymore(Lack of shampoo effect) so its morning and etc.
        Other thoughts
        Since they are practicing for space, they have to set their OWN time. Space time is different from earth. In my case I would probably set it to 12AM so as I can count how many days has passed via 24hours. But since Serika is hungry I would set it to 7AM for start so that every could eat as well and set 1 day when another 7AM passes.
        This is just 2 of my theory though. Their are other ways to determin what time it is even in a close spaced.

    1. Suggest you rewatch the part where Mutta is about to get off the bus and he takes a look at the bus driver. You will see the bus clock showing 2:01am. That’s where Mutta got his reference time.

    2. Nah, I think they had to turn in their watches/cellphones at the start since it was a “top secret” facility. It most likely could be just a strap, its highly unlikely he conveniently has a watch otherwise the whole group wouldn’t be doing all the calculations.

      I do think there’s significance in when he stopped for a moment to look at the bus driver though.

    3. Basically yes Mutta saw the bus clock. But… Show Spoiler ▼

  1. This is quite good, the lesson here is to pay attention even at the smallest details and check our surroundings. This is similar to my prof in filming told me. When they went to shoot all of the scenes, the cameraman didn’t know that there’s no film inside. So, they had to re-shoot all of the scenes from scratch. Similar to being an astronaut, check all the settings such as time and etc.

  2. As expected of Mutta!

    “Please change into your uniforms.”
    “We have uniforms? But I brought clothes… and they were heavy…”

    Ahaha! I was thinking the same!

    Mutta is awesome~!

  3. I was thinking about what they’re gonna do at the end, and I think a good way to solve the problem is to repeat that survey thing. Each person get a paper and write down all names in order (from best to worst). The best get 4 points and the worst get 1 point. At the end they just need to see the two who got more points.

    There no need for drama. LOL.

  4. This episode (or rather, the discussion here) brings up a good point that real astronauts do have a different time frame. I never really gave that any thought until now, but when you’re in space, time has a completely different meaning. Afterall, time is relative. I agree that the correct answer is whatever time the entire team comes to a consensus to.

  5. Serika’s growling stomach reminded me of the epic “cute, gluttonous girl” argument from Danshi Koukosei no Nichijou (think it was episode 11). Anyone else remember that?


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