「さらばの前の日」 (Saraba no Mae no Hi)
“The Day Before Goodbye”
I had originally begun to think that this might be the final episode centred on the third astronaut selection exam. I’ll admit to a moment of worry at the start of the episode – I’m not a big fan of recap episodes and had previously praised Uchuu Kyoudai for avoiding the need by subtly reminding us of events from earlier in the series so it would be rather a pain to find that they were going to give us one anyway. Fortunately, it didn’t go down that route – instead we had a moment’s reprieve before the inevitable final burst of pressure and tension that will be brought on by candidate selection.
The candidates of both teams (did Team C ever actually exist? I’m beginning to forget…) also share that reprieve as tensions temporarily lessen in both groups, thanks mostly to Mutta and Kenji. After resolving himself at the end of the previous episode, Kenji manages to finally bring Team B closer together, proving himself the better of the two potential leaders and apparently earning points with Hoshika. But he’s not the only thing that contributes to this lightening of moods – the ‘unfortunate’ loss of the point system also helps to reduce the competition it had been causing which helps to erase the suspicions and paranoia, as does the reception of a pair of green cards. The contents of the green cards in this case were not actually important – what mattered was that it provided confirmation for the two that none of the other candidates had been doing something malicious of their own will. It was fine to speculate that people might be sabotaging things on JAXA’s orders, but never actually being asked to do it themselves would cause a large amount of doubt on the subject.
Team A’s cooperation hasn’t really been in question after the past few episodes, so it should come as no surprise to see them band together to rectify their food shortage under Mutta’s supervision. It is, however, interesting to learn that Sharon is famous in the community of space eccentrics, though really it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise given that not everybody lives in an observatory. But as a result of this, we learn that Mutta has always seen himself as being alone and only now realises that there were others like him all along. Which is kind of odd really when you think about it… surely with the existence of the internet he would have found like-minded people long ago? That aside, there’s something touching about Mutta’s realisation that all these people he’s spent time with are just like him.
It’s a little sad knowing that soon we’ll be parting with some of the other candidates. I can’t imagine the anime will continue to follow those who aren’t selected to become astronauts, so just as Mutta, Kenji and Serika will have to say goodbye to the others, so will we. The OP continues to do nothing to contradict original impressions that those three would be the eventual successful candidates, and despite their often extensive character development, I can’t see all the participants becoming astronauts. Or perhaps I can, but that would not mesh well with the tone of realism the series has so rigidly adhered to all this time. It would be too happy.
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – As the conclusion of the third exams approaches, we have a moment’s reprieve from the constant pressure of the tests. #SpaceBros
- It’s amazing to see how much Nitta appears to have loosened up over the course of the third exam.
- Hoshika is an S!
- Does anyone actually wear a bag on their head like that?
- Was Hibito not around at the time? They may have been in different years, but they still shared the same dream right? So Mutta was never really alone at all!