「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

Random thoughts:

  • 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!

Full-length images: 06, 19, 20, 22.





  1. I have to admit that I skipped through the childhood scenes because I really didn’t care for them and wanted to see the exam results. Then when the ending credits came I remembered the episode’s title and went back to watch the scenes properly.

    I have a feeling that both Mutta and Kenji won’t be chosen by their team, but will pass the exam anyways. As a side note, I wonder if Mutta actually ever gets anywhere with Serika anyways?

  2. This episode ended in a rather melancholic note but I still enjoyed it!

    I’ll feel really sad about Team A breaking apart. I hope all 5 of them managed to get in + Kenji, though that’s being to optimistic.

  3. for wearing a bag like that, I did multiples times in junior high when my shoulders were hurting bad. I didn’t get a backpack but a strap over the should one like Mutta’s and to relieve it, I slung it on my forehead. LOL wow I can’t believe it, it’s been so long since then.

    I am just waiting for the next episode.

    1. “Does anyone actually wear a bag on their head like that?”

      I did it a couple times in junior high, maybe a little even in college when I was felling lazy, but not for hours like it appears Mutta did. My neck got tired faster than my shoulders!

  4. I’ve always suspected that the limit to the number of astronauts hired in the end was only a tentative goal (or that it’s another stress test, those bastards). If you look at the astronaut selection list by year for all programs, you’ll see that some years have none selected and some have just a couple to several at a time.

    My point is that JAXA can select any number of the candidates here depending on their results in the third test. I suspect that the test isn’t to pick out the best candidates, but to weed out the ones who aren’t fit for long space flights. If you think of it that way, JAXA would have been ready to hire all 15 candidates if they proved themselves and none if they everyone devolved into something like Team B’s bickering before the point deletion. Why limit the number of hirees when the selection process has proven to be fluid and flexible already?

    …And that brings to question how many people JAXA will hire. It looks like everyone in Team A and most in Team B (none in Team C, I guess?) have a good chance, but I’d really like to point out that Yamato still has a good chance. He’s able to think creatively and differently and isn’t prone to circlejerking/groupthinking, and could really work well being the jerk with a heart of gold. 😛

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