「11件目のメール」 (11 Ken Me no Mēru)
Sometimes Uchuu Kyoudai just hits all the right buttons. I feel slightly at a loss for words following this episode – there was so much emotion and power to be found over the course of its twenty-odd minutes that it’s hard to organise my thoughts. The results at the end of last episode, while effective, never really hit me as hard as I would’ve liked. They didn’t have quite the impact that I’d expected them to have. In retrospect, I see this as an extremely clever use of directing and storytelling. This is a show that has constantly done what it can to let us live vicariously through Mutta – to experience the same things he does.
That scene was certainly powerful, but it was only a beginning. Things haven’t sunk in, not for Mutta, and not for us either – the climax remains obscured in such a way that we feel that same slightly unreal feeling he does. That it wouldn’t sink in is fair – sometimes you convince yourself that things won’t work out, especially if you have a rather pessimistic mindset such as the one Mutta frequently exhibits. He’d begun believing strongly in luck, worrying that it had been wasted on trivial matters instead of the one place where it really counted. That kind of mindset makes it easier to deal with things when they fall through, but also makes it harder to believe when dreams and wishes come true. For the entire car journey, he sits looking lost as we share in this relatively low-tension period.
The moment when Mutta steps into the press conference was handled magnificently. Mutta’s dawning amazement, the individual shots of the other successful candidates over a backdrop of flashing cameras, the sudden increase in the intensity of the music, and the buzz of the press all contributed into making this a spectacular scene. This is it – the reveal of the full lineup, the beginning of the realisation of Mutta’s dreams, and the road on to the next part of the story. For me, this has to be one of the greatest moments in the entirety of Uchuu Kyoudai to date – a culmination of expert direction, masterful writing, and beautiful music.
But it doesn’t end there either. Uchuu Kyoudai still has more up its sleeve, and this still isn’t the moment when everything clicks for Mutta. Until now, I had considered the roles of many of the side characters who appeared earlier in the story to be over, and in many other works, they would be. In a story about becoming an astronaut, those who fail along the way are no longer really necessary to its continuation. But Uchuu Kyoudai is not strictly a story about becoming an astronaut – it’s a story about achieving your dreams. Every one of the former candidates appeared or was mentioned in some form this week, none of them forgotten. In fact, it was Furuya’s words of encouragement – the words from a guy who was always at odds with Mutta – along with his continued desire to push towards his own dreams that finally caused everything to sink in for Mutta. It’s perhaps one of the things that makes the story seem so organic – that everyone has a role to play, even when they would’ve been dropped entirely in another work. I was right about Mizoguchi too – he’s grown a little after his failure, coming to understand what he did wrong and able to put any bad blood with Kenji or Mutta behind him and smile.
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – It takes a little while, but things finally begin to sink in for Mutta. #SpaceBros
- Mutta realises that having a benefactor like Hoshika can be both a blessing and a curse…
- The press obviously wanted him to say ‘Y~ay!!’ Damn you Mutta, why didn’t you say it?!
- Hopefully next week we might actually get some hints as to what the mysterious shining object Hibito saw was.
- It’ll be interesting to see where we go from here – whether there will be time skips to get Mutta onto the moon before the show ends or not.