「天国で地獄」 (Tengoku de Jigoku)
“Heaven and Hell”
For a second week in a row, Uchuu Kyoudai has managed to surprise me. The preview last week never really left any doubt about whether Hibito would survive the fall and I can’t really say I think Hibito is likely to die. Damian I’m a little more worried about – he’s comparatively expendable in this situation and his death could serve to create some long-lasting drama. But Uchuu Kyoudai has generally been more of a feel-good anime… I can’t imagine large amounts of drama which would potentially detract from that being introduced. This is why, when things were starting to look up and we were finally getting back into the usual swing of things, the sudden cliff-hanger managed to surprise me yet again. Now what’s going to happen to Hibito?!
It may have come as a surprise, but the foreshadowing was definitely there in the frequent shots of Hibito’s suit, each showing the damage it had sustained during the fall. While we don’t know how much time has passed since Hibito originally made his prediction on how long he’d need to wait for the others to arrive, it doesn’t really feel like enough for the eighty minutes of oxygen he has remaining to allow him to hold out. Just when things were beginning to look up for Damian, it seems like the most plausible option to allow at least one of the two to survive would be for Damian to give up his oxygen tank.
I always find it rather impressive how touching Uchuu Kyoudai manages to be. We don’t really know Damian – compared to many of the other characters, he hasn’t really been given all that much time for development. Yet through the flashbacks, parallels, some impressive voice work, and Uchuu Kyoudai’s typically clever writing, it was easy to become attached to him in those moments where it seemed everything was over. Death – and facing it – has long been a recurring theme in the show, so there’s always something a little moving about seeing how the different individuals try to deal with it. Damian had already prepared his son should he never return from the moon, but being prepared is never quite the same as actually facing it.
All in all, like last week, it was rather a strange episode by Uchuu Kyoudai standards. The constant dark, the underlying tension, the unsettling music, and the uncertainty of what might be coming were quite different to what we’ve had for the past three cours. Yet it still had the thing which makes Uchuu Kyoudai one of the shows that I most look forward to every week – that neverending struggle and spirit of never giving in, whether it be in chasing dreams, or going against the manual in order to save a comrade.
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – A slightly different episode of #SpaceBros, but a good one nonetheless!
- It’s interesting to hear Hibito talk about death, and how he imagines it will be much the same as before being born.
- I love some of the imagery Uchuu Kyoudai likes to pull, the whole ‘fallen into hell but can see heaven’ being just another example.
- When you think about it, Hibito was really lucky to survive that fall relatively unscathed, even on the moon!
- But damn, this is a show that loves its intense cliff-hangers!