「宇宙飛行士への道」 (Uchū Hikoushi e no Michi)
“The Path to Becoming a Cosmonaut”
Well, the first episode may not have completely sold me on Tsuki to Laika, but this one certainly helped make up the difference. As expected it’s going to be all romance and the struggles of forbidden relationships before too long – and I’m looking forward to seeing it in action.
If Tsuki to Laika’s opener was all about introducing Irina as an unwanted pariah, this one could more or less be considered seeing that label in action. Pictures alone give the game away here, as some of Zirnitra’s scientists are apparently too smart to recognize myth and legend rarely translate into observable fact (outside of certain fascinating instances) and too proud to utilize a readily available source of information. Is Irina different from humans? Without a doubt, but that’s no reason to treat her in such a derogatory fashion, especially when she is your prime test subject. Something tells me our lead researcher wouldn’t like what the leadership would have to say if he had killed her during routine training.
The real fun (and what I’m liking most), however, is how Irina is being portrayed during these events. For all the severity of the cosmonaut training regimen there is a pleasant helping of comedy at work, whether that be Irina’s own cute strain of competitiveness, her surprising fear of heights, or that lack of taste which yields some hilarious interactions and even more adorable faces. Lev of course is what makes these moments work, for while he is undeniably acting for the sake of his assigned mission, he also sees Irina as human and has no intention of unduly harming the girl if he can help it. Giving her a push to get over certain humps certainly, but nothing like some others would do. This aspect has me very curious seeing what the narrative pressure point will be, because Irina will be sent into space regardless and Lev has the personality which could invite trouble if he digs in over a moral issue. Plenty of things can go wrong in a spacecraft after all, and I wouldn’t put it past the intended landing system to have a few teething issues Zirnitra’s leadership blissfully ignores for the sake of optics. Would Lev stand up to his superiors in such a case as he apparently did in the past? That is the million dollar question.
Before we get to such problems though first Irina has to learn to fly, and if this episode was any indication that’s bound to be a total hoot. Get those reaction folders ready boys and girls, pouty vampire faces are about to be back in stock.