Earnest Failure

Earnest Failure is an anime episode of Space Brothers that was released on 05/18/2013

With their rover complete and ready for the Comeback Competition, Pico invites Mutta to go drinking with him and Vincent. Vincent, Pico and Rick were born in the same small town, and had big dreams about space. Vincent wanted to become an astronaut and go into space, Pico wanted to design rockets and Rick wanted to be a flight director. They all looked up to Brian Jay.

Earnest Failure

When Vincent was 15 years old with, Pico, and another teenager, Rick, they worked together to build rockets. One time they tried to launch their rocket named the "Penguin 14", but it exploded into pieces after it launched. (See Point of Interes 1) Rick said, "an earnest failure has meaning." He then suggested they cut up a part of the rocket debris for each of them to take as souvenir of their failed rocket.

Enemies to astronauts?
Enemies to astronauts?

Back in the present, Vincent drives Mutta to the bar to meet with Pico. Vincent proceeds to ask Mutta a confidential question to stay between them, Vincent asks who does Mutta consider to be an enemy. Vincent says the media is his enemy, since they don't really take space exploration seriously. There are those who criticize the limitations of manned spaceflight, and as a result the usefulness of astronauts. Then there are those who favor unmanned spaceflight, like those in the robotics industry, thus getting rid of the need for astronauts all-together and say that government funding is wasted on astronaut training and missions. Then there are astronomers and scientists who only study space from Earth. Vincent believes that the purpose of space development is to send astronauts into space, anyone who thinks otherwise is an enemy.

Sharon helped Mutta realize
Sharon helped Mutta realize

Meanwhile on the Moon, Azuma and 2 Russian astronauts rendezvous with the CES-51 crew on the Moonbase. Vincent and Mutta arrive early at the bar so Pico is not there yet. Mutta tries to answer Vincent about his enemies. At first Mutta says astronomers, scientists and astronauts who all love space should all be on the same side. Mutta doesn't consider any of them his enemies, but he thinks maybe he is his own worst enemy. Mutta hopes that one day Vincent will get the chance to meet Sharon, who helped Mutta realize that he was only holding himself back from fulfilling his dream as an astronaut. When Pico arrives, he tells Vincent about Mutta's idea of making the wheels using sponge. Vincent teases Pico saying this is why Pico likes Mutta now. Pico laughs and says no, Mutta is just positive about failure. To which Mutta says, "as long as it's earnest, an earnest failure has meaning." Vincent and Pico are reminded of when Rick said the same phrase after their failed Penguin 14.

The promise not to fail on their dreams
The promise not to fail on their dreams

When they designed and built their next rocket the Penguin 15 and tested it, it also launched and exploded in the air. It was about this time that astronaut Brian Jay made his debut in space as an astronaut. At the time, Brian worked aboard the ISS (International Space Station) but there were problems. A fire had almost broken out due to faulty wiring. Brian was able to smell the burning and extinguish the wire in time to save the rest of his crew. They really admired Brian. They promised that in the future Rick would become a flight director, giving safe flight instructions to Vincent when he becomes an astronaut, and Vincent will be flying in a ship that Pico engineered.

Vincent, Pico and Rick were born in a town called Pothill in Minessota. The town's economy relied on a nearby strip mining operation. Thus most of the men in Pothill were laborers, Pico and Vincent's father's included. That night Vincent's father asked how long Vincent would continue making rockets. His father hoped that Vincent would be a mining engineer like him, saying that Vincent should start thinking about his future. His father invited him to attend a career fair on Thursday held by the mining company. Unfortunately Vincent already promised Rick and Pico to see the ISS in the sky on Thursday.

The ISS above Minnesota with Brian on board
The ISS above Minnesota with Brian on board

When Rick, Pico and Vincent tells their teacher about their plans of becoming a flight director, rocket engineer and astronaut, the teacher tries to discourage them. The teacher said that ordinary people from small towns like Pothill had never been accepted into large universities like the ones Pico and Rick wanted to get into. The teacher tried telling Vincent that once he was born in Pothill his chances were shot at becoming an astronaut. When Rick, Pico and Vincent were on the hill that night, Rick tried to cheer them both up by saying that Homer Hickam, a former NASA engineer grew up in a small town. In the night sky, Rick, Pico and Vincent saw the ISS flicker across the sky, with Brian inside it. Back in the present, Pico empties his pockets searching for something.

Points of Interest

  • It is implied that all of their rockets before Penguin 14 were failures.
  • Pothill, Minnesota is a fictional town.
  • Gene Kranz, is a retired NASA flight director.

Characters & Voice Actors

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Nanba Mutta ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Hiroaki Hirata ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Pico Norton ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Houchu Ohtsuka ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Suzuki Takayuki ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Vincent Bold ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Kenjiro Tsuda ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Rick Turner ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Kazuyuki Okitsu ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Brian Jay ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Akio Ohtsuka ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)

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