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SPACE BROTHERS #2 -- Watch & Learn

Don't cry, man. This was a good episode!

You know, the trick played on the space program interviewees in this episode is actually pretty brilliant. Send somebody up in a ship, and you’d want them to be stressing out about even the smallest detail being awry… because that means they’re paying attention.

Maybe it’s a little quaint of a plot point, or a “moral,” but I couldn’t help but smile over the twist that makes Mutta’s seemingly-neurotic handicap out to be something of an unexpected strength. I always bring up KING OF THE HILL whenever I come across anime shows that can make such small character moments work so effectively, and with such even keel, because… well… there aren’t too many points of comparison on this side of the pond. That show does a lot with a little.

That said, after this episode, I’m a little curious - - maybe even a little dubious - - as to how effectively this story’s going to work out in a serialized format. The first half where Mutta visits his “aunt” and gets back in touch with the dreams of his youth is effective (albeit a little drawn out) - - but making effective cliffhangers out of things like the results of job interviews is a tough row to hoe. It’s a trickier plot to break up into 22-minute chunks that leave you tantalized enough to come back week after week.

Then again, it’s only the second episode. No reason to jump to conclusions. We’re not on the Moon yet, or anything. At the moment, I still can’t understate how refreshing it is to watch a show like this - - something’s that’s closer to Earth, that doesn’t have world-shattering stakes, but is still larger enough than life for me not to get bored.

Watch this episode, "My Shining Star” here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

sickVisionz moderator on May 23, 2012 at 7 a.m.

I've heard you say it before, but I've never understood why you feel that human drama is difficult to tell in a serialized format. Interesting characters and situations work well in any format imo. I don't get why you feel it doesn't work when there are plenty of examples in the west of shows about semi-normal families that are serialized and are plenty interesting and last for many seasons and are positively reviewed. What is it about anime that you feel makes this a difficult task when live action does it on a pretty regular basis with ease?

Rxanaduon May 23, 2012 at 10:32 a.m.
@sickVisionz said:

I've heard you say it before, but I've never understood why you feel that human drama is difficult to tell in a serialized format. Interesting characters and situations work well in any format imo. I don't get why you feel it doesn't work when there are plenty of examples in the west of shows about semi-normal families that are serialized and are plenty interesting and last for many seasons and are positively reviewed. What is it about anime that you feel makes this a difficult task when live action does it on a pretty regular basis with ease?

I think he's still caught up in the thinking that anime has a small amount of examples of human drama.  Welcome to the NHK and Red Garden are two shows that immediately come to mind which show tons of human drama.  Both are available on Hulu.
 
Also, you've already watched a couple of anime that touch on this genre already ( Tatami Galaxy and Monster are a couple).  
 
Trust me, Tom: anime has some genuinely well-told stories revolving around this genre.  You just have to look for it and ask around when you're stumped.

Dig Deeper into Space Brothers

Nanba and Mutta Hibito are brothers who dream of becoming astronauts. Nanba, the younger brother, has become an astronaut. Space Brothers follows Mutta as he struggles to achieve his dreams of becoming an astronaut, and more importantly being a model big brother.

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