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SPACE BROTHERS #3 -- Watch & Learn

The only review column to compare this to COLUMBO.

That’d be funny if this ended up adopting some formula for every episode where Mutta has a new quirk that seems damagingly-neurotic at first and then winds up being shockingly advantageous to his goals. Sort of like how Columbo would act like a bumbling imbecile to lure the bad guys into a false sense of security, then drop a “Just one more thing…” and totally flip the switch on them.

In this case, it’s the dude’s seemingly-weird desire to hug a display case so it’s easier for him to imagine himself standing inside its space suit. Even while I doubt that anybody would really deem that a line-crosser for a guy who’s trying to come out on top of a highly-competitive space program, it was still rather cute to find out how the act winds up reminding his crush of her father. What luck! Her old man was a twitcher, too!

Less cute, and more bizarre, is the part where Mutta’s other unlikely quirk - - his superlative lung capacity - - factors into the episode’s highest moment of tension. Once again, I’ve got to say that no amount of human drama in anime diminishes the strangeness of this show building suspense over a dude blowing into a tube so a ping-pong ball stays aloft. It works, it works, I swear it does… it work so well that I feel like there must be some terrible, unseen cost for it working.

Hell, this episode even finds a way to put a friendly spin on professional mediocrity! Have you ever fretted about how you’ve never exceled at one thing? Well, this episode will make you feel good about performing at average levels across the board instead of any of having any gross imbalances to your skill-set. It's just turning frowns upside-down, left and right.

Watch this episode, "The Man with the Advantage and the Running Female Doctor” 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

SergioBon May 29, 2012 at 4:50 p.m.

That’d be funny if this ended up adopting some formula for every episode where Mutta has a new quirk that seems damagingly-neurotic at first and then winds up being shockingly advantageous to his goals.

Hmmm... there are a couple more episodes where he shows off a couple of skills or admirable traits. I'm not sure if all the episodes have one though.

Turambaron May 29, 2012 at 4:57 p.m.
Between Kotetsu and Mutta, Hirata has a serious knack for voice acting quirky older characters.
metalsnakezeroon May 29, 2012 at 5:22 p.m.

That lung capacity scene reminded me of a movie (Forgot the name of it).

superschureon May 29, 2012 at 7 p.m.

@metalsnakezero said:

That lung capacity scene reminded me of a movie (Forgot the name of it).

Maybe Gattaca?

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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