Seeing as how I was just about to catch up with the simulcasting of this show, I figured I might as well hasten the happenstance by doing a double-sized column. Also, in light of how my commentary’s had to become a little repetitive, I figured covering twice as much material as usual might yield more discussion points.
Or maybe not. Like any competent piece of episodic TV, SPACE BROTHERS has settled into a regular rhythm and formula. I feel like even I got to the 50 or 60 episode, I’d be making all the same comments about how this is a great story that’s been rather tediously stretched out, and that I’d probably prefer the plot in the abbreviated form of the live action movie. I mean, at this point, I really shouldn’t be so bemused by how one of these episodes’ cliffhangers actually revolves around Mutta explaining how he solved a math problem, or how the other episode centers on Serika coming to peace with how her name means nothing.
The latter actually speaks more to how this show’s interest in pulling great pathos out of small details can feel like some obsessive-compulsive fixating on less-than-consequential minutia. Really, the message of the episode is the sort of non-event - - her name means nothing - - that gets screen time when the crew’s got plenty of episodes to fill.
That said, the ways that Mutta’s OCD fixations are shown to be positive demonstrations of attention to detail do continue to be ceaselessly endearing. I just wish the show would dispense with hanging the bait out since everybody’s know when the switch is going to come. That is, you don’t have to try to trick us into thinking that any of his quirks are detrimental at this point.
On the plus side, Mutta’s cheesy poofs-induced nightmare was a stitch, and the cantankerous shorty has been a welcome addition to the cast. I’ve commented a lot about how this show makes me think of an anime directed by Mike Judge, and damn if that guy doesn’t make me think of Cotton Hill from KING OF THE HILL. It seems pretty obvious that Mutta and Serika are going to be the one who pass this selection process, but it’d be a lot more entertaining. The prospect of being trapped for months in a dangerous space shuttle with an asshole like that feels like the premise of a good sitcom.
Alas, we come to my break point with SPACE BROTHERS. Much like MUSHI-SHI, this is a series I can wholeheartedly recommend whilst, at the same time, stressing how it’s a difficult show to review. Hell, whenever it gets dubbed, it might actually be a great “entry level anime” to get the “outsiders” in your life hooked on this stuff.