If I’ve learned anything from doing this column and reviewing all this damn anime, it’s that a show usually establishes its rhythm fairly early on. As such, I can feel confident in predicting that, through on until to the end of its run, SPACE BROTHERS will be a solid, understated, feel-good human drama… that can get a little padded and repetitive. We’re nine episodes in and the choice to stretch this story out over 50 odd episodes is already seeming like a bad idea. If they ever scaled back on the total count, I’m sure this would be one of the first to go.
Look, I like Mutta a lot, and I like how they’re taking time to show how involved and complicated his journey to become an astronaut is. However, it’s one thing to simulate the tedium of going through a bureaucratic selection process; it’s another thing to take that simulation so far that the experience of watching the show starts to feel like you’re actually going through a job application.
I’m pointing my finger at this whole business with Mutta getting so out-of-sorts about Hibito’s will and then his parents just shrugging it off. Realistic? Sure. But it’s a non-event in the plot - - exactly the sort of thing that makes the cut just because there’s so much screen time to fill. We then have his faux-celebration party and the point is that his cohorts suspect his success is due to nepotism… and that’s a point that’s been reaffirmed many, many times already.
Look, don’t get me wrong. SPACE BROTHERS is a great show. But it’s moving about as fast as the Moon in the sky seems to.