Having passed the written exam, Mutta manages to advance to the second exam in the hopes of being recruited as an official astronaut for JAXA. However he fears that some of his rival candidates are much more prepared than he is. Others seem to think that Mutta has an advantage because he is the brother of Hibito who is already an astronaut. During the running test of the physical exam everyone is impressed by one female candidate who is also a doctor.
Having passed the written exam, Mutta moves on to the second exam, a series of physical tests. It begins with a full body and background health check. When Mutta is forced to strip down naked as he is inspected, he has a fleeting thought that Serika also had to go through the same physical exam, and becomes slightly jealous of the doctor. Because of how dangerous it is to go out into space, JAXA does an incredibly thorough physical exam on all astronaut candidates in order to minimize the risks of getting sick in space. After the full body and background health check is over, Mutta cannot help feel a little humiliated.
Next JAXA tests their candidate's circulatory systems by having them run on a treadmill until they are completely spent. Mutta is able to run for 8 minutes. Mutta feels pretty good about this time until Kenji tells him that he lasted 12 minutes. It doesn't help that two other younger candidates in their twenties ran for 15 minutes and 16 minutes respectively. However, everyone is impressed by one female candidate, Itou Serika, who ran 6 kilometers in 18 minutes, this happens to be the same lady that Mutta spotted while eating lunch. (This occurred in episode 2)
After the test, Mutta and Kenji go out to sit on a bench and go over some facts about JAXA. After testing each other a bit they are approached by the two young candidates from earlier, Mizoguchi and Sawaki. Mizoguchi says how he is envious of Mutta for being Hibito's brother because Hibito could tell Mutta everything he needs to know about JAXA's exams. This way Mutta should have an advantage. However, Mutta never thought of asking Hibito for help. (See Note 1) Since most people think Mutta has an advantage, everyone else must have studied and worked extra hard for the exams, so Mutta concludes that in reality he is at a huge disadvantage!
As the physical tests continue during the day, Mutta consistently scores lower than Kenji, Mizoguchi and Sawaki. However there is one test that Mutta feels confident in, the lung capacity test. As a child Mutta learned to play the trumpet and played music with Hibito on guitar and Sharon on piano. Mutta could hold notes for very long amounts of time. Mutta and Serika are the two that are able to blow the longest, but since Mutta and her are sitting across from each other, Mutta end up getting distracted and loses to her.
During their next break Mutta wonders aloud to Kenji whether he will even get better than second place. Kenji tells Mutta not to worry because JAXA is going to look for people who scored consistently across most tests, not people that excel in just one test. Kenji reminds him that if a candidate scores well in the physical exams, but does not do so well during the mental or psychological exams, they will not be selected. Mutta feels better and thanks Kenji for cheering him up.
As Mutta stands in JAXA's lobby at the end of the 5th day of the second exam, he goes up to an astronaut suit that is on display in case. Mutta, wondering whether he will ever get to wear the suit, tries positioning himself in front of the suit so his face is reflected on the suit's helmet. Just as he does this, Serika sees him. Mutta is embarrassed. When Serika gets back to her room at the hotel provided by JAXA, she writes in her diary. She comments on the weather, how tired she is after JAXA's physical exams, what she ate for lunch, and what Mutta just did. When Serika is on the phone with her mother she tells her about what Mutta just did in the lobby. As a child when Serika visited JAXA with her father and mother, her father did the same thing that Mutta did, this makes Serika happy. Serika decides to try it for herself tomorrow when no one is around.
That night Mutta dreams about the time when he and Hibito used to visit JAXA as children. Hibito joked around a lot and made lots of funny faces when Mutta took his pictures in front of various space-related things. Mutta trying to be the mature one, purposefully did not focus the camera on Hibito, and only captured Hibito's pointy hair. Two more days of the second exam, Mutta arrives in JAXA's lobby the next morning and sees Serika hugging the astronaut case like he was the other day.
The following notes are referenced in the plot summary.
|Tsurumi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Nanba Mutta ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Serika Itou ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Nanba Hibito ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Kenji Makabe ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Yamato Mizoguchi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Manabu Sawaki ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Chuuya Koyama||Original Concept||Creator of the manga Uchuu Kyoudai.|
|Hiroshi Kato||Art Director|