The Worst Possible Punishment

The Worst Possible Punishment is an anime episode of Space Brothers that was released on 08/11/2012

It's the final day of JAXA's third exam in the sealed boxes, and the teams must pick two members of their team to become astronauts by the end of the day. Mutta is nervous and worried on how they are going to decide. Everyone in their team is as equally qualified as each other, and it has been a real pleasure getting to know each of them.

Plot Summary

Washing the udon
Washing the udon

Mrs. Nanba wonders why there is a star marked on today's date on the calendar, she cannot seem to remember that today is the day that Mutta, her son, will be returning from JAXA's third exam! In the morning, Serika writes in her diary, and is thankful that the exam turned out fairly well. Yasushi also reads an e-mail correspondence with a Professor Baba Hiroto, thanking him for inspiring him to become an astronaut. For breakfast Team A cooks and eats the udon noodles that they prepared, it tastes rather good. Mutta wonders though, if they ran out of food in space, they probably would not be able to knead the dough in space, because of the lack of gravity, or even mix the flour properly.

The team is impressed by Mutta's performance
The team is impressed by Mutta's performance

Just then, Hoshika informs them over the intercom that their final instructions for the day are to do whatever they want, but they will have select 2 candidates from their team by 4p.m. and will be given a reminder 2 hours before 4p.m. When Fukuda asks what everyone wants to do, Yasushi says they should start with their daily tasks, starting with running math. Mutta is worried by why JAXA would leave them with the decision, and how they are supposed to decide, Mutta decides not to think about it and focus on the task at hand. At home, Mrs. Nanba is cleaning with the roller and finally remembers that today is the day that Mutta returns home! Mutta then proceeds to blaze through running math, solving 49 questions, beating Nitta's record. Right afterward Mutta starts reading an American joke book. (See Note 1) Furuya and Yasushi are a little worried by Mutta's spike in performance.

Yamato Mizoguchi
Yamato Mizoguchi

Over in Team B, Yamato has been working on reconstructing their individual scores. Tomii has been helping him since he remembers most of the scores accurately. Yamato says to Kenji that he does not see any other way of deciding who to choose. From the scores, Teshima has the most points. Over in Team A, Mutta and the others have started cleaning the box from top to bottom. Mutta thinks about all that has happened over the last two weeks. Mutta wishes that all 5 of them could become astronauts. Just then they are given the 2 hour reminder. They finish up cleaning and sit down, but no one has any idea how they are going to reach a consensus, everyone is as qualified as each other.

Nanba Mutta
Nanba Mutta

Fukuda realizes that he and Serika are at a disadvantage because if they become astronauts they won't be as useful to JAXA in the long run, firstly because Fukuda is getting old, and secondly since Serika is aiming to work on the ISS, which is soon slated for retirement. Nitta goes against using a voting method, because there are ways to vote strategically to give yourself an advantage. Then they could also leave it to luck, but what is the right way to decide? Mutta remembers that Sharon told him not to worry so much about doing things right and that you're heart knows what's right, so choose what will be most fun. When Mutta returns from the restroom, he tells everyone that they should decide with rock-paper-scissors and that he is serious. Over at mission control, everyone including Hoshika and Director Nasuda are watching each Team's deliberations closely.

JAXA watches the team's deliberations
JAXA watches the team's deliberations

Nitta is okay with rock-paper-scissors, saying there can't be cheating like there is in voting. Furuya is outraged and pulls out his notebook to show them that he has been carefully recording everyone's scores on the daily tasks. Mutta stops him before he reveals the scores, and remembers that it was Furuya who said, "Rock-paper-scissors is the fairest way to decide" (when they were deciding who would skip out on a meal). Mutta says their team is like rock paper scissors, no one really knows who is the best. None of them ever thought that a game of rock paper scissors would change their lives.

Points of Interest

  • The date can be seen on the calendar at the beginning of the episode as December 8th, 2025.

Notes

The following notes are referenced in the summary.

1. It is implied at this point that Mutta becomes "rolling Mutta" (first explained by Mrs. Nanba in episode 7). In order to block out the problem of having to think about which 2 teammates to choose, he is overwhelming himself with other things to pay attention to.

Characters & Voice Actors

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Nanba Father ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Chō ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Mother Nanba ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Mayumi Tanaka ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Furuya Yasushi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Ryo Naito ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Serika Itou ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Miyuki Sawashiro ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Fukuda Naoto ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Naoki Bandou ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Nanba Mutta ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Hiroaki Hirata ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Miyuki Sawashiro ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Masa Hoshika ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Ryuzanji Show ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Nitta Reiji ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Takanori Hoshino ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Kenji Makabe ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Masayuki Kato ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Yamato Mizoguchi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Shintaro Asanuma ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Sharon Kaneko ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Masako Ikeda ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Shigeo Nasuda ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Yutaka Aoyama ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)

Credits

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Ayumu Watanabe Director
Chuuya Koyama Original Concept Creator of the manga Uchuu Kyoudai.
Koji Yabuno Character Artist/Designer
Yu Ko Storyboard
Toshiyuki Watanabe Music

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