Trapped Rivals

Trapped Rivals is an anime episode of Space Brothers that was released on 06/10/2012

The 15 participants have arrived at the location where they are going to be taking JAXA's third and final exam. They are divided into three teams, and told to live in a boxed environment for 2 weeks where they will be observed and have to complete tasks together. However, there is an unexpected twist leaving the participants unsure what JAXA is looking for. Their first task is to determine the time.

Plot Summary

The "last room"
The "last room"

Mutta and the others participants have arrived at JAXA's third exam's undisclosed location. The JAXA staff member who was on the bus with them leads them inside the facility, which doesn't seem to have any windows. They are led down a long and narrow hallway to a room that is called the "last room". All their luggage has been taken there, there are two vending machines and a large rectangular table with chairs. It is called the "last room" because apparently this will be their last chance to eat, smoke or drink freely.

Also they are given a disclaimer to read carefully and sign, which will be their last chance to decide whether or not to take the exam. They are said to make their decision after they watch a clip prepared for all participants who make it to the final exam. It is footage from the interior of the spacecraft in the 2023 crash just moments before the actual crash, which was never shown to public. (See Note 1)

After they watch the video, they are instructed not to discuss the video with others. It seems some people are hesitating to sign the disclaimer. Eventually everyone signs and they are divided into 3 teams of 5 persons each based on the surveys they completed on the bus. Each team is then sent to separate environments where, for 2 weeks, they will work together to complete various tasks. On the last day of the 2 weeks each team will come together and come to a consensus on which two on the team would make the best astronauts. Everyone is shocked and surprised. Mutta was originally excited to be teamed up with Serika in Team A, but this makes them rivals.

Team A
Team A

As they are being walked to their separate environments, Serika becomes increasingly concerned that they will not have enough to eat. Then it looks like Mutta and the rest of his team are going to be spending two weeks in an M-8 box. This happens to have windows, but they have are just covered with a poster that gives the illusion that they are out in space. Each box also has cameras and microphones to represent mission control watching them. Doctor Nasuda happens to be with the team watching over Teams A, B and C.

Director Nasuda has a few words for the three teams. Apparently once they had sealed a college student in one of the boxes for 10 days to observe the psychological effects of being in a closed environment alone. On day 8 apparently the student started losing it, and behaving in weird ways like mooning the camera. Their first task is to tell them what time it is. In a box on the table there is a clock and a battery, they are asked to discuss with their team before answering. Unfortunately no one wants to talk first, to Serika's dismay her stomach starts growling loudly and she tries covering it up and suggests that they each guess what time it is and compare.

It seems the majority of Team A thinks it is somewhere in the morning around 6a.m. However Mutta thinks it is 3a.m. Also Mutta did not write down any calculation on his paper like everyone else did, making it seem like a random guess. It seems like everyone used the same calculations too. For example, how long after their bus ride they began ice breakers, and how long that took etc. When asked why, Mutta says, "Umm, you really didn't need to do all that."

Points of Interest

Notes

The following notes are referenced in the plot summary.

  1. This incident was first referenced in episode 9. This is a fictional incident where the landing parachutes of a spacecraft got tangled, resulting in the spacecraft's inability to slow down enough to safely re-enter Earth's atmosphere and then a crash and the death of the 3 astronauts aboard.

Characters & Voice Actors

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Nanba Mutta ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Hiroaki Hirata ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Kenji Makabe ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Masayuki Kato ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Serika Itou ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Miyuki Sawashiro ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Shigeo Nasuda ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Yutaka Aoyama ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Furuya Yasushi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Ryo Naito ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Tsurumi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Eiji Ito ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Yuri Teshima ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Masayasu Nagata ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Fukuda Naoto ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Naoki Bandou ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)

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