Sunday, 8 April 2012

Space Brothers - Episode 2

Mutta's dream of leading the way into space for his brother might not be completely dead just yet (thanks largely to a rather large suspension of disbelief and the help of his brother and mum), but is the elder Nanba brother even going to take up the opportunity offered up to him by JAXA?

Oddly, Mutta's initial response is to ignore his qualification as an applicant for their space programme, instead continuing (and succeeding in) his hunt for a regular job.  It isn't until he pays a visit to his favourite aunt, the owner of an impressive telescope and a major influence upon his life, that we understand his reticence to fight for his dream.

In short, Mutta is afraid of failure, and more importantly he's afraid of failure under the watchful eyes of his younger brother, meaning that he'd rather not attempt something than fail in doing so.  Understanding his dilemma, Aunt Sharon pushes her charge in the right direction, giving him the belief and drive he needs to follow his dream.  Of course, this is where things get really difficult, with a tough initial exam being followed up by a spell of testing and training within JAXA itself where only the best will do.  This leaves Mutta believing that his occasionally eccentric behaviour will be his downfall - but some of his eccentricities might just come out in his favour.

After pitching and delivering its first episode almost perfectly, this second instalment of Space Brothers was always going to be the "difficult second album" in terms of keeping that energy going, and as a result this week's instalment certainly isn't as strong as the series opener.  After wallowing perhaps a little too much in Mutta's past however, the episode eventually gets going as our protagonist begins to follow his dream once more, with the all-important set-up for events to come spruced up with some smart little moments that were inevitable but still well played, and some more great moments of slapstick comedy that were more Frank Spencer than Buzz Aldrin.  Come the end of the episode, I was well on-board the Space Brothers train (or rather, shuttle) again as its feel-good, enjoyable tale continues.

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