Monday, 16 April 2012

Space Brothers - Episode 3

With the JAXA testing process well underway, Mutta can't afford to be left with his pants around his ankles at this all-important stage.  Wait, actually he can't, because it's time for a thorough (and decidedly embarrassing) medical!

Although his physical prowess isn't perhaps his defining feature, our protagonist does well enough for the most part against his younger, fitter rivals, even if he's rather negative towards the whole thing - an attitude not helped by the attitude of many there that he's somehow getting a leg-up on account of his brother's place as an astronaut.

Still, there's no denying that Mutta has some specialities which come out of the closet of his youth, even if they're rather short-circuited by his rather clumsy nature and constant fretting and putting himself down.  When it comes to the crunch though his heart is in the right place, and fellow examinee and doctor Serika Itou gets to see this at close-hand as she happens across Mutta trying something invariably daft that nonetheless rekindles memories of her own youth.  Indeed, it seems as if these two individuals might have more in common that their outward appearances suggest as we move to a crunch point in the testing protest.

I have to admit that after its fabulous opening episode these subsequent outings of Space Brothers have felt a little "stretched", slowing the pace overly with flashbacks and the like in a way which does break up the relentless testing montages to be fair, but it still feels like they're playing for time somewhat.  Luckily, the show remains plenty of fun despite that, feeling a little like "Bakuman for astronauts" as it gets into the nitty gritty of their selection process while Mutta drives the series by being "Kotetsu (from Tiger & Bunny) as a wannabe astronaut.  This increasingly feels like a series that would work better as a one-off movie (which certainly explains its live-action film adaptation coming this year), but Space Brothers still knows how to be entertaining thanks to a cool premise (c'mon guys, it's a show about space and astronauts and stuff!) and a hugely endearing lead character who you can't help but root for against all odds.

No comments: