When the going gets tough, the tough get going... except in Mutta's case, it seems that they bury their head in the proverbial sand.
As we quickly learn from this episode, when times are tough for Mutta he chooses to ignore his problems by almost literally flooding his brain with information, multi-tasking with all his might to push out any worrying thoughts from his head. Given his current situation with regards to the astronaut selection procedure, it's no surprise then to find Mutta reading the paper, listening to the radio and watching television at the same time, all while eating his breakfast.
Of course, Hibito knows exactly what this means despite Mutta's assertions that there's nothing wrong, in turn leaving Hibito worrying about his younger brother. Is it this that causes him to fail the latest aspect of his training when he normally breezes through everything? Perhaps not, but either way Hibito seems to determined to find out what's bugging his brother, who finally relents somewhat and admits that his chances of qualifying for the next stage of the astronaut selection procedure are slim, even if he won't elaborate on why. As Masa tries to fight Mutta's corner while JAXA try to whittle down their chosen parties to qualify for the next round of astronaut training, maybe all of that random data input into Mutta's brain will finally come to some use after all?
Although Space Brothers continues to be as blatant, and frequently cheesy, as it goes about its business of relaying Hibito and Mutta's stories, I still find myself more than able to forgive it such foibles. Okay, since its more subtle hints way back in the first episode its become more and more aggressive in promoting Mutta's innate abilities, and sure it's lazy and downright clumsy at times in progressing its story (culminating in this week's story of a spate of robberies), but its characters and our love for them are strong enough to help it traverse such obstacles intact - even though we roll our eyes occasionally we still want to know what happens to Mutta and Hibito next, both as individuals and as siblings. I'd be the first to admit there's a risk that this clumsiness could threaten to override the show's feel-good factor if it continues along these lines, but for now its still doing its core job of making me care about what's going on decidedly well.