Sunday, 27 May 2012

Space Brothers - Episode 9

Despite training to become one himself, it's still rather a shock to think of the danger and fragility of life as an astronaut - it's enough to give a guy nightmares, and understandably so.

Thus, as Mutta flies home to Japan, he finds himself plagued by thoughts of his brother having written a will while forced to consider the danger both himself and his brother may be put in by their dream.  More specifically, he finds it rather odd that nobody around him seems to have the same concerns - Mutta and Hibito's parents are (outwardly at least) nonchalant about the whole thing, and although family man Kenji has worries of his own about the future, his concerns are rather different.

Still, there's little time to sit and ponder such big questions, as Mutta's return to Japan sees him join his fellow wannabe astronauts, both those who failed and the handful who passed, in a celebration of the success of Mutta, Kengi and Serika (plus a couple of others).  This party gives Mutta something else to chew on too, as Serika relates her desire to board the International Space Station despite its teetering on the precipice of obsolescence.  While the reason for this isn't immediately obvious, particularly when the other astronauts are aiming for the Moon or Mars, once Mutta learns the reason for her particular dream he begins to doubt his own motivations and goals for reaching space as they pale in comparison.

Although the setup of this particular episode didn't bring us any major drama, it worked well in a very different way as it led us down the path of pondering some almost imponderable questions such as the balance between achieving a dream and coping with the risks involved in doing so, and what counts as a "worthy" reason for pursuing a goal.  It's deep stuff if you start thinking about it, but presented in a simple, friendly and mostly entertaining way thanks once again largely to the screen presence of Mutta, who continues to carry out his role as the central point of this show with aplomb.  It isn't breaking new ground or providing any memorable scenes at the moment, but it continues to offer up a compelling mix of the coolness of space travel with the more human elements of what such adventures entail.

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