Although Mutta might be fretting over his forthcoming final astronaut selection exam, this week's Space Brothers is largely more focused on another rather important countdown, as launch day fast approaches for Hibito and his fellow astronauts.
Thus, this episode sees Hibito boasting a packed schedule in the run-down to his big lift-off, including a journey to Florida and the Kennedy Space Centre to recreate and rehearse his final few days before lift-off, and going into quarantine in preparation for the launch.
This leaves Mutta largely to his own devices, and without anything else to do with his time he decides to stop sitting around waiting for his final exam to come about, instead choosing to train his heart out to improve both body and sole in the hope of gaining an edge in whatever the final selection process throws at him - a big unknown thanks to Azuma's presence, although Hibito seems convinced that he won't give Mutta a hard time despite holding a grudge against his younger brother.
As a continued build-up to Hibito's lift-off and Mutta's final examination, this was an episode that had little to do other than spin its wheels in a sense, yet in keeping with Space Brothers as a whole it managed to be both fun and interesting thanks to a combination of both its likeable characters and its attention to detail when it comes to the whole space exploration aspect of its premise. To be honest, this episode could simply have run through the build-up to Hibito's big day via a huge checklist and still been interesting, such is the inherent fascination stored up within its subject matter - an advantage which the series continues to use in keeping me hooked to its goings-on, without a doubt.