It's time for the prospective astronauts of Space Brothers to find out the results of their final selection exam - who will make it, and who will fall at the final hurdle? Be prepared to wait a while, judging by this episode.
With Kenji topping the list of candidates to put in the phone call to, rather than cutting to the chase we spend the episode diving into his back story as we flit here and there throughout his past. This means that we get to see him at his place of work as he bemoans the feeling that he should be doing something more interesting with his life, and also head back to his college days to witness his thirst for adventure and to see everything that he possibly can, while also meeting and growing closer to the girl who is ultimately to become his wife.
Indeed, it's actually she who suggests that Makabe should take the plunge and apply to be an astronaut, regardless of what it might mean for the amount of time it allows their family to spend together - it's a lofty goal to work towards, but one that gives Kenji purpose and the spark that he needs to reclaim the one thing that has been missing from his life previously. It's only come the end of the episode that we find out for sure whether he's failed or succeeded in his goal after throwing a red herring or three our way, however.
Although I'd suggest that the last thing Space Brothers needs to do right now is slow down its pace yet further as we reach a pivotal point in the series, in fairness this dive into Kenji's past was actually a pretty interesting one - he's a character who we haven't gotten to grips with in terms of what makes him tick previously, so it makes sense to figure spend some time figuring him out here. My worry is that we're going to be getting this kind of treatment for all of the major candidates over the coming weeks - next up is Serika, who already seems pretty well-formed as a character so I'm not sure what more the show can add to our impression of her at this point. Still, if one series has managed to do a good job of dragging things out in a fascinating way it's Space Brothers, so hopefully it has something worthwhile up its sleeve.