The wait for that all-important phone call is starting to get to Mutta, but he's going to have to wait another week at least, as this week's Space Brothers turns its attention to Serika's story as her name comes around in the list of candidates to call.
In essence, Itou's story is a very simple one, of a happy family devastated by Serika's father being diagnosed with a brain disease with no hope of anything beyond a slow paralysis and death. It's a disease which gives Serika's desire to become an astronaut a different focus as her studying shifts her in the direction of becoming both a doctor and an astronaut, with a view to working on the International Space Station to find a cure for her father's illness.
Of course, it's too late to save her dad now, but Itou's desire to pursue this dream is still burning as her make or break phone call arrives. For the most part however, this episode is more focused on the younger Serika's life as her father is hospitalised and the true seriousness of his illness is revealed to her, leading to her distress and ultimate inspiration.
In all honesty, this particular episode of Space Brothers was kind of needless - we were already fully aware of the circumstances behind Serika's drive to become an astronaut, and it arguably didn't need to be reiterated. However, I can forgive this repetition for one simple reason - this was a fantastically moving and affecting episode that treated its subject matter both sensitively and directly. It continues to be one of the wonders of this series that it can turn its slow pacing to its advantage, and this is perhaps another example of exactly that. As much as I want to move on to whatever the series deigns to do next, I really can't do anything but praise the quality its bringing forth even during these less directly important moments.