Rather than Space Brothers leaving me on the edge of my seat, the last couple of weeks has seen me perch myself on the edge of my seat before even starting the episode to save me needing to move later.
This seems to be a wise move as Hibito's nightmare continues - in spite of his best efforts to keep colleague Damien alive he seems to be slipping away as the cold penetrates his body ever further, while Hibito is having to consume more and more oxygen to keep moving in the hope of reaching the surface and sunlight in time. Once again putting Damien's life first, Hibito stops to use his only flare - supposed to be deployed to let everyone know where he is - to warm Damien's body before continuing on his way and finally reaching the (temporary) nirvana of the sunlit-drenched lunar surface.
With NASA refusing to list to Mutta's hunch as to what his brother would do in this emergency and where he would end up, Hibito arrives outside of the ravine to find no signs of rescue, while those would-be rescuers have just reached the crash site. Again, Damien comes first as Hibito does what is required to give him enough sunlight to warm his body, but not too much to the point where it could effectively boil him alive. It's only at this point that it strikes Hibito just how alone he is out here on the lunar surface once again, although not as alone as he thinks he is as NASA have started receiving data from his spacesuit again even if they can't contact him directly. Even this moment of relief is short-lived for all concerned, as the most terrible of truths come to light - Hibito has ten minutes of oxygen left, but rescue is at least twenty minutes away. It's a scenario that Hibito himself also seems to have realised; just how should a man spend his final minutes of life on the moon?
Having already wrought so much tension and emotion out of its current goings-on, we're at the point where we know what to expect from the series right now, and once again it delivers - tension, drama and intense emotions rule the day here as we're again related a brutal depiction of the harsh reality of this planet so near, yet so far, from Earth. It speaks to how engaged we are with Space Brothers characters that even in the face of the impossible you can't help but hope and cross your fingers that someone, something, anything saves Hibito - alas, I shall have to steel myself for another week - and perhaps even longer - to find out if those prayers will be answered.