Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Space Brothers - Episode 77

Hibito is at an all-time low as this latest instalment of Space Brothers begins - so much so that he isn't even turning up to his training-cum-rehabilitation any more, and to all intents and purposes it seems as though he's given up on any hope of recovery.

Although Ivan isn't the type to call his temporary subordinate in and force him to attend his rehabilitation sessions, he does have a rather different way of persuading Hibito to give things another try - by taking him out drinking.  Aside from his assured belief that alcohol makes everything better (he may have a point), he also points out that had Hibito been a Russian astronaut he would never have even been left to stew after his accident, and would have been straight back on the proverbial horse and taking part in EVA missions as soon as possible.

Of course, this wasn't the case as one of NASA's charges, and thus the only thing for it is a long, protracted recovery.  To this end, Ivan talks Hibito into filming his daughter at a ballet performance for him, while also kitting him out with preparatory material in the form of video of her training from a young age.  Of course, the point he's trying to make here is obvious - if you can't succeed at something with raw talent, then succeed through sheer effort and hard work; a concept which is perhaps growing on Hibito as he sees the teenage Olga in action.

Having been really looking forward to seeing how Hibito's panic disorder is dealt with, I'm really not too convinced about this story arc and the way it's progressing at this point in time - aside from being lazily stereotypical in its depiction of Russia (which admittedly the show is equally guilty of when it comes to America), it's starting to feel equally lazy in its handling of Hibito's treatment.  Certainly, its singing the praises of "getting back on the horse" isn't far off the mark, but its assertions of hard work and simply getting on with it conquering all does threaten to trivialise Hibito's disorder somewhat if it carries on down that line.  We shall see how it ultimately pans out, but this might be a rare weak moment for Space Brothers' narrative.

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