As the Japanese trio of prospective lunar astronauts impatiently await the verdict following their NEEMO training by sharing a barbecue together with Kenji's family, our focus shifts back to Hibito as he continues to progress rapidly with his rehabilitation.
Much of this progression is framed through the continuation of Olga's story as Hibito watches the second volume of her family's DVDs following her progress - a disc chronicling Olga suffering a minor injury (a sprained ankle) before finding that her recovery time sees her simply lose her passion for dancing as the stress-free life of lounging around that her injury has afforded her suddenly seems far more alluring. It's only seeing her father head into space and his achievements there that makes her passion return, and of course from there the rest of the story writes itself.
Buoyed by witnessing these events, Hibito breezes through the remainder of his rehabilitation, leaving him with just one major hurdle left to clear - organising a test in an EVA suit in front of NASA's directors to prove his suitability to return to proper work as an astronaut. It's an exciting time but also a terrifying one, and having not told any of his colleagues about his troubles it also looks set to be something he has to face alone to boot.
This is another of those episodes of Space Brothers that manages to be engaging and a little touching despite not really progressing its story in leaps and bounds - it seems that Hibito's final test for his panic disorder will be the real story of next week's instalment, and of course things are also building up for Mutta as well over the coming weeks. It says a lot about the series as a whole that I'm sufficiently invested in its cast to enjoy even relatively slow episodes, though.