|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
(24 episodes watched):|
Once I got a grip on the premise of Space Brothers, I was reminded of Rocket Girls--a show in which unlikely people literally shoot for the stars. In this case, a fired auto designer, Mutto, decides to completely change his life and attempt a new career as an astronaut. "A big brother should always stay ahead of his little brother" has always been his motto, and he feels humiliated when he finds himself unemployed while his younger brother is gaining fame as most likely to be the first Japanese man to set foot on the moon. Whether this will be at all plausible remains to be seen, but there is enough humor that it doesn't absolutely have to make sense. Character designs are distinctive and the OP sequence had me laughing in a WTF way. This might be interesting; the premise has been clearly explained, and Mutto seems a likeable guy who you can root for. A girlfriend for him would be nice. The question, again, is whether it will be believable or more along the lines of wishful thinking. I noticed that NASA seemed to be among the credits, which would suggest that Space Brothers has done some homework.
Sure enough, a potential girlfriend for Mutto has turned up. The one thing that is bothering me about Space Brothers is that it seems to me that the process of becoming an astronaut is being made to seem too easy. He didn't even submit his application himself, it was done for him; so, he is kind of drifting casually into an extremely serious job. Would an auto designer really have, both mentally and physically, what it takes to be an astronaut? Perhaps not enough attention is being paid to the thoughts which must be going through Mutto's mind--like what happens if he fails. Still, this is an amusing show even if I can't take it completely seriously.
The rivalry between the brothers seems dull and undeveloped to me; more a source of drudgery and depression than drama. Mutto has come to America, but what for? To argue and sulk? Perhaps because the rivalry between them was played for laughs earlier on, it's hard to take it seriously now. Mutto's spirit, and my interest in the series, revive when he faces a threat to his chances of being selected as a new astronaut. I still can't say that this show is highly engaging, but it holds enough of my interest to keep me watching. Maybe something remarkable will happen. My own thinking is that the odds of being accepted must be extremely thin, and the plodding pace of the show make it unclear how far Mutto will get. Will be actually go into orbit before this show is over? Surely that would demand at least 24 episodes. Given the degree of excitement which I'm feeling, I would sort of prefer that it wrap up in twelve.
I thought episode ten, which involved an interesting test to see how astronaut candidates interacted with others as they lost track of sunrises and sunsets, was the stuff that there should have been more of. Since the characters aren't highly engaging and the jokes are so-so, more intriguing astronaut stuff like this is needed. Episode eleven was better yet; for once the episode seemed to go very quickly and I was dismayed when it ended before I got an answer to the question of how Mutto had figured out the answer to an important question. It seems like Space Brothers waited until it was almost halfway through before it began delivering the stuff which I had been expecting almost from the beginning. But it seems to me that the test of prospective astronauts in an isolated chamber dragged on too long--the novelty wore off long ago, and I would much rather have seen something new, since (again) it's the space technology which is most intersting about this show. At one point I had been thinking about dropping Space Brothers, then with the chamber arc it seemed to have finally kicked into gear and I was enjoying it. Now I'm pretty much back to where I started. Maybe this story could have been fitted into a 12 or 13 episode series, and wouldn't have had to stretch what interesting stuff it had as thinly as has been the case.
Oh my God--now an episode twenty-seven becomes available, which means this series will be at least 39 episodes long. I think I have had enough; the entertainment that I get out of Space Brothers only justifies one season, not three.
Last updated Tuesday, October 16 2012. Created Thursday, April 05 2012.
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