I Wasn’t Ready For Space Brothers

[HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.46_[2012.04.02_01.30.14]

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m quite terrible at anticipating new shows. Even if I manage to read a preview post that I can tolerate, I generally forget most of what I read especially about shows that I didn’t know of from other sources. So, I remembered nothing about Space Brothers, though in hindsight I remember being interested in it.

It’s the first show from the new season that I watched, and my goodness, it was love at first sight. Let me go database on you all:

Element

Observation

Personal Value

Brothers Check I am the eldest of three boys.
Space Travel Check I too, wanted to be an astronaut as a boy.
Astronomy Check I used to go into grassy clearings; thickets, etc. to get the best view of the night sky.
Hard Science Tentative As much as I enjoy Protoculture, etc. I love me a hard science fiction story too.
Unemployment Check Been there.
Burning Shounen Ambition Check Kind of like Planetes, but totally BRO.

On top of all this, it’s a good-looking show with clean yet distinct character designs. The animation looks fluid and smooth, and the music feels subdued but relevant. It feels like a mature show, without giving up its humor and light-heartedness. Unemployment and sibling rivalry can make for dark material, but it’s obvious that the show isn’t about GRIMDARK, it’s about going to space… just like your brother.

[HorribleSubs] Space Brothers - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.35_[2012.04.02_01.29.31]

If the table above doesn’t make it obvious, I relate to so many things about the show. I love how Mutto starts his narration with the arbitrary meanings lent by sports history. There’s a wealth of meaning and character communicated by that narrative device and it worked really well. I always thought of my birth year as special – the year when Dungeon & Dragons first got sold in stores, the year when Elvis died, when Star Wars featured, and Choudenji Voltes V aired in Japan. Yeah I’m old, a little older than Mutto in the story.

I never headbutted my supervisor but at Mutto’s age, I knew how it is to lose my job. Unemployment was terrible – the difference between us was that I was married and had a daughter. I took a terrible job just like he did, and thankfully I’m out of that one and am in a far better place (if overworked).

But Mutto is a single man, and the lack of familial responsibility gives him the freedom to apply himself recklessly towards the fulfillment of a personal dream. Don’t get me wrong I am not counting myself misfortunate for having family – quite the opposite. I just use different ways to reach my dreams as opposed throwing myself headlong into a situation wherein I have to travel and have tremendous focus.

I realize I haven’t mentioned Hibito at all, the younger brother. It’s hard for me to talk about him yet, because well, he’s so naturally awesome and perfect. I can’t relate to this guy. I mean, I love him to pieces because he’s a complete BRO and obviously loves and reverences Mutto. I love my younger brothers and I believe if I had reached out to them when I was down they’d have helped me…

But I never did, because a big brother should always stay ahead of his little brothers.

image

Blame Gundam AGE for not airing episode 25 where I live.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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30 Responses to I Wasn’t Ready For Space Brothers

  1. sadakups says:

    I wasn’t ready for this one too. With every new anime season, I just tend to watch ALL first episodes of the new shows and pick from there which ones I’m gonna follow.

    I saw the first episode yesterday and I like it already. What Mutto had to go through with losing his job and all while his sibling got his dreams rolling really hit me hard. I was jobless for a long time two years back while my sister got her dream job, and no, it did not involve me headbutting my boss. Oh yes, unemployment really sucks, especially when you get really older. I may have been “luckier” since I’m also single like Mutto, but still, seeing him get rejected over and over was painful to watch, because I’ve been there as well.

    Seeing a slice of life about the working class and fulfilling childhood dreams is something that I’m looking forward to this show.

    • Here’s a great read that I used as a counterpoint to the spirit of the show:

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/the-case-against-passion.html

      But being emotionally invested in career success as the proof of one’s worth makes people exploitable. That’s the secret of elite firms like Goldman and McKinsey, which hire people who were not simply bright, but have a record of achievements that shows that they care deeply about external validation. When an organizational guru came in to give a look over McKinsey in the 1980s, he was famously told by the head of the firm, “Don’t mess with the insecurity.”

      Now that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t care about your work, but there is a difference in degree, and I’d hazard it is actually a difference in kind, between seeking to achieve a level of competence or mastery versus the bizarrely idealized passion. That’s a good old fashioned sense of satisfaction in doing a good job, and that can operate at any level, from being a house cleaner or store clerk to someone in a much loftier position. And the idea of valuing. Yet as we’ve become a winner-take-all society, we’ve tended to devalue competence, even though jobs competently done are what keeps the system running. Instead, we’ve created more and more steep payoff curves, with the most extreme being in fields like acting and professional sports, where a very few people do egregiously well, and a lot of people have a go at it for very modest or no pay, because they think they have (or actually may have) some talent, but also do love the process.

      What bothers me is that the human potential movement (est and its many derivatives) tended to equate following your dreams with achieving happiness.

      I can’t say that my career is a story of me following my passion… in any case I still can have competence if not mastery despite not manifesting exploitable passion.I just won’t get to the moon or anything like that (as if passion opens windows by itself).

  2. Jay says:

    I am impressed. Although I did not include this in my watchlist, I’m watching this. Life lessons are here, perhaps?

  3. If you want to see the chapter online, here is the link http://www.animeavenue.net/mobile-suit-gundam-age-episode-25/ (someday i’ll suport namco-bandai… but that is in other time)

    so waiting other day for comment, i’ll not spoil you anything.

  4. Ryan A says:

    First thing I watched as well, completely unprepared. I am spiritually with you in that table, also was born in Brevard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brevard_County,_Florida) and currently live just a few miles (across the river) from Cape Canaveral, JFK Space Center, NASA, and the VAB. I’ve watched countless shuttle missions, Delta and Titan rockets, and dreamed of going into space… until I moved inland. But man, Space Bros is exhilarating!

    One thing that really interests me about Mutto is that he’s not a child, yet THAT BURNING YOUTH IS SO LATENT! (and visually keyed) I feel like I have a lot to write about wrt just this episode in how it “Speaks to Youth” but we’ll see.

    • reidjou4342 says:

      Hello from a fellow Floridian! I live up in the Panhandle but I went to school at UCF and I have a bunch of friends who either worked at the Space Center or are married to folks who did. Anyway, it’s a small world, ain’t it?

    • Wow, to live that close to NASA…

      I posted a chunk of counterpoint that speaks into the burning youth stuff. I’m not against it, as I really love it as a fantasy.

      • Ryan A says:

        Possibly too close, as I took it for granted in my teenage years. I’m lucky to see folks lining up along the river, quietly, just to watch a rocket w/payload go up.

        The counterpoint is understandable. Mutta can’t achieve his dream through passion alone, but he’s been given another chance, in some way, to rekindle. That’s luck, if you ask me. Not everyone gets that, and Mutta being devoid of direction at the right time lead to opportunity. (Not something to bet on, really.) His fate might have been sealed had he not headbutted the supervisor.

        But I like that he has a chance.

  5. Reid says:

    Just watched Gundam Age ep. 25 – whoa. A lot of junk happened. Some was cool junk. Some was awesome STUFF. Some, though, was just plain junk. Hopefully you’ll be able to see it soon enough, Ghost.

  6. megaroad1 says:

    Mmh, sounds interesting. Will give it a go once I’m back home (and with a proper internet connection!).

  7. Andaer says:

    I longed for this show since it was first announced. I have really high hopes for it, so I’m naturally not blown by this first episode. The humor bothers me a bit, I hope it doesn’t ruin the drama later on. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s a good start and I’m already long for next weeks take. Now I’ve got Space brothers as a perfect end of the week and Gundam AGE as a perfect start for the new week. Those sundays!

    Also, I love that this is going to be a long series.

    • What about the humor bothers you? I thought it was par for the course for seinen material. It’s not panty shots and “I’M NOT A PERVERT I SWEAR!” bullshit that noitaminA keeps showing.

      • Andaer says:

        It’s not the humor itself that bothers me. It is the fact that there is so much humor. I just don’t like it when there is randomly put comedy into everything. It didn’t make me truly laugh.

        Of course everything is better then ecchi “comedy”.

  8. Christian Ayala says:

    Is strange that in Japan the manga is popular but according to the polls, not that many fans are excited about this one… But again polls suck. I definitely going to follow this one!!!

  9. Pingback: One Good Reason Space Bros Shouldn’t Be Overlooked | My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull

  10. Rusty says:

    Ha ha, I didn’t make that Mars-Vagan link. Man, Flit sure doesn’t appreciate the exploration of that planet at all.

    I check out this show out of curiosity after seeing how well it’s received. The aesop about following one’s passion is cool and all but what moves me the most is how supportive Mutto’s parents are. That scene with the strawberries is just cute.

    • Hehe, I like families like this. I know of so much domestic drama in RL but as for my immediate family (my bros, my mom’s family) it’s pretty much perfection — just so much love and support.

  11. Vendredi says:

    This show and Sakamichi no Apollon look to be the expected highlights of the series. We’ve also got, interestingly enough, a new Leiji Matsumoto project, a remastered Nadia, a sequel to Eureka Seven, and of course Fate/Zero’s second season. This season is certainly looking interesting; even the “moe-blob” shows have rather absurd premises (anthropomorphic assault rifles?)

    • Vendredi says:

      Oh, and it might be some time before we see anything, but Mamoru Nagano’s “Gothicmade” project is also due out this spring. It’s an entirely one man project and judging from the way the characters move in PV on youtube, it seems very likely that Nagano has done almost all the animation single handedly (or at least the keyframes).

      Also, I have to say the tag you’ve given this series is incredibly amusing.

    • Too bad I’ve lost interest in Ozma by the third episode. The show just isn’t very well made, and the story isn’t compelling enough for me to stick around.

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  14. Hana says:

    But Mutto is a single man, and the lack of familial responsibility gives him the freedom to apply himself recklessly towards the fulfillment of a personal dream.

    And probably one of the many reasons why he’s so relatable; older than your average anime lead, but still young at heart, and now he has the chance to realise his childhood dream. I also loved the low-key way that the bros’ relationship has been set up so far. What a great start to the season! ^ ^

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