Man, Space Brothers knows how to tease.
We knew last week that Mutta wasn’t selected, but they managed to go through that entire episode before we learned who did make it. Not to mention the show’s off-week, we waited a long time. And though we knew that JAXA would chose additional candidates at their discretion, we also knew it was possible that Mutta wouldn’t be one of them. We’ve seen so much of him that it’s hard to imagine him with the likes of Neal Armstrong. That is to say he’s human. Meanwhile JAXA mulls him over, marveling at his rock-paper-scissors gambit, and noticing that Group A was the only one where the members left as friends. It was pointed out to the candidates before the third round that they had already shown they were qualified to be astronauts. JAXA must be looking for something else.
So we get scenes where Mutta looks for jobs. He gets a letter, but naturally we don’t get to read it. He then meets Fukuda, who’s been hired by a private space company. Good for him. He’s still in the industry and surrounded by people as excited by space as he is. But Mutta had referred to the two of them as “unemployed men.” And it looked for all the world like Fukuda was the successful one and Mutta was a failure. We also see Hibito training at NASA, with new goals. He seems to know something, or he has that odd confidence of his. So does Apo the dog … Even so, when Fukuda shakes Mutta’s hand and congratulates him on passing the exam it is a shock. Mutta didn’t make a scene out of it, well, the show didn’t. He didn’t dance around or make a fool of himself. Instead we see him sober and determined. The biggest moment of his life, and he acts like an adult. No wonder we couldn’t tell! Okay, I hope we’re done with the teasing now. And as for the new, sober Mutta, the previews suggest we’re going to get something sillier next week.
In Kokoro Connect 9, instead of watching the gang fall further apart, we see them reaching out. It’s a relief after the cruelties inflicted on them. The characters who had distanced themselves (nearly all of them) were talked into returning to the fold. We start with Lori and Taichi. Even if the logic they use is sort of weird, the aim is correct. Taichi confesses to being a bullhead righteous guy who refuses to accept anyone else’s opinion about what’s right. This comes from last week, of course. He basically says that it’s better to be together and run the risk of hurting one another than isolating themselves to avoid the risk. But it gets translated somehow to mean “We need to hurt each other.” Um, no, that’s wrong.
And it’s odd that the Aoki/Yui coming out conversation runs in parallel. Yui is afraid of hurting people. Aoki argues that now that she has actually done so, her revulsion shows that maybe her deepest desires have become NOT to hurt someone. If this whole thing is about the releasing of the Superego and releasing the Id, it suggests that she has a brand new desire in her’s. I’m thinking it not as simple as that, but, hell, it works. Yui returns to school and is hugged and smiled at and teased by her classmates and Gotou. So Aoki manages to do what he could not before. That he does it with talk of love hotels and other ecchi talk is just his style. Which leads to the Taichi/Aoki reconciliation, a simpler, boy-bonding affair. Here, both sides wanted to apologize righ t off, so it’s accomplished quickly. So that’s everybody but one reconciled, inexplicably shutting themselves into the clubroom with a week’s worth of food where their hunger desires are unleashed. I have no idea what was going on with that.
Because it can’t all be happy and good, we turn to Inaba, always the most stubborn one. Heartseed pays her one of his quiet, threatening visits, suggesting she’s shutting herself in like she used to, and that’s not very good, is it? Maybe he should DO something. He talks about getting her to destroy “that place” she holds dear but is so vague about it that we don’t know what he’s talking about. The clubroom? Nah. Maybe “place” is a metaphor for a place in her heart, the internal place she escapes to. Whatever it is, the whole situation reeks of danger. Looks like a fun field trip!
Tari Tari 10 moves some plot pieces around but doesn’t really seem to add up to much. Not to say it isn’t fun to watch.
The show has two modes right now: serious and silly. The silly balances and feeds the serious. The shopping district heroes act draws the ire of Takakura and acts as modern-day counterpoint to the days when she was a student at that school, already straight-laced and following the lead of Wakana’s mother, and the song they wrote together, and now the daughter is there before her asking her how they wrote it, and meanwhile surveyors are at work outside, preparing to change the school in a way she doesn’t like. Odd, by the way, that Wakana has turned out more like her than her own mother. Takakura gives her some composing advice: “Don’t overthink it.” A lesson Mahiru maybe taught her. Maybe facing an unpleasant future makes you mull over the past.
But silly stuff is the highlight this week. The whole shopping district rangers thing is ridiculous and everyone knows it but Wein. But since they go out and do it they gain the support of the passers-by (loved the kids aping their moves), and bond a little more. The conclusion was the most ridiculous of all but great fun to watch. Someone snatches Miyamoto’s bag including the Mexican band’s autographed album, and Wein (in costume) runs down the thief. Okay, the thief was on a bicycle which got magically slow Wein went after him, and singing that song at the end was beyond absurd, but it showed us just how much of a group they had become, and sometimes you have to throw reality into the wind. But we already knew they had formed a good team. The silly stuff just felt like the backdrop for those little plot moves and made no other contribution, unless they’re going to do the shopping heroes thing as that drama they’re planning.