Space Brothers: How’s it going? – Guest Post

Hi ladies and gent, cats, dogs, ducks, chickens, and everything else in between. I’ve got something new for you all. I have a guest blogger for today’s post! I am ridiculously thrilled to have Milo of Blog of the North Star contribute to my blog. Without further ado, here we go:

There’s a weekly activity I’ve more or less stuck to for the last twenty-five weeks, and that’s catching the latest episode of Space Brothers on Sundays. It’s become a consistently relaxing part of my day, watching this cheerful, uplifting cartoon about two very different brothers and their participation in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

At first the subject matter seems somewhat out of place for a television anime. Especially these days, where the vast majority are about children and their various action-oriented adventures. But an astronaut is one of those archetypal things children want to be when they grow up, so the premise has mass appeal. I know when I was a kid that’s what I told people I wanted to be, even though I’d more or less stopped thinking about it by third grade.

Space Brothers is also selling something no other Japanese cartoon on TV is selling, and that’s deferred hope. Not just hope. Deferred. The idea that your dreams, no matter how neglected, are always patiently waiting for you to fulfill them is personified in Mutta Nanba, from the top of his unwieldy afro to the bottom of his dress shoes. It’s personified in his decision to apply for a space program lottery after spending his entire adult life in a different career. And it’s perhaps the most unrealistic thing about the show (aside from the idea that a pug could ever reliably substitute for an alarm clock.)

I suggest checking out the show on Crunchyroll.com if you haven’t already. If you don’t like watching anime digitally, then hang tight! Sentai Filmworks has plans to release it on home video. And if you don’t like anime at all… you’re kind of screwed, because outside of scanlations, no one seems intent to release the original manga in English.

But hey, the movie that came out earlier this year hits Japanese home video in December. You never know, it might be licensed for US distribution. Despite the spotty track record of Japanese live action movies based on manga, the Space Brothers trailer looks pretty spot on. It bears an almost eerily faithful resemblance to both the manga and anime versions.

To give you an idea of where we are with the anime and where we’re going, the twenty-fifth episode covers the very beginning of volume six of the manga. And so far the ongoing manga is up to eighteen volumes, with the nineteenth due next month. So after doing some fuzzy math it’s easy to imagine Space Brothers going on for a hundred episodes, maybe more. I’ll be keeping a spot in my Sundays open for as long as Japan keeps making this cartoon.

GoodbyeNavi: I hope you guys enjoyed his post as much as I did. That live action trailer looks pretty good and a little concerning in regards to my heart strings.

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2 Comments

  1. Kai

    There’s actually a movie for this?
    I planned to watch this soon and I thought it will be ending at 20 episodes plus? Watching this might need some insane motivation but since the reception had been so strong thus far, might be checking this out soon. MIght marathon in one go once there are even more episodes.

    • The show is actually pretty good. It is slow paced if you’re into action-packed shows and there is little to no moe and fanservice. It’s a reminder that a dream deferred does not mean the dream is dead. You can still fulfill your dreams no matter the age.

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