Space Brothers

I’m only watching two shows this season: Eureka Seven AO and Space Brothers.  If you guys could recommend some other good ones (not crappy jazz), that’d be great.

Eureka Seven has the best music I’ve heard in an anime in a while.  Repetitive, yes, but when the music starts, you know Ao’s going to kick some ass.  Space Brothers, too, has some great music.  It’s got some string stuff that comes in at important times to say “hey, this is touching.”  And, surprisingly, it works!

But besides that, Space Brothers is a failure.

Huuaaa, I love this series.   – Shizuo

 Heck, not only are you one of the best series to come out more than a year, you’ve also got the most addictive cliff-hangers I’ve seen in a long while.    – psgels

Amazing episode.   – Rei

It’s a surprisingly basic formula, but boy does Space Brothers continue to be entertaining against the odds.   – Andy Hanley

Shut up, you guys are wrong.

Except Hanners… somewhat.  I pulled Andy’s quote out of context, and I apologize for that.  Here’s the entire version:

Yet again, this was a rather corny and predictable episode of Space Brothers that managed to get away with being incredibly cheesy simply by fully leveraging Mutta’s personality and place within the series – in essence, the guy is so likeable that you can’t help yourself but to cheer him on and get wrapped up in his world and situation no matter where it might take us.  The result is thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end, as we watch Mutta stumble from crisis to infamy with a massive slice of good luck which nobody who has been keeping up with this series would begrudge him.  It’s a surprisingly basic formula, but boy does Space Brothers continue to be entertaining against the odds.

And here’s the biggest problem with Space Brothers: there’s a neverending war between the predictable, nothing-really-happens plot and the likable character that is Mutta.  We haven’t seen an anime delve so deep into a single person’s mind since The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.  We get to listen in on Mutta’s thoughts just like Kyon dished out his own sarcastic thoughts.  And through this process, we learn about every aspect of Mutta – how he really feels during the TV spotlight, how he feels about his brother surpassing him, etc.  This gives us the advantage of knowing why Mutta does whatever he chooses to do.

But on the other hand, there’s the really “corny and predictable” side to the anime, where “a massive slice of good luck” catapults Mutta into the exclusive astronauts’ club.

Wait, but that’s not the really bad part.  What really ticks me off about this show is how unrealistic it is and its lack of purpose.

The entire show is centered about Mutta becoming an astronaut.  He starts off in the pits, a jobless bum whose previous boss fired him because Mutta Zidane’d him.  And he ends up an astronaut, up there with his little brother. Your typical rags to riches story.

Nobody is amused.

What’s the point?

You could say the point is to show Mutta’s success so we can feel happy for him.  We get so many opportunities to connect with this fellow and when he reaches the top, we feel happy.  As Andy put it, “the guy is so likeable that you can’t help yourself but to cheer him on.”

That would be a valid argument, save for the fact that Mutta’s success is nothing more than a series of lucky coincidences.  His mother sends in the resume.  He is somehow qualified for the first exam (how??).  He plays around with the screw on the chair.  He has a huge backer in JAXA and he doesn’t even know it.  He defeats the criminal.  He has a very nice old man push him into bragging about his actions.  The host of the show specifically mentions the blind training for some strange reason.  It’s not that something’s wrong with the picture.  Everything is wrong.

So in a sense, it’s like we’re watching somebody cheat his way to the top.  It’s like having a friend get into an Ivy League via family connections, or landing a job because he/she sucked up to the boss.  But wait, Mutta didn’t do any sucking up, so it feels even more unfair.

Call me petty, but I’m jealous of Mutta’s good luck.  The show tries to blow this off in Episode 8 with a line about getting one’s own luck, but I’m not buying it.  I don’t see how Mutta participated in anything but the bragging bit.  It’s all just dumb luck.  So no matter how funny or likable Mutta is, I can’t trick myself into thinking that he deserves anything he’s getting.

So in the end, there’s no moral to the story.  It’s a show about a lucky bastard who keeps getting luckier and luckier, and the little “setbacks” he has are washed away once we realize that the end result is Mutta becoming an astronaut.  I mean… really.  The short black woman doubting Mutta’s skills.  She’s just a thinly veiled tool to make us root for Mutta.  “Oh, you’re dumb.  We know that Mutta is smart and will make it.”

I don’t like Space Brothers.

4 Comments on “Space Brothers”

  1. Cholisose says:

    I watched three or four episodes of this show. I thought it was rather sweet, and kind of unique in certain ways–but it didn’t actually impress me. I mean, I couldn’t hate the show–it wasn’t bad with a capital B–but I couldn’t bring myself to care for anything that was happening. I didn’t even find the highly-praised comedy of the series actually funny, though I suppose that’s simply subjective.

    For spring, are you watching Tsuritama? That show is my favorite for this season, other than Fate/Zero. Tsuritama has fishing, aliens, an Indian spy, a duck, and dancing sailors. It’s definitely worth a shot.

    • flomu says:

      It’s not really that funny. It’s like following a normal guy around for days on end and suddenly he makes a funny face. I don’t get how that’s funny.

      I’m going to watch Tsuritama right now. I need to appear like I’m still hip at AX anyway.

  2. Marow says:

    AO 7 was horrible, sadly. Hope it picks up. The music though. THE MUSIC. HOLY VIOLINS

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