Wed 4 Apr 2012
I was very impressed with Uchuu Kyoudai, one of the first shows to air this season. After the proclaimed mediocrity of the winter season, it was nice seeing a hopeful and ambitious anime air. Uchuu Kyoudai, or Space Brothers, is that specific genre of drama that really doesn’t exclude anyone at all. There’s no bishoujo romance, no mecha, no magic fantasy action, just what appears to be a plain drama of two brothers set in the future. I was amused by the premise of this anime before the season started, and after this first episode, I have pretty high hopes for this show.
Uchuu Kyoudai charmingly introduces its two main characters, brothers Hibito and Mutta, in the few minutes before the opening theme even starts rolling. Immediately, the audience just gets the idea that one bears really good luck in life and the other bears the opposite. Mutta, apparently an engineer that designed a really ubiquitous and successful car in the future, gets fired for headbutting his supervisor. So while Hibito is preparing to be the first Japanese astronaut to set foot on the moon, Mutta is unemployed. I would expect whoever designed say… the Honda Civic to be some kind of celebrity in the automobile designing community — like the Danny Choo of car design — but apparently the Japanese car industry in the future is a cold, unforgiving place.
I’ve searched for a job before. At first, it seems hopeful and exciting. It seems like there are so many options and companies to choose from, but as the choices whittle down and you get rejected a few times, you get more and more desperate. Your outlook turns hopeless and bleak, and eventually you come to realize that you’re not going to get a job anywhere. I felt that the episode really captured that emotion of despair while still having a light and humorous mood.
It’s not often that I care about a character in an anime, usually that’s the harbinger of an anime being pretty good. I find that I really care about Mutta as a person. He has this personality of not giving up that really is appealing, and when he got the letter from JAXA I genuinely could not wait to see where this show is going to go. A scrappy, down-on-his-luck automobile engineer striving his hardest to go to space? Sure beats “Imported from Detroit”!
Additionally, I have to hand it to this show for the surprising level of accuracy it has. Hideo Nomo did in fact throw the only no-hitter in the history of Coors Field on July 17, 2006 against the Colorado “Rookies”. You get to see the last swing of the game (above), which was a strikeout of Rockies left-fielder Ellis Burks, who is in fact a right-handed African American.
Ok, fine, but at the very next scene I was hellbent on calling this anime out. It’s my hobby spotting inaccuracies in media and this sure wasn’t going to escape by grasp. I caught this screenshot, and I was so ready to make a cheap comment like “gee for an anime about astronauts at least get the moon right LOL”, until I looked it up and that is exactly the phase the moon would be in on July 9th, 2006. And yes, during the infamous Zidane headbutt, it actually was the middle of the night in Japan.
Damn this anime and its attention to detail.