I wasn’t planning on watching Space Brothers, but after seemingly universal acclaim for its first episode, I decided to give the first two episodes a try. Overall I thought it was all right.
It’s certainly different from your average anime, since its adult protagonists imply a somewhat older target audience, and at the same time it still manages to keep things family-friendly. It really gives the show a wide audience, using silly bits of harmless (perhaps even campy) comedy to entertain, while dealing with situations that can be quite easy to relate to. There’s clearly a strong focus on striving to achieve your lofty childhood dreams, even in the negative soul-crushing world of adults. Which I think is nice. There is definitely a need for positive fiction in the world (something I feel anime tends to do better than many [if not most] other storytelling mediums [SEE: slice-of-life genre, and even more particularly healing anime]).
That said, the story in general feels extremely by-the-numbers, and to be honest the comic moments haven’t worked for me. I do find the relationship of the brothers to be rather sweet, but it’s too soon to tell if the show will really do anything new in that department. The art style and atmosphere in general seems about right for this type of show, reminding me a bit of Planetes and perhaps even Monster in some ways.
But nothing has really grabbed my attention in these first two episodes. Perhaps it will end up doing everything effectively enough for this kind of motivational drama, but I do wonder if I’ll actually feel impressed by any of it. This may mean it’s just not a show for me, or perhaps I’m just not in the right mood for this sort of story at this time. I think what I may end up doing, is just watching through the show once it’s completed, since I’m not exactly anticipating watching installments on a weekly basis for the next one to four seasons (however long this is going to be).
That said, the show has given me things to think about. I mean, I know all to well what it’s like to be unemployed. And I know what it’s like to be in a really important interview with several people questioning me. (In fact, I’m anticipating hearing back from somewhere really special this week [which I had an interview for back in February]… I sure hope for good news, at long last.) I can’t help but wonder now if the chair I was sitting on had a loose screw or not! x_x Over the course of this series (however long it’s going to be… I keep hearing different episode counts), I can imagine our protagonist will make it into the astronaut program. But what will be the reasoning for it? Hard work, persistence, and believing in himself? Pretty much everyone who’s serious about becoming an astronaut likely has those qualities already. So what does it boil down to then? Skill? Intelligence? Personality? Whether or not you fiddled with the chair’s screw?
I may not be keeping up with this show, especially when there are already a bunch of other spring anime I’m rather interested in–but I’ll at least try to be aware of what people say about Space Brothers as it goes along. If it brings something new to the table that catches my eye, I’ll likely get back to it. After all, it’s nice to have a simple feel-good story to motivate you to aspire higher every now and then.