19 April 2012

First Impression: Uchuu Kyoudai

This show is better known as Space Brothers and though it has been several weeks since it was released (I remember downloading it before I went to Korea), it is only know that I have time to sit down and check out the show. I said in my preview that I look forward to watch this show (because it is produced by A-1 Pictures) but since horriblesubs named the torrent in English, I totally missed it. Orz.

Without further delay, let see if I am right about this being a good show that is worthy to be in my "must watch" list of anime this season.

Uchuu Kyoudai and A-1 Pictures definitely did not disappoint me. It is what I expected it to be and much more. The story is pretty simple; it revolves around two brothers who made promises to go to the moon and Mars when they grow up. Mutta is the older brother of the Nanba household and Hibito is the youngest. The two of them are pretty tight since their childhood days, always doing things together. As an older brother, Mutta always trying to be one step ahead of Mutta, which is how he ended up promising that he's going to Mars when Hibito said that he's going to the moon during the night they both saw UFO, which pretty much sparked this story.

The setup for this show is in the year of 2025. Naturally the boys are all grown up and Hibito is already an astronaut working with NASA in a mission to the moon. Mutta on the other hand just lost his job and unemployed after he butthead his employer when he made fun of Hibito. He was pretty lost with his purpose in life until Hibito helped him out by reminding him about the promise he mad when they were kid. He also (with the help from their mother) sent Mutta's resume to JAXA (Japan equivalent to NASA) which apparently is quite impressive because Mutta was accepted to be their next astronaut.

What I like about Uchuu Kyoudai is the realism about it. It was easy for Mutta to given up simply because he was born on a bad date but he never really take that as a set back but embraces it as part of his responsibilities as an older brother to stay focus and be one step ahead of his younger brother Hibito, who unlike him, was born during an auspicious day. This allow the show to open up a deeper discussion about destiny and personal attitude.

The art and animation for Uchuu Kyoudai are not really familiar to A-1 Pictures' other productions. Usually they produced really pretty and astounding animation but for Uchuu Kyoudai, they choose to be a minimalist. This can clearly be seen for the character designs that are lot less details than what they normally do, and less clean as well. Not that it's a bad thing though because even though they sort of look oldskool/nostalgic (that of BECK), it somehow works brilliantly with the concept. After all we are going back and forth to the past (1996 - 2006) and present (2025).

The art isn't the only thing that is nostalgic about this show. The OP and ED complimented that feelings really well. It is like the OP and ED were specifically chosen to resonate with the two protagonists. The oldskool rock of "Feel So Moon" OP definitely fits with Mutta while the more recent modern rock vibe can be detected in the ED of "This Wonderful World" by Gira Mundo which of course fits Hibito, the younger brother.

As for the seiyuu, can't say that I am a fan of Mutta's voice. I thought he sounds too old for his age. I'm not taking anything away from Hiroaki Hirata though. I am just saying that someone like Tomokazu Sugita would have been perfect playing the role of a mid 30's man. No complains for Kenn though. Hibito is rather perfect in every sense of the word, no?

This show is lot heavier and deeper than any other anime I've seen so far for Spring. It takes a fresh and realistic approach at the lives of two brother without any hidden undertone. I love the ideas of what they want the audience to experience by watching this show: of desires, choices and decisions that we made in our lives, and if they affected the path that we once chose as a child. It is also of hopes and dreams. Ain't that the beauty of being alive?

Why am I being so poetic all of a sudden?

Alright then. End.

art & animation 7/10
story 8/10
characters 8/10
sound 7/10
enjoyment 9/10
overall 7.8/10

p/s: Did you know that this show is an adaptation from the same titled manga Koyama Chuuya which won two manga awards as well as nominated for several more? Well know you do.


I'm glad we have a show like Space Brothers this season. I'm loving Kids on the Slope, that also has a serious, down-to-earth, and rather nostalgic tone, but Kids is essentially a coming-of-age story. Space Bros, on the other hand, has an edge to it, because losing your job, and having your boss blacklist you really sucks. I'm not trying to take anything away from bullying and other themes in Kids, but seeing someone question if it is too late for them to change really speaks to me in a way most anime fail to.

I have a feeling that this show will do well with guys of our age since we have been through shit like that, losing our dreams along the way. It sure hit close to home, this one.

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