Semai Sekaide

Anime episode reviews.

Uchuu Kyoudai – Episode 13

Subs by Commie

I’m in despair! Being this far behind with Uchuu Kyoudai has left me in despair!

Previously

Third exam. Mutta got a chance to show off and he’s now allowed to call Serika by her first name.

About this episode

It was about time that the other characters in team A were introduced. After all, we only really know Mutta and Serika, and maybe Yasushi because he’s giving these annoying comments all the time. Reiji (Nitta, the guy with the purple hair) seems to be the most serious person in the group the way he’s analyzing the situation. The first scenes do a great job showing the contrast between the three characters: Mutta and Serika being casual, not too serious and Reiji thinking about the test. His theory is that they want the people who aren’t pressured by stress. I guess that this is partly true at least, but in that case why do the candidates have to choose the best two out of their group? I think that the stress things are not the deciding factor, but more just a check. If someone had serious stress issues, they wouldn’t choose him no matter how well he performs. He did make me wonder about the second issue he raised: that about leaving the area. I don’t see a reason either except if the exam becomes so intense that people will go insane. Up till now however, it’s not been very harsh on the candidates as far as I can tell.

I am so glad I’m not taking this exam. That running math thing looks terrible. However, for some reason Mutta got much harder equations than the others. Compare 45×12 to 86×156: of course Mutta will not be as good as the others. What we saw might not represent all the problems though, maybe it turned out to be more balanced than it seems. And sure, Mutta does something weird and stupid again. What’s with an air abacus that shakes if he’s moving? Why didn’t he give up on his “secret technique”? And probably the closest thing to a secret technique he has are his powerful lungs.

That typing test reminds me of my typing course. Same idea, typing a bunch of random letters from a piece of paper without looking at the screen or keyboard. That’s something I won’t miss, but the blind typing is pretty amazing. Most people who use computers a lot can type quickly, but don’t ask them to do it with their eyes closed. They still need to look at the keyboard a bit. At least, that’s my experience so don’t sue me if you haven’t taken a course and can type blindly. But it must be really annoying that the other people start talking since you need full concentration for this.

After two somewhat boring tasks for us viewers, now comes the big one. Let me be honest here: even though I’m watching a show about space I tend to agree with the journalist. It’s not a black and white issue, but more a matter of setting your priorities. You have 600 billion, how much of that do we spend on what? Another issue: space exploration isn’t the only scientific research that needs money. With the same 600 billion, we could fund way more research in other fields that will probably get more results. And like the journalist bluntly says, we haven’t seen any benefits to society yet. Then again, this isn’t my problem so I’ll watch the show and shut my mouth (most of the time).

So now comes the 3D ant story which convinced the Nanba kids. I agree with the content: you can solve problems by looking at them in a different way. But like Mutta says, it’s not a way to convince people like the journalist or me because it doesn’t actually make our arguments less valid. And like I said, I don’t think that either of us believe that space exploration is harmful or useless, but more that it’s a question of priorities. I think that the 3D ant story will convince people without an opinion about the subject though, and it’s a good way to look at it.

It seems like we also get some peaks into group B. I was impressed by Tomii’s quotes, but again these quotes aren’t made to convince a non-believer. And his message is: let’s populate other planets which is a goal that’s really far away. Who knows how many thousands or millions of years it will take for us to do something like that.

I enjoyed this incredibly shallow-minded approach.

And then comes Mutta’s approach. And funnily enough, it seems inspired by his 3D ants. Where all the others stay in their 2D thinking, Mutta has a different perspective on things. Convincing people like this with words won’t help. And maybe he’s right about that. I can’t imagine wanting to go into space, but these things take time. If I remember correctly, it usually takes two generations to get over a trauma, and I think that it’s the same way with new inventions and living styles.

I really liked the conclusion of this episode: Serika’s letter was chosen, but in the end JAXA went for Mutta’s approach. Don’t worry about negative comments, we’ll show them that in the end we’re going to make the world a better place. So somewhere I do hope that JAXA will convince me too some day and make the world a better place.

Rating: +

I was personally very interested in the issue they touched in this episode. I might not agree with everything, but hearing the other side of the argument is also important. So there it is. Another plus for introducing Reiji, and in the next episode the other two characters as well.

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