The drama surrounding Nitta’s family situation, as well as Bold’s rationale for his training methods, are beginning to become clear. The former was somewhat depressing, though enlightening, the latter was surprisingly pie-in-the-sky.
Bold’s rationale for rankings, trying to instill 60s space race competitive spirit in astronauts from different countries is somewhat more idealistic than I had him pegged for. While he may look down on some of the candidates, his training is legitimately aimed at improving their abilities and motivations. The analogy is also not a perfect one; space programs succeeded in the 60s because it was politically important to be the first on the moon, so politicians in the US and USSR weren’t as tight-fisted with program funds as they are now. Not to say that there’s no merit in the “mix-up” strategy, but it’s not the whole story of how things went back then. That he went through that line of thought makes me very curious as to Bold’s age (he has no grey hair and this is ~2030, so he was almost certainly born after the moon landing).
The good old days that never really existed
Regardless of the intentions of the training procedures, what ultimately matters is how group E deals with them. And only group E. I think it’s a very strong choice to avoid the other groups entirely, bringing the viewer more into the minds of those in group E they’re pressuring. It’s much easier to feel the frustration that finally drives Nitta to take action and push the group forward, with a decently persuasive motivational speech.
The apparent chip on Nitta’s shoulder is getting bigger and bigger the more we find out about his hikkikomori brother. The fact that his only communication with his relatives all day was a short note speaks volumes as to drama that must have occurred in the past. While hikkikomori can simply gradually lose touch with people without major life drama, Nitta’s demeanor heavily suggests that he didn’t take his brother’s situation lying down and tried to do something about it. Obviously his brother’s still a shut-in, so whatever he tried didn’t work. That implication makes the expression below all the more palatable; he’s clearly excited and and more than a bit apprehensive about the second chance he’s about to get.
A veritable rainbow of conflicting emotions
The scene we got teased with halfway through the episode, Mutta run-tackling Nitta, was a classy bit of misdirection. The tackle had nothing to do with Nitta’s demeanor, just the fact that he was standing next to a rattlesnake. Given the waste-free style of the show, this naturally led us to the gun that Mutta (and Amanti, the group leader come day 6) will have to carry with him. I can only imagine what sort of use that will end up having.