First Reactions: Space Brothers Episode 51

I’m really convinced at this point that Ayumu Watanabe can fascinate with literally anything. In the latest bit of proof, this week he made a guy surfing the internet gut-wrenchingly engaging. What’s more, he did it without even needing to resort to the *ahem* stylized approach.

A minimum of every other episode of Space Brothers, there’s a scene so sublime it really deserves a breakdown all its own. This week it was the scene with Kazuya, after having tried to call his brother, surfing the web and eventually coming to the pr video his brother recorded, the one that showcased him gradually getting the courage to come out of his shell a bit. Suffice to say the scene was a perfect attempt to put the viewer in Kazuya’s shoes, packing in just the right ratio of Kazuya’s point-of-view with subtle amounts of body language (Kazuya stretching his legs out as the video started playing being the best example). That scene was all finesse, at a level where it demanded the full attention of the audience, but was still straightforward enough to get the message across on its first try. The way this show constantly nails sweet spots like this makes it look easy, but that’s only because Ayumu Watanabe is just that good.

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Small motions say big things

Nitta and Mutta’s conversation, overlayed with the aforementioned Kazuya scene, was also fairly well-executed, but carried a more pedestrian message; essentially, both of them idolize the other to some degree because of their respective brother situations. What was more interesting here is that they were botha able to voice their feelings clearly. That openness is a sure sign that they’ve bonded significantly and will be a more tight-knit team from here on out, opening up yet more story potential for the show.

It’s a very true fact that anyone remotely into astronomy always gets way too excited over any given interstellar event they can observe, wherever they happen to be. It was thus predictable, but still a bit heartwarming, how Serika and the others already knew the meteor shower was coming and stayed up even later to watch it, despite how tired they were. The flashes of meteors in their eyes was a nice touch, and I daresay a deliberate misdirection; the flash of meteors in Nitta’s eyes made it look like he was about to cry happy tears. Well played, indeed.

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I mean, look at the way those eyes are drawn

While Kazuya’s moment of limelight has passed, I have no doubt he’ll be a part of the scenery in the show for a while to come, just like a lot of other characters have thus far. Prospects for Space Brothers as a show have never been higher, as it’s moving to its new timeslot with all the momentum of an electron in the LHC.

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