3 Apr 2012

Uchuu Kyoudai 1

Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers) is a great season-opener. It's funny, sad, touching, and feel-good. Something for everyone except the most hardened action anime fans.

The story is about two brothers, Namba Hibito and Namba Mutta, who dreamt of going to the moon after seeing a UFO when they were young. Hibito, the younger and luckier person of the two, is close to achieving this dream, being one of the few chosen astronauts to go to the moon. Mutta on the other hand, is a successful award-winning car designer who gets fired after he head butts his supervisor. With no job and seemingly down on his luck, he starts to dream again of going to space. Little did he know, his brother concocted a plan with his mother to secretly send his resume in for the space program and... he was accepted!

The style of this anime harkens back to the late 90's / early 2000s "golden age" of anime. It was a time where anime started gaining traction all over the world with its huge variety of shows. These days, its hard to find a show that isn't based on a Shounen Jump property or some huge kids franchise get more than 2 cours (about 24 episodes), but it seems like Uchuu Kyoudai is set to get a full 4 cours. A show like this takes time to build up the characters, make viewers really connect with them, and tell heart-warming stories of their hardships and triumphs. The first episode alone was successful in showing the colourful personalities of the Namba household and making me care about Mutta's predicament; so much so that the final moments of the episode where he got that acceptance letter had an impact on me.

There's so much to the characters, and yet so much more to reveal (Hibito's character is kind of flat at the moment), that it makes me want to follow through this year-long journey. Props to the screen writers and director for cramming all those details that flesh out the personalities of the characters. I'm loving it so far, and if they keep up with the award-winning source material, its going to be an award-winning adaptation.

Note: I should be sticking to this big-picture -> video -> text -> image-gallery format. Comments and suggestions welcomed!

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