Welcome to Anime.com
Navigation
Naruto
Spice and Wolf
Fullmetal Alchemist
Gurren Lagann
Haruhi Suzumiya
Dragonball
xxxHolic
Black Butler
Evangelion
Inuyasha
Gosick
Karin
Lucky Star
Death Note
AzuManga Daioh
Bleach
Cowboy Bebop
Gundam
Sgt. Frog
 checkout the anime.cm guide to anime wallpapers
Custom Search
Space Brothers
Space Brothers
Space Brothers
Anime Review

Maybe it's just us, but we didn't realize just how badly we needed a solid dose of optimism for the future before we started watching Space Brothers. There are a lot of valid criticisms of the show, based on the manga by Chuuya Koyama: it's slow-paced, often repetitive in its message, and the production values are average overall. However, the optimism expressed in the show for the future of space travel, and humanity in general, is downright infectious.

A near future where the best and brightest are pooling their resources to once again put men on the moon, or even Mars, with an almost childlike glee at what wonders may await in the vast beauty of unexplored space? Sign us up, please.

Space BrothersThe series follows the fortunes of two brothers, Mutta and Hibito, and their efforts to realize a childhood dream of becoming astronauts. For the cheerful Hibito, things go smoothly; at the beginning of the series, he's already been named to a NASA team slated to go to the moon in the near future. Older brother Mutta has followed a more circuitous route, becoming a respected mechanical engineer and putting all thoughts of space travel on the back burner. However, when Mutta suddenly finds himself unemployed, he has to wonder if it's too late for this 31-year-old to follow a childhood dream. Making matters more complicated is the fact that Mutta has always felt pressure to achieve everything before his upstart little brother, but at this rate, how can Mutta possibly beat Hibito into space?

The relationship between the brothers feels very true for anyone who has a sibling. We may be frustrated with Mutta's childish desire to one-up Hibito in everything, but through flashbacks, we see how his preoccupation with Hibito developed as a combination of competitive spirit, affection, and the urge to protect his little brother at all costs. The series uses near-constant flashbacks to childhood to show how Mutta and Hibito developed into the men they are today, and while it makes for ponderous pacing at times, as a result the relationship between the two is unusually nuanced and interesting.

Space BrothersMutta is a fun character, and the source of much of the show's comedy; unusually realistic in appearance, he can be immature at times to the point of almost being annoying, but you have to root for a guy who sincerely loves the idea of space travel so much, and who takes so much pride in his little brother's accomplishments, even as he works to best them. Mutta is voiced by Hiroaki Hirata, best known as the voice of amorous chef Sanji from One Piece, making it feel strangely appropriate that Mutta also has quite an eye for the ladies. Hibito doesn't get nearly as much screen time as his brother, but we still get to know him quite well.

What's also nice about Mutta, and a credit to the writers of the show, is that we see some of the qualities that may make him a good astronaut without being hit over the head with them. He's portrayed as intelligent and observant without demonstrating anything near superhuman abilities, and he has his share of failures as well. The contest between Mutta and his fellow astronaut candidates, many of whom are talented and interesting in their own right, remains interesting in part because Mutta's selection doesn't ever seem like a sure thing.

Space BrothersAnother distinctive feature of the series is its near-future setting. While the show takes place in 2025, there's barely any evidence of suitably advanced technology; in fact, the date seems to have been chosen primarily to place the series far enough away in time from the current worldwide economic troubles that an aggressive space exploration program seems feasible. That's not a bad thing necessarily, but keep in mind that while the series may technically be sci-fi, it's much closer to contemporary space tales- or those of the past, like Apollo 13- in tone and content than a futuristic space opera.

Despite average animation overall, the series does boast some impressive highlights; the show's visuals are at their best when the characters engage their imaginations, trying to imagine the world that awaits them in space. This isn't a show that makes you want to run out and buy the soundtrack, but the first opening theme, "Feel So Moon" by UNICORN, captures the optimistic feel of the series very well. The OP and ED sequences are very well done in general, quirky and sentimental without crossing the line to saccharine.

Space BrothersWe haven't even mentioned the great supporting characters like Serika, a doctor with her own interesting reasons for making the journey into space, and Kenji, a man who may be an even better astronaut candidate than Mutta, but has to choose between space travel and his young family. There's also the fact that the writers strike a good balance between some relatively highbrow humor and much goofier, but still funny, material. But that's the thing with Space Brothers: there's a lot to talk about. Those who need their drama to move at a steady clip with little pause for reflection will likely be bored, but for those with some patience and a preference for watching intelligent people work to achieve worthwhile goals, this may be the series of the year.

Space Brothers is currently available streaming on Crunchyroll. The show was also recently licensed by Section 23 Films and will be available on subtitled DVD in North America shortly.

Reviewed by Karen Gellender, September 2012

Below: Scenes from Space Brothers.

a screen capture from Space Brothers

a screen capture from Space Brothers

a screen capture from Space Brothers

a screen capture from Space Brothers

a screen capture from Space Brothers

a screen capture from Space Brothers

a screen capture from Space Brothers

a screen capture from Space Brothers

a screen capture from Space Brothers



Space Brothers

Space Brothers Website Links:


Space Brothers Official Website (Japanese)

Space Brothers (manga) (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

Space Brothers Episode List

Wikipedia entry for Space Brothers (manga)


Below: Promotional illustrations for Space Brothers.

Space Brothers

Space Brothers

Space Brothers

Space Brothers

Space Brothers

Space Brothers

Space Brothers

Space Brothers

Space Brothers

Space Brothers






Anime.com:
Homepage | Anime.com Sitemap | The Anime.com Anime Wallpaper Guide

© 2009 Anime.com, Inc. | Website Editor: Brian Cirulnick | Website Design by Very Memorable Design