This week on Uchuu Kyoudai, the show introduces us to the brothers Namba. The elder, Mutta, headbutts his employer and loses his lucrative career designing cars. Try as he might, no one wants to hire a headbutter. Meanwhile, the younger Hibito has almost achieved his dream of flying to the moon. Hearing of his brother’s plight, he tries to remind him of the promise they made two decades before. Mutta promised he would go to Mars after the two brothers witnessed a supposed UFO. With a little help from his parents, he finally has a chance to pursue his dreams.
This show started as a blip on my radar. Something I might watch a few episodes of, but would eventually drop. I can safely say if it can keep doing what it has done in the first episode, it might keep me hooked for the season. All thanks go to Mu-chan. He seems like a man who tries to do everything all the way, bolting right out of the gate by headbutting his boss while shouting, “Zidane!” It only amplifies with his idiosyncrasies. He laughs hard for his freedom, but cries hard over the loss of employment. He eats hard like no one is even looking, but nervously scans his surroundings before picking up the last crumb of a fry.
And of course, he gets depressed hard when he can’t find a job. He goes home and flops on the bed like a 2×4. When the phone rings, he doesn’t even turn his head, just speaks straight into the mattress. I’ve done it before, it’s oddly refreshing. You should try it sometime. But getting back to Mutta, he also dreams hard. You don’t see it too often in characters, especially a guy in his thirties. His hamburger reminds him of a UFO, and a bald man’s head morphs into the moon. Filled with joyful tears after receiving an invitation to take the astronaut exam, he imagines his face looks like a scrunched up dog. All this happens to the tune of his own internal monologue, tying everything together and establishing, to me, a magnetic personality. I can’t wait to see what he will do next, or perhaps more pertinently, how he will react next.
Then we have the younger brother Hibito. Mutta goes on about his seniority meaning he needs to stay ahead of his brother, but talk only gets you so far. His brother sees the UFO first, he vows to go into space first, and he realizes his dream first. To top it off, he has to look after his older brother. With the way Mu-chan runs about, I’m surprised it’s not a 24-hour job. I suppose his parents pick up the slack the rest of the time. They gently nudge him toward reentering the workforce. When they see he can’t find satisfaction in his work, they take the initiative and send his resume themselves. You can even see where Mutta gets some of his character, as his mom lies around kicking her feet in the air like a teenager. I like seeing a loving, supportive family. I know Hibito will stay a constant fixture, but I hope the show doesn’t forget about his parents as our little dreamchaser’s world expands.
Next week features more flashbacks and the start of the physical exams. Look forward to it!