English: Space Brothers
Synonyms: Uchu Kyodai
Status: Currently Airing
Aired: Apr 1, 2012 to ?
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.271 (scored by 7424 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisMutta's life has hit rock bottom. He's been fired, blackballed from his profession and now he's had to move back in with his parents. Meanwhile, his kid brother Hibito has been literally riding a rocket and training to be an astronaut. The same career Mutta once dreamed of. So, is it ever too late to go after your dreams? Through a little coercing and a bit of covert activity, Mutta's family and friends can get his resume on the right desk, but from that point on it will be up to Mutta himself. Does he have what it takes to turn his life around and put his footprint on the moon? The first step on the highway to the stars is always the hardest, and in a job where crash and burn isn't just a euphemism, it will be the biggest risk Mutta's ever taken. But with the best support team ever, maybe he'll find what he needs to rekindle the spark inside him and light the biggest candle of them all!
(Source: Sentai Filmworks)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Uchuu Kyoudai
Side story: Uchuu Kyoudai: Apo's Dream, Planetarium Uchuu Kyoudai: Itten no Hikari
Characters & Voice Actors
I normally make a point of refraining from "re"-viewing currently airing anime, but given the length of this show and the relatively little amount of attention it receives, I'm feeling tempted to make an exception here.
Ever dreamt of being a rock star or a famous ballerina as a kid? Or perhaps an astronaut? Although the mind-boggling vastness of space is probably one of the few things that doesn't fail to inspire awe even in full-blown adults who've already lost their original sense of wonder, it's a sad fact in life many people come to believe they'll never amount to anything upon being forced to bury certain aspirations.
Telling the story of two brothers who once promised each other that they would grow up to be astronauts, Uchū Kyōdai is, at its core, an extremely cliché-ridden series. While the younger brother – Hibito – is on the right track towards fulfilling his part of the agreement and preparing for an extended stay on the moon, the older brother, Mutta, serves as a painful reminder most of us stand helplessly as our childhood dreams shatter when we approach adulthood. When his supervisor makes a disrespectful remark about his younger sibling, Mutta loses it. Rather than just getting himself fired, he ends up being blacklisted from employment in the field he has been working for years, forcing him to move in with his amazingly embarrassing parents again at the age of thirty-two. There, having hit rock bottom, a state he blames on being born during the so-called "Agony of Doha" – a football (soccer) game in which Japan just barely missed its first real chance to enter the World Cup –, he rediscovers a sense of idealism for himself after being remembered that he used to consider it his duty as an older brother to always be one step ahead of Hibito. Seemingly out of nowhere, Mutta receives a letter from JAXA informing him his application for the upcoming astronaut screening has been accepted.
A male protagonist who's just a little simple-minded and on a continuing quest for a certain goal being put through a series of challenges to his physical and mental abilities, ever-surrounded and supported by his family and friends when in doubt, is easily the most clichéd story anime has to tell, thanks to being the underlying concept of pretty much every major title representing the shōnen demographic ever. The strength of Uchū Kyōdai lies in telling that all too hackneyed story in a way that feels oddly refreshing and relevant. On the way from our first exposure to anime to being regular watchers of varying degrees, it's only natural to grow somewhat tired of seeing the same tropes or stock characters being implemented over and over again, and consequently develop a certain tendency to mistake anything that appears to be novel and original for inherently superior. Uchū Kyōdai, however, is proof that originality and quality are not necessarily linked to each other.
A while back, I saw someone in the forums calling a female character design from another anime "ugly" for no reason other than that she was drawn with the hint of an actual chin rather than the usual chin-less pointy face, so I'm sure the character designs for this series will be enough to put a sizeable number of people off. Being used to not just oversized eyes but at the utmost only implied olfactory organs, it may take a while to get used to characters with very prominent hook noses and such. But the characters are part of what lifts the series above the ordinary, and their designs merely reflect what they are supposed to come off as: realistic. Reversing the fact that most characters in anime are by far teenagers, Uchū Kyōdai gives us a huge variety of characters in their late twenties and up, continues to develop them at a nice and steady pace, and thereby succeeds in making them believable.
Exemplary for their plausible interactions are the many contradictions in the relationship between Mutta and Hibito. In the very first episode, Hibito sends his older brother an e-mail after being informed of his brother's job loss in which he advises him to listen to a cassette tape they recorded when they were young. On the tape, Hibito expresses the wish to travel to the moon after witnessing something that appeared to be a UFO headed there, but Mutta decides to take it one step further and aim to set foot on Mars. From this scene alone, it becomes apparent there is both a great mutual sense of affection as well as a perhaps even greater sense of competitiveness between the brothers. By the time the plot takes place, Mutta is torn between being proud of Hibito who will soon be the first Japanese person on the moon and a shameful sense of failed competence over being the one who finds himself falling more and more behind despite being the older brother.
But the distinguishable quirk of this series that is truly responsible for its noteworthiness in spite of being fueled by clichés is its pace. Most of the characterization happens in the form of flashbacks, to the extent where about half of an average episode consists of nothing but flashbacks. While this may not exactly sound appealing in theory, and will admittedly cause some viewers to be frustrated with the consequent slowness of the show, it makes Uchū Kyōdai a real treasure trove for those who can appreciate character-driven series. Sometimes these flashbacks are a little too conveniently and obviously linked to what is happening at the time the story takes place, causing the show to teeter into dangerously corny territory. And then, when you least expect it, there will always be a surprising element or an all-around awesome episode that will drag it right out of there.
Uchū Kyōdai is a heartwarming tale about pursuing dreams on both a small and a large scale. It follows Mutta's struggle to catch up to his younger brother and become an astronaut after all, while also broaching themes such as humanity's general obsession with always aiming a little higher since time immemorial. And yet the show does not completely shy away from showing the ugly truth that it takes a lot more than determination – namely loads of luck – to fulfill a dream. It shows us people who cannot join the space program and restart their lives as astronauts, but have chosen to utilize their interests and abilities in a way that enables others to do so.
Seemingly little things like these help the show achieve a level of authenticity rarely found in anime. read more
You are probably wondering why I gave this series a perfect 10 even though I've only seen 10 episodes so far...
Well, simply put, everything about this anime feels very authentic. Real. There is no sense of false pretense. And above all, it gives off a very contagious sense of hope and optimism. A sense that your dreams ARE reachable, and that there is no such thing as bad luck; it's all about making your own luck.
I'm sure everyone has had their share of disappointments and somewhere along the line, has felt bitter about the way their life turned out. I'm also sure that everyone has had their share of dreams that had to be abandoned for one reason or another.
However, don't let your cynicism taint your enjoyment of this hidden gem. As a matter of fact, let yourself be infected by the optimism of this show...
Moving on, the plot centers around two brothers, Mutta and Hibito, who have wanted to become astronauts since they were kids. However, Hibito, the younger of the two, was the one to actually make his dream come true, while Mutta leaves his dream behind to pursue a more reachable profession. After losing his long-time job and being blacklisted in that field, Mutta tries to pick himself back up by working small, part-time jobs. But with a huge amount of encouragement from his parents and especially Hibito, Mutta aims to become an astronaut again.
As you can see, the plot is basic and straightforward, but the entertainment lies in the characters and how they persist through the situations they're thrown in.
For the sake of not writing so much (lol), I'll just discuss the two brothers: Mutta and Hibito, although the entire cast is well-rounded and likable as well.
To start off, Mutta is a fantastic protagonist. He's highly sympathetic, hilarious in unexpected ways, completely honest, and so charismatic that you can't help but cheer him on. I honestly believe that his charisma largely comes from the way his voice actor, Hiroaki Hirata, performs the role with complete ease. It's so enjoyable and so natural that Mutta seems like a real person rather than some made-up character in some anime.
What I enjoy most about Mutta's character is that he represents two sides: disappointment and hope. Many, many times during his journey to becoming an astronaut, Mutta loses faith in himself and says "I give up, there's no way I can do this." (Something I'm sure everyone can relate to) However, like any other great protagonist, he holds an inner spark of hope that drives him to persist through the challenges that are thrown at him, in spite of what he says to himself. All in all, he is the reason why I believe this show is contagiously optimistic and hopeful. Mutta, despite being an adult who has experienced a fair amount of disappointment, still retains the optimistic enthusiasm of his younger self while taking steps in achieving his long-time dream.
His brother, Hibito, is equally great as a character. Although, he seems like a one-dimensional stereotype of the perfect younger brother, he gets his fair share of development that makes him much more. I personally think Hibito shines brightest as a character whenever he is interacting with his brother Mutta. There's a real sense of love and affection that is mutual on both ends. The frequent flashbacks of their childhood helps to illustrate this fact, as well as their present interactions. Also, as brothers, their natural rivalry with each other is what encourages them to do their best, rather than drive each other away.
Their relationship, which is at the center of this show, is one of the many refreshing things about this anime. Though their relationship is somewhat similar to that of Cain and Abel from the Bible, there is no hate involved. While Mutta is jealous of the success of his younger brother, he doesn't hate him for it. Instead, he's proud to have such a brother. If anything, as the older brother, he wishes that he wasn't so pitiful in comparison, in looks and in luck.
The humor is certainly another refreshing point of this anime. The opening sequence should quickly point out that the humor isn't mainstream, but at the same time, its charming because of how odd and unconventional it is at times. I also enjoy the fact that this anime likes to poke fun at everyday behavior.
The music and overall scene direction leaves me breathless. Its quality is reminescent of American films made in the 90's (at least to me...) so I often get fits of nostalgia while watching this anime lol. While I find the style appealing (especially the music), it does come across as cheesy so heads up!
Art is highly debatable since it doesn't appeal to those who prefer more attractive designs. (Poor Mutta, he's probably the ugliest character in the show XD) However, in my opinion, the realistic character designs help ground this anime into a sense of reality, which helps me appreciate the real-life references that are thrown in.
Overall, I'm obviously enjoying the heck out of this anime. Reason why I haven't watched any further is because, so far, there's only 17 episodes out and I need a back-up for whenever Hunter x Hunter goes on a break lol. (Although I feel like I'm going to cave in very soon...)
Anyway, I hope this review helped!
(If not, constructive criticism is highly appreciated!)
Both of them are about people setting goals and trying to achieve them. They are great and make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. You will find nothing like this on american tv.
Two stories about the dream of two boys and a path to achieve it. A great humor and the atmosphere. Nice characters.
People trying to archive their dreams, making you feel what they feel and cross your fingers for them.
THIS is the absolute same kind of anime. Except Bakuman has a slightly more shounen feel to it, while Uchuu is a bit more inclined to drama. BUT they both have two very close man male characters who try to achieve their childhood dreams. They both have this empowering nd motivational feel to it and have a lot of funny and hilarious moments that bring you closer to the characters. Both deal with main characters competing with other characters for being the best in what they do.
somehow I found these two anime similar.. though the themes are totally different (manga-space). however, if you like this series then you MUST watch Bakuman (whether if you liked Uchuu Kyoudai or not, I would still highly recommend Bakuman for you) They have similar style of comedy and most importantly they tell stories about people who work really hard in order to achieve their dreams.
Opening Theme#1: "Feel So Moon" by Unicorn (eps 1-13)
#2: "Eureka (ユリーカ)" by Sukima Switch (eps 14-26)
#3: "Yume Miru Sekai (夢見る世界)" by DOES (eps 27-38)
#4: "Small World" by Fujifabric (eps 39-51)
#5: "Kienai E (消えない絵)" by Magokoro Brothers (eps 52-)
Ending Theme#1: "Subarashiki Sekai (素晴らしき世界)" by Rake (eps 1-13)
#2: "Kokuhaku (告白)" by Angela Aki (eps 14-26)
#3: "Tete (テテ)" by Akihisa Kondou (eps 27-38)
#4: "Goodbye Isaac (グッバイ・アイザック)" by Motohiro Hata (eps 39-51)
#5: "BEYOND" by Miho Fukaraha (eps 52-)
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