"A big brother must always stay ahead of his younger brother. That is my responsibility as the older sibling"—these are the words that have always motivated Mutta Nanba to try his best when it came to his younger brother Hibito. So naturally, in the summer of 2006 when the Nanba brothers witness something strange in the night sky, Hibito declared that he would become an astronaut and travel to the Moon, while Mutta countered with the affirmation that he would go to Mars. That was the promise they made to each other.
Now in 2025, while Hibito is working with NASA and preparing to become the first Japanese to land on the moon, Mutta has been fired from his job in an automotive development company. Having difficulty finding another job, Mutta is given a lifetime opportunity when he receives a letter from JAXA—the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency—telling him that he's been accepted to participate in the next astronaut selection. As if fate has given him a chance to fulfill the promise he made all those years ago, Mutta undertakes the difficult challenge of going to space.
Uchuu Kyoudai was nominated for the 2nd and 3rd Manga Taisho Award in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, the series won the 56th Shogakukan Manga Award (shared with Yamikin Ushijima-kun) and the 35th Kodansha Manga Award (shared with 3-gatsu no Lion), both in the general category. The series also won the Reader Award of the 18th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2014.
The series has been simulpub in English as Space Brothers by Crunchyroll since October 30, 2013. Kodansha Comics USA has been releasing e-books of the series since November 3, 2015.
This is one of the few mangas that I can describe as perfect. It's realistic with little touch of very hard SF. There are no idiotic ideas about astronaut recruitment. There is hard work, brutality of life, death, and yet it's still light and funny.
This manga is must read for everyone for everyone who likes topics of space and space exploration.
I seriously did not think that I would rate 10 on all components.
Story: The storyline is realistic yet the author manages to inject so much twists and humour in it, making it absolutely enjoyable. It also helps that the manga introduces us to the world of space and I do feel slightly more knowledgeable after reading it! The manga is not draggy at all, and cliche is at its minimal.
Art: Not the kind that will make you go "Wow, so beautiful" or "Omg, he's such a bishie!" but I have to give credit to the consistency and dynamics.
Character: The main lead is so realistically
flawed that he could very well mirror someone you already know in your life. The story starts out with how he got fired from his job and now in his mid 30s, is faced with the terrible choice of finding a job that he is familiar with or pursuing his childhood dream that has a slim chance of succeeding. He has a slight inferiority complex for his younger brother. But he also has a certain kind of charisma that can motivate the people around him and also comes up with the weirdest ideas. His exaggerated reactions (mostly kept as in his mind to stay realistic) are really funny and will make you fall in love with this character. All the other characters are dimensional and highly relatable.
Conclusion: This is the kind of manga that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside! For those who have ignored this manga because of the art, please just read it! I promise you won't regret it!
It's never too late to reach your dreams, that's what you can learn from this manga.
Uchuu Kyodai is one of the few mangas that can motivate my live, read this is more like reading graphic biography than reading manga.
The story tell us about an older brother named Nanba Mutta who want to become an astronout to follow his younger brother path, Nanba Hibito. I think the synopsis was enough to describe the main plot. The story develops every new characters are introduced but still focus on Mutta reaching his dream.
Like my word before, this is more like biography than manga because the characters more
like real person than fictional character. Our older brother Mutta is 31 years old in first chapter while the other stories have main character in his/her teenage. Same with the other character that their age, jobs, and background is like real person. The environment seems real too even make me thing maybe the mangaka is real japanese astronout.
I think the strongest part of this manga is the story itself, the best mood builder. It can make me laugh, smile, and sad (but not cry). I can feel Mutta's feeling for his brother between happy and envy at the same time or I can feel his feeling when his path is closer to the space little by little. This is why this manga can motivate my live.
Conclusion : I recommend Uchuu Kyodai to everyone who loved realistic story, have a dream, a man who have younger brother, and (maybe) want to become astronout. There is no bad thing to try this, maybe you want to watch the anime first is okay too since it already covers many chapters, read or watch and feel it yourself.
“If you’re feeling like there’s nowhere you belong… That you’re trapped in a small world… It’s those feelings that drive us beyond our world.”
Space Brothers/Uchuu Kyoudai is a story about two brothers and their journey of becoming astronauts. Well, except the younger of the two, Hibito is already one, and the older brother, Mutta, starts off at square one.
The series follows Mutta as he struggles through test after test; the long, arduous road to becoming a fully-fledged astronaut. This is a realistic representation of what the journey is like, and the amount of detail gone into is to be commended. And although this technically
*is* a story about this journey to get into space, the focus is on the characters, and is much more of a slice-of-life than it is a sci-fi. However, I will warn you that the amount of detail can at times become a negative thing. One example is in the initial testing for astronaut selection, the sheer length of the tests and the detail that is gone into can make reading the manga become laborious and at times, boring.
But the manga excels in a few aspects that I want to highlight here. One of these is in characterization and the relationships between characters. Sure the story is "about" these two brothers, but the focus jumps between a variety of the huge cast, and many different personalities pop up throughout the story. Most of the personalities you see will be relatively realistic and will react to situations in ways you would expect a real person to. I also want to point out that relationships between two characters are also done very well; the relationship between the two brothers for one example is done beautifully. Also the relationship between groups of crew members fighting to become a selected candidate is fascinating, as the conflict of interests become a major setback in mission progress, and it leads to a very interesting read on human group psychology.
Space Brothers is also an incredibly inspiring series, but not the false-hope kind of inspiration. There’s no cheesy, hollow, “you can do it,” phrases. Instead, by reading a character realistically setting out a goal and striving for it, and ultimately achieving it; Space Brothers really makes you feel like you can achieve your own goals if you just give it an honest shot and don’t back down when things get rough.
The artwork is for the most part, average for a seinen. However the mangaka definitely puts more effort into the more important scenes in the story. Character design is great however, with each being unique enough to recognise, while still keeping a continuous art style throughout.
One gripe I had with this series that I did not like was the constant flashbacks of side-characters. The amount of chapters put into the back-stories of characters that I honestly had no care for seemed like a waste of time. Time that could have been spent further developing the main cast.
In conclusion, Space Brothers is a realistic slice-of-life story that follows the inspirational journey of Mutta to fulfill his dream of becoming an astronaut. It is not a story for everyone, but if you like the sound of what I’ve said so far, check it out, you’ll probably enjoy yourself.
The series is still ongoing, and at the posting of this review, is 242 chapters long.
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