So, this is the episode: they actually got an astronaut to voice a version of himself, as he was in space. You really could hear that he wasn’t a professional voice actor, and instead someone who was more used to giving press conferences.
I kept wondering in what kind of context the creators would put it, but they actually did it in a flashback to when Mutta and Hibito were still kids and got to talk to him along with a number of other kids. That’s quite neat. I also like how they could have shown this segment at any episode the creators would have liked, yet they chose Hibito’s big moment: the moment where he finally achieved his dreams and arrived into space.
The launch itself also was just perfect: there was just as much detail here as last episode, and it’s amazing to actually see so much time spent on just a single launch of a rocket.
This really was an episode that said “You’re next, Mutta”. With all the build-up I kept thinking that they were leading up to this huge death scene, but instead the creators just really wanted to show in full detail what the launch of a rocket would be like, and what it all entails. It’s completely different from the second exam arc in that the number of characters was much smaller, and this wasn’t aimed to get to know them better at all. Still, it worked really well, just because it was so unique. Slow paced series like this are really rare, especially when done right (dragging on is a really big pitfall for them), so I’m really glad with this series.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)