Posted by psgels on 26 September 2013 with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

The past four episodes: character-development. It’s slow and steady, but definitely there, and in all kinds of forms. Mutta changed and finally realized his strengths, gaining lots of confidence from it, and also becoming mature enough to forgive his former employer that he gave the Zidane, Sharon’s condition subtly gets worse, the chief of Nasa gets some unexpected background (also I love that small scene of a young Deneil Young). And whoa, Hibito actually left with a big post-traumatic stress disorder after what happened on the moon.

I like that recently, the series has at least remembered to be varied: a few months ago I remember complaining that the arcs take too long, and that the series got too monotone. This arc again solves this by focusing on many things at the same time, so that we’re not just stuck with just one scenario. It’s still nowhere near the levels of the first 40 episodes, but I can’t deny that these events really pushed the characters further.

This reminds me of the reason why I don’t consider the Legend of Galactic Heroes to be the best anime ever. Sure, it’s amazing. Among the smartest anime out there. However, like Space Brothers, it was just so incredibly long. At times it really felt like a chore to try and sit through it, and it sometimes spent a bit too much of its time meticulously developing its cast and storyline, at the expense of pacing. The same has happened with Space Brothers: technically it’s doing everything right, but I want to see that amazement again of Mutta hearing that he gets to become an astronaut. The meticulous team building in an environment you could trust nobody thanks to the red cards. The longer a series goes on, the more chance it has of becoming stale in one way or the other. I’d like to view this with a bit of a broader perspective, using other, really long series and how they coped with their length. Generalizations will follow:

– Monster actually did this perfectly. The key was that it was built up meticulously: as it went on every single episode continued to deliver thanks to the build-up of the early episodes.
– Gintama also could not keep up for me after 100 episodes. The reason for that was that it ran out of jokes and started trying too hard. The other side of the extreme.
– Touch also had points where it got really stale, but what saved it was that it kept you on your toes. Although it only barely got away with this.
– Maison Ikkoku is another odd one. Helped by immense character-development and a ridiculously strong climax. It also didn’t play all of its cards immediately.
– Hajime no Ippo is a strange one: it also suffered from getting stale a bit, due to the entire series being about boxing, not the most varied topic. And yet the second season came and improved upon it by being much more over the top and doing this really well.
– Hikaru no Go had some amazingly strong episodes, but it too suffered from being stale despite how it just kept being intelligent. Again, the way in which every episode was about Go had something to do with that.
– Kodomo no Omocha is also a weird one, because its worst arc was in the middle of the series, and it picked itself back up afterwards
– Jigoku Shoujo was helped by that it was about three distinct parts that all had a clear beginning and ending and purpose.
– Hunter X Hunter is only now getting really good because we’ve finally gotten to the actual point that everyone has been waiting for ever since they first announced the new series.

I can see the following patterns from these series:
– Monotony can make things get stale, but not always.
– It’s not enough to only be ridiculously knowledgeable about your subject material. It’s just a very important and welcome ingredient. like having a steak dinner be so much better if it’s the meat from one of those Kobe cows or something.
– The best solution is: meticulous planning. Knowing exactly what you’re building up for, and knowing exactly what you want to do with it. That can excuse a lot.

How to relate this to Space Brothers: what I feel like it’s missing is planning. Up to the arc in which Mutta became an astronaut, the creators felt like they were in full control. Right now it feels like they’re just adapting the manga chapters as they come along with a steady pace, without really giving the extra mile.

so yeah, another reason why it’s wrong to adapt manga that are still currently ongoing. If you don’t know where the plot is going, then you’re going to be limited in one way or the other. I get that it makes sense from a commercial standpoint, but there are more things that do that that are just not right.
Rating: 4,5/8 (Good)

13 Responses

  1. feafea says:

    but Monster sucks!

      • asas says:

        I like this reply.

        Anyway, yeah I agree its pretty sad that its pretty hard to find shows that can actually tell a story in a decent amount of episodes. . .either they do it in 10-12 and rush everything till then end (yes there are exceptions, don’t get your panties in a bunch) or they do a bazillion episodes and just meander around. . .I mean if a book were 100,000 pages long, how long would it take before you just. . quit? Hell even the harry potter series at least separated themselves into books with its own decent story arc.

        . . . Godo thing game of thrones is going to end it after 4-5 seasons since JJ martin is doing the same thing (making his story looong and drawn out)

  2. Razors says:

    i actually watched hunter x hunter 2011 without knowing that it was a rerun, so i am glad that they did not rush all the way through the arcs. But i must say that the older hunter x hunter has more vivid characters than the newer version

  3. Mormegil says:

    It doesn’t help that the episodes are being cut short thanks to that stupid cartoon at the end either.

  4. domino24 says:

    Yeah, I dropped it a while ago because of its pace.

    Reading the manga has been a lot more enjoyable as it takes up less time overall and I think the current english scanlations have passed the anime.

  5. Emma-hime says:

    While I agree domino24 with what your saying, the manga does also feel drawn out in parts also . That said I’m still enjoying it quite a bit.

  6. kero says:

    I’m still enjoying it, but it does feel rushed and like it’s lost control as you say.

    Disagree about LoGH I watched it with my bro a few episodes a day and it was really enjoyable, possibly helped that I could chat with him about it. It was his second time watching through.

  7. gedata says:

    So your still watching HxH psgels? I thought you might’ve given up on it after the Palm episodes which I came soon after your somewhat angry status report.

    Yeah, Space Bros, I fell out of love with it a couple months ago, just felt like it didn’t have anything to offer. The episodes from the end of the Mutta’s astronaut exam to the nail biting Moon arc were great. Everything afterwards became too much of a chore.

  8. Emma-hime says:

    I think anime or manga space brothers as gedata said set the bar too high for itself and has yet to match that.

    • gedata says:

      I guess so, I didn’t feel like the series was offering me anything new, so stopped. Might give it another shot once it finishes though, since I still like the characters overall.

  9. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I’m still enjoying Space Brothers. It helps to have the choice to either watch it right away on Saturday, or wait a couple weeks and watch two in a row. But I feel that it’s still moving along. What’s hard is that Hibito and Sharon are both the cheerful heart of the series, and I hate to see them both suffer. But Mutta and the Buggybusters (plus the Japanese division) have really taken up the slack there.

    Heh, in real life the procurement people at the GSA would be SO UPSET about Mutta bringing in these corporate guys without any bid process. What they’re doing is probably illegal, unless it’s done totally under JAXA’s aegis as a Japanese-only project. But in Japan, similar cozy arrangements between corporation and government are totally normal and considered ethical. It’s an interesting argument.

    Btw, it turns out that “notebook in your heart” is actually some kind of Italian expression. I ran across it in an Italian fairy tale.

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 07:59 PM)
    @Masky: no definitely not every game, but you made it sound as if the whole idea of realism in videogames is ludicrous. Now I haven’t played Undertake myself, but looking at the Steam pics in looks like a humorous retro pixelart indie project, in which case it doesn’t need to be realistic but it still should respect it’s own internal logic. Unless it’s meant to be all bonkers like an Xavier: Renegade Angel episode, but again very few things are like that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 07:30 PM)
    Oh lol the Symphogear guy teased the idea of a fourth season for it, you mad mad bastard.
  • Masky
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 08:03 AM)
    @Bam: Yeah, but simulating reality applies to certain types of games. Judging EVERY game by how realistic it is is silly xD
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.

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