Like most people, I once dreamt of becoming an astronaut. The prospect of blasting off into space to go boldly where no man have ever gone before is thrilling and a magnificent worthy goal, to say the least. Space Brothers offers a fun and realistic look into the trials undertaken by aspiring astronauts, and at the end of the trials, the dream would be realized by only a select few.
Unfortunately for me, that dream was crushed so easily and quickly by a single remark from a hearing childhood friend,
How are you going to be able to talk with other people in space?
- childhood friend
My dream, having only survived a mere two months in elementary school, has been smothered ever since then, but I’ve still continued to yearn for the opportunity to at least journey to outer space. However, the harsh reality of being a deaf person is that there will be limitations to what we can achieve, and becoming an astronaut is beyond our limitations. There is still an opportunity to, at least, travel to space as a passenger, which was actually nearly achieved by a fellow deaf person by the name of Eric Shear. He was in a voting competition (closed) with the prize being the chance to experience a spaceflight. But he recently lost to another person who, strangely enough, had fewer votes than him. There are so many thoughts I have about this, but I’ll not bore you with my admittedly dark opinions. But this does serves as a reminder that we still have much to overcome and go further before beginning to realize the dream of going into outer space.
But for Nanba Mutta, this dream was revitalized after being fired from his automobile company. Now emboldened by his sibling rivalry with his younger astronaut brother, Nanba Hibito, Mutta is making an effort to beat his younger brother to reach the moon and Mars. And so, he is taking the astronaut exams at JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploratory Agency), successfully maneuvering himself to the second exam with 44 other candidates out of 1,225 applicants. Out of these 1,225 applicants, only two or three applicants would be accepted, meaning that a first-time applicant would only have 0.16~0.24% success rate of being accepted. Against such astronomical odds, the road to being an astronaut is a long and tough one! But of course, this serves to explain why a career as an astronaut is well-respected enough worth pursuing.
Astronauts are admired for many reasons. They get to experience the thrills and wonders of spaceflight. They are well-educated and experienced enough to be able to operate and maintain a spaceflight within the deep vacuum of outer space. They also must be very careful and observational of their environment to ensure that everything goes smoothly enough and to prevent major disasters, like Apollo 13, Challenger, Columbia, etc. This is a viable quality necessary and well worth testing for, as seen in the second exam interviews when one of the screws on the interviewee’s chair is deliberately loosened in episode 2. Attention to detail is key, and only three applicants noticed this out-of-place detail, Mutta, Ito Serika, and Makabe Kenji. Just from this foreshadow, it’s quite obvious that these applicants will become astronauts, but remember, it’s the journey that counts, not the end destination!
Perhaps the reason why I enjoy Space Brothers so much is because it affords me the opportunity to see the trials of an aspiring astronaut and to foster a sense of hope for my short-lived childhood dream. For me, it is a poignant reminder to keep working hard and to reach for your dreams. Well, there’s no use lamenting about being unable to fulfill this childhood dream of mine after all these years, so all I can do now is to at least keep dreaming of a day when I can finally launch into space.