And the focus shifts back to Team B and Makabe.
Though stated that this episode focuses more on Team B and Makabe, episode eighteen does start off with Team A and the Green Card debut of Mutta. Unlike the other four members of his team, Mutta is by far given the funniest task to perform to disrupt his team. It lightens the mood of the episode for the audience before jumping in to the heavier aspect which focuses in on Team B. The short amount of time we’re given with Team A, though, is well spent with more classic Mutta humour with the team working out most of its problems with just a few more days left in the exam. It’s quite clear that Team A are the most favoured team to wind up as astronauts based on their performance and knowing what qualities JAXA is looking for through this exam.
As for Team B, it’s been quite apparent for some time now that they are the exact opposite of a team with the most qualified candidates to become astronauts. Mizoguchi once again acts as an antagonist towards Makabe and continues to relentlessly assault him with accusations of sabotage. Even with Makabe providing a sound argument to take importance away from their ranking system that they employed, Mizugochi continues to be a thorn in his side as the most unreasonable and selfish member of their team who is only looking out for himself. It’ll be great to see his comeuppance when he fails the exam and Makabe passes—at least that is what I am foreseeing happening. Despite all that, the relentless assaults by Mizoguchi are beginning to take their toll on Makabe and we finally see him begin to break down.
It’s a sad moment for such a strong character, but he does have his rejuvenating moment brought about by the memory of his daughter. Makabe finally figures out what his daughter has been saying to him all this time, and it was a simple good luck. It’s uplifting to see such a simple thing coming from a child being such an inspiration for Makabe, and he remembers why he’s doing this exam to begin with. The problems for Team B are still around, but Makabe has greater motivation to finish this exam and hopefully address them in the coming episodes.
Episode eighteen as a whole is a great episode to watch. We get another episode focusing in on Makabe and it’s time well spent. The only downside is that I felt there should have been one last confrontation between Makabe and Mizugochi. Beyond that, a great episode overall.
Episode nineteen rolls along and the focus shifts back to Team A, but not before revealing the situation improving with Team B. Following Makabe’s spiritual revival due to the word of encouragement from his young daughter, his new rejuvenated state motivates him to improve the relations between his team and, as we can see, Team B is all smiles now. The observations made by Hoshika give audiences a pretty good idea of his own standing in the eyes of JAXA ,and it appears that he is going to be one candidate under serious consideration after taking in the turnaround that Team B had in their state of mind, following their near breaking point. It’s well deserving for him and with Mizoguchi realizing the root of all the sabotages, it’s more than likely his actions to that point will act against him.
On Team A’s side, things are more or less the same for the happy-go-lucky squad. Despite the recent troubles involving their food shortage, Mutta comes up with a solution to keep them filled for their final day. That solution is one last group activity for Team A, which is making udon noodles. It’s a solution that everyone buys into and it’s great to see them all happily enjoying the process of making the udon, as well as taking in Mutta’s own experience when he first made it with Sharon and Hibito when they were still children. It’s here where the series gives us another look back into Mutta’s life growing up and the relationship he had with the people that helped influence his life. It’s also here that his connection to Sharon becomes a source of conversation among Team A as they’re all informed about who she is and her own standing in the Astronomy community.
This whole bit of the episode just serves as another feel good moment for audiences. It’s fun to see them all geeking out at the knowledge that Mutta knows such a famous astronomer and how this leads them all to discussing other topics within their fields. Personally speaking, it’s always great to be able to chat with a group of people about something you’re passionate for, and so, this portion of the episode was especially relatable and fun to take in.
All’s well doesn’t end well though with episode nineteen as Mutta leaves Team A with an ominous question to solve: Who will the two chosen members be with only one more day to go? The good times have to come to an end once again for Team A, but I have full confidence they’ll be able to work out a solution that is best for both Team A and satisfying for audiences to take in. Episode twenty is another episode to be on the lookout for.
GO Rating: 3.5/5 (both episodes)