Having arrived in Houston, Texas, Mutta heads to the park to meet Hibito when he runs into unfortunate dog named Apo that won’t leave him alone.
Now that that’s out of the way I’ll start spamming my posts.
As it would so happen however, Apo turns out to be Hibito’s dog and they head back to his house where after giving Hibito some things from their mother in Japan, Mutta picks up on Apo being named after Apollo. Going on to pick out this tendency of his of not bothering with the little things, pointing out examples throughout the room. Following this, Mutta steps out into the backyard and tries to get his head around just how far his little brother will be going, Hibito however likens it to long a trip that they went on when they were younger. To this however Mutta explains that things aren’t as certain for him, Hibito responding that as his rival he’s gotten boring.
The next day Mutta wakes up to find a note from Hibito inviting him to look around his workplace, and as he looks back on how he used to help him with his homework, he sees that he still makes the same sort of mistakes from time to time. After this though he runs into Hibito’s neighbours who look after Apo while he’s at work, Mr and Mrs Smith who feel as if they already know him after all the stories Hibito had told them about him, and while he apologises for his brother who he sees as having a screw loose, they don’t see a problem in it at all. Even admitting that if so, they’re the same and telling him that Hibito fervently believed that Mutta was going to be an astronaut too one day, and so Mutta returns with a new-found competing spirit.
Attempting to one up Hibito while he seems rather disappointed that Mutta didn’t even bother to show up at the training centre, and alongside remembering what Mr and Mrs Smith had said, he remembers the trip that Hibito mentioned they had taken. Where they both forced their way through the blistering heat and he managed to beat him a few times, and so after writing an apology Mutta promises to go to the training centre tomorrow. However back in Japan at this point, the likes of Kenji and Serika have made it through but the higher-ups aren’t too sure on allowing Mutta through.
Another consistently good episode, not only was it kind of fun to see things shift over to America, but this episode allowed the two brothers to finally meet up in person. In doing so painting a much better and clearer picture of Hibito and how he regards Mutta, as well as showing where the pug comes from.
Or Apo, short for Apollo who so far seemed a lot like a mascot for the series given how he’s seen alongside Mutta and Hibito in the opening theme, which ends with him right by Mutta’s side during that last shot. Due to which I’m also kind of surprised that he turned out to be Hibito’s dog as well, given how close he’s shown to Mutta, I was assuming that he would eventually be his dog, but aside from that Apo’s introduction was a fun way to start the episode. Making for a rather comical scene as he chased Mutta around the park before he and his brother eventually met up again, and his name also backs another thing that I liked about this episode.
That Hibito too has his flaws, given the way that the series started by depicting him as the younger brother born into luck and good favour as well as how he was first shown lifting and carrying his older brother, I regarded him as being a little too perfect. That his character and where he is now would simply be flawless in order to starkly contrast against Mutta’s own, but this episode changed that. Through a face to face meeting we were able to see that wasn’t the case, he still makes a few mistakes in spelling out English (which I can’t exactly blame him for, as interesting as it can be is it does have its pitfalls), and while he notices but is too lazy to deal with every little problem, and at the same time he doesn’t exactly carry through sometimes either. While his work ethic is surely different, a lack of effort probably sums it up best, he did name his dog Apollo without an llo after all.
In a way because of this he seems like a rather good contrast for Mutta still, if anything better than he previously was for him, those aspects of their characters being near as opposite as their current positions, Mutta being the meticulous type to pick up on little things and let them get to him way too easily. I wouldn’t exactly be surprised if these two aspects of their characters influenced them either, Mutta becoming meticulous in response to Hibito’s sloppiness as well as the opposite. Secondly it was great to see just how Hibito regards him as well, we already knew that he wanted his brother to become an astronaut and race ahead of him, but there was definitely something touching about how naively Hibito had clung towards it. In a sense he does have a screw loose. But anyway with this episode the relationship between them was great to see, we got to learn a little bit more about Hibito and Mutta pick himself up to start competing with him again.