The episode opens with Kenji reflecting on his fascination with space, where seeing himself as a devil’s advocate he shut down some cultists attempting to sell him a pendant on the basis of space power. Feeling that in order to know more about space he has to experience it himself.
This too being the reason for continuing his puzzle as he struggles to unite his team. On Mutta’s side of things, in order to cope with the food shortage the members of his team are taking turns skipping meals, and after Nitta seems to have gotten his Green Card Mutta receives his as well. Unfortunately however the orders he receives are in no way as good.
The Green Card itself condemning him to make an absolute fool of himself by shouting/acting in a way that takes his team members off guard and disrupts them randomly a few times each day, leading to him wondering whether Kenji has gotten such a card. At this point however Kenji confides in Teshima that JAXA’s response of solving problems themselves suggests that they’re directing the problems, and the data that had been keeping their scores has been erased, leading to Kenji stating to Yamato that selecting two of them to be astronauts was more or less JAXA’s attempt to see how they would cope with it, Teshima backing him. However while Hoshika confirms this in the control room, Yamato demands that if they believe that they should drop out of the selection process all together.
Back on Mutta’s side of things, Hoshika and the others in the control room observe how they’re spending their time, Furuya and Fukuda playing air shogi, Nitta meditating, and Serika studying Russian, while Mutta is reading up on American jokes. On Kenji’s side of things Kenji finds himself in quite a bind with Kitamura suggesting to Yamato that his demand was a tad too harsh, Teshima noting to him that as both he and Kenji were in the lead it couldn’t have been Kenji that erased the scores. However Kenji seems more conflicted with his failure to unify his team and allow them to work together, and as he reflects upon his doubts he realises that his daughter Fuuka has effectively been cheering him on, reinvigorating him.
First off it was great to see Kenji get so much focus in this episode, we not also saw a good amount of development for him but he was also able to take what was holding him back and turn it into the strongest driving force he could get. In the middle of that it was also fun to see Mutta get his Green Card, even if JAXA just seems to be screwing with him through it.
After how unamused Hoshika and the other guy at the control desk were, that was my first thought, he’s been constantly using JAXA as a go to if anything goes wrong and after everyone else got relatively cool espionage styled sabotage Green Cards, they thought nope you’re going to be making an ass out of yourself instead. And to top it all off after his reaction to his handshake with Serika they know that he likes her, so you have to add a part about doing it not only in front of everyone but also a girl who you like and have a relatively good relationship with so far as well. Either way for JAXA it was pretty low, but if they are just coming up with group specific cards for at one member per team he kind of had it coming.
No matter how you look at it though this was really Kenji’s episode, it was fun to see him shut up some cultists out to make a quick buck who showed up on his doorstep preaching the magical properties of space power, however after that it cemented him as the someone who just wants to know everything he can about space and as a devil’s advocate because of such. He’s someone genuinely fascinated by it and just can’t get enough of it to the point that he has to go out and experience it himself, much better than what he had said about liking big things before, and at the same time it only makes his struggle all the more harder. It’s simply a lose-lose situation, either he gives up on his dream and rots or he gives up on his daughter and lives with that guilt all his life.
How this episode had him find his way out of it in a really nice way, it was lightly foreshadowed before with a few remarks as to just what Ka-pe means, but who would have thought that it was his daughter cheering him on? To him she’s been holding him back while in truth she’s been trying to push him forward all along, so no matter how you look at it, it was a nice realisation on Kenji’s part. He’s now got a driving force equal to his status as one of the mains. Other than that it was also great to see him realise the main fault with his team, to some extent they’ve all missed the underlying point of being broken down into three groups and have instead always been looking out for their own interests.