As Azuma talks with Mutta he remembers what Brian Jay had asked him while he was working on the ISS looking over the world, that question being whether he was prepared to die.
“Yume Miru Sekai” by DOES.
Because of this he goes on to ask Mutta this very same question when he approaches him despite Murasaki’s advice otherwise, Mutta not knowing how things could get any worse after the incident with the chair.
With Nasuda and Terumi anxiously watching on, Mutta initially answers that he is before relenting that he wouldn’t be prepared, that he would do what he could to escape such a fate. In truth however, Azuma’s answer to Jay had been the same and that he had been commended for it as Jay affirmed that someone who can be trusted would never be prepared for such. Hibito’s answer to this question also being the same. Following this the episode leaps back to Mutta and Hibito’s childhood after Zidane’s infamous headbutting incident, overshadowing the UFO they had seen.
As such they desperately try to find some proof of what they had seen by waiting in the same spot over three months, Hibito eventually giving Mutta a DVD after that. In the present Mutta and his parents prepare to go to the family barbeque to see off Hibito and the members of his team, being pulled away just before he can get closer to Serika using Apo. Soon after arriving Mutta and his parents meet with Hibito after a particularly cool entrance, presenting him with the very DVD he had given him earlier to leave at the base on the moon, and declaring that he’ll bring it back.
Jumping back to Mutta and Hibito’s childhood around the time they saw the UFO, Hibito recounts their efforts and how Mutta had taken a defeatist approach in that time, having been ganged up on by a group who overheard him mentioning that he saw a UFO. Hibito not taking action because of Mutta’s earlier words against such. Back in Japan in the present, Hoshika also watches on as the media presents details on Hibito’s mission to the moon and what it entails.
After this it jumps back once more with Hibito asking his Aunt Sharon about UFOs, however while she had seen many she didn’t have any photographs, evidence that Hibito needed to clear his brother’s name. From here Mutta takes over, having taught Lowry some more Japanese and been asked about the DVD by some of Hibito’s team members, he reflects on the DVD’s importance to him. Where over the weeks before he would give it to him, Hibito had been constantly busy working on something and had given it to him on his thirteenth birthday.
This DVD was a video of UFO recorded on his birthday, but while it was obvious that Hibito had faked, Mutta still appreciated the great amount of effort that Hibito had put into it for him. As such he never showed it to the group who had bullied him, and when they had turned their sights on Hibito after he showed his video to them, Mutta took things into his own hands and stood up for him. And so in the present Mutta affirms the importance of the DVD to him and how while his brother is missing a screw, it’s part of what makes him who he is.
“Tete” by Akihisa Kondou.
Another nice pair of episodes, the second almost felt like a recap episode but regardless how it managed to tie in all the things that we had seen from Mutta and Hibito’s past into one coherent story was great. Prior to that learning the meaning of Azuma’s words and a bit more about his character was interesting as well.
For one thing it was also kind of interesting that he didn’t bear any sort of grudge toward Hibito and if anything would have possessed a sense of admiration for him. I know that the entire idea of that had more or less been in Mutta’s head and that Azuma was more likely going to be a stoic guy who wouldn’t have cared about it but it was still nice to get some confirmation on the matter. Alongside that it was also interesting to see the legacy of Brian Jay expanded through that as well, placing his own death in a somewhat new context and contradicting the earlier waver Mutta and the other participants had to sign. Seeming to say that while they may have accepted the fact that they may die, it doesn’t mean that they should necessarily accept death if there were any other way regardless of how difficult.
More than that how all or at least most of Mutta’s flashbacks were linked together into single story was something that I really liked about these episodes, they really just put them all into perspective while providing a nice heartwarming story about a memorable point in his and Hibito’s childhoods. Prior to this I never really had suspected that stuff like Mutta being bullied and later standing up for Hibito were all really related and it came as a bit of an interesting surprise. In that sense however it did feel a bit like a recap episode as those parts were effectively being revisited or retold from another perspective or with a bit more clarity, but that said the story that it weaved made up for that nicely.
That story pertaining to the DVD that Hibito put together that presented some extra details to their relationship as brothers and why, while having a screw loose doesn’t entirely seem like a good trait, Mutta still likes that part about him. The story being of how Hibito had put so much effort into inconspicuously putting together something for him to help him out, and while it didn’t necessarily fix things for him, he still appreciated that he would even go that far for him. With Hibito heading for the moon soon the timing for this was also perfect for an episode of development for him, he’s putting himself in a lot of potential danger and it’s really the last time that they will be together for quite a while.