So this first year of medicine residency has been tough in many ways, especially in terms of time available to do other things, such as being faithful to this blog (but for the most part, I’ve been able to watch some anime throughout, so it’s a matter of priorities more than anything else :P). But when things have gotten tough in matters such as finding a place to continue my training, or when I’ve felt the need to vent because the work stresses me the hell out, I’ve had the ability to rely on colleagues regardless of experience who’ve been there before. Including my older brother, who’s currently in his second year or residency; no fooling. But I’ve noticed that when I talk to him, he offers encouragement more so than advice, and often it feels like either he’s waiting for me to ask him for help (which I’m not the best person to do that) or that he wants me to learn how to go through rough patches himself with nary a helping hand. And while that previous sentence can just be pure conjecture on my part, I feel like I’m also in my own way pushing him, though I’m not sure exactly how. It’s a push and pull with uncertainty, yet we’re still relatively close throughout all of that. I can’t say that our relationship mirrors that of Mutta and Hibito in Space Brothers, but I feel like I can see that reciprocity as well between them.
If you spoke with Mutta, this conflict (if we can really call it that) between following his dream while seemingly following in the coattails of his younger brother is the driving point of the story so far. It’s been great to see that desire to go into space never really left him, and that we could say that he’s merely been a longer journey to the astronaut path than the one taken by Hibito. But for Mutta it’s also been tough to see a lot of that desire tempered by his self-image, with a lot of pressures partly self-imposed (not feeling like he’s good enough to reach where his brother reached, having his pride wounded by following his brother figuratively when his opinion is that the older brother has to always be forward, etc.) and partly from external pressure (Zidane!). So far, it’s ultimately been the little brother’s obvious efforts to drag Mutta back on the path he was destined to be on, and while he outwardly bristles at times about seemingly being forced to live out his dreams, you see his gratitude inwardly for being given that chance in the first place, as well as his worries about making sure his (and Hibito’s) wish comes true. And while Mutta is getting a lot of help from others on his way to being an astronaut (like Kenji, who’s such a bro), Hibito remains that main supplier.
In Hibito’s case, his (primary) dream has been realized, as he’s currently set to be on a mission to the Moon. But as we watch, we get more of an idea that the driving force behind all of it was the mutual agreement that he and Mutta made after seeing that UFO in the past. And he’s held up his end of the bargain with the expectations that Mutta would as well, with a nudge from him every so often (JAXA application, bringing him to NASA HQ in Texas, etc.) to help. The show does a good job in flashbacks and in these nudges to show how much Hibito idealizes his brother, as well as the standards he holds him to leading to the motivation that helps him improve on his own to become awesome in his own right. While I wouldn’t say we’ve gotten to a conflict in his case, I do feel like it would consist of something along the lines of reconciling his ideal with what reality gives him, as well as wanting recognition for Mutta for how he’s progressed. We see some signs in regards to what looks like his increased effort in training under Mutta’s eye, as well as his disappointment when Mutta decides not to take his advice to essentially enjoy himself at NASA, which should be a veritable dreamland for him. But Hibito has been a patient soul in waiting for Mutta to come to space as well, so it’s hard not to forgive him for being a little impatient. Of course, there’s a little brother bias here, so hey. :P
Space Brothers notes that the brotherly (and family) bonds have remained the same in many ways despite how Hibito and Mutta’s paths have differed. Mutta still would take a bullet to the chest, or at least headbutt people in the chest, for his little brother while still seeing him as green behind the ears on other aspects. Hibito still sees Mutta as the one who will lead the way for him in the end, even if the path to get there takes longer (literally and figuratively) than initially thought. And that throughout the years, the two still have an indefatigable will to go up in space. As these next six episodes pan out, whatever happens makes me think that regardless, the brothers will be all right. As for me and my brother? Ask me in a couple of years when residency is hopefully over. :3