Ryu’s Musings – Space Brothers v01

space_brothers-chapter_1-0-450x675Language: Japanese
Direction: Right to Left
By: Chuya Koyama
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Type: Series
Genre: Seinen, Slice of Life
Availability: Digital, SimulPub

Two brothers looked to the starry skies as children and made a promise … Now, in the year 2025, the younger brother, Hibito, is carrying his out. He is an astronaut who has been selected as a crew member for mankind’s first long-term base on the moon. Meanwhile, the older brother, Mutta, has just been fired from his job and is unemployed, but decides to trust himself just one last time. A text message from Hibito sends him applying to be an astronaut too and shooting for the stars … The official Space Brothers manga is ready to launch!

This is the second title I read from the ongoing Kodansha Humble Bundle!

I really want to just put one sentence here for my entire post: Go buy this awesome series!

Honestly I could just end this post there and it’d be damn near perfect, but I wont 😀

I’ve never read  this series before, nor have I watched the anime. Honestly this series was no where even being close to being on my radar, and it’s all because of the cover of volume one; I hated it.

While this is a prime example of don’t judge a book by it’s cover, it’s also a prime example of how a bad cover can kill sales.

So lets talk about the art, I’m not keen on it. The cover art especially for volume one was a huge off put for me. Something about the character designs on the cover just looked bad. Honestly that’s all I can say, to me it looked bad, and I felt if that was what the art was going to be like I didn’t want to deal with it.

Colour me surprised by the start of the volume, I actually liked the art! Sure it’s not the best art I’ve seen, but it wasn’t the worst either. I liked the character designs, they felt right and matched up well. Whats more the back drops early on, as well as other character designs were pretty good as well.

It wasn’t until the characters got older that my issues with the art started, and I once again found myself hating the character designs. Hibito was acceptable, while I didn’t like his hair style (and I still can’t stand it!) it sort of matched with him. However Mutta made my teeth itch, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a character design I’ve hated as much as this one, while genuinely liking the actual character.

Yup, you read that right, I like the character himself. Over the course of the volume I grew more and more attached to him and ended up getting past my hate of his design.

As a character his personality is perfectly done, and is a great match to his brother. I especially liked the depressive feel he has, always crying over being born on the day of the ‘Agony of Doha’. I also liked seeing him mature a little over the course of the volume, and start to get some direction to his life as he remembers his childhood dreams, and starts to pursue them.

However the thing that I was especially impressed by was that he didn’t instantly change and go from moron to super man. It’s a slow progression, as he realises he needs to change and starts to do so. He faces set back and obstacles, but pushes forward.

While I may not like Koyama’s art style I can not and will not fault his writing, which is superb! The story he writes is both engrossing and entertaining. I loved following both Hibito and Mutta as they aim for their dreams, and the pit falls they face along the way.

One of the areas I found especially good was Koyama’s ability to keep thing’s moving along, it doesn’t feel stale, and yet also doesn’t feel rushed. So far the first volume is a perfect start to the series, and this is one I will definitely be following from now on!

So yeah, as I said at the start: Go buy this awesome series! The first volume is available as part of the Kodansha Humble Bundle, and subsequent volumes are available as digital downloads from ComiXology, Amazon, and also as SimulPub on Crunchyroll.

Expect a more in-depth post when I finished my marathon read of 257 chapters!!

Author: Ryu Sheng