If you wanted to be an astronaut when you were a kid, you need to check out Space Brothers. If you find Neil deGrasse Tyson's enthusiasm for space exploration inspiring, you need to check out Space Brothers. If you loved the near-future realism of The Martian, you need to check out Space Brothers.
Seriously space nerds, this series is for us. Guys, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide recorded dialog for this series while on the International Space Station. The live-action version (which the library does not own) features a cameo by Buzz Aldrin.
Space Brothers follows two brothers, Mutta and Hibito Nanba, who decided as children that they wanted to be astronauts. Older brother Mutta abandoned that dream, and instead became a mechanical engineer. Hibito followed through and is now an astronaut in training for a moon mission scheduled for next year (2026). Mutta's feelings of inadequacy in the face of his brother's success are only complicated when he's fired. Hibito though, never doubted his brother and secretly submits an application on Mutta's behalf to Japan's highly competitive astronaut training program.
This is a slower-paced series. While parts are fairly intense, the real focus is on the characters and the entire step-by-step process for astronaut selection and training. The characters are interesting, varied, and have distinct personalities. Obviously, my favorite character is the pug dog Apo (short for Apollo).
~Sarah, Adult Services