I fear I may have spoken too soon - Space Brothers may be going there after all.
This is what I wrote two weeks ago:
"They can't possibly be playing up a romance angle with a 15 year-old (though I would have said they can't possibly portray an African-American as a gorilla) apart from a schoolgirl crush, no matter that she looks 35."
American football uniform. It's pretty sound theory, actually, reducing Hibito's fear to the level of illogic it should hold, lightening the tension and giving him a sorely-needed taste of success.
Butler's boss as NASA gets wind of why Hibito is really in Russia and puts the kibosh on Butler's secret game. This means letting JAXA know the truth (Hibito is still primarily their responsibility), which means the process of ass-covering starts in earnest. The end result is a bogus position of "Safety Supervisor" being created so Hibito can safely be tucked away to rot while it appears to outsiders as if he's being promoted (this is, by the way, a hyper-typical approach in the world of Japanese business and government). It looks as if may fall on Hoshika to save the day for a Nanba brother yet again, but the good news is that he's already proved to be extremely adept at it.