Captain Earth Episode 4-6
As Captain Earth continues along its merry way, I can’t help but think that there are serious issues plaguing this show despite the studio and team’s own pedigree.
If there is anything that Captain Earth is trying to hammer into its viewers, it is the fact that all the major names and concepts are tied into a Shakespearean template. The trouble is that I fail to see the connection between those two things even through the pieces are obviously there. Akuma no Riddle arguably does a better job with its spin on Shakespearean lore by paralleling Romeo and Juliet with one of its assassin pairs. In addition, it did so with only one episode leading up to the school play and another devoted to actually performing it out in front of a live audience. In comparison, the last three episodes seem so disjointed and uneven that I find myself hardly caring about the characters or overarching plotline.
So what really happens? Well, we have Amara and Moco, which I will be referring to Team Rocket now, attempting to extract Teppei at the Globe HQ. Before assaulting the base, Team Rocket, under the disguise of crepes selling, decides to actually make crepes and sell them to people. It seems kinda pointless since nothing of consequence actually happens. Equally pointless is the amount of fanservice with Akari showing off her bellybutton in one of the show’s oddest scenes and Moco with her enormous rack and not even attempting to hide her scandalous outfit while selling crepes. After that meaningless endeavor, they end up attacking the base and then in quick secession, repelled by Daichi’s Livlaster, leaving them empty-handed and bloating of their confidence that Teppei will turn back to the dark side.
The failure of logic continues to get worse in episode five where Akari and Teppei go onto a space station to visit/retrieve some Teppei lookalike. Here, it is just them without any supervision or security team escorting just waltzing into one of the keystones of Earth’s defense platforms and moving about in a highly secure area. The station’s commander, being Akari’s mother, is completely unconcerned about the special forces going around her base, hacking doors and blowing shit up. Nor is she concerned about her daughter engaged in a fight with gunmen, only worrying that she wasn’t a good mother.
Episode six fares a little better, being centered around Hana, and info-dumping on some of the plot’s less developed elements. It also comes with some pointless exposition about Daichi’s uncle, emotions and a half-ass attempt at kidnapping Hana by the Ark Fraction. Seriously, if the Ark Fraction or what passes as lame, blind and deaf SEELE, wants to be a major player in the plot, they need to step up their game. Sending a mere single agent that has NEON signs advertising that he is a bad guy and taking Hana as a hostage on a military base is suicidal and beyond stupid. Something along the lines of black ops wetwork teams infiltrating would have fared much better and been akind to something along the lines of the battle at NERV HQ during End of Evangelion. Instead, we get a wannabe Salty Dog suit thinking he’s tough shit, getting his ass handed to him and Hana leaping into Daichi’s arms like a bad K-drama.
Captain Earth at this point in time doesn’t know what it wants to be. All the elements that is has It is a drama focusing on the journey of our main characters into adulthood and saviors of Earth? Or is a thriller with many fractions vying for power and control of life-force energy? Or is it a comedy with incompetent fraction up to no-good antics with overbearing sexual tones? Or Is a just a show with giant robots trying to blow each other up?
Speaking of giant robots showdown, there seems to be distinct lack of that over the last three weeks. With the Earth Engine undergoing extensive repairs after Daichi’s second encounter with the Kill-T Gang, Albion just chilling in orbit around Earth and both Amarok and Malkin being blown into tiny pieces, the scale of fights goes straight down into oblivion with each passing of the three episodes. The assault on Globe HQ is only highlight in the sea of mediocrity, having a Kill-T Gang mobile suit engaged with human forces. I doubt that no one got killed in that showdown, seeing that the people in the APCs (drivers and crewmen) had no time to get out before being blown to metal bits. The gunners are shown to have gotten away but the Captain Earth loses an opportunity to bring up the tension by lacking the guts to show casualties from lazers flying everywhere. Daichi shows up and performs his shounen move of one-shoting the moblie suit and Team Rocket being blasted off again.
The fight in zero-g of episode five was fairly interesting but the plot armor of the main characters and not caring about Teppi’s imitation of a thing rob it of having any impact. Worse off is the next episode, is where Bones had the balls to show us pencil sketches of robots blowing things up in a epic flashback as if they were teasing the viewers of how great the show it could have been. In the confrontation towards the end, the only thing missing is Daichi yelling “MEGA BOOMERANG ATTACK” when he flings his projectile at the agent kidnapping Hana. I would rather have the dumb fun of Daimidaler then having shounen teenagers pointlessly meander towards plot point. I signed up for giant mechs, not this bullshit.
At the very least, it seems that the show has its ships very much in order, avoiding the awkward teenage love triangles and further derailment of the narrative that may ensue. The teenage humans of Akari and Daichi pair up with their non-human human-looking teenage counterparts but I’m not getting my hopes for a compelling relationship due to shortage of chemistry between the pairings. The animation is still pretty much the only that Captain Earth has going for it, being the most technically proficient show of the season thus far. However, pretty looking visuals won’t save a show from having a flawed and weak foundation and only adds to the disappointment to Studio Bone’s flagship show of the spring season.