Captain Earth – Episode 7-9
After nine episodes, I finally figured what exactly is Captain Earth is trying to do and why it is failing so hard in it.
Not Star Driver, Eureka Seven, Rahxephon, Gundam, Gurren Lagann or any other mecha show.
It is Evangelion.
What does Gainax’s legendary series have to do with Studio Bones’s Captain Earth? It is something to draw parallel to when dissecting on why Captain Earth is having so much trouble gaining any traction. Both premises seem generic enough, having a bunch of teenagers piloting giant robots in order to save the world from otherworldly things. The main difference is that Captain Earth is trying right all the emotional brokenness of Gainax’s creation. Take a look at Daichi’s uncle and Araki’s father, who after years of neglecting his daughter, is making amends by taking all four of our main leads into his household. Or the shadowy Ark faction who wants move humanity into space, become transcendent and completely sucks in being a puppet master. Or that Daichi has gotten over his childhood trauma but is underpowered when it comes to winning actual mecha fights. Instead of the dense Christian mythology that Evangelion is steeped in, Captain haphazardly uses Shakespearean works to fit within its narrative. People, concepts, organizations and plans are named after various plays but the words lack any substance or impact to them. They could be any other name and it would make no different to the overall plot. It is hollow and lacks the tension that Captain Earth desperately need especially when it comes to the nuclear weapons department. It was quite jarring to see that Globe has complete authority in launching tactical nuclear strikes on inhabited cities and create a holocaust in order to take out a few mere Macbeth offices. As well, the ease with Akari is able to hack into the world’s nuclear arsenal in low orbit is quite disconcerting. We don’t see the weapons themselves, the willingness to use them nor the fallout of resorting to such a option. All we have is a bunch of people promising very deadly and big explosions with nothing to show for it. Coming back to Evangelion, with its N2 mines being the equivalent of nukes, it showed time after time, the destructibility of such devices even though they were barely effective against their primary targets. The decisions to use them were not taken lightly as they were always used in as a last resort weapon. Here in Captain Earth, nukes are being handed out to every nation and our protagonists like candy and toss around like some hot potato waiting to blow up.
Enough about me ranting on about the directionless of Captain Earth and get on with what is going down these last three episodes. We have the Kill-T-Gang coming back for round two in space and having Teppei losing his immortality for a Livlaster or something to that effect. Episodes 8 and 9 deal with locating designer children, preventing them from being awaken and turning into Kill-T-Gang. Along the way, our group of teenagers visit a casino and comes across a roulette dealer who is really one of the designer children. The dealer then goes up to see his boss about his special power of skewing the odds but then Team Rocket busts in. Props to the casino owner, who pulled out his gun instantly and opened fire instead doing the stereotypical thing of freezing up. Too bad that Amara just overpowers him completely and Moco awaken the dealer through a kiss. The ensuring battle ends up with Zin, the roulette dealer, failing to transform into a Kill-T-Gang and Akari hijacking valuable data from the enemy. Episode nine continues the trend of seeking out the second of five designer children. In this case, it is a idol singer who has had a past filled with despair and emptiness as opposed to her current persona. It was very obvious from the onset, that she was the next one judging by the five minutes of her song looping in the background as our heroes yet again go eat at a dessert cafe. The data taken from the previous battle indicates that there is about four minute window from activation to ascension to Kill-T-Gang. Akari get kidnapped and is forced to disable all the low-orbit impactors at gunpoint. Despite that, Daichi manages saves the day once again and Akari is let go after she threaten to turn Earth into a parking lot.
The joke of calling Daichi captain over and over again, got really annoying in a hurry. The title has the word Captain in it and it should be an honor, not a something to be made fun of, to be called by such a title. The pointless expeditions to various food outlets continues to annoy me as well as it stumbles in forming bonds between the main characters and distracts them from the pressing issue of saving humanity. Speaking of lazy and poor writing, Pokemon Pritz is sure a massive plot device in pointing where our heroes should go next because screw explanations and just deal with it.
I’m finding I like the designer’s children and Team Rocket more than the main characters because they are so much more bloodthirsty, psychopathic and fun. Case in point is Amara instantly shooting Akari in the cheek and the newly awaken designer children coming out for delicious vengeance. I’m quite glad that the production team decided to cut short the loneliness aspect of the unawaken designer children and just turn them into awesomely evil people. There is enough forced angst within our four main leads about feeling useless and guilty for not being there.
At least the mecha fights are marginally better than the previous three episodes featuring a four-way brawl in space and smaller fights with ordinary engines. The space battle was nice in that there was a small aspect of teamwork on both sides and stuff blowing up in general. The conclusion was a letdown as it ended with a shounen trope of a final punch between Amara and Dachi with the Earth Engine inexplicably winning despite its battle damage and smaller frame. The other two noteworthy fights take place within a port and on top of buildings. Zin’s fighting style is more of a close range fighter while the idol singer is an artillery-type, raining death from afar. There were some nice moments in each fight and showcased what Bones can really do when they put their minds to it. Unfortunately, the well-animated and intense scenes only last for less than thirty seconds before going back into its regular mediocrity. The trouble is that the fights lack any tension or scale. Where is the collateral damage that giant mechs are suppose to bring? Did it get toss into the trash like the logic and plot of this show? I must admit that having Daichi opening up his cockpit and pull out his Livlaster as a last resort weapon was pretty cool. What was not cool is that he just screams for more power like some fucking shounen to penetrate the enemy’s shield and his gun magically does what he tells it to as if it was powered by friendship or rainbows. I’m also questioning the tactic employed by Globe as Daichi run straight into the line of fire of the artillery mech instead of abusing the blind spots of the surrounding buildings and angles of the tall building of which the enemy situate upon.
Overall, I’m going wary of the non-existent foundation of this show and am dreading every time I have to watch a new episode of Captain Planet Obvious .