Category Archives: Captain Earth

Captain Earth [82/100]

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If there are fans of Star Driver reading my posts then you will understand when I say this that you will love this series.  It’s exactly like it, the awakening of giant robots by singing, Daichi following his destiny of becoming a captain is just as similar to Takuto’s claim to Ginga Bishonen [Galactic Pretty Boy].   Even the Kill-T-Gang  are ripped straight from the the Glittering Crux Brigade!  Even the bond that Akari, Teppei, Daichi and Hana share remind me so much of Takuto, Wako, and Sugata!  It’s not just in the style of animation BONES chose to use here but the soundtrack remains relatively similar as well!

I may enjoy a series a ton but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some objections to how they might be designed.

Satoru Kosaki helms the soundtrack to Captain Earth.  This guy’s a member of MONACA, which was founded in 2004 by Haruhi Suzumiya’s Keiichi Okabe and is the main source of music in Star Driver as well.  I have a problem with this guy.  Both he and Hiroyuki Sawano do not have a very creative edge when it comes to writing up scores– I’ve said this before and I will say it again Sawano is productive with his musical tastes and so is Kosaki.  Could definitely mix some of the tracks we had in here with Shingeki no Kyojin, Kill la Kill, hell even some older shows like Outlaw Star or Mobile Suit Gundam Wing!  Just goes to show not much has changed since 2010 with Kosaki’s music.  I absolutely love it when anime deliver very different productions but here is where this is just recycled material.  One that is fun and highly enjoyable on the outside but very dry and repetitive on the inside.

So the story is that Daichi’s father dies from saving Earth from the attacks of the Kill-T-Gang, and upon learning this he takes it upon himself to become a captain.  When he was a kid he stumbled across a mysterious facility where he met Teppei and Hana– both have unique abilities one that can summon a giant ship the Blume and the other has an Ego Block.  A digitalized box that holds all the power that that person possess and it’s also said that is is what makes the Kill-T-Gang live forever. Captain Earth sure loves to throw in terminology left and right throughout the series without ever explaining it previously.  Can’t say I like it when it does this but it does move the story along, just as Star Driver did.

2-cour series like this one have the luxury of evolving its characters very well without ever worrying about pacing, and that’s exactly what Yoji Enokido did!  The Midsummer’s Knights went in a solid direction, and with Igarashi’s previous works he’s known for having a formulaic character of the week be introduced for 5 or 6 episodes straight.  It wasn’t boring because those Kill-T-Gang members lead normal lives outside of their main mission– Amara and Moco work at a crepe truck,  Zin a dealer at a casino, Lin a competitive motorcycle racer, Ai is an idol singer, Baku the boxing champion, and Setsuna a somewhat normal girl.  This is the one part of the show I really loved even more than the main plot, because even the side-cast that weren’t even a part of the overall story arc were there to establish the world these alien-beings live in, and what they would be missing if it ends up getting wiped out by them.

Igarashi is a director that sure knows how to  lay a foundation of strong characters but where this series falls flat on its face is predictability with the main story.  Hana grows to have feelings for Daichi and this only gets rejected once when she decides to leave the team, Teppei questions his place in the world after he’s destroyed his Ego Block, and the adults including Nishikubo hold on to such strong regrets about leaving behind a mess for the children of the future to clean up.

All in all it’s a coming-of-age drama where the teenagers in this show must realize that to save everything that they hold dear they need to stand up for what they believe in and fight!  Even if it is with Livlaster guns, Engine Impactors and the power of friendship!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 82/100

If you like this you might also enjoy:

–  STAR DRIVER

–  Aquarion EVOL

– Sacred Seven

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Captain Earth Episode 25 [END]

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I will have my final impressions for this series, and Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii up sometime tomorrow.  It’s nice to have some time set aside to catch up on these anime, it feels like forever since I’ve watched Soredemo and even Mushishi.

Like I said previously I had a feeling the ending would be predictable, typical BONES material and very normal for an Igarashi series.  Seriously this reminded me yet again how similar Captain Earth really is to Star Driver.

The way that BONES animated this, all of it had such fluid animation I was really impressed with this! Did their entire budget go towards the first 2 episodes, and this one, because this was very good.  Hana became the destined damsel in distress, one that I’m sure everyone saw coming here, and was manipulated by Puck in order to establish some drama between Daichi’s love, and saving Earth.

Though, I should have known the telepathic kiss would be the straw that broke the camel’s back here, releasing Hana from Puck’s grasp and inevitably creating a happy ending for this show.  I would have to say the most surprising part of this entire episode was the fact that Amara in order to save Moco from dying would sacrifice his ego block, and the writers even pushed this just a bit further by having all the Kill-T-Gang members destroying theirs as well!  Was it just me or did the fight against Puck towards the beginning look exactly like the ending fight in Star Driver?

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 6/10

Captain Earth Episode 24

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Now this was predictable, the Planetary Gears join forces with the Midsummer’s Knights, and Puck is the final villain here.  BONES, you can’t stay away from cliched endings can you?  The main cast have been fighting these guys since episode 1 and the most likely candidate to become villain isn’t one of them but an A.I. system.  It makes sense but overdone way too often in anime series.  As cliched as this was it doesn’t stop there, he even wants to take over the entire galaxy to become a God.  Wow, this was pretty silly.

One aspect that this show does well at is keeping it refreshing with it’s background designs, as we are always looking at some new setting with this show.  Tanegashima island, the Tenkaido, outer space, city life in Tokyo, Australia and now we are finally at the ship orbiting around Uranus, the home of the Kill-T-Gang!  Loved the designs the animators used here, but right when Puck showed up it slightly killed all aspirations I had for a solid and unique setup for the finale that BONES could have pulled off here.   With one episode left I can definitely see where this is going.  A mecha series that while may be very entertaining one that transitions teenagers to adults with a likely positive outcome for an ending that keeps everyone happy just not Puck.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 5/10

Captain Earth Episode 23

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Ah the dream trope.  It’s about time this series uses it, as BONES used this in Eureka Seven, Star Driver, and so many of their other series– a trademark for them.  Star Driver handled it fairly decent so I wasn’t expecting too much out of this episode.

So Daichi is distracted and left inside of a dream world from the events in Episode 1.  The Planetary Gears replace his friends throughout the entire segment and this was the part that bothered me, because it didn’t pan back to the present until the very end.  Would have been great to see the Planetary Gears operating outside of the dream world.  Reminds me a lot of the Ray episode in GunxSword.

Daichi wakes up at the end of it saying he’s fine and blasts a hole through the ship, it was pretty predictable.  It would have been more interesting to see the other Midsummer’s Knights trying to get him out of there, I mean why was Peter Westvillage there and not the the other teens?  I hope this show can redeem itself in the final two episodes because the previous ones have been poorly written.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 4/10

Captain Earth Episode 22

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The music was fantastic here but what the hell was this?  Typical Igarashi material we’ve got here– entertaining, fun and energetic characters but a flimsy storyline.  I say this only because of how many terms that we’ve been unaware of until now– Planeter Unit.  Did the writers seriously pull this out of nowhere for the sake of making the plot more interesting?  Come on.  This is very weak writing here, M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane is suffering a lot from this style as well.  It’s  a shame because this show was very good in the first thirteen episodes and now we’ve got this stale unexplained plan coming out of thin air here!

The Director Igarashi did great work with Junichi Sato on Sailor Moon, but this was pretty bad. Salty Dog decides to make another attempt at thwarting the Midsummer’s Knights with their Operation Summer– this did absolutely nothing and they should’ve learned from the previous mistakes with Hirosue.  Boring.  I am going to keep following this show as I’ve made it this far, and it’s been entertaining but these last couple of episodes didn’t even touch the level of what we had in the first half. Do have to wonder what will happen with the use of an alternate dream-like universe next episode.  Hopefully this will redeem these past few poorly designed episodes!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 4/10

Captain Earth Episode 21

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I want to give everyone a heads up if they don’t already know.  Noitamina is running a broadcasting pause this week- Zankyou no Terror and Psycho-Pass Re:Edit will not be airing until next week [9/4].  So expect to see my post on Zankyou to arrive sometime next week.

Ok, this wasn’t too bad but not great either.  Oh Gen Urobuchi if you wrote this more than half the Planetary Gears would be dead, possibly Teppei included and Hana would go missing.  Both Star Driver and Captain Earth handles its characters so delicately and this was definitely the episode that emphasized that greatly.

Operation Summer gets sidelined by Reito and Ai attacking Nebula along with the Tenkaido using asteroids allowed the episode to be a little more interesting.  Great move but it the scene where the Earth Engine Impactor unleashes its new attack on that entire area leaving Teppei alive was rather cheesy.  Usually I will let it pass considering how supernaturally fun Captain Earth has been but this was ridiculous.  What saved him?

I do want to point out how much the writers stuffed into this episode- surprising how quickly Daichi saved Hana from Reito.  I was expecting so kind of fight.  Reito’s resolve towards the end their was typical of Yoji Enokido- as he did the same exact thing in Star Driver too!  It was great to see the first time around but here it ended up being stale and very predictable.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 4/10

Captain Earth Episode 20

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This is a series that is very different from Aldnoah.Zero and even Argevollen- it doesn’t force itself to be realistic in the least.  What Aldnoah.Zero strives in is through its pragmatic approach at telling a story whereas Argevollen is only trying to be smart with the use of military actions but fails due to the plot wrapped entirely around Tokimune.  Captain Earth may not make sense some times but that doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining- Star Driver had so many elements that this show takes from.

Planetary Gears abduction of libidos, Engine Impactors that rely its power on the emotions of its pilots, and of course the unusual abilities the main cast have acquired throughout- Livlaster and Blume are a few examples of this.  As most of what was seen here was light-hearted- we had a beach scene with the Daichi, Teppei, the girls and there was also more singing from Ai.  This is another reason why this and Star Driver are some of my favorite entertaining series to watch.  The singing has an underlining theme to the story- Hana uses her voice to wake Albion from its slumber so many episodes ago.  Here though Ai uses her identity as an idol as a diversion to uplink her Hebihanabi to the Tenkaido.

Here we get quite a different episode from what we’ve had- Ai of the Planetary Gears infiltrates the Tenkaido and Salty Dog’s Reito Hirosue returns to kidnaps Hana once again.  Two organizations with different goals in mind all trying to achieve on the same playing field.  One thing this show should stray away from though is the inclusion of Salty Dog’s motives- I felt this part should’ve been shown in the earlier episodes.  Also we’ve still yet to see more of Daichi’s father- hopefully with a handful of episodes left the writers can include this into it so late in the series.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10

Captain Earth Episode 19

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So now we’ve come full circle.  I would not have guessed that Hana’s entrapment from the very beginning would be a giant ship.  This reminds me a lot of how much thought the creators put into Eureka Seven when I saw this.  I only say this because of the strong bond between Renton and Eureka that was foreshadowed throughout that entire series.   Not to mention Ao as well.  Daichi and Hana seem to have that similar connection.  It is in how much parents have an influence on the younger generations- at least that’s the theme I get from watching that series back then and this show.

With Captain Earth we’ve got Daichi a young man who is deemed the responsibility of captain just as his father was.  Here is where he most inevitably becomes a leader for the group stranded in Australia.  Hana a mysterious girl with the power to control an Engine drive and fully function Blume has gotten a lot stronger since she first appeared.  She voluntarily goes along with the mission Nishikubo prepared.  She has friends now that she cares about- this episode strengthened how much she’s bonded over the series with Daichi and the others.  More so in how much of an independent woman she’s become.  Teppei originally a Planetary Gear threw away his Ego Block for the sake of his friends- his father father’s genes were used in creating him, everything known to him has been a lie except the Midsummer’s Knights.  Somehow I cannot see the future boding well for Teppei.  Glad Gen Urobuchi isn’t right this.  Akari is a magical hacker that here again we are proven once again of her skills.  You know if this were Zankyou no Terror it would have fully explained what she did but a mecha series like this doesn’t have time for that with so many people here.

I was a tad bit surprised by this episode only that Hana did not get captured by Salty Dog.  When will they ever learn?  Because of this I felt the episode was slightly disappointing.  Aside from the Planetary Gears the other villains in this show just aren’t getting the screen time they need to develop an episode like this one that much stronger.

I don’t think I’ve brought this up often but the music is fairly decent here.  MONACA.  Star Driver’s soundtrack was elevated higher because of how prevalent it was to the story, here not so much and the writers are still able to squeeze in a varied selection of music to enhance the scenes.  I knew I recognized Daichi’s voice, it’s Jinta from AnoHana!  Sounded really familiar.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 6/10

Captain Earth Episode 18

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Captain Earth continues on being interesting because of how well it has been introducing new people into the plot. Though I cannot help but feel the ending of this series getting rushed now that there are so many people involved with the Planetary Gears and the Kivotos Plan.  What will happen to the new Kube, what ever happened to Daichi’s uncle, and will we ever get to see more of what his father did in the past?  So many questions and with only 7 episodes left it’s a bit worrisome.

The Midsummer’s Knights end up in Australia where they are ambushed by the extremists of the Tenkaidou.  Great shift here but the only catch is why didn’t GLOBE see this coming?  Can’t help but feel like someone in GLOBE is following the Kivotos plan too.  Is this foreshadow for Teppei to betray Daichi and the others?  If so that would make this entire sabotage scene make so much more sense.  Something that the story has been very capable at pulling of his how well the adults interact with the children of this series. Towards the beginning we had the relationship between Daichi and Nishikubo with the idea that kids need to be protected. Here we get a woman whose abandoned her daughter Akari and as she has realized her regrets it’s reflected extremely well towards Hana. If I recall Tsubaki mentioned how this was the only time she heard Akari had a friend in Akari. Translating nicely from this theme of protecting the kids of the world into giving them the freedom they need to grow and become stronger. The narrative manages very well throughout this entire episode.

Please don’t rush the rest of these episodes- this is where I can see that Hana could be captured very easily.  Considering how as straightforward in protecting her as its been so far it’s more likely that this will be the case here.  Refreshing to see that this episode was not devoted to the Planetary Gears at all as they’ve taken a back seat here in establishing the main cast.  Pushing aside the problems that this episode had with the sudden sabotage I’d say this was some much needed development especially for Hana and even Teppei.  That beam attack Daichi unleashed was pretty damn incredible.  Nice animation to go along with it too!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10

Captain Earth Episode 17

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Often there are times where anime series like to introduce newer characters for the sake of making the actual plot more intriguing.  Star Driver managed to gather everything together quite nicely- but there have been series in the past that struggle adding in this element of surprise.

Code Geass was a train wreck in its second season with Anya and the Knights of Rounds.  Guilty Crown suffered a lot from this especially after episode 15- Shu Ouma’s decisions drastically contradicted themselves which moved only thanks to the heart of the story. This is bad writing and planning. This leads to either a rushed ending, deus ex machina, flatly developed people, horrible pacing.

Inspector Ando of Salty Dog arrives to question the actions of the Midsummer Knights only to be thrown for a loop by the end of the episode- primarily when the new Impactors got taken over by Kiltgang. She’s obviously here to replace Reito and there was not a lot of identity on her this episode.  As much as this series honors Star Driver I can clearly see a lot of Eureka Seven in here as well.  Kids with unique abilities help pilot robots.  Sound familiar?  Renton reminds me a lot of how Daichi is in protecting his friends, and here was where we saw a taste of that here.  Do hope the final episodes as this second half progresses doesn’t get rushed, as I am enjoying this series quite a lot. Akari once again was awesome this episode.  I should also mention how well this series continues on not leaving aside preparation- both the Earth Engine Impactor and the Nebula Engine Impactor took time to receive their parts and going up into space.  Nice to see how this is not tossed aside like many shows typically do!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 6/10