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Captain Earth Collection 2

Captain Earth Collection 2Title:

Director: Takuya Igarashi

Writer: Yoji Enokido

Studio: Bones

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Film Works, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: August 11th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 325 Minutes / 13 Episodes

Genre: Mecha, Sci Fi, Romance

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

Things are looking grim for Earth’s defenders. Although Daichi and Teppai have managed to slow or stop most of the Planetary Gear’s direct attacks so far using their Impacters and Livlasters, there’s no denying that the numbers are slowly turning against them. Not only have their opponents managed to recruit a half dozen of the Designer Children, but now new cracks are forming in the Midsummer’s Knights’ own alliance.

During a brief break at the seaside, Hana’s confusion over her own nature and her relationship with Daichi comes to a head, leading to an unexpected revelation. But as stunned as Daichi might be, it’s nothing compared to the shock that Kube is about to receive at the hands of his own allies. Twists, betrayals, and amazing new powers are about to be unleashed, a new Livlaster joins the Knights, and Setsuna finally comes out of seclusion to let loose her own brand of mayhem as the war for Earth’s Orgone energy builds to the inevitable climax.

Commentary:

Captain Earth does something that is relatively common in the anime world and that is rely on a rather old narrative to follow through the second half of the series. After the first few episodes of collection 2 I realized that I was seeing a rehash of decades of battle anime unfold in front of my eyes. Now as a fan of the art form I realize that this looks cool and says a lot about the cultural aesthetic of the Japanese. I just wish I could see a new approach to how the protagonist and antagonist end their conflict.

Captain Earth also takes the love of ones environment and makes it a key feature in the outcome of the battle. For Captain Earth it was all too clear that the Kill-T-Gang was going to either sub-come to the natural beauty of the planet they wanted to devour or that they would perish by the hands of a weaker foe who just so happens to have a faith and love that will overcome all obstetrical. As much as this archetype is I don’t think it was the best modus operandi.

Overall Grade: B

Even with the tired plot devices I still enjoyed Captain Earth and feel like all Mecha fans will find something in it that they will like. For the non Mecha fandom I would think they will shy away from the series just because it is simply a Shonen Mecha.

I will say that the animation is top notch for a series that relies heavily on CG. Studio Bones did their standard quality production that allows the series to live or die based on the writing and voice actors.  So, simply put, if you are a fan of the Mech series then Captain Earth is for you.

Captain Earth Collection 1 (anime review)

Captain Earth Collection 1Title: Captain Earth Collection 1

Director: Takuya Igarashi

Writer: Yoji Enokido

Studio: Bones

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Film Works, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: June 16th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 325 Minutes / 13 Episodes

Genre: Mecha, Sci Fi, Romance

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

When Daichi Manatsu sees a mysterious rainbow appearing near the Tanegashima Space Center, he immediately recognizes it as being similar to an apparition that formed when his father was killed in a mysterious accident years earlier. Traveling to Tanegashima, Daichi quickly finds himself involved with the machinations of Globe, a secret agency created to defend mankind from extraterrestrial forces.

While it might seem like a big job for a mere teenager, it turns out that the skills Daichi has honed on video games combined with a special weapon called the Livlaster make Daichi ideally suited for operating the Earth Engine Impacter. A giant robot, the Earth Engine may be mankind’s best hope against aliens whose goal is to completely drain our world’s lifeforce energy. Fortunately, Daichi won’t be on his own. He’s quickly joined by a group of equally dedicated young people who all have their own skills and abilities to contribute to the battle.

Commentary:

There are a plethora of Mecha titles coming out recently and most of them follow a rather tried and true format and some follow a rather static formula. Captain Earth is no exception and in many ways it manages to mirror one of the more remarkable mecha series ever released. I know that the art world is known for building on the ideas of their predecessors and the commonalities that Captan Earth has to Eureka Seven is a classic example. With that said I don’t want to knock Captain Earth because I find it to be a very entertaining series and Yoji Enokido managed to bring in enough different elements that makes this series more of a next step in the evolution of the plot device rather than a blatant ripoff of the original Eureka Seven story.

The overall feel of the series was strong and moved with a solid pace so that it never felt like it was loosing focus. We are feed enough information and character development to keep us interested in these kids and also positively rooting for their cause. It takes several episodes to discover the real threat the Earth is under and the other unknowns are rolled out with a measured consistency.

The only real drawback to the series so far is the protagonist. In particular the super computer PAC. I found the fact that this computer managed to take on some all too human qualities that flat out contradict its logical superiority. Anyway, I found some of the darker elements of the story to have less than solid development.

Overall Grade: B+

The thing about Captain Earth that I enjoy is the fact that it continually give you a boost of positive reinforcement toward the main characters. And also gives a central player who needs all of the supporting cast to make their survial possible.

The overall animation of the series is typical Bones quality. The production values are high enough to make it easy to watch the series and yet some of the CG aspects are average at best. I realized while watching the series how important a lush sky is. I got a positive reaction every time I saw the deep cerulean  blue background with puffy white cotton ball clouds slowly passing and understood the importance in reminding the viewer how important saving humanity and the Earth is to the series.

I am looking forward to the second half of the series and truly hope that the story says on track. If you are looking for a solid Mecha that has similarities to Eureka Seven then you should get in line to check Captain Earth out, I know you will like it.