Captain Earth Ep. 14: Our mahou shoujo goes berserk

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A vacation, huh? Where’s the sense of urgency, though? Baku is yet another designer child that has fallen into the clutches of the Kiltgang. Sure, our Midsummer’s Knights have managed to quell the threat to humanity’s existence each and every single time. Nevertheless, the villains have steadily grown by one with each passing episode, and Setsuna’s whereabouts are still unknown. Shouldn’t they devote more of their attention to locating her? But look, far be it from me to rain on these kids’ parade. After all, everyone needs a little R&R! Especially Akari, too, considering all the hard work she’s done lately.

Akari’s justification for the vacation is all due to Hana’s, or rather Pitz’s, predictions. According to the furry, little animal, “there’d be no Orgone energy movement for the next three days.” How can you be so sure, though, especially when you’re dealing with things that may or may not happen? How can you just know that there won’t be any Orgone energy movements? Is there something stopping the bad guys from doing whatever it is that they need to do? And somehow Pitz is aware of it? To a certain extent, viewers must suspend their disbelief in order to enjoy any given story. Captain Earth, however, is slowly bordering on the nonsensical.

And I’m not bashing Akari’s character because I hate her. I hate what the anime is doing to both Akari and Hana’s character. They have offered little to the narrative aside from fanservice. For a brief moment early on in the story, Akari was at least this brilliant hacker. These days, she eats and she lounges. Likewise, Hana eats and she lounges. Then Akari looks Hana’s way, notices all the attention her friend is getting from boys, then gets all boob-jealous. That’s right, ‘boob-jealous’ is an official terminology now. But you know how it is. If two female characters differ in the sizes of their breasts, one of them must always be salty about it. It’s just the way it is! And who knows women better than anime?!

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Daichi: “Well, if we were normal students, we’d be on summer break now.”

I’m sorry, but you can’t eat your cake and have it too. Anime is constantly about taking mundane high school kids and making them feel all special and wanted. You’re not just some student with average grades and no girlfriend! You’re humanity’s savior! You’re going to battle aliens! You’re going to pilot a giant fuck-off robot! The mysterious, dark-skinned girl with big boobs totally wants to jump your bones! You’re special! At the same time, however, these shows nevertheless feel the ridiculous need to have its mundane-made-special characters doing the same mundane things they would be doing anyway if they hadn’t been oh-so-special to begin with.

What’s that? The bad guys are still at-large, hoping to find an opening in our defense. Wow, that sounds serious! I’ll get right on that as soon as I have my much-needed vacation because, y’know, if we were normal kids, we’d be on summer break right about now. But you’re not fucking normal, dude. You’re the hero! You’re supposed to be saving the world. Right, right, there isn’t going to be any Orgone energy movements for three days. Even so, are you insisting that there’s nothing else to be done until then? Nothing whatsoever? Alright, fine, go get half-naked for the audience. That’s what being a hero is all about.

After the two Gary Stu shows from yesterday, as well as Aldnoah.Zero, I’m drained. As a result, I’m just going to resort to my bullet-point blogging approach. If this episode had gotten off to a better start, perhaps I would’ve done otherwise, but I’m slowly getting fed up with Captain Earth‘s antics. Therefore…

Stray observations:

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— There’s a new OP, but two-cour series always get a new OP at about the halfway point. Byrnhildr in the Darkness, however, was a strange exception in that it got a new OP despite being so short. Anyway, I’m not too keen on the new song. It’s kind of subdued, and as a result, it doesn’t really get the heart pumping in anticipation for some mecha action.

— After the opening credits, we are treated to a highly ironic conversation between Kube and Puck. I certainly hope I do not have to explain why “Puck does not lie” is a highly ironic statement. In any case, Kube thinks he’s in full control of his AI. After all, he has Puck’s emergency shutdown switch in his hands. Nevertheless, do you think a highly-intelligent AI has not once taken the switch into consideration? I’m sure Puck has.

— Daichi seems pleasantly surprised to learn that Hana will be staying in the room right next to his, but I’m perplexed as to why he would be. Did he not just walk to his room? Did she not just walk to her room as well? Is our hero thus so blind to his immediate surroundings that he only now just notices her?

— But it turns out Daichi and Hana aren’t merely staying in adjacent rooms. Rather, their rooms are connected. Oh dear, a boy and a girl living together in such close quarters? That’s so… that’s so… who cares?

— Naturally, Hana is quick to show some skin. Other than her readiness to get naked at a drop of a hat, what does her character even do in this story? All she’s done is basically act as Pitz’s interpreter, so at the moment, PItz is actually the more important of the two characters. Oh wait, she helped power Teppei’s Machine Goodfellow, allowing the designer child to save Daichi in space that one episode. Still, it’s a bit sad how uninvolved she’s been as of late, isn’t it? Well, she’s about to share a tender moment with Daichi in this week’s episode, so there’s… that, I guess. Nothing quite like being indispensable to the main character!

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— So Daichi wakes up in the middle of the night to see that Hana has been sitting there for quite some time now, watching him sleep. Okay… Upon closer inspection, he notices that she’s crying. When he reaches out to her, she storms off to her side of the room without uttering a single word. Ugh… Don’t go after Hana and check up on her, though! Just fade to black! That’s right… fade to black… I just can’t help but imagine Daichi shrugging his shoulders and going back to bed. “Man, what’s up with her! … Oh well! /fapfapfap”

— The very next thing we see is Hana in her swimsuit as she surfaces from the water! Literally just seconds after we had seen her cry and storm off in the middle of the night, we’re back to ogling the girl’s tits. No, wait, wait, we haven’t gotten a good enough look yet. Let’s thus have Hana walk towards us as droplets of water drip down her sun-kissed skin. Aw yeah! /fapfapfap

— At the same time, Daichi tells his two other friends that he had showed restraint last night! Restraint! I’m sure it would be quite awkward to suddenly drop the “She was watching me sleep and crying all night” bomb in the middle of a conversation, but really, dude? Restraint from what? Comforting the crying girl? Wait, that doesn’t sound very heroic. Restraint from having a raging boner at the sight of Hana in her negligee? That’s not very heroic either! Too bad he couldn’t exercise some restraint in not having this conversation, especially after what he had witnessed last night. In fact, Daichi goes on to say, “…I think she might hate me.” Yeah, I watch people sleep when I hate them. Then we have hatefuck afterwards. It’s glorious.

— Then we get lurid shots of the two girls showering. Fantastic.

— After getting a scolding from Kube, Amara and Moco both tell Puck that they don’t think they need the salty CEO around any longer. The AI disagrees; Puck believes that Globe is a bigger problem. As a result, the bad guys engineer a plan to drop a satellite — a modified asteroid, in fact — onto the Tanegashima Base. Exciting.

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I still can’t help but wonder what the other designer children are up to. Amara and Moco spent all these episodes recruiting allies to their cause only for them to disappear completely from the story. The biggest offense here isn’t even the fact that we don’t see them physically onscreen. It’s that I can’t even imagine what it is that they could be doing right about now. Are they just sitting around, twiddling their thumbs or what? Any guesses would be futile because they could be doing anything for all we know.

— Teppei says that since he and Hana are from the same race, the girl probably has the ability to read people’s minds through a kiss. Y’know, much like Moco’s little trick. So maybe Hana was crying the night before because she had seen what Daichi was dreaming. What do young boys dream about? Gosh…

— Later that night, Hana is back to watching Daichi sleep. Oh yeah, she’s still crying. When he finally asks her why she’s crying, she simultaneously tells him that she should kill him, but she nevertheless loves him.

nervous

Of all the times he could’ve picked, Daichi decides to make his move now. He tries to lean in and kiss the girl while she’s crying her eyes out. Oh yeah, she also just mentioned that she should kill him. Naturally, Hana pulls back from the kiss. After all, if he knew her true self, he’d hate her! And then this is where he would tell her he could never hate her! That Hana is Hana, and tautologies are cool!

— Oops, we have no time. After all, we still have that modified asteroid to contend with…

— Someone says, “It’s been a little over a dozen hours since Legacy went out of control.” And we’re only now taking preventative measures? Oh, right, it’s too small to be detected. Yep, that’s convenient.

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— The asteroid is less than seven minutes away from impact. Captain Earth loves its countdowns. Nearly every single episode lately has featured a countdown. Tension literally represented as a an easy-to-interpret set of numbers.

— Kube demands to know what’s going on. Connect the dots, man. Who on this entire planet has the means to hijack a 100,000-ton asteroid? And why would these individuals want to target the Tanegashima Base? How did you ever get to become the CEO of such an influential company when you’re this clueless?

— Hana then proceeds to run from inside the base all the way out to the beach in just mere moments. Don’t worry, she doesn’t take so long that the asteroid will manage to destroy everything that she holds dear. Our mahou shoujo then proceeds to point a finger up to the sky to the sky, and shoots an energy blast so strong that it completely disintegrates a 100,000-ton asteroid. In actuality, she had somehow summoned the Blume’s Orgone beam. If you don’t remember what the Blume is, it’s some ship that Hana’s connected to. What is this ship? Where is this ship? Who knows! But there you go. I’ve been asking all series long if Hana could actually do something useful for once, and she did. That something just happens to be an ability to vaporize asteroids.

— In the end, however, Hana insists that she’s not the girl Daichi thinks she is, so she runs off. Ugh, it’s like a complete angst-fest in just a single episode. I wish the series had gradually built up to this moment. I get it. She’s finally fallen in love with him, so those fears of hers are now coming to the forefront. But we’ve gotten no character development for either of the two female characters. As a result, it feels like Hana’s just going emo on us out of nowhere. If Hana’s development had been subtle but nevertheless present throughout the majority of the narrative — and why wouldn’t it be when she’s one of the four main characters? — I wouldn’t react so negatively to her tear-filled outbursts in this week’s episode.

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Instead, however, it just feels as though we’ve hit some arbitrary point in the story, and the writers suddenly decided to flip a switch: “Yeah, we’ve gotten through all the designer-child-of-the-week subplots, so it’s time for our mahou shoujo to start crying buckets of tears.” That’s not organic storytelling.

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12 thoughts on “Captain Earth Ep. 14: Our mahou shoujo goes berserk

  1. John Barnes

    You know, you normally save your colony drops until the end. Amara & Moco are running out of ideas and did we really have to mention Salty Dog again?

    This should have been Hana’s breakout episode, but it feels like that, in order to make up for all the time wasted on pool visits and snack eating, they want Hana to exhibit an excessive amount of angst to make it up. You should not do that.

    Also, if you wanna show her having some powers, that’s fine, but you don’t want to make her a world destroying class character like Vegeta or Mike Nelson when a key part of the story is how rough the Intercept mecha have, and you present an easier solution in having Hana put on her space suit and fire blasting shots from her fingers.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      You know, you normally save your colony drops until the end.

      Well… you should see this other show that just aired…

      Reply
      1. John Barnes

        Well, in the case of Sidonia no Kishi, at least that made some sense considering that the Gauna were far more advanced than what was lead on and you knew you were fighting against sentient aliens that could even absorb plutoids, and I know Part Two of the series will revolve more around people who want to use the Gauna for their own machinations, which doesn’t go well for a disgraced pilot. Here, you’re battling against artificially-enhanced humanoids in a scenario where you have implied that the Intercept Faction already has to fight an uphill battle against both the Kiltgang, who wanna eat libidos because mecha piloting makes them horny, AND the Ark Faction, who want Intercept destroyed for their dreams of a new world order… and not in the good Hollywood Hogan way. You already have them barely beating Machine Goodfellows… why did you need to summon an asteroid?

        It also doesn’t help that the story keeps forgetting about all these details such as the other Designer Children, and that this is the first time in a long while we’ve actually seen the Ark Faction bosses. And, of course, next week we go back to Designer Child of the Week as Setsuna finally becomes Siren.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          Well, in the case of Sidonia no Kishi,

          No, I really meant a show that just aired, a.k.a. Aldnoah.Zero.

    2. Boytitan

      Vageta never blew up a planet. He and Nappa did blow up a moon sized planet in filler but that was it. Cannon wise he never blew up a planet. Planet busters in anime are not even op there are galaxy to cosmic all the way up to existence destroyers in anime. Also every anime I know that has a colony drop in it has never had it at the end it is normally at the half way mark or a quarter past that.

      Reply
      1. John Barnes

        I know that, because they wanted an excuse to show his power before they landed on Earth and Nappa vaporized East City in two seconds. And Mike Nelson blew up two planets by accidentally helping fix a warhead and making a dangerous baking soda compound.

        My complaint is more on that whole “level of destruction” tierlist that some people adhere to, and while I don’t believe in it per se, you don’t want characters to make exponential changes in ability because you say so. Was it established that Hana had powers? Yes, but not in the “put Bruce Willis and the rest of the astronauts from ‘Armageddon’ to shame” way. From here on out, you will have a hard time explaining the limits of Hana’s talents.

        Well, my experience in colony drops is still limited to the granddaddy of them all, Char’s Counterattack. But I always argue that those stunts feel like desperation and doing them earlier hamstrings you later.

        Reply
  2. Akumaten (@a9ma10)

    I was hoping that Hana would talk about what dreams she saw in Daichi (if she had the ability) or talking about dreams. Or maybe she felt guilty on a specific dream she saw dealing with past events (like Dragonaut with Toa with the same amount of stupid)but It….just….went to stupid. Hana’s still fan-service.
    I get it. she’s the control system of the Blume. She’s a ship
    FYI Hana is the Angel, Akari is the Mahou Shojo

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      FYI Hana is the Angel, Akari is the Mahou Shojo

      Hana’s a girl and she has powers. She’s thus a mahou shoujo in my eyes. Despite her hacking prowess, Akari is merely human. She’s a self-proclaimed mahou shoujo because she wants to feel special like her three friends. I stand by what I said.

      Reply
  3. flamerounin

    Hmm, they showed a new earth engine in the OP (the pink one). So, I guess Hana will finally get her own mech in a few episodes more. Still, not enough payment to how shoddily they have written her character up to this point.

    Reply
  4. Boytitan

    Also why not just drop this series. It is not bad enough to be a blog that is entertaining to laugh at. And it is so badly written it is not worth seeing threw to the end to see what happens. I would just drop this crap and save myself the annoyance it is just a bland story with horrible pacing and crappy writing.

    Reply
    1. John Barnes

      Some people feel obligated to see something to the end.

      That, and we secretly hate ourselves…

      Reply

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