What would a mecha show be if we didn’t constantly introduce new mechas? Therefore, meet the Flare Engine (as well as Aiatar’s shiny posterior)! Who’s going to be piloting it, you ask? Well, there’s only one realistic answer to that question…
— I see Puck is enjoying himself. Not only is he in Kube’s body, he’s still in control of his big, giant computer self as well. Naturally, I have to wonder where the real Kube has gone. Does his consciousness still exist somewhere out there, or has it been stamped out for good? If it’s the latter, then ah well… no big loss. He never had much depth to his character anyway. Actually, to be quite honest, I can’t say I would miss any of the show’s characters if they were to die or disappear. None of them are all that sympathetic to me. Teppei had that one episode I really liked, but other than that, he’s faded into the background as Daichi and Hana have taken over the spotlight for the most part. In any case, it’s interesting to see that Puck is willing to manipulate both Amara and Moco as well. Kube may have wanted to play god with his new vision of humanity, whereas the Kiltgang simply want to devour the planet and its inhabitants. But what does Puck want? I have no clue. Maybe he’s just having fun pulling all the strings.
— Oh look, Ai is back, and she’s embraced her idol career. Wouldn’t that then make her easy to track for Globe? And if a designer children is just flaunting herself in the public eye, shouldn’t the good guys do something about it? Shrug… As an aside, I’ve never gotten the appeal of idols and their antics. I’ve always thought their schtick — mostly, the over-the-top enthusiasm — rather fake and cringe-inducing.
— Look at all these designer children we haven’t seen for weeks! They’re even color-coded for our convenience! The best part, however, is learning just how uninvolved they’ve been in the story. The rest of them are only now just learning that Teppei, a.k.a. Albion, had destroyed his Ego Block and ceased to be a Planetary Gear a long ass time ago. No, really, it was a long ass time ago. That happened back in the seventh episode? So nearly three whole months ago.
— Well, the designer-child-of-the-week series of episodes may be over, but the bad guys still intend to attack the planet one-by-one. Naw, don’t worry, we totally have a good reason for that! The Planetary Gears have only managed to gather up enough energy to send one Kiltgang member. This time, Ai will volunteer herself. Then next week, someone new can step up to the plate! After all, we haven’t seen Zin, Baku and Setsuna-sama herself take to space either. Alright then! Kiltgang-of-the-week, here we come!
— Daichi was just about to tell his two more useful teammates about Operation Summer, i.e. the group’s next mission, when Akari barges in with yet another watermelon. Not only that, she gets everyone off-track by bringing up the fact that she was just at a shrine. And now everyone is talking about going to a shrine. Bleh.
— Not sure why Daichi is surprised Hana doesn’t know a thing about shrines. Dude, she’s an alien.
— Teppei goes, “So what’s the mission?” Akari jumps in and asks, “Don’t you think Hana would look great in a kimono, Captain?” Please, Captain, corral the girl and get your team back on track! Kimonos are overrated anyway.
— Alright then, what is Operation Summer all about? We’re going to go all the way to Uranus and blow the mothership up! Exciting! What’s the real hurry, though? We still have two months worth of episodes left. Needless to say, Operation Summer might have kicked off, but we’re still a long way away from resolving this story.
— We cut back to the designer children, and Amara goes, “If even Aiatar can’t do it, we might need to think of a plan.” First of all, why would you not have a plan in place already? Second, what do you mean by “If even Aiatar can’t do it…?” Is she supposed to be the strongest amongst the group or something?
— I can’t believe the whole “desu” bullshit is still around. It’s annoying as fuck to listen to.
— Baku doesn’t understand why Teppei would destroy his Ego Block. Both Baku and Setsuna confirm that they’ve lived shitty lives, and as a result, they want to make humanity pay. Setsuna, however, seems to take pause when she realizes that absorbing humanity’s libido is just turning around and using humanity. Would that make her a hypocrite? Only if she has some moral stance against using others. Naturally, I wonder if either of these two characters will have a change of heart. They’re the two designer children that got the most “character development” in the past few weeks, after all.
— Oh dear, Aiatar has appeared, but both Daichi and Teppei — and their respective mechas — are injured. Whatever will we do?! Oh, whatever will we do?!
Oh. Well, that was easy. I thought this was a team, though. I mean, I understand how Hana getting herself a fancy-ass mecha may come as a surprise to us, the audience, but why is it also a surprise to Daichi, the captain of the team? Why would the captain not be privy to the fact that one of his team members will be launching off into space by herself? Not only that, how does she know how to pilot a mecha? Don’t worry, we have a single throwaway line to answer that exact question:
Aaaaaaaand that’s it. Case closed. She’s undergone the same training for a long time, guys. We haven’t seen it, but hey, if the anime says so, it’s good enough for me! Again, however, everyone seems to know everything but, well, the captain himself. Daichi, get your shit together, man!
— Aw fuck, another expansion sequence. We’re already sixteen minutes into the episode, guys. We don’t have time for this! “B-b-but we have a new mecha!”
— When Hana finally attacks, Aiatar simply erects a barrier to absorb the energy of the blasts. No one knows this, of course, besides Teppei. Speaking of which, these Planetary Gears are his former allies, are they not? So why hasn’t Teppei provided his team with the lowdown on how these fights are supposed to go? Why is he only now telling them that Aiatar can absorb people’s energy? I know information is being withheld from the audience to keep things a surprise, but it doesn’t make narrative sense for Teppei to withhold such invaluable information from his own team.
— It doesn’t matter, anyway. When has Captain Earth ever ended on a cliffhanger? No matter what the threat is, no matter how dire the situation may seem, every single conflict within this series — aside from the main, overarching conflict, that is — has wrapped itself up with a neat and tidy bow by the end of the episode. When have our heroes ever failed? They may have failed to prevent the designer children from awakening, but they have never actually lost a single critical battle in any of the episodes that we’ve seen. As a result, you can bet your ass that Hana will figure out some way to beat Aiatar in the remaining two minutes of runtime (not counting the ED, of course) that this episode has left.
— So naturally, a coronal mass ejection interferes with the battle. Even though Aiatar was having the upper-hand up until this point, the CME blinds both her and Hana. With Hana’s singularity, however, she can still fight even without her vision. As a result, she defeats Aiatar in one quick attack. Y’know, Aiatar barely even moved in this entire battle. What can I say? That’s Captain Earth for you. The show has mechas, but the mecha fights are so boring.
— Oh, how fantastic. A group of faceless individuals are now discussing the plot in a dark room. We’re going in hard with the mecha cliches! The woman says, “Then we should stand up and act.” The three individuals then proceed to stand up simultaneously. No, I realize that this is done on purpose — that this scene is supposed to be campy — but I just can’t enjoy it. It still just feels dumb to me even if Captain Earth is aware of its own campiness.
— On the bright side, at least one of the girls has finally been allowed to participate in a battle. Over/under on when Akari will stop being useless?