Y’know, this scene doesn’t look all that awesome when we’re that zoomed out, and as a result, Hana’s face looks like something a kindergartener drew up.
— Aaaand the first shot after the OP is a close-up of Hana’s butt. I thought she was going to inside the Blume from here on out. I mean, if it was really this easy for Daichi to remove her from the ship, then this renders her actions in last week’s episode pretty meaningless. I thought she took desperate measures in order to save her friends. I thought she actually had to make a crucial sacrifice. But instead, she didn’t really have to sacrifice anything. So she floated naked in her ship for maybe a few hours until Daichi could retrieve her… big deal.
— Teppei commends Daichi for a job well done. ‘Cause, y’know, it’s hard work removing a naked anime babe from her lil’ bubble.
— Meet “[t]wo of the top three Intercept Faction Leaders,” only now introduced in the 20th episode!
— According to Tsubaki, “the Kiltgangs are attacking more frequently.” Are they now? In any case, our heroes are about to kick off Operation Summer, a plan that involves Daichi and his friends bringing fight directly to Cocoon, which is apparently “the core of the Planetary Gears’ fortress carrier Oberon.” How did they get all these names? Oh well, it doesn’t matter. Daichi only names three manned Impacters for the job, so it doesn’t look like Akari will be piloting anything. Looks like her jumpsuit is just for show. What I find rather fishy is that the three Impacters will reach their destination by boarding the ship Kivotos. I-I think I’ve heard that word before! And I don’t think it was used in a very positive context!
— Is there a more elegant way our heroes could have presented this information, though? I think so. I don’t think it’s ever necessary to literally sit in a room and listen as the characters drone on and on about their plans. For example, all this dialogue could’ve been voiceovers as the audience is instead treated to a montage of, well, anything visually interesting to look at. Instead, I’m just watching a bunch of people sitting around in a room, looking at diagrams on the various computer screens around them.
— One of the girls say that the plasmagnum will be strong enough to destroy Cocoon, but how do they know this? How do they know anything about Oberon or its core?
— When Tsubaki mentions that they can use this weapon to destroy the Planetary Gears, the anime briefly cuts to Teppei. Although his facial expression doesn’t change, his head did nod a bit. The Planetary Gears used to be his allies. How does he feel about all of this? Any apprehension? Any lingering doubts? Aside from that one episode very early on in the season, it’s unfortunate that Teppei has received almost no character development. Ever since he destroyed his Ego Block, it feels like his arc has come to a sudden stop. Welp, we’re done! He’s a hero now! No need to worry about one of the primary characters in the show!
— We then see members of the Ark Faction re-iterate the idea that only the chosen ones will be able to go up into space, but that just reminds me that I understand very little about the bad guys’ motivations. I mean, what is so bad about humanity that we must cleanse most of it? What is so important in space that only the chosen ones can partake in it? What exactly are they trying to achieve other than this nebulous “chosen ones” bullshit? After twenty episodes, you’d think the audience would have a clear picture of what the various factions desire. And it’s clear what the Intercept Faction desires. There’s certainly no mystery there! Take out the Kiltgang, and humanity will be safe from extinction! Yaaaaay! But the goals of the Ark Faction continue to be murky even though we barely have any episodes left to go.
— By the way, we just went from one group of people talking in a room to another group of people talking in a room. Fantastic!
Hana: “Akari’s coming on this ship. Are you happy?”
Tsubaki: “Of course I am. Just as happy as I was to see you.”
Shouldn’t you be happier to see your own daughter…?
— Any time Daichi and Teppei hang out together, Akari jokingly accuses them of flirting with each other. Even though I know she isn’t serious, it still seems kinda weird to me that she has to comment on it all the time.
— Oh good, Pointer, a.k.a. Hirosue, is back. We sure have missed his presence in this anime. But more importantly, Ai is here as well, and she pretty much steals his thunder. Yes, yes, we’d all like to see Baku get some screen time, but I don’t know… is he even popular with actual Captain Earth fans?
— Also, isn’t the Tenkaidou kind of… I dunno… an important place? I mean, it’s where people literally sit and watch for incoming Kiltgang attacks. And if they’re not doing that, the space station houses dormant people in case Earth does get wiped out. So how is it that a civilian like Ai — and yes, I know she’s not really a civilian, but in most people’s eyes, she is — can even find her way onto the space station? Isn’t this frivolous bullshit that the Tenkaidou shouldn’t waste their time with?
— You’d also think a space station like Tenkaidou would be a little more cosmopolitan, but apparently not: everyone on the ship is a huge Ai fan.
— Ai tries to grill Tsubaki on the details regarding the Blume, but obviously, the latter can’t reveal much. Tsubaki then apologizes for this, because she can’t reveal military secrets. But that’s my point! Why was Ai even allowed up here to begin with! I’d like to meet the genius who agreed to this!
— The girls then proceed to sit around in their bathing suits and talk about boys. Let’s just be real. This is a bikini anime with mecha fanservice sprinkled here and there. I mean, you wonder why Baku or Setsuna isn’t in this episode instead? This is why. The only other candidate is Moco, but everyone knows she’s a villain. Lin is a little too masculine, so all you have left is Ai.
— As soon as one of the girls said, “…there aren’t many boys our age around,” these two manly stallions make their appearance. I know that sleepy expression on Teppei’s face just make women’s loins quiver. By the way, we’re already halfway through the episode, and I have yet to see anything of substance. We already heard about Operation Summer a long time ago, so it isn’t new information. In fact, nothing in this episode so far has been new information. Classic Captain Earth move.
— Next, Tsubaki sits in a room and talks to Tsutomu. With names like that, I have no idea why they split. They’re so perfect for each other. In any case, the mother has concerns about the mission, especially her daughter’s own role in it, but Tsutomu comes back with, “[Akari’s] an adult.” Uh…
— Oh, here’s something new: Tsubaki intends to adopt Hana as her own child. That sounds great and all, but I’d feel a bit weird if I was Akari right now. Man, you’ve been absent for a significant portion of my life, and the first motherly thing you do is to adopt another girl?
— Tsubomu: “Ultimately, I think that’s the only way humans can judge what’s truly important.” What’s “the only way” he’s speaking of? Intuition. Far be it for me to trash intuition, ’cause intuition owns, but that’s a pretty outrageous assertion for Tsubomu to make. Intuition is the only way we can judge what’s important to us? Well then, fuck you, too, every other mode of thought.
— Tsubaki: “…Teppei Arashi is an enemy avatar and retains his memories as such.” Why are we just debating this now? Why didn’t we debate this before, y’know, Teppei had put himself in the line of danger constantly over the past twenty or so episodes? At this point, I think it’s silly to still doubt the guy. Does he really need to lose all of his memories in order for people like Tsubaki to trust him? None of this makes any sense to me. These two adults are just wasting time, talking about things that we’ve already hashed out weeks ago. Tsubaki is literally going through each members of the Midsummer’s Knights one-by-one, naming their potential flaws. Considering how the Midsummer’s Knights have done nothing but save the planet over and over since then, however, this entire conversation is pointless. Uguu, these kids are too young. too young! Yeah, they’ve only beaten the Kiltgang over and over and over. But all of a sudden, they’re too young! Somehow, it feels as though Captain Earth is stalling for time when there’s hardly any time left!
— Oh man, it was Tsubomu who approved of Ai’s trip. Classic Tsubomu move. Half the time, he has no control over any of the kids. Then when he finally gets to make a decision, he decides to send an idol up to the Tenkaidou. It’s a good feint, he says. Tsubaki commends him, because there’s no way the Ark Faction would do anything with an idol onboard. Yeah, man, you’re totally feinting your way out of this on–… oops, Pointer and another Ark Faction infiltrator are about to fuck some shit up on this space station! C’mon, if you’re a nefarious organization, would you really give a fuck about some idol?
— And of course, Ai is up to no good herself. Yes, Tsubomu has no clue that Ai is a designer child, but when you have such a delicate plan — a plan in which the fate of humanity hinges upon — you want to remove as many variables as you can from the equation. Allowing some random idol to board the Tenkaidou is simply inviting another variable into the mix! How is this guy a leader?!
— Teppei confesses to Akari the reason why he must remain alone. He, too, has the telepathic kiss ability. If a regular person kisses him, who knows what will happen? Can said person deal with “[m]emories of thousands, ten thousands of years?” And that’s the thing: Teppei has real pathos. His character — from how it was conceived to everything that he’s been through — is stuff worth examining. But despite this, he’s not the primary protagonist of the show. He received one episode of actual character development, and since then, the focus of the narrative has been on Daichi and the various designer children. And fine, we need to acquaint ourselves with the designer children to a certain extent, but c’mon, Daichi is fucking boring. On the other hand, Teppei has a ton of potential to his character, but he’s woefully developed. What a pity this series has been.
— In fact, even Akari deserves more character development. Shit, she’s been somewhat abandoned by both her parents since she was a young girl. And yet, she’s a brilliant hacker. How did that happen? What did she go through during those formative years? How did she feel about her parents then? How does she feel about her parents now? But Captain Earth doesn’t want to answer any of these questions. Instead, the writers make the girl goof around, binge-eat desserts without a care in the world, and flash her belly button at both Daichi and the audience. Fan-fucking-tastic.
— So now, the two characters share a kiss, but since neither of them have been all that well-developed — nor have they even spent all that much time together since Teppei’s one episode — it doesn’t feel like a big moment. It doesn’t feel like anything.
— An explosion then rocks the ship has Pointer–… rather, Hirosue has taken control of the Tenkaidou. Not only that, he claims that Operation Summer is a threat to humanity. To cap things off, the episode ends with him holding both Daichi and Hana at gunpoint. The Ark Faction is still adamant in their desire to claim Hana for themselves. Why? Shrug. Maybe we’ll finally learn something new in next week’s episod–… sorry, I couldn’t even say it with a straight face. Alright, I’ve written enough words on this episode.