In their ongoing fight against eccentric invading aliens the Kill-T-Gang, the Midsummer’s Knights duck out for a quick vacation, or to put it in more familiar terminology, the ‘beach’ episode. It’s an episode as good as any to illustrate a floundering show, undermining its own sense of style.
Every character, main or inconsequential, sticks rigidly to their set archetype, hindering any kind of real growth or development. From episode 20 onwards, however, relationships undergo minor shifts and characters are more focussed on events rather than their binary parameters; most notability computer whizz Akari Yomatsuri whose magical girl shtick is, thankfully, toned down.
And from this point on, with the action shifting to the space station and conspiracy and terrorism bubbling to the surface, it’s more akin to Babylon 5 or Deep Space Nine. On the subject of Star Trek, it does – eventually – explore the heavy responsibility and stress of a captain, with Daichi Manatsu’s greatest plight revealed. It’s brief moments like those that Captain Earth reveals glimpses of its innermost strength.
Episode 23 takes Daichi beyond the token nice guy constraints. Quietly creepy and pensive, it’s a moment of calm in the calamity. Captain Earth explores its central themes of the weight of the future on children and the death of adolescence, with its motif of waning summer. Daichi is a child left an orphan by a father whose heroism left him dead amongst the stars, which makes the disappointment of the show’s cliché ridden conclusion that much worse. Its twaddle, which for a moment went far above its station for an hour of something sensational.
Special Features: Clean opening and closing / TrailersCAPTAIN EARTH PART 2 / CERT: 12 / DIRECTOR: TAKUYA IGARASHI / SCREENPLAY: YOJI ENOKIDO / STARRING: MIYU IRINO, HIROSHI KAMIYA, AI KAYANO, KOTORI KOIWAI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW