After blasting past orbit, this story is losing momentum and floating without direction.
Now let me be clear: I still think this has the potential to be good. The visual presentation has not stopped impressing me for a second. The Designer children and Planetary Gears may feel excessively goofy, but the threat they pose to humanity still feels intimidating. The consistent tone still indicates a deliberate hand controlling the otherwise unfocused story. And even with the lack of clear answers at this point, the stories and questions surrounding both the alien and human elements of the story still grab my interest, all while keeping a good contrast over the adult and children matters. Ep 5 is proof of this claim by mixing a family reunion with a kidnapping plot of Teppei’s father while also showcasing how much Akari and Teppei get involved in the battles the adults try to keep them away from. And ALL OF IT WITHOUT A MECHA BATTLE!
It’s too bad that the show seems to lose its direction around ep 6. First they move away from the space battles to mess around with a saturday morning cartoon story of Daichi rescuing princess Hana to prove he doesn’t need his guardian keeping him safe from being the world’s savior. Then they ditch the space battles altogether by not only proving how useless the earth engine is without kiltgang help or Livlaster activation, but sacrificing Teppei’s immortality in exchange for getting a Livlaster. And finally they replace it with a new formula involving latent designer children(aka human forms of kiltgangs) being awakened by the two villains and providing them with Machine Goodfellows. Not only does this open plot holes over why they didn’t do this earlier, but the instant change they make turning into genocidal psychopaths makes me wonder why they bothered humanizing them at the start.
It’s not even nearly as active of a mess as it sounds(which could have been fun) , because much of these scenarios feel like pointless padding. None of the new villains have played an active role after their respective episode, and none of the main characters seem to develop after constantly facing life-threatening situations. In fact, the more interesting aspects of this show seem to be gradually stripped away. Ratting out Salty Dog and revealing Planetary Gears’ AI is loyal to the Kiltgang reduces any corporation intrigue to a simple contest of bad aliens vs good aliens and humans. Teppei sacrificing his Ego Block was not only a forceful excuse to strip his immortality, but ditched a chance to explore more about his alien aspects. The themes of family and responsibility are completely sidelined because even the risk of NUCLEAR FALLOUT isn’t enough to call change for these characters or the formulaic “Designer Child”-of-the-week plotline.
I haven’t completely lost hope in this show, but man are my expectations at an all-time low. What started off with one of the biggest first impressions of the season has now shriveled into a worm that’s aimlessly digging around its promises. The ambition is still high and mysteries surrounding the story are still interesting, but unless it actually starts exploring these aspects, all it’s providing is a waste-of-time. And no amount of sexy Hana or gorgeous mechs could possibly forgive that issue. Here’s my demand to Captain Earth: GET ON WITH IT!