Occasional sparks don’t shine bright enough through this inactive, overstretched galaxy of wasted potential.
For the most part, the problems I mentioned in my past post are still present here. The story desperately tries to distract us with new subplots(install program, corporate murders, Setsuna/Hana 2.0) rather than build off the story it started with. Most characters continue to pad the time with pointless backstories or predictable interactions rather than share meaningful chemistry or develop beyond their initial stereotype. The insistence on keeping things ambiguous has long lost it’s use as foreshadowing, and now exploits the wealth of new plot elements(singularity, livlaster capabilities, Pitz’s orgone radar, etc) as excues to tie up the story’s loose ends. Whether these plot elements get explained in the future is irrelevant; it still breaks any sense of coherency in the overall story because of how they’re presented.
Having said that, I wasn’t lying earlier when I mentioned occasional sparks in this mess. The additional subplots may have bogged down the storytelling aspect, but they do succeed at introducing new angles of the conflict and occasionally telling a good side story. While the bike-rider designer child and the female scientist were generic as heck, the underground fighter had a backstory that not only elaborated on Singularities, but actually stayed relevant to his character even after becoming a villain. Daichi gets some passable development regarding how prepared he is for danger, and Hana FINALLY has a purpose in the bigger picture rather than the extremely hot alien princess to rescue. Speaking of which, the largest upside at this moment is how each side seems prepared for battle, with the true villains now in power(PAC, the designer children, Setsuna) and the heroes are now cautious enough to NOT constantly go on vacations.
But then I recently watched the Star Driver Movie and realized a key element in that mess that was lacking in Captain Earth: Inspiration and creativity. While both shared similar problems in terms of content and pacing, not a single minute of it was ever forgettable. The characters may be a bunch of underdeveloped stereotypes, but the sheer variety of them and the strong sense of connection between them excused their sub-par substance. The story may be unfocused or bloated thanks to an overwhelming amount of sidestories, but every one of them felt creative in their set-ups and kept the formulaic 1st half feel fresh each time. The ambiguous directing certainly wasted screen time that could have been used for investment or consistent coherency, but all of it was expertly presented and never gave off the feeling it was suffering an identity crisis. As much as I prefer the art and music in Captain Earth (especially “Mugen no Hana”), Star Driver had much more going for it by this point despite suffering the exact same problems.
With this in mind, I won’t be making another post for this until it’s finally over. As of now, this show is too much of a bloated mess to continue writing about without sounding like a broken record. If these last 10 episodes don’t pay off in anyway, I will join the masses that call this the biggest disappointment of the year. Please learn from your predecessor and at least offer an entertaining last act.
EDIT: The last 10 eps have their moments in between(especially ep 23), but it’s not enough to make up for all the bullshit we’ve gotten earlier and meh finish. Ultimately, there just isn’t enough to write about to fill another post. Thus I declare Captain Earth is the Guilty Crown of 2014.