What They Say:
Things are looking grim for Earth’s defenders. Although Daichi and Teppai have managed to slow or stop most of the Planetary Gear’s direct attacks so far using their Impacters and Livlasters, there’s no denying that the numbers are slowly turning against them. Not only have their opponents managed to recruit a half dozen of the Designer Children, but now new cracks are forming in the Midsummer’s Knights’ own alliance.
During a brief break at the seaside, Hana’s confusion over her own nature and her relationship with Daichi comes to a head, leading to an unexpected revelation. But as stunned as Daichi might be, it’s nothing compared to the shock that Kube is about to receive at the hands of his own allies. Twists, betrayals, and amazing new powers are about to be unleashed, a new Livlaster joins the Knights, and Setsuna finally comes out of seclusion to let loose her own brand of mayhem as the war for Earth’s Orgone energy builds to the inevitable climax.
The only audio track for this release is the Japanese language dub, which is offered in 2.0. The mix is good, with some directionality on the sound effects and no dropout on any of the channels. With all of the action, a 5.1 mix might have been nice, as would a dub, but I understand why there isn’t either.
The visuals for this title are nice, with bright colors and good designs. There are some really nice special effects during the battle scenes, and I like the character designs. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are really unique in appearance, but there’s some nice variation among the whole cast. The only minor note is that there are moments of graininess, particularly in the darker scenes, though I think that’s an aspect of DVD through an HD connection than any real flaws.
The packaging for this set is nice, though fairly basic. The three discs come in a single Amaray case that has a center insert which holds two of the discs. The front has a picture of Daichi standing in front of the Earth Engine with the title in simple letters along the top. The back has the series summary contained in an oval placed over a picture of the Earth, with screenshots and the technical details spread around it.
As with most DVD menus, the menu for this release is plain, but functional. The main menu has a shot of one of the main characters with the episode list to the side. Like all Sentai releases, there is no “Play All” button, but finishing one episode automatically sends you to the next, so selecting the first episode does essentially the same thing.
The only extras on this set are clean versions of the opening and closing sequences.
With all of the members of Planetary Gear found, we are rapidly coming to the head of the conflict that will decide the fate of the Earth. Daichi and the Midsummer Knights come up with a plan to venture into deep space, where the Planetary Cocoon is in orbit around Uranus. By destroying the Cocoon, the members of Planetary Gear will lose their ability to both travel through space and regenerate their Ego Blocks.
But in Daichi’s way is Salty Dog, the other human organization trying to save humanity with the Ark Program, which would abandon Earth and the vast majority of living humans in favor of sending sleepers into other solar systems to look for a new home. Salty Dog feels that the Ark Program is the only means of salvation and think that Daichi’s plans will do nothing but hinder the Ark’s progress, so they are doing everything they can to bring Hana and the Blume back under their control and eliminate the rest of the Knights. Add in the Planetary Gears, their Kill-T-Gang systems, and the artificial intelligence P.A.C. that is helping them out (but has its own motivations), and there are a lot of people with their own ideas for the future of the Earth.
Through the first set, I mostly enjoyed Captain Earth, but I didn’t really feel like it did anything new or original. It was fine but mostly forgettable. Having now finished the series, I can say that my initial reaction was pretty much spot on. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the potential of hope and friendship is more powerful than anything else. As long as Daichi just continues to believe, they can’t lose. Sound familiar?
The one thing that is somewhat different is that it really doesn’t beat around the bush with the hinted relationship between Hana and Daichi. They confess their feelings a little before the midpoint of the series, and nothing ever pops up that threatens that relationship. Her status as the biological component of the Blume does not bother him in the slightest, and because of this, she accepts that part of her reality and is willing to re-merge with the Blume in order to help him out. They are fighting for each other, and it’s a nice change of pace that we aren’t left with a “will they/won’t they” throughout the entire series (and oftentimes beyond). They build it up and let it flourish. As I said: nice change of pace.
But otherwise, it’s a very paint-by-numbers series. It’s a perfectly fine series from that perspective, and beautifully animated, but it’s not really doing anything to make it stand out from every other title follows this formula. I don’t regret watching it, but I won’t be rushing to watch it again, and I doubt it’ll stick with me for long, either.
Captain Earth is perfectly acceptable anime. It hits all of the notes and does it competently. But it doesn’t do anything else. There’s nothing about it that really stands out, other than some great design and animation, but that’s not enough to carry a series. I certainly don’t feel like I wasted my time watching it, but it’s also not one that I’ll be looking to pop back in anytime soon. If you like these sorts of shows, then you’ll probably enjoy this, but don’t look to it to inspire you. Very mildly recommended.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation.
Content Grade: B-
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: August 11th, 2015
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, Sony PS3 w/HDMI Connection, Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System