Posted by psgels on 23 May 2014 with categories: Captain Earth

Captain Earth had a really good first episode, so I was psyched to coninue with it, purely based on storytelling reasons: it knew how to deliver its plot in an interesting way by throwing in many flash-forwards, flashbacks, hints and whatnot. Now that I’ve seen about four and a half episodes of the series I’ve got a bit of a better image of what the actual storyline is about, and I’m dropping it. There are many reasons for this, and I did feel compelled to write about them.

First of all, the self-referencing? The hints? Well, they’re gone. Like, completely. Episode four was very straightforward and didn’t really leave anything to your imagination: the aliens want their kin back, purple-haired kid is part of their kin, and the main kid has this really powerful robot that can kick their asses. Where the presentation was so interesting in episode 1, I felt myself getting really bored here.

What was the straw though, was the underlying story which became clear to me about halway through episode four. When you ignore the mood, then Captain Earth is really a cross between Eureka Seven Ao and Star Driver, and its underlying themes are a combination between the two: on one hand we have the focus on childish innocence: children should be protected, and on the other we have the themes of adolescence and sexuality in the way it talks about libido and all.

When I started to think about them, they just didn’t mesh. One one hand this series wants to be like Eureka Seven Ao, in its themes that no children should be forced in adult situations, and when you do you had better take responsibility. The thing here though, that the themes of parenthood are much better explored because of how good the characters of Ao’s parents are. What do we know about the main guy’s parents at this point? Heck, has the existance of mothers actually been alluded yet? If it did then I totally forgotten about it, which is a bad sign for both my memory and the series itself.

Also adding to the themes are the villains here, who feed off the libido of humans. Okay, so this could mean that this show is a social commentary on how children are way too often sexualized and the main characters are trying to fight that idea. I actually really like that because they do have a very big point… only the show completely screws that up with the lame bellybutton joke and sexualizes their children anyway.

So with that my only conclusion is that the villains represent adolescence: the characters are young and they are about to change majorly and experience sexuality and stuff. So yeah, it’s a coming of age series. It’s a theme that’s been done many times before, and by series that had much more interesting first four episodes. Take Utena for example, Enokido there actually wrote a setting that’s interesting, imaginative and full of symbolism that wasn’t overdone. I know that we’re fifteen years later, but even by those standards Utena’s opening episodes stand out as unique while Captain Earth combines many things that have been done to death now.

I’m a fan of the mecha genre because it offers intelligent series, if doesn’t matter how old the characters are:
– Bokura no is a fascinating story about putting huge weapons in the hands of children.
– Patlabor is a hilarious and personal look at the police in a day in which mechas are standardly used.
– Fafner in the Azure actually asks the question of who you should fight for
– RahXephon explores coming of age with actual human characters who talk at least a bit normally.
– When you really want an over the top series, go for Giant Robo, the New Mazinger or Star Driver which are made to be flashy and over the top and enjoyable to watch.
– The good Gundam and Votoms series are good for a realistic look at war (War in the Pocket, Turn A, the Votoms TV-series)

You can do a lot with the genre, and you chose the most boring one. That’s a problem I have with a lot of anime nowadays. You can do better than this, I know that of everyone involved in this project.

41 Responses

  1. Ed says:

    Take a look at Knights of Sidonia, if you wish.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Second Sidonia.

  3. O.Nunes says:

    Eagerly waiting for yous Summer Preview psgels! :D

  4. AidanAK47 says:

    Third Sidonia.

  5. CRT says:

    Fourth Sidonia :)

  6. VyseLegendaire says:

    I dropped that show after 3 eps. Can’t believe you stuck it out this long, lol l9

  7. Gordon says:

    Fifth Sidonia!!! :D

  8. Emma says:

    I’ll also put my name down for suggesting sidonia , however would be aware that the CG, the slice of life parts, characters are a bit weak and can’t really carry it. That said there is more than enough in the action scenes, background events to keep you invested and make the shortcomings more worth getting through.

  9. Tom says:

    Sigh. You like many people are confused by the word ‘Libido’. The Japanese word ‘Seiyoku’ in this context directly translates to ‘Libido’ but it means ‘Spirit’ ie life force, not the sexual libido English tends towards.

    The shows main theme is about strength of will and spirit (Seiyoku) and growing up and nurturing that strength.

    • Argentus says:

      Aren’t you mixing up 性欲(seiyoku = libido) 精力(seiryoku = energy, vitality, life spirit) by any chance?

      Going by the individual kanji: and 情(gender, inner essence, basis) 欲 (desire, wish) and 精(spirit) 力(strength), I thought that might be the case.

  10. Litho says:

    I dropped Captain Earth the minute I saw that pink haired chick doing some stupid bunny-hop while piloting her mecha.

    As for all those recs for Sidonia, I think you should just skip the anime and start reading the manga. It’s bleaker, the humor works better, and it’s prettier without the CG. Only thing you lose is the excellent sound/BGM from the anime.

    • Bam says:

      Or maybe skip that and go to Nishi’s superior materials such as Blame! Or better drawn such as Biomega. As a matter of fact we should pick one best anime and then drop all other works and just close this blog. Very flawed logic.

      I read Sidonia (yes that is how it is spelled in English) but still find this adaptation quite bold, daring and amusing. Different mediums create different experiences and as to which is better I quote a certain Great someone who once said:”That’s just like … your opinion man”.

  11. nodbgp says:

    I dropped this one after the first episode, there’s nothing that bores me more in anime these days than the whole “a small, naive kid will save the world” plot.

  12. m says:

    I think I disagree completely about the theme of this work. I would say that it actually has nothing at all to do with protecting children–least of all from adult situations. I would claim instead that it is actually about change, represented here by the youth, triumphing over stasis, which is represented by the immortal Kiltgang, by avoiding the mistakes of their mostly-useless elders. It is, I think, ultimately what lived behind Star Driver, only I think that it is done much worse in this work, because this work seemingly jettisons any focus on maturing at all, leaving it as little more than pandering to the conceit of youth. I suspect that there is actually some additional idea here meant to justify all of the reference to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” since it is as ham-fisted into the work as it could be without preamble before every episode indicating that the author has read Shakespeare.

    In Star Driver, the preceding generation’s desire to retain control of the world, and ultimately freeze it around its identity, required Samekh to devour the “libido” (essentially used to refer to the life force in general) of the entire world, and here the Kiltgang, who exist as digital lifeforms, need to devour the “libido” of Earth to power themselves and their spaceship. The chosen one (where before marks were passed by family members unto their preferred descendants, an exterior force simply decides who will save humanity) arrives who, through the power of friendship, will prevent the consumption of the world’s libido, preserving the cycle of life and death, and vindicating the virtue of change. Presumably, all of the Kiltgang will eventually be converted into humans by the same external power that selected the chosen one, as they experience the realization of the failings of immortality, and the leader of the faction that wishes to control the future of humanity will be made into a big boob for the ending.

    I think the series is pretty terrible, but I think it’s terrible, because it’s Star Driver as a more typical mecha formula, without any of the symbolic meta-wanking, and takes itself much too seriously for how very not clever it is, which is the downfall of the genre as a whole.

    I would also say that it looked pretty bad from the first episode. There were hooks, yes, and there were call-backs to Star Driver, but there was also a lot of time wasted on robot transformation, and plot elements that could have been called Gundam Anything.

    • happio says:

      ^similarly thought captain earth looked mediocre episode 1… it just isn’t as smart as it wants to be and tbh, became painful to watch after a while. I think i lasted until episode 2-3. and then yeah.

  13. m says:

    I’d warn that eventually about half of Cydonia devolves into harem material, though I couldn’t deal with the rigging of the anime to even hazard a guess as to how far it will get before ending.

  14. Ellixus says:

    This was expected.

    One thing was clear from the start: this series was going to be boring; no need for in-depth analysis…

    On the other hand, series like Knights of Sidonia or M3: the dark metal seem to have taken more risks, and who knows, they still may fail, but at least they are keeping the interest…

    In fact, even a series like Break Blade, which is ugly to see and has a lot of flaws has provided a more interesting background…

  15. BetaCris says:

    Sixth Sidonia.

    Give it 4 eps too, see how you like it.

  16. Eric says:

    Sidonia. No question..

    And good riddance to Captain Earth. In all honesty this show just felt so unnecessary. I dropped it after the first 2 episodes, because it just felt like a worse E7 .

  17. AFGM says:

    He’s already said he would be watching Sidonia and if he is no longer watching it, it would mean that it has lost his interest enough to justify it.

  18. starry says:

    I dropped it three episodes in, so good to know I’m not missing anything.

  19. luffy_holic says:

    I dropped Captain Earth too, it started strong and just got progressively worse. For about the last four years I have been happy getting two great new shows every season. This time there is Ping Pong and Mushish. So I hope you continue with them.

  20. Firechick says:

    If you want to check out anything new, try Happiness Charge Pretty Cure. Sure it may not be as good as Heartcatch, but I’m certainly enjoying it immensely.

  21. Elsi says:

    I can’t remember if you’re watching Hitsugi no Chaika or not… I’m still keeping up with it and it’s not doing too bad.
    This aside, yeah Sidonia is quite interesting. Mostly the world building is nice, in my opinion. The matter of CG graphics is a personal preference. I know that it reminds me of some games graphics and that’s actually something I really like.

    • Tanz says:

      Watching it too. It’s not too bad but I’m getting the harem feels, so I hope it keeps focusing on the plot and chars.

  22. Jay says:

    I gave up on Captain Earth after three eps. It’s a decent series but it ended up boring me.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t pick up Knights of Sidonia. Though, in its favour, it’s a perfectly okay series with worthwhile world-building. At present, its characters are its weak point. I’d pick up Baby Steps or Hitsugi no Chaika instead. Baby Steps is a really solidly written sports anime, though perhaps you would find it suffering in comparison to Ping Pong, and the risk is that there wouldn’t be enough to comment about every ep. Hitsugi no Chaika, on the other hand, is a solid fantasy series with some good fight scenes. It suffers very slightly from LN cliches, but by and large it’s good, and there would be enough scope to write about each ep. Still, there isn’t really an outstanding, obvious anime to blog this season which is on the level of JoJo or Mushishi or Ping Pong.

    • Bam says:

      So he should go with yet another cliche LN adaptation then the series that is trying something new? You must’ve not paid attention to his many rants about getting cynical and tired of repetitive works and his high praises of anything original. And whether you agree or not NoS is trying many new ideas, not the smallest of which is its cell-rotoscoped CGI animation. (Don’t mistakes tropes with cliches, as every single anime is replete with tropes)

      • Jay says:

        I’m only suggesting the options I think would be best out of the current season. I think those two are the best ones that Psgels isn’t blogging. If you think Knights of Sidonia is the better choice, or that it’s an outstanding series like Mushishi or Jojo, you’re totally free to, but personally I don’t think it’s at that sort of level. If Psgels tries it and finds it’s that good, then hey, good for him.

        If there’s nothing worthwhile in the current season, maybe he’d be better off picking something old, or perhaps even a manga? I wouldn’t be surprised if many people have a backlog of series they meant to try but never got around to.

        • Bam says:

          He has already blogged on it the show before and mentioned that he liked it. He might’ve dropped it at this point tho. Just as you say everyone has backlogs of shows, sometimes few episodes of currently running ones, but trying to eventually get to them. Not finishgng series that had potential but are backlogged is so unsatifying and disturbs my thoughts.

  23. Avalon says:

    Yes Sidonia!

  24. Nic says:

    Knights of Sidonia is very interesting but No Game No Life is far ahead in terms of pretty much everything. It’s bolder, funnier, more shocking, and a lot more original. And the artistic direction is gorgeous. To me, it’s like recommending a 8.5 anime when there’s a 10/10 masterpiece staring you right in the face.

    • Avalon says:

      I am really enjoying No Game No Life as well, but I know it does not mesh with psgles taste right now…and I doubt it ever would have. I’m not trying to speak for him, but it seems like the kind of anime he just wouldn’t get into.

      Sidonia on the other hand IS something I could see him giving a shot and finding out he likes.

    • Bam says:

      Giving NGNL a 10/10 is almost laughably generous considering the great animes that were produced throughout history that transcend the medium and become works of art, or even within the animes of this very season such as mushishi. It might be one of the better ones this season for a younger age-group but that’s as far as it goes. (I’m actually still being pretty generous)

      • Avalon says:

        Can’t deny this. NGNL is fun, but not groundbreaking.

      • Nic says:

        Just because it’s not a drama doesn’t mean it’s not near perfect as a comedy. And the suggestion it’s for a younger audience is insulting, I’m 28 and it’s one of the most original animes I’ve seen in a long time. Drama does not have a monopoly on quality.

        I wouldn’t compare it to Mushishi because they’re completely different genres, even if I consider both to be 10/10 overall. And no, 10 does not mean perfect because there’s no such thing as perfection in this world.

        • Bam says:

          First of all you should not be offended, as I am also 27 years old ,and as I mentioned earlier, DO enjoy NGNL. But that is exactly why I say it’s for the younger (early seinen 17-21, clearly young compare to the both of us) crowd. Any anime that has the hikikomori phenomenon as a theme is primarily for that age group, as someone who has graduated and moved out on their own and has to work does not have the privilege to recluse from society and still be able to go on living.

          Secondly NGNL is considered primarily a fantasy adventure, even though it utilizes a good amount of comedy. To say that it should be judged only based on its comedy is stretching it a bit too far. Yet even then groundbreaking series such as Great Teacher Onizuka eclipse it in pretty much all criteria regarding its comic elements.

          Of course everything is subjective and nothing perfect, that should go without saying, but a 10/10 score should be reserved for the best of the best that have pushed the envelope of the medium and are exemplary in most regards. You will find that most people will agree with me that NGNL, although watchable and fun, is not such a show and I can guarantee that will never be placed among the “masterpiece”s of anime industry.

          • Bam says:

            And you cannot use the “different genres shouldn’t be directly compared” argument as you yourself are guilty of this by initially saying that NGNL should be favored over KoS when they are clearly very different from one-another. To use that reasoning and then retreat back to the position of segregation is an informal fallacy known as Inconsistent Comparison.

  25. Tanz says:

    Same Psgels. Was psyhed at the first episode, then it just went falling down. Dropped it already. Sidonia’s really good so yeah, obviously you’ll watch that with everyone commenting on it already.

  26. meow says:

    Just took a look at Space Dandy season 2. Fun. Actually managed to make me laugh. Really curious to know if the same cast voiced all the characters in this episode. XD Cos if they did, seriously, BRAVO!

    SAO Season 2. FINALLY Sinon shows up. Salivating for episode 2. VERY, INCREDIBLY CURIOUS if xxxxxx’s new avatar gets it’s own seiyuu. Seriously doubt it but…hm…there’s no way I can mistake xxxxxx’s standard voice for a xxxx’s. No way.

    Rail Wars. Fun. Really sweet visuals but…a lot of suspension of disbelief required. >.>; You really got to turn off half your brain for this one. But kids should love it. Reminds me of Servant x Service, which actually fell closer towards the realm of plausible to me, robot teddy bear and all. Still some cool trivia about the Japan Rail system, which is probably real.

  27. This is a really good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read post!

Leave a Reply


Mail will not be published
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:34 PM)
    @Kaiser: Puzzle elements, outside of sparing everyone, seem to be mainly just parodying video game puzzles. Like, only place where you actually have to solve actual puzzles is in Hotland, before that pretty much every puzzle is automatically solved, really easy or has some silly twist to it. Like the puzzle you can skip by pressing a switch in tree trunk. Can’t say I’m too fond of puzzles either, but I liked how game was making fun of them
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    Speaking of awful sense of humor and things that dorks like, just wanted to say that turns out I was right about Jitsu wa watashi wa in that main couple does get together before chapter 100(forgot what exactly, some where in 80-90 range I think). But they are such huge dorks that they do everything ridiculously slowly because they are that embarrassed, so they have had like just one date(in chapter 100). Not that I expect anyone to remember what the heck I’m talking about xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    The battle system grew on me a bit, but I didn’t like the puzzle elements it offered, the actual gameplay looked kind of dull also. Some of the characters were likeable enough, Papyrus, Asogore, the flower guy being my favourite though the plot didn’t really get interesting until the end.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

One Punch Man – 08

I wish I knew just what that girl at the beginning was parodying as she’s clearly been overdrawn in a completely different style. My closest guess would be the poster girls of creature features in the 60s and 70s as she wouldn’t look out of place if pasted into a movie poster. I don’t think […]

Young BlackJack – 08

While I find the level of risk in this two part arc to be inconsequential, I must admit that I like how it all turned out. For this is the first time in this series that Blackjack failed. While he was able to discern the cause of Johnny’s lack of pain, he was unable to […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 07

Oh those poor seiyūs that had to act in today’s episode. I can only imagine the horror when a Japanese speaking seiyū is told they need to have an entire conversation in English in a fairly dialogue heavy show. Japanese and English happen to be two of the hardest languages to learn so if they […]

One Punch Man – 07

This episode mainly focused on a giant Meteor about to annihilate the city and the introduction if S class heroes, Metal Knight and Bang. Bang makes it a point to say how the top class heroes are hardly very heroic with most not showing up at all to stop a city’s total destruction. Even one […]

Young BlackJack – 07

Racism is always a thorny topic to deal with. Regardless of intent there are just so many ways of messing it up, be it by using strawmen or one dimensional caricatures. It’s a topic that requires a delicate hand to prevent pushing it to its extreme all to make an obvious point of Racism being […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 06

I can’t say I enjoyed this episode of Subete too much, mainly because there was less investigating and more character building. That wouldn’t be a problem if the character building wasn’t so focused on our main leads. The leads are fine, what we need is to expand on the other characters present on the island […]

One Punch Man – 06

It is interesting that the challenges that Saitama faces that get him worried that truly the most mundane and ordinary. Saitama can punch a monster into oblivion but when it comes to essays or going to sales he’s powerless. Here we have him about to be kicked out of the hero association if he doesn’t […]

Young BlackJack – 06

There are times when Blackjacks over the top nature can be entertaining presentation wise and others when it can remove any sense of surprise. While I do like the things Blackjack explores, it is very clear cut on how it shows it. In this episode the man that Blackjack and the army Medic have been […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 05

The more I hear about Magata’s DID, the more suspect it becomes. According to this episode, Magata didn’t conceive DID out of trauma or accident but instead intentionally crafted alternate personalities so well to the point that it became DID. I personally find the mechanics of this rather fantastical as I don’t think anyone can […]

Latest Reviews

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]


Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]


Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]


Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]


Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]