「キヴォトス計画」 (Kivotosu Keikaku)
Going back all the way to the first episode, it was clear that Captain Earth wasn’t a show short on ambition. Filled with mysteries and teasers masquerading as revelations, there’s no shortage of things this show is trying to touch upon, and the notions of family, parenting, and growth of the adolescent are just some such topics.
If you’ll remember, we talked in depth about the aforementioned last week already—particularly about how children tend to be caught in the crossfire of conflicts between adults and the fact that Nishikubo’s trying to take a fatherly role for a cast that’s lacked such a parental figure in their lives—and what this week does is bring things to the next step in this regard. Indeed, if there’s a message to be gleaned from this episode in particular, it’s that being a parent is a two-pronged affair. Yes, it’s important to give kids the support that you feel they need and to be there for them, but that’s not all. Part of being a parent also means also giving kids the freedom to make their own decisions and to trust that they’ll do the “right thing” even if you don’t want to let them go, and there’s a really nice contrast here between the role Nishikubo plays for our main cast and the role CEO Kube thinks he’s playing for the Planetary Gears.
Whereas the former wades the fine line between supporting our cast and giving them the freedom they need to grow, what Kube’s essentially doing is trying to force his plans for a utopia upon the Planetary Gears, and it’s interesting to note how both groups are treading down opposite roads while also representing some of the typical behavior we’ve come to see from adolescents. Granted, the Planetary Gears may might not be the best model for adolescence and they probably never subscribed to Kube’s philosophy, but one can still say their dealings with Puck behind Kube’s back are akin to adolescent rebellion. At the same time, this goes along with the apathy Daichi had previously (and to some degree seems to still have), as well as the anxiety and sadness both Akari and Teppei seem to be experiencing, and our entire cast’s emotions essentially encompass the entire “typical” teenage behavior spectrum. What this does though, is merely highlight the difficulties of being a parent, as well as the difficulties of being a kid in an environment that’s pushing them to become adults faster than they should be.
Reito Hirosue’s attempted abduction of Hana and his quote of “Are you prepared to kill someone? If you’re not ready to do so, you can’t save anyone,” only highlights the walls of adulthood closing in—walls laced with conflicting ideologies and ultimately, petty conflicts. Because as some of our cast points out already, the views of those from the Ark and Intercept Factions shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. But due to one reason or another—CEO Kube’s and his megalomaniac fantasies of running a utopia is one big example—they’re literally sabotaging each other, and again, it’s the kids that end up suffering as a result.
With that said, the fact that the Planetary Gears are essentially digitized souls in a body (and theoretically immortal) ends up being another key aspect of this week’s episode, and there’s much that can be said about their supernatural status and the whole “space vampire” analogy we got regarding them. As it turns out, the Kiltgang can kill humans just by coming near them and absorbing their Libido, and the fact that we’re given a clear indication of how they would be able to destroy humanity really ups the stakes for future episodes. Up until now, we’ve been given some hints to this regard and many of us likely arrived at that mechanism as how they would destroy Earth, but there’s a difference between that and actually knowing, and things look like they’re on their way up now that they’ve officially upped the ante. The fact that many of the alliances have finally been cleared up—Reito Hirosue’s also out of the picture for the time being—only helps things along, and here’s looking forward to the next episode.