「誕生ミッドサマーズナイツ」 (Tanjo Middosamazunaitsu)
“The Midsummer’s Knights”
Seven episodes in, Captain Earth’s admittedly a show that’s hard to grasp. On one hand, it’s definitely ambitious. At the same time though, there’s a certain oddity in regards to how they’re trying to develop the characters and pacing the story, and it’s something that’s resulted in a bit of stagnation following the series’ high-powered start. In that sense, the show’s been somewhat disappointing in terms of how it hasn’t been able to meet the initial hype, but that’s not to say that there’s no potential here, and I’d like to think this episode is where things start moving forward again.
Because if there’s something the show’s definitely done well, it’s the themes it wants to approach and discuss—family, responsibility, and the like—and it’s something that continues on with this week’s focus on the different responses our competing sides have to the situation at hand. Indeed, there’s much to be said about the contrast between our main cast at Globe and the designer children + Kube over at Macbeth, and it’s something that plays on the balance between acceptance and rejection.
Whereas the people behind Globe are slowly beginning to accept the roles they’ve been given and the uncertainty their roles bring with them, those at Macbeth seem to be actively rejecting the notion that things aren’t the way they want it to be, and it’s this difference that’s beginning to turn the tide of the battle. As the Governor Yomatsuri points out herself, Nishikubo’s starting to find hope in the form of our main cast, and it’s not coincidental that this development comes on the heels of our planetary gears’ rejection of the idea that Teppei would sacrifice his immortality in order to protect Earth. Needless to say, this is just one thematic contrast that they’ve done quite well with this series—you’ll note the others in my previous posts—and it’s something that bodes well for the future in terms of development.
That said, it must be noted how the aforementioned exposition and focus on themes does seem to come at the expense of some of the character development we would have otherwise gotten instead. As some people in the comments have mentioned previously, there’s definitely a lot of missing links and questions regarding the motivations and the personalities our main cast have, and it’s not quite ideal how things have developed in that regard. At the same time though, I must say that it’s feeling more and more like they’ve intentionally back-loaded some of this development in favor of developing the setting first. It’s arguably not the most wise choice or the safest one when it comes to this kind of thing—one can argue you’ll need to develop a cast of compelling characters for viewers to care about and want to follow if you want them to care about the story—but the way I see it, there’s definitely room still to develop the characters in their own right.
See, if there’s something this episode pointed out to me—especially with that little dialogue between Daichi and Nishikubo where the former basically says “look, I know I’m a teenager and all”—it’s that the people behind this are acutely aware of the oddity behind Daichi’s character in particular, and that it’s something they’ll begin to address (along with the other characters) as the series progresses. Thinking back to Star Driver, they didn’t really start addressing a lot of major parts until the latter half of the series came along, and I’m every bit as inclined to think that they’re aiming for that kind of second half impact here as well. Again, it’s a questionable tactic considering a decent amount of people won’t typically stick around that long waiting for the development to come, but it’s definitely something that did work for those who did stick around for the entirety of the series’ original run, and hopefully something that materializes here as well.
Of course, it’s all supposition for now and it could end up that the series never quite takes off the ground, but for now I’m definitely someone on the “wait and see” boat at the moment. What I will say though, is that it’s pretty clear this show’s become something that’s not for everyone, and well… I guess that’s just fitting considering the nature of Bones and their tendency to elicit a wide range of differing opinions.
Looking forward, we get new characters, the creation of Manatsu’s Knights (“The Midsummer’s Knights”), and things really are looking up a bit—even if the casino backdrop may douse the enthusiasm of some…