「風の星で」 (Kaze no Hoshi de)
“On the Windy Planet”
It’s now appearing as if the middle section of Captain Earth is going to consist largely of the weekly introductions of all the missing designer children. Whatever you may think of that in narrative terms it kind of makes sense, since we’re likely to see that take us up to the cour break (it was revealed in the preview that there are only two more after this episode, and we met one of them already) with the story entering a new phase as the summer season kicks in.
This week’s entry is Lin – Planetary Gear name Lieben – played by none other than Megumi Han. I’m anxious to see her get more lead roles because she’s displaying a ton of range, but for now Han-san seems mostly to be surfacing in supporting roles like this one, a designer child who’s much less dissimilar to her PG form than any of the others we’ve seen. Lin is a biker chick with a need for speed, and participating in a shady research program called “Install” under the direction of a doctor who clearly knows a great deal about what’s really going on here than a simple college professor should.
Lieben gets the usual wake-up call (this time it’s Amara who gets the spit-trading honors) and her run in with the Midsummers Knights is pretty stock and trade to what we’ve come to expect from Captain Earth by now – long launch sequences, great animation, not a tremendous number of surprises. The twist here is that she actually engages Daichi in conversation before they battle – the most interesting part of which is her reference to the PGs as the “real” humans” – and that he lets her slip away in the end, actually turning into a Kiltgang. Fortunately this gives Teppei a chance to earn his stripes, as he’s been back at the lab working out his new capabilities with Westvillage. Teppei’s been feeling the strain of not doing his part, but he launches his newly named “Nebula Engine” and with his Livelaster manages to defeat Lieben and save the planet for another day.
Lieben was more interesting that the last couple of designer children (thanks in part to Han’s usual excellence), and I like the fact that she seemed to retain so much of herself in either form, but I do find the pattern here getting a bit repetitive. I’m ready for the story to move onto the next stage, but we do have those two additional DC to deal with, and me see the first one here – Setsuna (Kudou Haruka, who’s actually also playing chibi-Livi on Soredemo Sekai this season). She’s linked in with the doctor in charge of Lin’s experiment and has a psychedelic squirrel of her own, so it seems safe to assume she’s going to enter the story in a quite different fashion from Lin, Zin and Ai.