「闘う少年たち」 (Tatakau Shonen Tachi )
“Boys’ Battlefield”

As we approach the mid-way point of Captain Earth, the general formula remains the same. For better and for worse, it’s all about tracking down the remaining designer children, and our newest escapade involves illegal underground wrestling/gambling institutions… run by Yakuza (one with at least one immortal member, WHAT!?). Because of course they would be. It’s all for educational purposes after all, so it must be legit!

All things considered, the patient approach has definitely become the name of the game here—both in terms of the show itself and the outlook expected from the part of the viewer. In many ways, this makes Captain Earth a follower of the formula used with Star Driver a little while back, and it’s a strategy that definitely yields its fair share of pros/cons. Because although there’s a clear sequence of expansion preparation in regards to their revelations of all the designer children and their respective situations, the fact remains that this patient build-up comes at the expense of any other development. They’re certainly walking a fine line in terms of keeping viewers invested long enough to get to the climax you know is coming, and one wonders if they may not be overstretching their bounds somewhat in regards to this notion. In the end, the climax only means something if you have people staying long enough to watch it right?

Either way, there is a measure of interest that I’ve come to take in these individual stories over the past few weeks. It’s possible it may be result of me knowing what’s coming formula-wise on a weekly basis and tempering my expectations as a result, but the fact remains that there’s a clear (and interesting) contrast coming into play among the designer children, and Baku’s viewpoint this week highlights that notion. Unlike almost all the children before him, Baku actually seems content with the way his life is right now, and the fact that his innate powers seem to be warning him about rather than desiring the latent memories is significant in emphasizing how some might actually prefer the mortal life over an immortal/overlord one.

More importantly though, it emphasizes the importance of the people they’ve met and the interactions they’ve had with them, and it’s actually quite interesting to see how it all comes full circle. The beginning emphasized how the interactions between Daichi, Teppei, Hana (and later Nishikubo, Akari, and the rest of the Globe cast) led them to change and accept the situations they’ve been thrust into. Then they followed this up with a multitude of stories about designer children actually weren’t fortunate enough to end up in situations they were content with (which led to them to eagerly join the Kiltgang again). And now that we’re finally at the end of the line in terms of revelations, we’re hit one more time with another potential Kiltgang member who seems perfectly content to wave off his immortality for a regular life (notably due to Kumiko’s involvement).

In this way, both the first and the last children Amarok and Malkin approach might both end up rejecting their overtures, and there’s much to be said about the sequence’s significance in regards to how it could be a allusion to “the beginning and the end.” It may be that Teppei’s conversion to a Neoteny and possibly Baku’s impending conversion (or at least impending defection) are the beginnings of the Kiltgang’s end, and it’d be pretty awesome if that’s how it ends up playing out.

The question though, is how long it’ll take exactly for the climax of this series to play out, and it seems like that’s really the million dollar question here.

Author’s Note: Due to the show’s pacing, some logistical/staff changes here at RC, and personal things cropping up in the near future, Captain Earth coverage may be switched for a new show this coming summer season. It’s not a guarantee this will happen, but the chances are quite high at the moment. If this does happen, weekly coverage will likely stop with next week’s thirteenth episode. I apologize before hand if this ends up being the case.

Full-length images: 16.




  1. it is fine with me, if you drop this after episode 13. it had a strong and promising start, now it is just leaching from this without really move forward. your right, what big climax is for if the lost the show in the middle of the road

  2. Commander: We could let our trained operatives handle this dangerous missi………

    Akari: STOP USING LOGIC! You know that’s not what our show is about! Let a bunch of kids who have continuously failed to stop designer children from turning towards the dark side handle it!

    Me: …………………………

    I’m kind of liking the green haired guy though. I think he’s the first designer child who has wanted to keep his life the way it is. I hope he becomes an ally though it’s kind of unlikely.

    1. The thing is, the life he has is really crappy. And seeing as the girl is already promised in marriage to someone else, I can only see a tragic end for her. I think Baku’s going to end up with the gears, if only in response to the girl’s coming tragic demise.

      1. The way i saw it he probably doesn’t like the way he his life is either. He’s more than likely afraid of what becoming a designer child would do to him. After all he saw flashes of how he used to be. I think he might be afraid of turning into a one of them.

      2. Yeah it was more like he was afraid of change- he had it far worse as a kid when he was kept in a cage as a piece of merchandise to be sold, probably beaten, mistreated and malnourished. Becoming an arena fighter improved his life drastically over what it used to be- now he has some degree of freedom and isn’t starving all the time. Though it still sucks it’s the best he’s ever known and he’s afraid that change will rob him even of that- the old “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” adage- it’s evolutionary psychology talking- humans are loss-averse creatures, often to the point of irrationality…

  3. An interesting episode if a little boring in comparison with last week, not much going on, it really just seems like a more drawn-out two-part version of the same-old “Designer Child of the Week” thing that has been getting on my last nerve.

    Baku’s not really that interesting, and he keeps saying he doesn’t want them to mess up the life he has now, and I really just find that kind of sad. What life?! You’re a slave to the yakuza that is given scraps and thinks of it as freedom just because you’ve got a crush on the boss’ daughter, whose got a death flag the size of Utah. If anyone needed some liberating, it’s probably you. You’re just so sad, it’s pitiful.

    Other than that, the only really interesting parts was Red-head DC (I can’t remember these kids names for the life of me.LOL) killing the yakuza thug and the guy suddenly becoming immortal. What’s up with that?

    Well, at least that part makes me intrigued. I’m still waiting for this show to amp it up, let’s see what next week brings. Hopefully now that all the DCs have been found for the most part, we can get on to developing the plot.

  4. My theory is that those yakuza, including the girl, actually drowned in that sinking ship the girl keeps having nightmare flashes about. When they talk about the girl’s charm in the car, the nameless henchman asks the other (immortal) guy if it actually works and that he would like one too. By the look on his face he was having nightmares too. My bet it was about the sinking ship too. No doubt Baku actually turned them into immortals/zombies with his powers, though he might or (more likely) might not be aware of it. It would also explain why he’s somewhat aware of Amarok and Malkin’s true nature and intentions.

    1. That’s actually a really good theory. That through some tragic incident (maybe even Baku himself was the cause), the ship and all the yakuza aboard were killed. Traumatized by the death of his one friend, Baku somehow used his powers and perhaps his connection to his own immortality to extend to those on the sunken ship, and therefore bringing them all back to life. However, the unnatural over-extension of their lives causes them to constantly have nightmares of what happened that day, and though none of the yakuza know exactly what happened, they do have a feeling that something is wrong. The yakuza thug that was killed is immortal because not only has his life been extended unnaturally, but he might be sustained by Baku’s alien immortality. Unfortunately, this type of setup never sustains in anything I’ve seen and eventually whatever Baku did is going to be undone somehow. Because of the mental trauma of the incident, his mind probably blocked out the incident. If his mind is ever reset to it’s original self, then, it could be that whatever he did to sustain the yakuza’s lives with unravel and the girl he loves will die. However, I have no doubt that whatever side he chooses, this will happen anyway. Death is a certainty and the girl has been living on stolen time as it is.

      1. Could it be like how Bioshock Infinite had with those “ghosts” of people who were killed (by you) in one world, but then “revived” when you and Elizabeth pass through a Tear into another alternate world where they’re “alive” yet remember being dead?

  5. It’s a shame that there is a chance this show will lose its coverage but I would say there is definite cause for it at this point. The similarities between Captain Earth and Star Driver in terms of sheer pacing have been notable from the start and while we can certainly look at Star Driver and accept that in the grand scheme of things, it all worked out quite well, respectively one has to wonder whether the decision to use the same “formula” here will yield the same results.

    Unfortunately what I think the show has started to lack in is a means to captivate and enthrall the audience. What was pivotal in engaging us with the show was that in the early goings of Captain Earth, with each sequence and development, we were given something extraordinary to match and when you begin a story in such a way but choose (for lack of a better word) to steer us in a different direction, you certainly chance losing the attention of your audience. We’re still granted a sense of storytelling in a sense; Captain Earth has always offered a feeling of aesthetic storytelling that can only be conveyed through the fluid animation it offers but simultaneously, can that really be what holds viewers until a point where this series can truly take off towards space?

  6. Please tell me I am not the only person who is really starting to dislike the Daichi and Hana hints. As of now, Hana and Daichi have kissed (while he was sleeping) and Daichi just has to blush whenever he is alone with Hana, but I fail to see the chemistry in their relationship. To me, the only reason they like each other is because the writers decided that they will be one of the two couples (along side Akari and Teppei).

    But even Akari and Teppei have more chemistry than those two!

    Besides that, I think I am going to just stop watching Captain Earth for a while and just marathon it when the last episode comes out. As Zephyr said, Captain Earth is trying following the same formula that Star Driver did, but it is failing where Star Driver excelled at.

    1. I agree with you. I see people saying how cute the two are together but so far i haven’t even seen any chemistry between them. They almost kissed before this episode for no real reason. I don’t get it. Am I missing something? I think the writers just want the ship the two but don’t want to go through the nuance of actually developing their relationship which is just a dreadful way to go about it imo.

      1. That, I think, is largely because Hana is such a poorly developed character. Her personality is very poorly explored, mainly because she hasn’t had a chance to play any major active role in the story as of yet. Teppei, Daichi and Akari have all the practical skills so they do all the heavy lifting when it comes to actively endeavoring to foil the Team Rocket’s Kiltgang’s plans- their active roles in all the action allow their personalities a medium of conveyance. Whereas Hana, whose role is literally just to listen to her pet squirrel and predict the Kiltgang’s movements takes a passive role in the action/boots-on-the-ground mission sequences which make up the bulk of this show. And so she simply hasn’t had enough of the right kind of (active) screen time in order to allow her personality to be properly conveyed to the audience. H*ll even that two-episode designer child Setsuna had a more active role in the story and is a more well developed and complex character than Hana, a main character

      2. Heavens no! A personality swap is crude and unlikely to be effective. Any skilled writer would realize that what really is needed are not heavy-handed, simplistic solutions like personality swaps but rather some careful, calculated intricate writing where nuance is added to her character- the personalities of real human beings are complex and many-faceted. Real people aren’t just pretty flower-girl pieces who just stand there and look pretty talking to animals- every “flower girl” will have a dark side, and will have many personal nuances that distinguish her from other flower girls and make her an individual. Look at Mikakunin’s Kobeni from last season. That’s an example of the sweet, domestic girl archetype done right- they developed her in such a way that in spite of essentially being the sweet domestic flower girl type there was a lot of individual nuance to her character- she had a dark side, many individual idiosyncrasies and peculiarities, etc. This can only be done of course if the character in question plays a more active role in the story- because only then are there opportunities for such intricacies to organically arise. Hana has a very passive role in an action-oriented show, and so she hasn’t had anywhere nearly enough of the right kind of active screen time to develop these individual nuances to her character. As of now she’s literally just your run of the mill sweet and demure flower girl archetype. She isn’t an individual- so she isn’t interesting and it is impossible as a result of this for her to have chemistry with Daichi because she virtually doesn’t have an individual personality beyond the cookie cutter aspects of her character trope to begin with. Chemistry at its very essence is the personalities of two individuals coming together to create a fiery romantic reaction. Kobeni was an individual in spite of essentially being your typical housewife-type person and so was Hakuya even with how quiet he was most of the time- so their romance worked and there was good chemistry between them, their personal idiosyncrasies working in tandem to create a fiery romantic reaction (I really have to give credit to whoever wrote Mikakunin for developing these two characters so exceedingly well in spite of the fact that they are basically the kind of people that we would find to be the epitome of boring in real life.) Hakuya was so much more than simply “a strong, silent guy”- he was that strong, silent guy, an interesting individual. And Kobeni was so much more than simply another sweet domestic flower girl- she was that sweet domestic flower girl- an interesting, unique person in which we the audience could truly get emotionally invested. Hana on the other hand isn’t an individual. She’s a production-line flower-girl archetype doll. Plastic. So there is literally nothing there to react with Daichi’s personality and create a reaction. And there is nothing real for the audience to get truly emotionally invested in- so many people find her to be boring. Simple as that…

      3. @Zen:

        One could make a pretty compelling argument as to how Hana’s been little more than your standard cookie cutter-type character so far, though I’m not entirely convinced the supposed remedy to that is by having her play a more active role. If her role itself is that of a passive character, it would be like trying to fit a square into a round hole to force her into situations that she can’t handle.

        That being said, one might be tempted to say that that’s exactly what she needs to give her character those “nuances” you were talking about. When you think about it though, she’s almost exactly like Wako from Star Driver – though much hotter, but that’s neither here nor there ;D – in that she really doesn’t develop as a character at all.

        And, really, does she even need to? In fact, have we seen any serious character development so far at all from our main characters? Teppei’s really the only one you could give an Aye Sir! to in that regard, and even that was basically just a reaffirmation of who he was before he started falling to the dark side… ’cause, y’know, being evil is more fun! (Seriously, immortality, epic space battles and lots of lovin’ to go around; what more could you want out of life?)

        The characters and the world are different, but this is basically Star Driver’s formula all over again. This is not a story focused on character development or giving us some deep, introspective look into the minds of youngsters thrown into a chaotic world as they struggle to survive. This is something much, much more simple than that. It is just a fun, over-the-top adventure that is exactly what it looks like.

        I said more or less the same thing in another comment, but it’s worth repeating again. If you go at this show with the eyes of a seasoned anime vet – focusing on character development, plot, etc – then you’re probably going to come away disappointed. That’s just not who the intended audience here is. This is a kids’ adventure, and if you find that you can’t just sit back and enjoy the ride for what it is, then maybe you’re better off just dropping it and looking elsewhere.

        Ryan Ashfyre
      4. If her role itself is that of a passive character, it would be like trying to fit a square into a round hole to force her into situations that she can’t handle.

        Then develop her as a passive character- make more episodes with downtime where passive characters get to shine. Yet it’s only been action all the way more or less- so I suggested making her take a more active role.

        And, really, does she even need to?…It is just a fun, over-the-top adventure that is exactly what it looks like.

        Uh, yes? If the writers of of this show want their work to be classified as being of high literary merit that is. Saying that Captain Earth’s writing is of objectively high quality simply because it does exactly what it was meant to do is like saying that the Michael Bay Transformers screenplay was a thing of high artistic merit simply because it did what it was meant to do. No real critic would stake their reputation on calling that piece of substanceless drivel “objectively good” even if it clearly did do exactly what it was meant to.

        If you go at this show with the eyes of a seasoned anime vet – focusing on character development, plot, etc – then you’re probably going to come away disappointed.

        Why does my critical evaluation of a show have to have anything at all to do with whether I enjoy it? Because it doesn’t. As I’ve said here at RC many times before (Like just yesterday, much to my consternation for having to repeat myself again so soon), I’m an anime/manga enthusiast critic who has a very low threshold for enjoyment- i.e. I will watch/read and enjoy just about anything, even mediocre or outright awful series- but conversely I set a very high standard when it comes to evaluating overall quality.

        All a show needs to do for me to enjoy it is to pull me in with one or two interesting elements. The rest of the show can be absolute tosh for all I care and I’ll still enjoy it thoroughly and watch it to the very end, as long as that tosh isn’t of the inherently annoying sort like the whiny emo b*tch MC archetype or something- and even that is easily outweighed by a little creativity. And even this is not a for a “quality” reason. I drop shows with whiny MCs not because I think they are bad but because I can’t stand these sorts of people in real life and will not suffer to watch a show focused on such a person.

        To provide an example on point. I really like/enjoy the Symphogear series. There, I said it. However, even I will admit that in terms of objective quality Symphogear in many aspects is simply outright awful- generic writing, frequently lousy animation, you name it. But I still really enjoyed it and have watched both seasons (And am looking forward to the third) because it pulled me in with the creative things that it did with j-pop music in an action show.

        Enjoyment and objective critical quality are to me two entirely different and separate things. A show is not objectively “bad” simply because I don’t enjoy it, nor is it objectively “good” simply because I do. In fact enjoyment has absolutely no impact on whether I think a show is objectively “good” or “bad” in a critical sense. I could really enjoy a show and be hankering for the next episode every week but still turn around and rip it to shreds critically- like I did with Symphogear. Or I could drop a show because I didn’t really enjoy it but still praise it as an example of excellent writing- like I often do with Okada Mari shows, I drop them because I can’t stomach her blend of melodrama- yet I would still be the first to extol her as one of the best (If not the best) currently active dramatic writers in anime, and Anohana as her magnum opus.

        As for Captain Earth? It had its hooks in me since the very first episode with the flashy action sequences and the political intrigue surrounding the many different factions of Earth’s government. In terms of objective critical quality it is likely merely mediocre at best- but h*ll, I really do enjoy it so I’m going to keep on watching it to the end…

    2. I feel like Captain Earth is just one of those shows that you aren’t meant to take seriously. At. All. You’re just supposed to sit back and enjoy it, like it was one of the first anime that you’d ever watched, before you knew anything about plot structure, character developments or any of that.

      That’s the feeling I get from this show. Constantly. Consistently. Yes, Daichi and Hana’s relationship could be better developed, but I’m not annoyed enough that I can’t just sit back and think to myself: “Oh, they finally got in a kiss, eh? ‘Bout time.”

      I don’t want to say that you should turn your brain off. The story isn’t that simple, but at the same time if you go into it with the eyes of a seasoned anime vet, you may be ruining an otherwise enjoyable experience for yourself.

      Ryan Ashfyre
  7. Ep 13:

    Well, nothing out of the Way here. No Surprise of my prediction. So in short words. Boring

    The Green Guy is more then he looks, and i guessed it right. His Power

    More to come when it comes Live here

    btw. now it is 2 (earth team) vs 4


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