Captain Earth is an anime series produced by Bones, and is directed by Takuya Igarashi. As of this writing, Crunchyroll holds the North American streaming rights for the series.
The main character of the series is Daichi, a high school boy who seems to be disinterested in what he’s being made to study at school; instead, he focuses on studying the things he wants to learn on his own during his free time.
The day before summer vacation starts, he visits one of his friends and sees a news report on the television about a strange rainbow circle that appeared in the sky over the town of Minamitane in Tanegashima for about five minutes. It turns out this is where Daichi grew up until his father died, and he has some memories that suddenly come flooding back to him. Daichi decides to go to Tanegashima.
On his way there, we see a flashback of when he met a boy his age named Teppi who lived in a building surrounded by a chain link fence and a sign saying, “No Entry.” Daichi climbs the fence and jumps in, and the two boys kept betting each other over Daichi’s necklace that was given to him by his father. Other flashbacks throughout the episode show Teppi displaying his special powers to Daichi, as well as getting Daichi into a location where he isn’t supposed to go. Their friendship ended up coming to an end after Daichi inexplicably frees a sleeping girl who has been trapped inside a bubble.
In the current time, Daichi reaches his father’s grave and finds a man named Tsutomu there; Tsutomu worked with Daichi’s father. When Daichi asks whether or not his father truly died in an accident, Tsutomu has a flashback of what happened; however, his response is that Daichi’s father was a wonderful captain.
Daichi goes to the building where he met Teppi, and the fence is locked. However, he hears music, and the fence unlocks itself. Daichi goes in and gets lost; however, he hears the music again, and is approached by a girl playing a recorder. The girl never says anything, but leads Daichi to a location and shows him that Earth is being invaded. By the end of the episode, Daichi is piloting a mecha and heads out to face off against the enemy.
I have to admit that at times, this episode could be a little hard to follow, due to the various jumping around in time that was taking place. While this jumpiness primarily happened between flashbacks and present time, there are some scenes in present time where we have no idea who the characters are that we’re seeing and we don’t get to know much of anything about them before the first episode ends.
Captain Earth ends up falling into the trope that many other mecha shows have fallen into over the years; somehow, the protagonist, who has never encountered the mecha before in their lives, can get into it and seem to have a pretty good handle on how to pilot it. Normally, I’d say that’s unbelievable, but seeing as how it’s become such a trope in mecha anime, I’m willing to let it slide due to how commonplace that’s become.
After watching this episode, it appears that Captain Earth could have some potential. Hopefully once the major exposition is done to establish Daichi and the world he inhabits, the series will become a little easier to follow and to understand.
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