Captain Earth: Episode 21 – “The Meaning of a Captain”

Captain Earth focuses on Daichi Manatsu, who stumbles into a secret organization when he returns to Tanegashima after being gone for several years. He had made friends with a boy named Teppei when he was younger, but had no idea that Teppei was part of this organization. It turns out that Daichi’s father, who died when he was younger, also had ties to this organization. Near the end of the first episode, he makes it into the organization’s headquarters, and is given a gun by a scientist named Peter Westvillage, which allows him to pilot a mecha known as the Earth Engine. As the series progresses, Daichi and Teppei, along with Hana and Akari, become a team known as the Midsummer’s Knights.

Two major story plots take place in Episode 21. First, we see Hirosue managing to kidnap Hana after revealing that there are bombs placed around the Tenkaidou and that the detonator is set to go off if his vital signs stop. With the way the scene this takes place is intercut with another scene, along with how dark the screen was in the kidnapping scene, I didn’t truly see what happened. Because of that, it made the kidnapping feel a little choppy.

At the same time this is going on, Ai uses Zin’s singularity that she gained through their telepathic kiss ability and uses it to start sending debris toward the Tenakidou. Teppei goes out in the Nebula Engine, and he’s able to blast the debris away easily at first. Ai starts sending more debris and even allows some of it to dodge the blasts from the Nebula Engine and attack his mecha to cause enough damage that he becomes a sitting duck.

Unfortunately for the Midsummer’s Knights and the crew of the Tenkaidou, they’re forced to fight on two completely different fronts, both of which could bring about death and destruction. On the one hand, there’s the threat of being blown up by the bombs, and on the other, being struck by debris being hurled at them. Having these concurrent threats ups the tension of the episode.

Daichi is assigned to an untested weapon called the plasmagnum in order to blast away all the debris heading toward the Tenakidou. Daichi is forced to make a tough decision when Teppei is in the line of fire…

All I’m going to say in regards to the choice that Daichi has to make is that the writers ended up trolling the audience into believing that something happened, which is quickly proven to be false.

But I had a very hard time swallowing what happens at the end of the episode. The writers want the audience to believe that Hirosue makes this sudden 180 and totally changes his attitude toward Daichi just because Daichi did one thing he didn’t expect. It almost felt like to me that the writers didn’t know where to go with the Hana kidnapping plot, so they had Hirosue make this drastic and unrealistic change in his character so Hana would be freed and lift the danger from the bombs. By doing this, they wouldn’t write themselves into a corner. I’m sure Salty Dog won’t take this well, so I imagine they’ll find a way to go after the Tenkaidou during the remaining episodes of the series.

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