Captain Earth comes from the famed studio Bones and director Takuya Igarashi (Ouran High School Host Club, Star Driver), joined by scriptwriter Yōji Enokido (FLCL) and brought to the UK thanks to MVM Entertainment. Giant robots, organisations shrouded in conspiracy and the fate of humankind on the line; Captain Earth adds to studio Bones’ unique mecha catalogue, but does it live up to its predecessors?
“When Daichi Manatsu sees a mysterious rainbow appearing near the Tanegashima Space Center, he immediately recognizes it as being similar to an apparition that formed when his father was killed in a mysterious accident years earlier. Traveling to Tanegashima, Daichi quickly finds himself involved with the machinations of Globe, a secret agency created to defend mankind from extraterrestrial forces.
While it might seem like a big job for a mere teenager, it turns out that the skills Daichi has honed on video games combined with a special weapon called the Livlaster make Daichi ideally suited for operating the Earth Engine Impacter. A giant robot, the Earth Engine may be mankind’s best hope against aliens whose goal is to completely drain our world’s lifeforce energy. Fortunately, Daichi won’t be on his own. He’s quickly joined by a group of equally dedicated young people who all have their own skills and abilities to contribute to the battle.” – MVM Entertainment
The story doesn’t give much away early on in the series, leaving you feeling slightly lost and out of the loop. Eventually, the series does open up into an interesting conspiracy themed story, with each mystery being uncovered a step at a time, and shedding some much-needed light into the events and factions prior to this unveiling. New characters are introduced at a steady pace, giving each a couple of episodes to settle in and develop their character.
With studio Bones bringing this series to life, there’s no doubt that the animation quality will be top-notch. Having a huge amount of experience with mecha anime, Bones have done extremely great work on making these giant robots look awesome, especially the Earth Engine and its combination as it enters space, really paying homage to super robot shows of old.
Surprisingly, given the pedigree behind this series, we have a Japanese language only release in Captain Earth which of course is accompanied by English subtitles. This may deter those that look specifically for an English dub or that like to sample both. This will not put some fans off, such as the very vocal group who wish for quicker Japanese only releases, but nonetheless it would have been a nice addition. The opening theme song comes from flumpool, titled “Believers High“, a really good song that fits this anime well; ending theme song “Amethyst” is provided by the voice actress of Hana Mutou, Ai Kayano, under the name HANA star. Ai Kayano.
Clean opening and clean ending animations are included, as standard, and a small selection of trailers most of which we have seen before; Humanity has Declined, Soni-Ani: Super Sonico the Animation and Hakkenden.
Visually brilliant, you would expect no less from studio Bones, but the start is a bit confusing leaving you feeling left out. While it does eventually uncover some of the details later down the line, I worry viewers may have already tuned out, keep going is my advice as I feel there is something more to this series. The decision to release as a Japanese dub only is a bold move that many will applaud, although it may limit the potential audience, the series is no weaker for it.