Captain Earth is another anime-original mecha coming from BONES and the team behind Star Driver.
Daichi is your moody protagonist who used to be super upbeat when he was a kid but changed after a mysterious tragedy. Daichi really doesn’t have much personality/character so far but it is refreshing to see a main character that actually wants to get in the fucking mech for once. Outside of that we know he likes skipping school, is good at video games and… that’s about it really. Once a giant rainbow ring shows up over an island, Daichi remembers some childhood memories, runs off back to said island and the episode finally starts to pick up.
Rounding off the rest of the cast is Teppei, a purple-haired obviously-not-human Daichi met as a kid at a mysterious lab that summons rainbows and has amazing physical strength; he’ll probably end up being the source of homolust and many fangirl squeals. Hana, another lab-child who was asleep in a bubble and while she doesn’t talk at all during the episode, sings a nice insert song. There’s also a landing strip that sits in front of a computer but she’ll actually interact with the rest of the cast starting from episode 2 based on the preview. I am glad that it seems like everyone will pilot a robot though – going off of the promotional images with all 4 characters in their pilot suits. I’d like to see how a transformation scene would go after (assuming the villains are smart and/or skilled enough) the satellites housing each part of the mech are destroyed. On the villain side we get scantily clad Moco and why-is-my-hair-so-fucking-big Amara; if other BONES mecha is anything to go by, the villain side will probably end up way more interesting but ultimately will get their screen time/development shafted due to not being part of the protagonist’s group.
While Amara doesn’t do anything noteworthy Moco was definitely the most entertaining part of the episode for me, although I can see why someone would dislike her by fitting the flirty-type who wears almost nothing (but going off of promotional images and Minato Fumi behind character designs I doubt this will be anywhere near the end of the fanservice) being voiced by Maaya Sakamoto was definitely a plus for me as well. Being the main source of action meant two things: while it was neat seeing her mech and an action scene, she’s most likely going to be relegated to a Team Rocket-tier villain. This is going off the assumption that Captain Earth takes a villain of the week style of battle that Star Driver did and going off the setup of villains just showing up through a portal to attack earth, trying to breach their defenses and Gunbuster Heroman combining once they reach a certain point I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.
As for the mechs themselves, I really like them. Shigeto Koyama does a wonderful job at designing and if there’s one thing I love about BONES, it’s their 2D mecha animation and choreography which they both showed very, very well here. Moco’s mecha is very thin (especially the waist area), almost “graceful” with no visible weapons, reminiscent of something Mamoru Nagano would design, complete with the huge head-piece. While on the protagonist side we see Daichi sortie in Gunbuster Heroman and it was just lovely to witness. The attention to detail was fantastic with how they tried to portray a realistic way of combining mecha – every satellite having to line up and being sent through all of the gates for additional checks, nothing needing wings but instead having copious amounts of thrusters to make sure everything is going at the correct speed and then to top it off the giant shoulder pieces/rockets having to start-up to slow it all down, it was just beautiful. The design of the mech itself looks great, very bulky and colour separation is perfect with just enough of the small details coloured to not make it look plain/boring. Linebarrel styled legs are also really neat with more thrusters behind them. Really, all I can ask for is for it to not completely curbstomp every enemy and for it to have a rocket punch because of how much it can detach. Seriously, it even has a fucking pirate hat.
Overall, I really enjoyed the second half more so than the first. With the more interesting characters and mechs showing up – it does have some nice political intrigue as well which I’m hoping doesn’t just boil down to people in suits yelling WE NEED TO GET OFF OF THIS PLANET, EVERYONE ELSE CAN JUST DIE ON EARTH. As for all of the rainbows and school girls who show up in labs, there’s really nothing to comment on other than “what the fuck is happening?” so I just avoided it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go order some WIXOSS cards.