The story is moving quickly to the final battle in Captain Earth. The perpetually arrogant kiltgang, now thoroughly frustrated by humanity’s fierce resistance, conspire to launch an all-out offensive to take the planet once and for all. The Intercept Faction of Globe and the Midsummer Knights near the end of their preparations for a final offensive on the alien mother ship stationed in orbit around Uranus. But matters quickly become complicated when Globe’s Ark Faction finally strikes out openly against the Knights, who they see as a threat to their plans to evacuate human survivors and negotiate the kiltgang’s demands. Additional back story and development for Hana Mutou and themes of team dynamics brought a lot of heart to these latest episodes, as well.
Following on the heels of Hana’s space combat debut, Salty Dog quickly moved to take her out of commission. Hana narrowly escaped arrest, thanks to preparations by Nishikobu to secure her on the Tenkaidou long in advance. The Ark Faction started flexing their muscles with their unveiled unmanned interceptor technology, which they launched against the kiltgang. Once again it was up to Akari to wage an aggressive cyber war against Moco for control over the drone weapons and turn the tide of battle. Overall, it was a great episode that debated the excesses of our modern obsession with automated military technology. The Ark Faction, undeterred by their obvious military blunder, still continued their focus on capturing Hana. To this end,the Knights were forcefully thrown off-course on their return to Earth, crash-landing in Australia near the heavily Ark-infiltrated Globe Central Command. Ambushed on all sides by an entire drone army, Teppei implored Daichi to let him sacrifice himself to aid their escape. The Captain would hear none of it however, and in his desperation he single-handedly annihilated the enemy with overwhelming orgone power. In many ways it was a very real “Kirk and Spock” moment that really made this episode great, and I continue to admire the relationship between these two friends and “rivals”. The Knights make their way back to Tanegashima aboard a stolen transport ship in Episode 19. While they fight off yet another powerful Ark Faction drone weapon, interspersed flashbacks reveal a lot more of Hana’s past, explaining how and why her relationship with Daichi is so profoundly important to her very survival and well-being. The climactic turnabout with the resurrection of Hana’s spaceship Blume brought a decisive end to Ark’s conspiracy against the Knights for now, while ushering in the final act of this space opera that is quickly arriving.
There are very few anime that have held my interest as long as Captain Earth has in recent years, and coming from a lesser-traveled genre at that. Furthermore, I have become more invested in the fate of these protagonists than most other stories I have seen in anime. The final battle is looming, so I predict a very strong finish.
My Score: 9.50/10.00