The final confrontation is at hand for Captain Earth. There were a few surprises here and there to be had, but the series is still wrapping things up for the most part, and there were some resolutions that seemed to be surprisingly rushed that could have been spread out more evenly across episodes. Overall, the anime is still moving along at a decent clip, even if the third act has not been as exciting as it should be thus far.
The details of Operation Summer are spelled out in Episode 20. The Kivotos will unload the cryostasis module that houses the sleeping humans and send it back to Earth, so that the Midsummer Knights can then commandeer it and ferry the Engines to their final battle with the kiltgang mother ship Oberon. Hana will stay on the Blume, dock the Kivotos within its hull, and activate the Entangle Link hyperspace warp to the planet Uranus. The Ark Faction is still determined to capture the Blume, and Hirosue (a.k.a. Pointer) returns to settle his personal grudges with Daichi once and for all. Ai Summer makes an unexpected appearance on the Tenkaidou as well, hiding her eagerness to cause untold mischief on the people onboard behind her cheerful idol persona. A touching scene with Teppei and Akari unfolds, which I felt was a very poignant event for the two of them considering the similar struggles they both had with human bonds. The peace is broken as Hirosue begins his sabotage operation and takes Hana from Daichi at gunpoint. Ai ups the ante by stirring up a little chaos of her own, manipulating a barrage of space debris to collide with the Tenkaidou. Teppei and Daichi engage the threat, but the captain is forced into another dilemma when his comrade is trapped within the range of the plasmagnum’s blast zone. Heroic sacrifices are to be expected in mecha anime, but this time around Teppei manages to save himself in the end. Even more surprising was Hirosue’s conversion, which does bring some informal resolution to the conflicts between the two factions. Shortly after these events, the Tenkaidou detects the mobilization of the kiltgang, ready to assault the planet with their combined might. The operation begins without delay, but the Ark Faction makes a final push to stop the hyperspace warp by summoning the Garm interceptor. Daichi risks being left behind as he goes out alone to distract the enemy forces. Part of this episode deals with Hana also risking herself by sealing herself inside the Blume, where only Daichi can enter and bring her out again. Just as the Knights come together right on time for the warp, they collide head-on with the Garm and then all sorts of weirdness happens that questions the very essence of what the audience has been seeing for the entire series.
These episodes of Captain Earth ended at a perplexing cliff-hanger, which has great potential to turn many invested fans away in disgust for all its trope-heaviness. If any of the other current reviews are any indication, there seems to be a general dislike for this anime for that very reason, among others. I, for one, still want to give this series a fair analysis and wish to see things to the very end. The last episodes and final review is coming soon, so stay tuned!
My Score: 8.50/10.00