Even more so than in most BONES sci-fi, parental issues seem very much at the heart of Captain Earth. As such it only makes sense that Teppei would be added to the mix this week, with Akari as an accessory – she’s already got her own daddy issues of course, but she’s in the highly unusual position of having two living parents. In addition to the whole divorce thing, there’s the fact that they’re seemingly allied to different sides in the intercept-ark struggle – one that seems more integral to the plot of Captain Earth than the aliens themselves.
There was a time when Ishida Akira probably would have played the Teppei role in Captain Earth (even now he’d hardly be more miscast for it than Hiroshi Kamiya) but now I guess it’s his place to be the Dad. This seems to be comfortable fit for him, and Arashi Eiji seems very much in the Inari/Myoue mold – a man of dubious ethics and morals who makes questionable decisions out of love for his child (or children, as the case may be). I wouldn’t exactly say Ishida has a lot of range, but he does have that instantly recongnizable thing going, and his performances are certainly never lacking confidence.
It’s a pretty classic anime (and beyond) sci-fi dynamic – esper teens being used as weapons in both the personal and global conflicts. In Akari’s case, her dad uses her desire to see her mother as an excuse to send a shuttle up to the arc ship where Teppei’s gene donor father is in cryogenic sleep. No doubt the Mahou Shoujo is certainly a useful (frankly a little too conveniently so from a plot standpoint) figure to have along for missions like this one. As for Teppei, the implication is that Tsutomu has sentimentally sent him up there to meet his father – which seems a pretty foolhardy thing to do given that the Arkists were presumably after Eiji because Tsutomu was preventing them from getting their hands on Teppei.
I’m convinced there’s something more going on with Tsutomu – he’s a more shaded character than the soft-hearted hero figure we’ve been presented. But perhaps his motives were genuine here, who knows – for now it’s a simple matter of a rescue mission, which amounts to a race against the sabateurs from the Ark Faction to get to Eiji first. Teppei is mostly a passenger here, truth be told – silently brooding while Akari makes most of the decisions and greases the wheels. That changes when Eiji wakes up – he stamps himself as a highly competent strategist and quickly takes control of the situation. His “criminal” status seems mostly connected to protecting Teppei, so for now there’s no reason to assume his concern for his biological son aren’t more or less genuine. Though of course that’s subject to change based on further information.
Yes, that’s four paragraphs without a mention of Daichi. He’s strictly a bit player here, sidelined in a hospital bed so the supporting cast can get the focus. While Akari has two parents Daichi of course has (as far as we know) none. I suppose that makes him a good match for Hana as she’s seemingly in the same boat, and any doubt that it’s Teppei Akari has her sights set on is certainly cast aside here (the navel-gazing she offered Daichi last week being strictly platonic). It seems about time for Hana to get her fleshing-out episode, as she’s the main cast member we know the least about. As for Eiji he’s escaped from the Arkists after surrendering himself to them to protect the kids, which seems to set up him up as a wild card figure, disappearing for now only to pop up again at a crucial moment somewhere down the line.