We’re getting there, slowly but surely – the pieces are starting to fit together with Captain Earth. I admit there were a few things I completely got wrong – for example, I was laboring under the false impression that Tsutomu was Daichi’s Uncle, when in fact it seems he was merely a family friend. But as convoluted at the plot is on the whole, I think it’s actually making more sense than most BONES originals do at this point of the story.
That is, if you don’t try and explain all the Shakespeare stuff. If there were any doubt that The Bard and A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the template for Captain Earth, the title of next week’s episode – “The Midsummer’s Knights” – should put it to bed. It’s been a long time since I read or saw that play, and reviewing the plot and themes now I don’t see much that lends itself to an immediate connection. Perhaps it’s nothing more than both being stories of deception and a general Shakespeare theme (there are plenty of other Bard references as well) but for now I’m withholding judgment.
What seems beyond doubt is that Globe is playing both sides against the middle here. They’re in charge of both factions, and they seem content to let “Intercept” play itself out for as long as it seems to have any chance of success, and then throw their full weight behind Kivotos. That the Ark Faction is playing a deeper game is no surprise – they’re basically filling the standard Illuminati type role here, with Kube’s real plan a sort of de facto alliance with the Planetary Gears to allow them to suck Earth dry, then leave it alone once it no longer has enough libido-carrying residents to be a viable food source. Then he can move in with his chosen few and enjoy a paradise – a planet whose infrastructure has been left intact but whose population has been wiped out. Paradise!
It’s not a bad plan as Committee of 300-class schemes go, except Kube is seemingly being played by the Planetary Gears. They’re the ones Puck really answers to, though just what they want is still a question – it seems like Kube is offering them a pretty good deal with a libidohoudai of 7 billion people. Meanwhile, it may very well be that the key to everything is Tsutomu. He seems like a decent sort and his dedication to foil the Arkists may well be genuine, but at the very least he’s playing the messiah role – keeping an awful lot to himself and carrying an awful lot on his shoulders. If he’s playing it straight here, his sense of guilt over what happened to Daichi’s father and desire to assuage it seems to be the likely driver.
I suppose there’s a risk in trying to make too much of this odd combination of Shakespeare references and psychology dictionaries, because if the ride isn’t enjoyable it doesn’t really matter where the story is going. For me, it definitely still is – there have been some peaks and valleys, but generally speaking I like the character interactions and the dialogue, and the visuals are highly appealing. Ultimately it will come down to what most anime sci-fi does – pretty teenagers caught between warring adults trying to make sense of things while they flirt and struggle to avoid getting killed. With the exception of Star Driver BONES has been better than anybody at delivering variations on this theme in entertaining fashion, and while Captain Earth isn’t at the top of that range so far, it’s more than holding its own.