I’ve missed you Salty Dog, with your arrogant incompetence and your ridiculous coffee-cup communications system. Captain Earth has turned out to be quite good fun after all, which I always felt it had the potential to do but it’s never been able to quite so consistently and persistently as it has during the current stretch. It’s never been a show that took itself too seriously, but there’s a certain confidence in the irreverence now that makes it seem as if the writing has finally settled into its comfort zone.
Indeed, the only real complaint I have is that the launch sequences are shown in their entirety every damn time – which wouldn’t be a problem if they were 15 seconds long and not about two minutes. Aside from that it’s all good, with Puck emerging as quite a tasty big bad – he’s certainly enjoying his newfound physical form, though it would certainly be ironic if he’s taken down in the end by Kube’s jealous assistant.
We’re still in the stage now where everyone – the Intercept and Ark factions, and the Planetary Gears – is getting in each other’s way. But eventually they’re going to all get on the same page and figure out who the real enemy is. For now GLOBE remains the most competent of the bunch despite their frontline troops being kids, and Nishikubo outsmarts the Arkists yet again by sending Hana into orbit to avoid contact with their “investigator“, who’s come to take her into custody. Meanwhile Akari is having way too much fun as usual, flashing her forte to Pitz and cracking wise about Daichi and Teppei being the fated pair (which they probably should be, though Akari herself loses in that scenario).
Perhaps the key Akari moment and indeed the key in the entire episode comes when she manages to hack into the Kiltgang control system, using an opening left when Moko takes over the Kivitos unmanned interceptors sent to fight them off. We’re at the point where you can see things really start to unravel for the Planetary Gears – their group dynamics suck, they’re habitually being beaten back by the Midsummers Knights, and at least two of them (including the most important one) are having serious doubts about their entire plan. The humanity inside them is obviously not extinguished, and the only questions for me are when they end up teaming with Globe, not if, and whether only some of them come around rather than the entire group. Once it happens, the final arc of Captain Earth can really begin in earnest.