I’m usually very tentative when it comes to delving into new manga series because I’m such a diehard fan of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise any other mecha series just doesn’t add up for me and I slam it to the ground as soon as I see the opening premise or the sloppy bulky designs of the mecha itself. Unless the story clearly incorporates some new element or there are character designs that really draw me in, I’m reluctant to give the mecha more than a ten minute glance.
Captain Earth is an original mecha anime created by the team that made Star Driver. It follows a boy named Daichi Manatsu who’s a pretty unmotivated and closed off protagonist due to the mystery of his father’s death. All Daichi really cares about at this point is escaping the real world. As a kid, he remembers seeing a strange circular rainbow and discovers a girl in a laboratory with his friend Teppei. When they’re caught helping the girl escape, Daichi never sees his childhood friends again. That is, until he returns to the strange building on Seed Island to that same building he found the mysterious girl. This time, he’s approached by another strange little girl that shows him that earth is about to be attacked by a robotic alien mecha called a Kiltgang. Daichi is somehow teleported into a loading dock where a man asks him if he’s a “captain,” Daichi resolves to take up a mecha and stop the Kiltgang from attacking earth. Naturally, once he gets in the seat, he immediately knows how to operate the darn thing.
The opening episode of Captain Earth really reminded me of the classic mecha show premises where the seemingly normal character is caught in an immediate inciting attack incident where he’s forced to pilot his mecha. I really enjoyed the transformation sequence here divided into different modes. The launch sequences seems a bit tedious, requiring several stages of gear expansion and course alignment before actually getting into space but the final form of the mecha is pretty innovative in my opinion. Everyone is very intrigued with the new mecha and its pilot by the end of the launch and so is the viewer. Very classic way to end the episode, new mecha hero blasts off into space.
The animation is done by Studio Bones and is quite sleek in aesthetic. Not sure how I feel about the Kiltgang but they seem human…? Maybe. I’m looking for more meaning behind the series title but so far, everything seems decently in place for the first episode. If you’re looking for something in the mecha genre without getting too dark into something like Knights of Sidonia, Captain Earth will be just right for you.
What are you pondering today?