DVD Review: Captain Earth – Part 1
07/08/2015 Leave a comment
MVM Entertainment’s latest DVD release is also coming out on Blu-ray; it’s of course Captain Earth but how did we find this First instalment to be? Find out in our DVD Review of Captain Earth – Part 1.
When Daichi Manatsu sees a mysterious rainbow appearing near the Tanegashima Space Center, he immediately recognizes it as being similar to an apparition that formed when his father was killed in a mysterious accident years earlier. Traveling to Tanegashima, Daichi quickly finds himself involved with the machinations of Globe, a secret agency created to defend mankind from extraterrestrial forces.
While it might seem like a big job for a mere teenager, it turns out that the skills Daichi has honed on video games combined with a special weapon called the Livlaster make Daichi ideally suited for operating the Earth Engine Impacter. A giant robot, the Earth Engine may be mankind’s best hope against aliens whose goal is to completely drain our world’s lifeforce energy. Fortunately, Daichi won’t be on his own. He’s quickly joined by a group of equally dedicated young people who all have their own skills and abilities to contribute to the battle.
It’s always unfair for anime to be compared to another title; for instance some say Psycho-Pass is this generation’s version of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex while others will say Dinosaur King is similar to Digimon. To some this ‘comparison’ may seem true, but to others it can be the opposite – Captain Earth on the other hand is a different story entirely as in my eyes this particular series is the love-child of elements taken from Eureka Seven, Zone of the Enders and Star Driver. Does this make Captain Earth good? Not exactly; it’s overly-complicated and leaves you clueless to whats transpiring… however it does have some good moments.
Captain Earth follows the events of Daichi Manatsu who finds himself recruited into GLOBE after obtaining a Livlaster and becoming a pilot of the giant mecha known as Earth Engine; it’s now his job to protect the earth from aliens who are trying to steal the inhabitant’s life energy known as Libido. Like I said its overly complicated and this is just the ‘gist’ of it. Joining Daichi in his quest to protect the planet is Akari, who is the daughter of the commander of the Globe facility and an exceptionally skilled hacker, Hana, a mysterious girl that Daichi once freed from imprisonment as a child, and Peppi an alien who, after an encounter with those of the same-kind, decides to fight alongside the humans. These four ‘children’ make up the Midsummer Knights; an elite group that attempt to protect the earth from the onslaught of attacks from the aliens; but these aren’t your typical aliens.
This is where things start to get even more complicated as these aliens, which are referred to as Kill-T-Gang, require libido energy in order to transform from their human form to their more evolved, and weaponised, Kill-T-Gang mecha form; and so these Kill-T-Gang members attack random locations in a bid to acquire energy and if they acquire enough energy they will transform into their mecha-and more alienfied- state. At the start, and during the introductory phase of the show, its just two different Kill-T-Gang members, but once the Midsummer Knights are formed these two Kill-T-Gangs begin to expand their numbers by recruiting new members that have been hidden away for ten years and with each new member comes the possibility of attacking earth; as the rumour states that if a single Kill-T-Gang in weaponised form reaches earth then the entire planet will be destroyed.
The Kill-T-Gang and their attempt to steal energy from the planet is the main focal point of this series, well for the second half of this instalment at least, but during the first half – and its introductory phase – a variety of different content is covered; non of which is explained or played out to the viewer. For instance at the start both Hana and Teppi were kept locked by a member from the Salty Dog organisation, a group who apparently monitor the actions of GLOBE, but after a failed attempt at trying to abduct Hana and kill Daichi we here nothing of the organisation. It’s a similar situation with the so called Ark Fraction; it’s introduced in the early stages of the show – and it’s a fraction which seems to support the ideals of the Kill-T-Gang, and yet we hardly ever see or hear any mention of them; thus leaving their storyline blank.
The episodes within this first part of Captain Earth tend to go back-and-forth and never seem to settle down anywhere; that is until around the eighth episode when after a failed assassination attempt on Daichi the two Kill-T-Gang members decide to track down the other ‘sleeping’ Kill-T-Gang aliens that are scattered across the globe. This is the series turning point; and from here it becomes your traditional “lets save the world by using children” type of show.
In retrospect majority of it has been done before, the mecha designs – for the Kill-T-Gang at least – remind me of those in Zone of the Enders; while Daichi’s character appearance reminds me of Renton; furthermore the relationship between him and Hana has that ‘distant-lover’ feel that’s often felt within the early sections of Eureka Seven.Like I said; it’s a completely different anime storyline with an overly complicated plot but yet there are lots of similarities and resemblances to other more popular, and better presented, shows.
When it comes to bonus features then this DVD release of Captain Earth contains no surprises or exciting content; as it is the traditional ‘baisc content’ we have come to expect from MVM Entertainment releases.
On the disc you will find the textless opening and closing animations for the series, both of which are quite catchy songs, as well as three trailers for other anime trailers – all of which we have seen on other DVD releases by MVM Entertainment and more ironically two of which have yet to be announced -or even mentioned – for a UK release.
Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:45:56 (Disc 1), 2:22:14 (Disc 2)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
Captain Earth is one of those shows that I went completely blind into; I wasn’t expecting anything from it and yet I found myself disappointed by the outcome it presented itself – especially within this first half of the series. In my eyes its overly complicated, hardly progresses forward and instead tends to jump around the hoops to get where it needs to be; which even at the half-way point is still relatively a mystery.
The story itself follows GLOBE, an organisation which specialises in protecting the earth from aliens known as Kill-T-Gang who – if they reach earth – will somehow destroy it; Here is where our saviour known as Daichi Manatsu enters the fray and reluctantly finds himself becoming the ‘Captain’ of a squad; all of which are acquaintances from his past. The first batch of episodes sees the characters being introduced and the group formed; but it’s the later episodes of this set which bring a ‘rinse and repeat’ format to it. Each episode sees Kill-T-Gang members attempt to revive ‘sleeping’ members in the public and in turn the squad at GLOBE try to stop them; and it’s a similar formula all the way through until the final episode of this set. The characters may be interesting, especially Akari and Peppi; but it easily becomes rather stale – especially when elements from earlier in the set have yet to be explained.
Storyline aspects aside this DVD release from MVM Entertainment has not a lot to shout about as everything is pretty much what you expect to receive from a DVD. Both the visual and audio qualities are as expected, from a DVD, and since this is a subtitled only release we don’t have to put up with Sentai Filmworks questionable dub-work; although it would have been interesting to see how they would have done it. There are no problems to report with the subtitles either; as everything seemed to work perfectly fine; like I said – everything works just as expected.
While I have my doubts about the shows storyline and the way its progressing there are a handful of elements to enjoy from this show; additionally it’s safe to assume that Captain Earth would look fantastic in High Definition – especially when it comes to the fast-paced-action-scenes in space. If you are looking for a simplistic story filled with Mecha fights then you’ll want to look elsewhere; but if you are looking for a deceptive storyline filled with ‘behind the back talks’ and psychotic aliens disgused as humans then Captain Earth might be worth checking out. For me; it’s a bit of a marmite situation – I liked some elements but disliked others so it will be interesting to see where the story progresses to and how it ends in the second instalment.
Captain Earth – Part 1 will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 10th August 2015.