ANIME & MANGA - Review
12:00 - 25th October 2015, by Andrew Osmond

Captain Earth

Studio Bones has been releasing sci-fi epics since RahXephon 13 years ago. Captain Earth is the latest, but often feels like it’s running on empty. In contemporary-ish Japan, schoolboy Daichi encounters a paranormally-powered girl and boy whom he met as a child. They’re part of a secret programme to protect humanity from predatory invaders, a programme which involves launching giant robots which assemble in space and fight the invaders… who are linked to other superpowered Earth kids, awaking one by one to their alien identities.

Captain Earth is made in Bones’s usual, colourful, broadly pleasing house-style – the music is particularly good – yet it feels rote, without the passionately drawn anger or psychedelic spectacle of Bones’s best. It’s badly told, with painfully stilted exposition and lacklustre characters, coupled with crass fanservice and hokey teen sentiment. One girl is a blankly vacant pretty face and body. Another is an OTT otaku who’s less fun than other anime geek girls. Hero Daichi, meanwhile, is less interesting than his troubled male buddy, apparently a sort–of alien.

It’s Bones, so of course there are glimpses of promising story ideas, and later episodes introduce intriguing characters who might lift volume two. But the tangled plotting (with Bones’s usual morass of Things to be Explained Later) hasn’t enough thrills, smarts or charm. The biggest laugh may be unintentional – Daichi’s romantic declaration that “I wanted to show her my boomerang!”

Too much plot, too little passion.
SCORE: 2.5/5
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