Captain Earth Episode 5 Recap – “Starry Sky’s Picture Book”
Both Teppei and Daichi are resting in the sick bay after the events of last episode and the attack by the aliens on Earth. Daichi needs to stay in bed for another couple of days, but Teppei is at full mope meter already. He’s feeling down since he’s found out that he’s really an alien from Uranus. I don’t hate him like some people might for his constant upside down frown, but I do wish they would have given him a little more time to digest the info and build on his character. This episode does that to a certain extent, but it doesn’t go far enough in my opinion. Instead, it’s the crutch of character development though another character.
Teppei is called in by Nishibuko for an space mission aboard the Tenkaidou, the ship run by Governor Matsuri, Akari’s mother and Nishibuko’s ex-wife. However, this is a top secret mission that neither the Governor nor HQ can know about. Teppei is to free a prisoner who is wanted for attempted murder as part of the “Kivotos Plan,” whatever that is. This show really isn’t that good at explaining things to us. I’m not asking for a huge plot dump, but a little clarification on what plan is which and what side is who would be nice. The prisoner’s name – Eiji Arashi, Teppei’s gene donor. Apparently another faction called the Ark Faction is also after Eiji, to harvest his genes. At first I thought the Ark Faction was the aliens, because again, they never clarify who the hell is who in this show. Akari will be joining him on the mission, under the pretense that she is visiting her mother.
Once they are aboard the Tenkaidou, they sneak into the area that houses Eiji. He is one of many “sleepers,” part of a secret plan for elite members of society by the Ark Faction. These people are in solid state until shit hits the fan on Earth, allowing them a convenient escape plan. Akari is in line for a place herself but has chosen not to accept the invitation. The Ark Faction believes that everyone who remains on Earth is doomed to death, but Akari likes to be on the more optimistic side with the Intercept Faction (whoever they are). *shrug* At least I know a tidbit of their philosophy now. I still have no idea what characters belong to what faction. I know it’s probably on the webs somewhere, but a show should at least try to define the parties for the audience without us having to look it up ourselves.
As Akari hacks the bay door controls, she notices that someone else has already turned off some of the alarms in the area. Teppei thinks there might be possible spies among the shipping crew. They awaken Eiji and after a bit of grogginess, he recognizes Teppei immediately. He was also the one who chose Teppei’s name. The spies are given the slip, as Teppei et al hide inside the sleeper pods. It was Eiji’s idea, who appears to be very crafty, and a bit suspect. He has that smug smile that usually comes with something who is either unhinged, or merely evil.
Teppei is having conflicting thoughts about this man being his “dad”, as Eiji continues to call himself. Teppei has never known what it’s like to have parents, so it’s understandable within his character layout. It it pretty stereotypical for his archetype though. They are trapped in a corner by one of the spies, so Eiji quickly draws up another plan. As the spy waits for them to come out, three empty spacesuits lazily glide by. Suddenly the last spacesuit chops at the back of the spy, startling him and allowing for Teppei to hit him with a tranquilizer dart. But not before the man can get a gun shot off – – that is blocked by Eiji.
The wound isn’t fatal, but it is serious enough to add a medium amount of drama to the episode. Arashi, who has been two steps ahead the whole time, already as an escape plan in mind. They are going to steal the spies’ ship and return to Earth with it. Teppei is initially against the plan, but Eiji gives him this creepy look and tells him – “Do as your dad says.” That smile will haunt my dreams. I can’t help but think this character is evil, even if everything they do in the episode makes him out to be a good guy, and – get this – parent who cares about Teppei. Teppei for one isn’t happy with this whole situation. “I’m not who you think I am” he mopes to Eiji. Well at least he smiled once earlier this episode.
In response, Arashi gathers Teppei in for a hug, and knocks him out with a tranquilizer dart. He doesn’t attack Akari next though; instead he is going to hand himself over to the spies so Akari and Teppei can go free. He asks her to take good care of Teppei before leaving. In a cut away, Nishibuko reveals that Arashi’s assault and attempted murder charge were actually because he tried to keep Teppei away from their clutches. He didn’t want Teppei to be used in the way he is right now. The true measure of this “mission” was so that Teppei would be able to meet Eiji. Nishibuko is doing a lot of things that are eventually going to come back to bite him. He is being the nice guy and we symphatize with him because of that, but there will most likely be some consequences for him once he is found out by HQ.
Now that Arashi has escaped, Teppei and Akari report to Governor Matsuri. Akari apologizes for using her as a front. “Whatever the reason, you don’t know how happy I was to see you.” Matsuri answers. Ouch, guilt trip. As they makes their descent back to Earth, Akari tells Teppei that her mother looks at her the same way that Eiji looked at him, meaning he truly did care about Teppei’s well being. I dunno, Eiji’s mannerism seemed a tad sociopathic to me and a lot less caring than Matsuri’s. Then again, screwed up familial relations are totally a thing in anime today.
Once back at the base on Earth, Nishibuko informs Teppei that the group behind the kidnapping of Eiji was under the direction of Salty Dog. Who by the way is an organization, not the name of the scientist they kept calling Salty Dog. Whose name I still don’t know yet. You see how this show can be confusing sometimes? There is some good news however, as Arashi escaped the shuttle once they reached Earth. His current whereabouts are unknown. Whether you choose to believe Nishibuko or not is up to you. I fall more into the camp that Nishibuko is lying to Teppei. A nice kind of lying, in the way that you protect a fragile person who is fraying emotionally.
This episode was a mixed bag of mediocrity. There was some good character development for both Akari and Teppei, but there was also some forced drama, and unbelievable character actions. On a side note, that’s two episodes in a row that Hana has been non-existent to a “t”. >_< I again forgot that she was even in this episode. She’s failing completely as a believably important character. Will she do something that matters next episode? Here’s hoping.