Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Kamigami no Asobi and Captain Earth

I was planning on capping my Saturday viewings with Captain Earth and Ace of the Diamond in a one-two whammy, but I saw Kamigami no Asobi up there on crunchyroll and decided to give it a few minutes of consideration. In return, I was treated to an intriguing, if somewhat incoherent fight scene, a very out-there transformation sequence, and a school life first day of vacation sequence that mixed in plenty of casual walk-and-talk to keep things moving. The big mystery in that first half of the episode was how the show would handle that transition from crisp slice-of-life to Greek gods burning their cosmo in battle, and while the transition wasn’t an elaborate one, it did have a whimsical feel thanks to a flighty soundtrack. The character intro bits were a bit overdone, but were more interactive than monologue-based, which counts for a bit. I’m keeping up with this one for at least another week.

Captain Earth was the show I personally thought had the highest if-everything-goes-right ceiling heading into the season, with the caveat that it was probably less likely to reach that ceiling than a few other shows. This episode didn’t take a great first step in that direction, jumping around a lot between scenes in a way that felt fairly choppy. I hate that sort of format; while quick pacing that focuses exposition as nice, the most enjoyable scenes are the ones that come from flowing continuity. That said, the part of the flashback that featured the two kids bonding and surprising each other was engaging, and they got more coherent as the episode went on. Less encouraging was the soundtrack usage, which was super-unbalanced; it felt like it was just out of sync with the atmosphere the show was trying to build in a good 30% of the scenes (particularly the gravesite/death flashback one where some upbeat Space Brothers-esque inspirational stuff was playing). It’s like they just left the music on play, rather than fitting it to the scenes at hand. After the choppy first half, the whole thing was a short intro for the first villain and a very elaborate docking sequence. I’m gonna give it some time because a fight has yet to happen and it still does have potential to build out the story, but this episode did not inspire much in the way of confidence.

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