Posted by psgels on 20 February 2011 with categories: Star Driver



It’s the background episode, and it’s quite a creative one. This episode answered a ton of questions about the main storyline, and did so quite creatively. Head’s background is an interesting and untypical love triangle that completely fell apart thanks to his ambitions. We also get to see Takuto’s mother for the first time (albeit in a flash-back) and I’m surprised at how untypical she is as a mother.

Some of the other things that we see confirmed is that the reason he didn’t age was because his heart is trapped in Zero-time (though we still didn’t learn how exactly this happened), who exactly the old eyepatch guy was, how Takuto got his mark and the reason Head has been delaying the seal breaking (because he wants a friend who is going to give him another seal to wake up).

Seriously, especially that latter point just confirms how this entire series was just basically Head waiting for a guy to get out of a coma. That’s why none of the characters had this sense of urgency, and it’s also how the creators managed to keep the characters able to enjoy their school life. Most of the fights here were just random quarrels that in the end mostly were just red herrings for the real main story. Looking back, I expect the guts of this show to do that, and it all ties down to the decision of the creators to focus a lot on school life, but in the end this slice of life wasn’t solid and realistic enough for this show to really become a masterpiece.

Despite that though, I’m still enjoying this show a lot, because what is there in character analysis is still really good, as this episode showed. That guy clawing his eye out was perhaps a bit extreme, but that power does explain why Head knew just about everything he needed to do. But then again, how the hell do you defeat a guy who can look into the future?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

27 Responses

  1. Vanilla says:

    ‘how Takuto got his mark’

    Is this a typo or?? We’ve already seen that he got it from his Grandfather.

  2. Vanilla says:

    Oh wait, reading comprehension fail. Anyway, I agree that this series isn’t quite as good as say, Utena but I’ve really enjoyed it too

  3. kuromitsu says:

    This was a pretty good episode and it did explain many things, but I can’t help feeling that it came too late. As you also said, the slice-of-life episodes weren’t strong enough; the character building hasn’t paid off yet (Watanabe got much focus but is she actually important? Why were other characters ignored? Why wasn’t there more focus on the main trio as a trio until now? why didn’t we see more of Eyepatch Guy? etc.); and all the while there was no real tension until now.

    Also, I think this ep was pretty lazy on Head’s character development. Yes, we can put the pieces together but why didn’t they give more info on his involvement in the Cybody project? On his ambition? On his relationship with Sora, or even Coma Guy?

  4. kuromitsu says:

    Btw, I’m not saying the show is not good – on the contrary, it’s a very good show, very enjoyable. But it’s a bit frustrating to see so much potential lost due to pacing issues. (Which makes me wonder, because Enokido’s other shows that I’ve seen didn’t have such problems…)

  5. Clinton says:

    the eye patch guy’s name is Ryousuke we see him all the time he is incharge of the gilltering crux meetings

  6. Sapphire says:

    I’m confused: isn’t the coma guy in the present the same guy who agreed to give his mark to Head in the past? If they are the same guy, why didn’t the transaction work?

    Also, the eyepatch guy volunteered to give his mark to Head because he didn’t want the power to look into the future. If he did give him his mark, why does Head need a new one now?

    Regarding the romance, I’ve always thought that we would have the main trio end up together, but now I’m not so sure. This episode we learned that Head-Sora-Eyepatch didn’t work, neither did Sugata-Wako-Ivrogne, as the latter said to Takuko. Will the creatores be bold enough to pick just one guy for Wako? I’d like that, personally.

  7. Kyubey says:

    Regarding the romance, I’ve always thought that we would have the main trio end up together, but now I’m not so sure. This episode we learned that Head-Sora-Eyepatch didn’t work, neither did Sugata-Wako-Ivrogne, as the latter said to Takuko. Will the creatores be bold enough to pick just one guy for Wako? I’d like that, personally.

    Clearly this is foreshadowing a Takuto X Sugata ending.

  8. qwerty says:

    @Sapphire

    The coma guy apparently fell into his coma during the mark transfer process, since the person transfering needs to be willing I guess it glitched the system and he ended up in a coma and perhaps this is also how Head’s “heart” got trapped in zero time.

    Even though Head has eyepatch-guy’s mark he wants a new one because he’s afraid of the regeneration process and knows he can bypass the whole thing just by getting a new mark.

    On another note I’d question whether Head actually ended up with eyepatch-guy’s first phase. After all we saw in episode 1 that Head’s first phase was summoning a star sword outside of a cybody.

  9. synkronized says:

    I didn’t feel like the guy clawing out his eye was over the top. Jealousy is a nasty feeling . . . being forced to see the person you love with another guy, over and over. I’d probably entertain removing that vision as well to avoid the misery and rage.

    About the Sugata x Wako x Takuto triangle. I sincerely hope the series doesn’t cop out and give the “All 3 lived together” ending that Macross Frontier went for.

  10. qwerty says:

    I’m personally holding out for Keito to switch sides at the last second or to find out that she’s been manipulating things behind the Crux’s back and even behind Head’s back from the beginning to sabotage things in the end.

    I really want a happy KeitoxSugata TakutoxWako ending.

  11. Dominic says:

    Weird how you all talk about the series like its already over. We’re all getting ready for the end and episode was just giving us hints for final stage of this all.

    Oh nevermind I’m just gonna say it, Utena’s producer is a troll, pure and simple. When asked simple questions like “why does character x have that pocket watch?” he’d always give the answer like “it looks upon all space and time!”. And this series doesn’t have someone like that that can keep up with all the fan speculation. The comparison with Utena is doing more damage than good for this series.

  12. kuromitsu says:

    @Dominic: That was Ikuhara Kunihiko, the director of Utena and he doesn’t have anything to do with this show. Enokido Youji was the writer of Utena, and he’s also writing Star Driver – and as far as I’m aware he never trolled anyone. That said, I agree that there’s no point in comparing Star Driver to Utena, but the writer being who he is I expected a bit more, something along the lines of Memory of Oblivion or Ouran Host Club. I’m sure this last arc will be excellent but I can’t help feeling that the 19 episodes before this one could’ve been spent better.

    @Clinton: I know who he is but he wasn’t treated as anyone particularly important until now…

    As for the romance, I actually hope the trio can stay together, but then I liked Macross F’s approach as well. I’m really not seeing any believable romantic developments aside of Sugata and/or Takuto x Wako. Keito->Sugata is just that: Sugata hasn’t shown any interest in Keito so far and IMO it would be a cop-out if he suddenly fell in love with her in these last episodes, especially seeing how much he cares about Wako.

  13. Unentschieden says:

    Heads first phase isn´t the vision, it´s the frozen time. Thats why it´s “Vanishing Age”.

  14. Sapphire says:

    @qwerty

    Thanks for the explanation! But how do we know that the regeneration process is able to make a driver lose his mark? A simple battle can’t do that, it can only make a driver lose the Cybody, not the mark. So I guess it still doesn’t make enough sense that Head needs another mark, because we don’t know how it can be lost yet.

  15. qwerty says:

    @Sapphire

    Never said he lost his mark. He still has the mark he got from eyepatch-guy and just wants to overwrite it.

    The threat is the regeneration process which only works for people with high libidos, anyone who doesn’t have the right libido ends up either dead or in a coma, can’t remember which.

    Head doubts he could survive the process but wants to have an active cybody for when they break the last two seals so instead of risking his life he’s just going to get another mark.

  16. Tuan says:

    I was disappointed in this episode. The first 19 was simple, happy, and nice. Then they pop this episode where everything becomes dark, gloomy, and sad. The depressing love triangle, foreshadowing the current love triangle. On top of it, they finally decided to play dirty. It’s like a completely different anime.

  17. Bakugan says:

    The best episode yet, as it answers questions in the past. I guess the story plot is just too short and they kinda make some episodes a not really so significant until this episode airs.

  18. Blue Bomber says:

    Aa bit of a ***SPOILER*** if I’m right, but:

    Uhh, did anyone notice Head’s original last name? If I’m not looking into this too much, that, coupled with him apparently not aging, and the whole pocket watch deal = he’s [spoiler] and [spoiler]’s [spoiler]. Won’t ruin it by completely blurting it out (should be easy enough to figure out), but it seems like that’s what’s going on to me. That’s one way to bail out the love triangle, I guess…

  19. qwerty says:

    @Blue Bomber

    I think you’re a bit behind the curve. There has been speculation on Takuto’s father for a long time now, this is just the first episode to actually spell it all out.

  20. defrayal says:

    Very disappointed with Sora’s affair. Especially hated the part where she gave up halfway while reaching for Katashiro’s hand. Also felt heart wrenching when Katashiro was surrounded by the nude paintings of Sora. Argh, what a tragedy.

    I’m predicting an ending where Reiji returns to the name of Tsunashi Tokio and leaves the island with Takuto, a happy family reunion between him and Sora. Wako follows Takuto and pursue her dream as a singer. Sugata stays at the island with Keito. Keito gives up her dream for Sugata, probably recuperating after losing to Takuto @ the final epic battle.

    And Tokio… for a mark… you actually turn gay. -.-ll Tokio’s no Galactic Pretty Dad.

  21. Kyubey says:

    Tokio should have just made a contract with the vice president.

  22. Troyen says:

    I’m a little disappointed that they built up an interesting cast of diverse Crux members in the first half of the series and then shoved most of them all aside in favor of two obnoxious newcomers in the second.

  23. Tractatus says:

    If Head has Ryuusuke’s “Resh” mark, and Shingo still retains his own “Shin” mark due to failing to transfer……then why is the Shin mark at the same time engraved on Ryuusuke’s mask? Is that just a artificial mark red herring?

    Also, it seems that it’s confirmed the crux can approvises multiple cybodies. That’s probably how they’ll go about breaking the other two seals.

  24. meow says:

    Some of the other things that we see confirmed is that the reason he didn’t age was because his heart is trapped in Zero-time (though we still didn’t learn how exactly this happened)

    I’m not sure how to intepret Ryousuke’s end episode remark. Is Tokio’s heart literally trapped in zero time or was Ryousuke simply commenting that Tokio was completely seduced by zero time (ie. his ambition), given how he couldn’t remember when Sora left the island, even though he had a baby with her, proving that he just seduced her to get involved in the ruins project, and probably seduced coma guy to get his mark. Sora had already realized this by the time she and Ryousuke had that conversation on the couch but got gut-punched further when Ryousuke gave his watch to her, proving to her that Ryousuke loved her all along and she lost him for falling for the scheming Tokio. Also, explains why she left the island and abandoned her baby to Tokio’s father. I don’t quite understand why Ryousuke would continue to support Tokio though, after what he’s been doing, especially to Sora. The true nature of Tokio’s ambition still isn’t clear. He seems to want to use the power of the ruins to play God and remake the world like one of his paintings but I’m not sure if that will lead to a good or bad result. Is Ryousuke simply very hopeful that Tokio will make the world a better place, even after what he did to Sora and him?

    MAJOR SPOILER SPECULATION FOLLOWS (I was kinda reluctant to mention this stuff because I didn’t want to jinx the story. I think the producers of this show are really trying to keep everyone guessing and may actually try to tweak the story a little in response to viewer feedback so that the story doesn’t seem too predictable.)

    As for Keito, my read is she simply wants to get off the island and pursue her dreams as an idol, instead of being stuck protecting the ruins and pining for a guy (Sugata) who doesn’t love her. There’s a creepy manipulative dark side to her but I think she just got that way out of despair and desperation, considering the kind of scum she works with. (I really hate that peeping tom Window Star’s antics this episode…actually all the original Vanishing Age group creep me out. T.T) Think of how Mizuno was when she first realized she was stuck on the island and fast forward several years and you’ll (maybe) get Keito (especially since Mizuno knows the one she loves loves someone else too).

    Tokio is a serious jerk but I think his son took after his mother, thankfully. I also have every reason to believe that Takuto, Wako AND Sugata will have a much cleaner and happier ending. I’m rooting for Takuto+Wako and Sugata+Keito to pair up.

    …I sure hope I don’t regret posting this in public. ^^; I’m really interested in the Star Driver game but I won’t get it til I figure out how the anime’s story goes, just in case it gut-punches me at the last minute.

  25. Ncrdrg says:

    It’s a good background episode but like someone else said, I can’t shake the feeling that it was too late, too forced. And that it is right now that you feel the impact of those shitty episodes that wasted our time with meaningless fights and filler-like drama near the middle of the series.

    It drops the quality of the show both then and later because they have to force-feed the story due to their inability to properly introduce it little by little.

  26. madharuhi says:

    I had predicted since long ago that either Head or Katashiro is Takuto’s father and somehow the truth is both correct and completely wrong at the same time.

    Actually, has the show ever said it straight that Tokio is Takuto’s father (by blood)? All they mentioned was that they share the same family name because Sora sent Takuto to Tokio’s father after he was born.

    Well I mean… I know everything is pointing to that fact (with the passing of marks down bloodlines, etc), but I’m still hoping for Katashiro being Takuto’s father even though I already know that’s most likely impossible anymore.

    Katashiro’s appearance when he was younger does remind me of Takuto more than when I compared Tokio and Takuto. Though, the Tsunashi family has one thing in common: The ridiculous hairstyles.

    I’m still expecting Sugata to go rouge and take up the position of the leader of the Emperor section, and face Takuto as the “final boss” or something like that. Perhaps the monstrous Cybody-like thing in the OP is Samekh’s appearance?

    And what does Leon Watanabe have to do with all these? I don’t think he’s merely a supporter and sponsor of the whole Orihalcon research.

  27. madharuhi says:

    I’m not sure how to intepret Ryousuke’s end episode remark. Is Tokio’s heart literally trapped in zero time or was Ryousuke simply commenting that Tokio was completely seduced by zero time (ie. his ambition)

    Same. I’m thinking it’s the latter but then again, I can’t say for sure. If it’s the latter then either Head had Professor Green make his age go back to when he was younger, or that it’s his own First Phase ability.

    They still have lots of explaining to do though.

    – Why is the Ginga Bishounen position so special, even though it’s just a Warrior’s mark like most other Star Drivers’?

    – Also, Sugata X Wako X Keito. What kind of ritual is Keito regularly performing? It seems kinda erotic but does that mean Tiger and Jaguar put Sugata to sleep or something? He doesn’t seem to realize it and it can’t be that someone does all kind of things to him while he’s merely asleep and he doesn’t know a single thing.

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  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:01 AM)
    for me though, I only pay for projects that I’m certain to watch (and have to pay for it eventually), so I don’t see the point not to “helping” them out. It’s all the same for me.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:58 AM)
    @Bam I think the core concept is 1) with Kickstarter, many projects that otherwise never could have made is get supported here and 2) creators have more artistic control over their project. Take Amonalisa for example, big studios was very hesitate to fund the film, because of the commercial failure of his first film, but he insisted to get crowdfund and we have one of the more creative animation output last year.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:53 AM)
    A lot of the tech stuff is things you will never use twice; like a smartphone microscope attachment. they’re usually pretty shifty with it too. Yeah I’m sure it takes the price of a house to make a video series about sexism in videogames- right? And it takes almost a million dollars to make a 4 level indie game with three guys- seems legit. Must be pretty nice to basically do business with zero chance of failure.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:47 AM)
    I just don’t get the core concept of why I should pay for someone else’s business endeavors? They’re going to reap the benefits, they usually have money, let them pay for it. I get it if it’s research, or some strange art project for the sake of the art, but movies, games and anime that are going to get a commercial release? I swear people are so easily bamboozled.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:21 AM)
    @Kaiser:I have been supporting Kickstarter for a while, but not for games or movies, but for animation projects. I think it’s worth it. But like Bam, Aiden and K-Off said, sometimes it gets a bit muddy. For movies for example there are a lot of projects that was just ideas… and ideas alone are not enough.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:08 AM)
    Ah but that would frustrate me in muv-luv, I’d be the one suffering as a result of having to wait for the characters suffering to start.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:06 AM)
    I’ve heard kickstarter being used for crowdfunding indie films, honestly as a film buff I really should get on that and start supporting.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:41 AM)
    I generally don’t pre-order unless its a gift for someone else, so I can guarantee for 100% sure I can get it for them and it won’t sell out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:06 AM)
    Now Kickstarter is different, since it is basically a much riskier preorder, albeit not paid all at once. It’s worth it if you wanna support the devs and have full faith in them; though I can’t think of one that I personally believe in all that much. I think it makes more sense for localization of VNs and stuff that you browsed before, and know you’re going to like.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:02 AM)
    I preorder stuff I know I’m going to get. Like I knew I was getting DSIII, so might as well pay it off when I had the dough on hand. Plus you usually get some little extra stuff, like keychains, soundtrack and posters when you preorder. Most retailers would refund you if you decide not to pick it up.

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