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



For the majority of this episode, I kept thinking whether this really was the right content when the series is going to end in two weeks. I mean, it was a good episode and that punch that Takuto gave to his father definitely was awesome, but right now a lot of pressure has been put on the finale: it’s all going to have to happen within two episodes. It’ll either be short but really, really sweet, or a rushed mess that leaves a bad taste.

I can see what this episode was trying to do: build up. They used the remaining Vanishing Age as quite an effective build-up for the finale, along with building Sugata up to e the king of the Crux brigade (continuing to build-up from where the first half left off, though that didn’t make his entrance any less weird). It was very focused, but perhaps a bit too focused at this stage. I’m not going to judge whether it was a wise move or not until I’ve seen that ending, though. Short finales can be just as awesome as long climaxes, if not even more, though they tend to be a very double-edged sword.

I do have another criticism, though: I’m not really interested in the fight scenes anymore. I tried to defend this early on, but in the end the big problem with the battles in this series is that they just all look like each other. They don’t stand apart, and the way that they always take place in the same setting with the same recycled frames, the creators really needed to make every battle stand out with some creative ideas, and in the end they didn’t. Utena faced the same problems, but there the creators managed to overcome this wonderfully.
Rating: * (Good)

13 Responses

  1. Kaza says:

    Sugata’s king suit is the most horrible thing Ive seen this season, it’s really weird, with all the “glittering” stuff…and the Peacock’s feathers in the back OMFG…

    I’m not the biggest fan of rushed endings because they have a greater chance of sucking…I hope this one works.

  2. Joe says:

    Yeah, the battles are pretty bland. I’m still looking forward to finding out what led Sugata to betray Wako.

  3. kuromitsu says:

    It felt like I missed an episode – everything was so sudden! I guess here’s where we see the effects of the lack of buildup. The whole thing with Keito and Sugata came out of left field – we knew Keito had a thing for Sugata, but Sugata having feelings for Keito? What? When did that happen? Also, Takuto and Head – I expected more than this. So disappointing. And the Benio-George-whatshisname trio… clearly we should care about them but any good reason why?

    But I don’t mind that the battles are bland – they’re not exactly the point, they’re just there to move the plot forward. No wonder they don’t last too long.

  4. kuromitsu says:

    But Sugata’s Emperor outfit is awesome.

  5. Ashura says:

    You mean its FABULOUS? ;-)

  6. qwerty says:

    This really is the kind of show where you’re going “oh, is it time for the giant robots to fight again? get it over quickly so we can get back to the character development”.

  7. Lillian says:

    I have to agree with you. The fight scenes in star driver are so bland. It feels like they are dragging out the episode and I don’t really care who wins or not. But with Utena, I always felt like rooting for someone.

  8. chounokoe says:

    Somehow I’m not to hopeful concerning the last 2 episodes. I can somehow see this ending up in quite a mess with all that stuff they written themselves into.

    And again this is all somehow Utena, but it lacks the multi-layered structure, maybe because they never built up their side-characters.
    The scene with Benio and the guys in front of the dorm reminded me of the scene where Utena, Juri, Miki and Nanami play badminton in the schoolyard and discuss love and growing up. But though it reminded me of it, it was still lacking because I didn’t know of or care for those characters in Star Driver.

    The fights lack something as well, you’re right there when you say it’s imaginativeness. They’re just some giant robots clashing into each other until Takuto god-modes and destroys the opponent.
    Somehow Utena did this better because she was never painted as invincible from the early parts on.

    I know it’s cruel to compare this to Utena on so many instances, but the similarities are there and they make it look pretty bad for Star Driver…which is a shame, because the series had potential.
    Somehow I still feel it would have gone way better if they had gone for a smaller cast of characters, especially opponents and especially if they had made the character development of the main characters less fluctuant and punctual but more of a steady stream along the way.
    I still got the feeling that Sugata only developed in about 3 or 4 of those 23 episodes so far…which would be okay, if he hadn’t been promoted to final antagonist this week…

  9. Sapphire says:

    I wasn’t disappointed at this episode. Takuto’s punch on Head’s face was great and Sugata becoming the Glittering Crux leader was unexpected (at least for me) and cool (points for the king outfit, which is indeed fabulous).

    Regarding Sugata’s reaction to Keito, I didn’t think it was out of the blue. He didn’t know she was coming to his bedroom every now and then to perform some ritual, it’s only natural for him to be curious and feel somewhat connected to her. We also didn’t hear all of what they said to each other the night he found out.

    I agree with everyone, the battles aren’t interesting, specially when compared to Utena’s. I know Takuto’s always going to win in the end, but I keep hoping to see someone beat the crap out of him, at least to make the victory look a bit harder. However we must not forget that the awesomeness of Utena’s battles was also due to the fact that they weren’t fought inside some giant robot suits, which made the fights much more personal, dangerous and exciting.

    I still have hope for a good ending.

  10. Bunny says:

    Yeah, ever since the West Maiden/Mizuno arc ended, I felt like SD has gotten pretty stale lately. It kinda lost it’s spark (well episode 20 and 22 were pretty awesome) It’s still a fun show to watch but that’s….about it. Most of the cast have already become useless (yeah, I’m looking at you Filament) and it’s a shame that had to happen. I wished some of the characters were fleshed out a bit more, like Takeshi and the IdiotTrio. Some of them felt like they were just “there” for the sake of it with really no importance at all.

    I still think the fights are very fun to watch, but yeah. It would have been better if they changed up Takuto’s attacks more instead of reusing the same ones with slight variations (though I gotta admit, that Eccentric Tau Missle was pretty amusing to watch) but I guess it’s too late to say that now since the show is almost over.

    Oh well, it’s been a fabulous ride so far, so I’m only expecting a FABULOUS~ grand finale.

  11. Solaris says:

    Do really Sugata finally accepting the lead of the Glittering Crux came that unexpected?
    It’s from episode 3 or 4 that it’s pretty much known thing. Did you believe that free place in the Glittering Council was there just for show?
    And… as long as the love triangle means for Wako to choose between challenging fate with real love and accepting fate with the long decided engagement.
    Don’t you think that is the real climax of the show?
    Fights are useful as long as they are challenges to those who (would) want to break fate, that are Takuto and… ^^
    Notice how lately Takuto won only with Sugata’s or Wako’s help. They are hinting at Takuto not being able to embrace his own fate yet. He needs the last challenge to conquer victory and Sugata has much of a role into this. Wako is the symbol of breaking the fate, but she’s not only the prize. Eventually ‘victory’ should decide herself who to favor.
    In this light, do you see how Sugata finally became the ultimate boss?

  12. whoperson says:

    When it’s airing in the same season as Madoka, the fight scenes just don’t stand a chance. Madoka is worth watching just to see how they will animate the fight scene in that episode, never mind all the plot twists.

  13. ann says:

    WHY SUGATA JOING GLITTERING CRUX

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  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:19 AM)
    @Vincent: Vagabond is also in my top three “can’t wait to update” list. It has lost some steam since the 2nd act tho, but that might be partially due to the slow release schedule (a la Berserk).
    I’ve been reading both since they premiered, but that’s beside the point. whether now or back then, there was never too much spotlight placed on Vagabond, outside of niche seinen circles that is.
  • k-off
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:16 AM)
    @Aidan Could you assign tags to the series you’re reviewing? It’s for the convenience of the readers and for my own meticulousness.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:10 AM)
    @Bam For my money though, Vinland Saga is the best running historical/seinen/action manga. Vagabond is the more impressive artistic feat, but I think Vinland Saga is just written better. Both mangas are absolutely essential reading for historical/seinen fans.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:07 AM)
    @Bam Not to be a hipster but I’ve been reading Vagabond since 2007 and from my perspective it seems like the manga has gotten less popular over time, not the other way around. Back then every seinen fan worth his salts had read Vagabond as well as all the classic Goseki Kojima Samurai manga. Both mangas have fallen out of popularity.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 06:58 AM)
    I just want to say that Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue is one of the most badass manga of all time. It’s crazy how many avid manga fans never even heard about this well-told and incredibly-drawn manga. I mean seriously … this is criminally under-appreciated.
  • Vincent
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 06:52 AM)
    Damn, none of my manga are updating. ;( Time to read a book I suppose. Or look at planes. I’ll look at planes.
  • Asuka111
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 05:23 AM)
    @Eeelo Erhm, what? We shouldn’t be sad that a fellow Canadian died on our own soil? Those conditions you listed, that’s exactly why we’re sad. This isn’t a combat zone.
  • Eeelo
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 05:21 AM)
    Well, that isn’t my fault for wanting people to think. Getting mad at the politicians don’t do anything
  • k-off
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 05:16 AM)
    @Eeelo If you’re talking about the masses, it’s your fault for expecting anything. You’re getting mad at the wrong people, m8.
  • Eeelo
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 05:12 AM)
    The lack of that ‘equal scrutiny’ you talk about is what I’m speaking out against.

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