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:


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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:59 AM)
    I say this because people often like to hype up the genre or those elements. I bring this up/think about it now because I played a game called undertale lately on my brothers recommendation and he was all like it emotionally destroyed him but I never ended up crying, I mean don’t get me wrong its a good game, there were laughs to be had and there was sentiment but it wasn’t THAT sad/funny.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:44 AM)
    Given how many people cry at some drama, clannad included.
    That reminds me…
    I can’t actually remember the last time in my life where I cried, I draw a blank.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:23 AM)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: yeah, even tho it was his highest grossing movie it managed to brought his career to a stand-still. His next film Gods of Egypt looks like it could be fun, albeit it’s just as much as a CGIfest as I, Robot. Egyptian stuff is admittedly rather intriguing, I remember a 2004 French film Immortel ad vitam that blended that with modern themes that became popular for a while.

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