Posted on 3 April 2011 with categories: Star Driver



Ah, thank god this didn’t end with a downer ending. In fact, I really liked this ending and how over the top it was, and how it at the same time brought this entire show together. It’s not perfect, it had some flaws, but I still really liked this ending, and how this episode really showed how this series has been planning up to this episode

A lot of things became clear with this episode. First of all, if you leave his intentions aside, then Head is an excellent villain. He knew exactly what he wanted, and the entire series is pretty much just him, waiting for the right opportunity, along with the guy whose cybody allowed one to take over other cybodies having to wake up. All of his actions were carefully calculated to getting at this point, using everyone around him, only to drop them when the time is right.

Also, at the start of this series I remember that I really liked the way in which Cybodies only could fight once. Of course this went away as soon as the cybody recovery system was introduced, but the concept remained the same: every character only could get one chance to fight Takuto, unless they took the big risk of regenerating their cybody. That’s the entire reason why so many new characters were introduced over the series: fightig Takuto for a second time was very hard to do in this series.

In fact, hardly any cybody was ever regenerated. At least, up till this episode, where the libido was so high that it became much safer to regenerate. Interesting, if the creators actually failed to make this episode exciting, that entire plot twist would have failed. That’s definitely an interesting link between a self-fulfilling storyline here. And really: the action in this episode was excellent. You can really see that Bones were saving up for this episode.

At the same time, with this episode also Sugata’s actions make perfect sense. I really wondered what the heck was up with him in this episode, especially with how he seemed to have been built up as the major villain. Instead, he was the tragic character of this show: the character who needed to be saved. He too only acted when he needed to act, and therefore had no purpose in most of the storyline. His Cybody had a very specific part here, and because of his absence in any action he became a very weird character. Instead, he too was just waiting for the moment where he could activate Samekh again, in order to deactivate it, so that he could deactivate it again.

This waiting game was essential to this series. Remember how the creators intended this to be a show that combined mecha battles with school life? Having the main parties waiting, while having the people around them just goof off and stall for time is what allowed the school life to return throughout the entire series. It’s this that fleshed out the characters in this series so well, despite being a double harem in a setting that has already been horribly abused by anime.

Now, for the parts that definitely could have been done better: Head’s motives could have been less stereotypically evil. Oh, and the main star of this show, Takuto: he never really developed, did he? He’s actually one of the characters with the least amount of depth. He’s enjoyable, but all he ever does is kick ass. He too could have been more varied. That would have also made the battles in the second half a lot more interesting. In fact, most of the plotholes that this episode left open surround him: who is he? Why is he the only one who can transform? Why is he the only one to enter Level 3 at the start. I can understand how he breaks into Zero Time, because of how he came from outside of the island (another major theme of this show), but everything about his appearance seems just too convenient.

My big constructive criticism for this series is that it should have tried harder during the school life bits. It should have shown more characters, it should have shown even more sides to them. It should have put in some real effort to constantly flesh out all of the 22 drivers would get their purpose in the series. Right now it just feels like too many of them were just thrown in to get to that magic number of 22 (the number of characters in the alphabet that all of the Cybodies are based on).
Rating: ** (Excellent)

22 Responses

  1. Veronica says:

    Hyu hyu~ We never did even see what the 12th Star Sword was.

  2. Ransom says:

    And Yay! I mean… Meh… Wako went for the Harem Ending… Although considering that Takuto kind of defeated Sugata at the end, I think he has the uper hand… But still… I hated and liked this episode at the same time.

  3. Kyubey says:

    So Star Driver ends with a Wako harem ending. Fabulous.

  4. Alec says:

    ending was good. cant say I like how it became a little bit predictable.

  5. Sapphire says:

    One word: disappointing.

    Head’s hidden agenda was to time travel and forever re-live the past? What past? Takuto’s mother, the North maiden? I don’t think so, because he had already planned the whole thing when he met them. We’re not talking about some side character here, he’s behind the whole damn plot and his reasons don’t make any sense.

    And Wako not choosing between Sugata and Takuto was predictable, but nevertheless a coward way to end it. Besides, the love triangle between Head, Takuto’s mother and eye-patch guy showed that it doesn’t work out. Also remember the times Takuto told Wako that someday it wouldn’t make sense to hang out with her and Sugata anymore.

    If we compare Star Driver’s potential with what Star Driver turned out to be, there is a huge difference. This ending had way less meaning than what it built up for. In the end, it just didn’t live up to its promises.

  6. ZeroTech says:

    The ending both surprised and disappointed me. I still love the series but I really wanted Wako to chose someone. Also we end with Sugata and Takuto floating in space…what happens now? lol I mean they don’t really tell what happens after that. Plus its been Wako’s dream to be a star does she finally leave the island. There was great closure and at the same time not enough. I still love this series, I just want more answers.

  7. Houlgrave says:

    I think Head wanted to go back to the time where he felt unconstrained by the realities of his ageless existence. He always refers to other people as “young” after all…perhaps there’s more to his past than meets the eye.

    Unfortunately, being that Star Driver bit off a bit more than it could chew, I guess we’ll never know what particular part of his past he’s talking about.

  8. jho says:

    so disappointed by this show, i really felt it could have become something really classic and amazing, and all it did was just end up fairly average.

  9. The, why-Takuto-transforms thing was actually explained in an interview I think. Can’t find the link but it has to do with Takuto being the “true” Glactice Pretty Boy, I can find the interview if you’re interested. A lot of that stuff was translated over at ninteenpointzerofour.blogspot.com and that helped with the background of the series some.

  10. Denizen says:

    Wow, cheer up guys.

    I absolutely loved everything about this Finale. The art, the animation, the acting, the music, the developments…everything. It did pretty much everything I could have hoped for, and so I am very satisfied. I do have to say, though, that an Episode 26 would be nice eventually, or some sort of epilogue to wrap things up better.

  11. Ncrdrg says:

    Also disappointed by Star Driver. Could have been so much more as a show but they have no guts and their great decisions were always ruined by some cheesy and completely needless episode.

    The ending? I almost fell asleep. Star Driver has amazing art direction and a gorgeous soundtrack but once you look past the flashy aspect of the show, it’s just a boring mess that could never take any significant decision. Always took the easy way out.

    Somehow, it managed to end up both flashy and bland at the same time. Huge disappointment considering the production value behind it.

  12. e36 says:

    Head’s hidden agenda was to time travel and forever re-live the past? What past? Takuto’s mother, the North maiden? I don’t think so, because he had already planned the whole thing when he met them

    No his original plan was to get a mark as a sort of middlefinger to his dad/Takuto’s grandpa. In the process he lost Sora and destroyed the friendships that he had made, which in turn just fed his libido/ambition for more power-this time for Samekh’s power to allow him to relive the past at the cost of the future. Of course if he follows Columnar and Sam, what he gets won’t be what he expects.

    He is pretty much a walking example of the false promises that power can make. In the end he is an old geezer pretending to be a young man desperately trying to relive his glory days. Thats just sad.

  13. Ransom says:

    @e36

    I liked your explanation. I’d like to add that I think that he originally wanted only power but probably between the time of Takuto arrival and the end of the show he changed his objectives after discovering the nature of Samekh.

  14. kuromitsu says:

    I was kind of “wtf” about the ending, though that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. It was dramatic and fabulous and all, a fitting end to the series, but in the end it sort of raised more questions than it answered.

    Overall, I really enjoyed Star Driver, even though it fell short of my expectations. I’ll rewatch it in the near future to see if it falls together more than on a weekly watching, but even if it doesn’t it was a fun ride.

    Overall my only criticism is this: throughout its run it kept focusing on the “wrong” characters. I mean yes, the Adult Bank characters are interesting but were they that important in the great scheme of things? No. Yes, Mizuno/Marino were cute and interesting but what was the point of their their arc plot-wise? And there wasn’t anything about Vanishing Age that couldn’t have been done with the original Kiraboshi gang, there was no need to bring in completely new characters.

    Meanwhile, the main trio were just sort of hanging around in the first half, Keito’s arc came way too late, we got one measly flashback episode for the main villain that didn’t explain too much, and by the way what was the point of Head being Takuto’s father if it all boiled down to two punches? Also, Enthropeople. What.

    But I love that in the end Sugata was saved(? how did they get down from there, anyway? did they get down? they did, right?), that Keito didn’t become a sudden and contrived love interest, and that Wako chose both guys and the guys also chose each other along with Wako (or so it seemed?). I love that this show had the guts to do what Macross F wasn’t able to, and end with the trio together. We really need more resolutions like this.

    By the way, I wonder if there were some problems in the production? Especially in episode 24 I noticed some glaring flaws in animation, and this episode seriously lacked an epilogue. It may have been because of the tragedy, though, but anyway I somehow expect some more materials for Star Driver in the future… at least an OVA or something.

  15. TartarusRex0707 says:

    So I take it the Star Driver universe time-stream is only linear, eh? I would think if Head could go back, he could repair all the damage his scheme did to his life and everyone else’s that was involved in in the process. If he could go back forever, killing the planet for that one moment in time would be entirely pointless.

  16. Puran says:

    I don’t think Head wasn’t well developed.
    And he wasn’t stereotypical. He was and adult stuck in the past emotionally (and also, somewhat more literally in the series), clinging to happy times of his youth and as he grew up, he never felt he had enough. It’s the mentality that leads adults to loath the young.

    It’s not really original, but it’s something that really happens to people as they grow up. I have seen it happen to other people and there are hints of it in me as I’m growing up.

  17. Rhysfel says:

    It sure was a great ending.Very rushed of course
    Im more of the end+epilogue kind of guy. I hope a they could create a great epilogue, it would save totally the story and it’d be very smart for them to focus the epilogue on wako’s now possible departure from the island, it’d be amazing =D

  18. Watcherzero says:

    With those pictures of Samekh and dinosaurs I was expecting it to be resealed into the past in a kind of circle, anyway for the most part the fairy tale played out as expected, Sugata becoming a part of the ship but losing himself.

    Could have really done with an epilogue and an explanation what the aliens were trying to do dumping weapons of massive power on a primitive world. Though I got the feeling that some of the islanders may be descendants of the original crew.

    To be honest this series would have been much better without the one dimensional Takuto charachter.

  19. m says:

    I had expected the show to end with a bookend: the trio on the beach, with Wako haven chosen Takuto, but with them realizing they could all still be friends. So I saw the end where Wako refuses to choose and the guys are floating in space as trolling, which I’m OK with, because that’s just Star Driver being Star Driver. Like the show waiting until the last episode to really do the super robot component justice. The show was hilariously evil.

    I won’t lie, I’d like another episode for some resolution, but for a BONES production, this was a tolerable end.

    It also looked great. I was really surprised by the amount of action that was packed into the episode.

  20. Qwerty says:

    Crap ending to an incredibly average show… I should have listened to my instincts when I originally dropped this after 3 episodes… too many loose ends… weak characters… boring/repetitive mecha fights… the list goes on and on and on.

    Takuto reminds me of Helo from Battlestar Galactica — admirable, but boring… Star Driver really needed its own Gaius Baltar. But even then, you can’t polish a turd… and Star Driver is definately a turd.

  21. meow says:

    Hm…am I the only one who feels like they’re planning a 2nd season or movie or some kind of continuation? We’re talking about Bones after all. (Eureka 7 and FMA)

    The only major plot device neutralized so far is Samekh but it’s a question mark to me whether that’s the last we see of it. The breaking of Samekh’s cybody didn’t make Sugata’s symbol disappear – he could still maintain his own personal shield sphere. And yea, there are still alot of unanswered questions about all the loose ends, including the Drama club prez, the mikos who left for the main island, including Takuto’s mom, etc. I’m curious about Simone’s suggestion that Cybodies are an “achievable” goal and whether there will be any progress from there. The awakened cybodies were heavily damaged but didn’t explode. And, yes, who does Wako choose in the end? At the very least, I’m expecting a 26th episode in the upcoming DVDs, bluerays, etc.

    Also curious, did anyone get around to getting the PSP game? Any hints in there?

    And, yea, I did enjoy this series.

  22. Sephallia says:

    Hate love. I mean, the ending was really over the top. The only way I can describe this is…

    Takuto went into SEED mode, has the newtype abilities of Amuro Ray, and activated Trans Am on Tauburn which has the twin drive system, then used a full-burst type attack, akin to the Freedom’s MTTS burst… Regardless…

    Over the top, but I mean, I guess I liked it. I just wish Wako made it clear who she chose…

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  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 10:29 AM)
    And so Wyatt, K-off the results are in, Scotland rejects independence.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 07:59 AM)
    And holy hell,it would appear I have a thing for Tsukiyama and Touka =)
    The direction was very good when things hit the fan in the last few episodes too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 07:53 AM)
    Additionally, the rushed pacing in the end it never came to bother me, I think from reading the whole manga that it needed a good pruning/trimming and what was left was the worthwhile material. I never really cared much for the characterization in the manga, it wasn’t all that miss-able.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 07:51 AM)
    Marathoned the tokyo ghoul anime there on a whim. I enjoyed seeing the fights animated even though visually there was room for improvement in places, the censoring while poor in places was nowhere near as bad as I had expected and didn’t ruin things for me as I thought it might.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:36 AM)
    At this point they have become a caricature of their own subcultures lol
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:25 AM)
    I mean we like the edgy, dark, gory sex stuff with a grotesque twist but the J-pop inspired art with star-shaped eyeliners, Ganguro, the green hair and accessorizing with 16 belts and dog collars … probably not as much.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:23 AM)
    @K-off: yeah that and a misunderstanding of the nature of the world’s infatuation with Japanese culture.
  • k-off
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:15 AM)
    @Bam They started falling apart when they began streamlining the game for casual players. Same story with so many good developers.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:07 AM)
    I mean I get it, SquareEnix has lost quite a lot of face. I like action RPGs tho so I think given the graphics and the gameplay framework this could’ve been something special, but it seems that bad character designs, writing, and the J-popification of the series is continuing on with this one.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:07 AM)
    @Bam: Lost interest in the FF franchise arounf FF10, had a love/hate relationship with 11.

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