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Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto

BASED ON 25 OF 25 EPS WATCHED
1 DEC
2012

THE STAFF
- Planned and animated by studio Bones, which automatically means very good production values, a complicating intriguing story, and a script written on the run without the slightest attempt to make sense or have consistency.
- Directed by Igarashi Takuya, who prior to this, did the quite famous Ouran Host Club, and Soul Eater. Too bad this is nowhere close to their greatness.

PROPER MINDSET
GALACTIC PRETTY BOYYYYY! Transform in the name of gayness!
Star Driver is a FABULOUS anecdote that will make you laugh hard the first few times you hear it before it becomes repetitive and dull. And you need to endure it 25 times.

One will wonder why the hell is this a full season anime, when the trend became a half season; especially for an anime whose story could easily be summed up in 3 episodes. It otherwise plays out as a repetitive monster of the week format. So ok, it wasn’t a problem back in the 70’s to have that sort of treatment. In fact, one would say Star Driver is short because it ONLY lasts 25 episodes while Mazinger Z is over a hundred. But we are no longer in the 70’s and thus this gimmick doesn’t work anymore.

PRODUCTION VALUES
Very high, with FABULOUS looking mecha and nice songs, weird backgrounds and some bizarre stuff going on in the story. In theory, this could be quite a controversial and in-depth series. Many compare it to Revolutionary Girl Utena for its repetitive format, liberal take on relationships and WTF sceneries but in practice it is nowhere NEAR as good as Utena. It doesn’t really offer symbolisms, allusions, indirect messages towards the freedom to be a homosexual, or incestuous, or whatever deviant thing comes to your mind; it’s just fooling around aimlessly. It is also closer to fujoshi fans rather than mecha fans, as the robot action is so far-fetched and repetitive, it loses interest fast. I mean, Tengen Toppa Gurenn Lagann was also far-fetched, but at least it had an on-going plot and stuff would build up along the way. Here, it is nothing.

SCRIPT
There is this weird mystery around maidens, cybodies, whacky S&M Kiraboshi transvestites, and a sinister plan to take over the world. But a boy appears and constantly kicks all that to the sensitive area. The premise sounds FABULOUS but quickly becomes unimportant, since there is no real plot. It is episodic and the only thing that keeps you watching is to see which guy will kiss which… guy. There are lots of homos in this one you see. But not even that is shown, so who cares. You end up laughing for the 25th time with the same retarded transformation sequence that usually lasts more than the actual battle that follows it.

Oh, and don’t try to reason with what is going on in the plot; it’s just random ideas around sexually deprived people who somehow found robots from another dimension, and decided to become transvestites and take over the world. Why? … Well, BECAUSE. How? … SOMEHOW. I didn’t even understand why they were all wearing masks when everybody knows who everybody else is.

CAST
Who even remembers after awhile that the protagonist is originally there to look for his father? Or that he knows right away where the bad guys’ headquarters are and can just go there and beat them all up any time he likes? Not even him apparently; he does absolutely nothing in the entire show. He just fools around while saving pretty girls, who of course are in love with him. But he doesn’t return the feeling, since he is too FABULOUS for that. He is even training at some parts to get stronger even when he owns all the villains in 5 seconds with his present powers. Other than that, he has zero depth or appeal. Oh well, at least he is not a wimp, useless, fat otaku, like most modern anime love to have as a hero.

The adversaries get more immersion than the main hero, and even they are nothing but episodic villains. All they do is reveal their inner desires to us, before attacking the hero with their robot and losing badly in just 5 seconds. And this repeats in each episode like they are Team Rocket. And of course they never think of ganging up on the hero instead of attacking one at a time. Or why they don’t try to beat him indirectly with some sleeping pill in his soda, even when he is away from his robot. And it’s not like they don’t know who he is or where he is all the time. It’s as if they don’t even care to win.

LEGACY
There are no redeeming qualities in this show; it is brain-dead style over substance that outlasted its welcome by about 22 episodes. There are no memorable characters or battles outside of the protagonist’s name and ridiculous transformations. The episodic nature ruins any replay value too and it was fun only the first few times you see the same thing happening.

Kenshiro in Hokuto no Ken is one of the most GAR leads ever but he is far more interesting because there is plot there and because he doesn’t need huge robots or even weapons to turn his opponents into mince-meat. But GALACTIC PRETTY BOY (lol what a ridiculous name) always needs his robot to play it almighty.

And now for some excused scorings.

ART SECTION: 7/10
General Artwork 2/2 (FABULOUS)
Character Figures 0/2 (generic bitches and gay shit)
Backgrounds 2/2 (FABULOUS)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 2/2 (FABULOUS)

SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)

STORY SECTION: 3/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 0/2 (episodic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (solid but totally random)

CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Presence 0/2 (generic bitches and gay shit)
Personality 2/2 (FABULOUS)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 0/2 (none; too FABULOUS for that)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)

VALUE SECTION: 2/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch it past those FABULOUS transformations)
Memorability 2/4 (kind of memorable thanks to its FABULOUS looks)

ENJOYMENT SECTION: 4/10
Art 1/1 (looks FABULOUS)
Sound 1/2 (sounds ok)
Story 0/3 (random shit)
Characters 2/4 (FABULOUS cardboards)

VERDICT: 4.5/10

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