I’ve officially given up trying to understand Star Driver! Clearly, the writers and I are on two different wavelengths. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it (there’s other limiting factors that could do that). I’m still hanging on to Star Driver because, against the odds, I manage to enjoy it week by week. Some of the characterisation is too weird to appreciate, but I do like some of them. On top of the impromptu departure of our favourite cage-girl, this week revolves around the mounting tension between Sugata and Takuto. I find the Takuto-Sugata-Wako relationship dynamic to be one of the best elements of the show, so I was right there this episode! Sugata and Takuto’s testosterone-fueled clash is eventually projected into full-scale mecha combat, when the pink-haired loli misguidedly attempts to put Sugata in a mecha and wield him like a puppet. Sugata, being the magnificent bastard that he is, takes control of the situation himself and he and Takuto go at it until they’ve got it out of their system!
The tension between them was sharpened by some excellent production qualities this episode. Star Driver has always been attractive and polished, with excellent animation, but the storyboard and directing influences of Tarou Iwasaki really enhances the gravitas here. After having a look at his past work, I noticed that he did one of my favourite Eureka 7 episodes, episode 27, as well as other good episodes for TV-anime. The scene where Sugata and Takuto stand-off on the ridge really exemplifies this. The angles were really great. It was a good episode overall, but it’s definitely not making any more sense. Also, I hope we get a replacement cage girl! If he caught Sheryl Nome, we’d get some pretty good songs (The Galactic Fairy > Galactic Bishounen!!).
Note: I noticed ANN got the Kanji wrong for Tarou Iwasaki’s name. The correct spelling is: 岩崎太郎