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Author Topic: Star Driver: It's a PINCH~  (Read 4301 times)
Professor Vogler
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« on: October 14, 2010, 06:03:44 AM »

New giant robot show on the block this Fall. Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto is a new Anime from BONES and smashed into the fall line up like Gurren Lagann smashed the record for "Most Awesome in a Single Series" back in 2007. The show is two episodes in and already is advertising DVD sales come January. The Internet is alive discussing whether this show is absolutely magnificent or absolutely terrible.

Basic synopsis courtesy of TvTropes (Wiki doesn't do the show justice):

Quote
On Southern Cross Island, Wako Agemaki and her friend Sugata Shindo find a boy passed out on the beach. This boy is Takuto Tsunashi, a transfer student at Southern Cross High, who was so excited to begin his new life that when he missed his ferry, he swam across the sea himself.

So begins Star Driver, a show about high school and the joy of youth.

Beneath the school, a sinister organization called the Glittering Crux Brigade is trying to awaken the giant robot Cybodies. To this end, they are kidnapping the four Maidens of the island to undo the four seals on Zero Time, a hidden dimension that captures active Cybodies so they can't exist in the real world. They've broken one, and Wako is next up. Takuto is too late to save her, and the Glittering Crux escapes into Zero Time... but then Takuto follows them, calling his own Cybody Tauburn and transforming into the Galactic Pretty Boy.

So begins Star Driver, a show about mecha and lots and lots of camp.
...yes... his title is "Galactic Pretty Boy". No, that's not a joke, the villains actually fear him pretty seriously.


Having seen both episodes with no prior introduction, this series IMO reached Gurren Lagann levels of awesome in the second half of Episode 1. The show isn't "tongue in cheek" camp, as it is perhaps a camp way of depicting Super Robots in a High School Anime setting. There's been a interview with the director and head writer of the show and the premise boils down to this: Boys : Giant Robot :: Girls : Magical Girl. A concept that isn't appealing? Wrong, it blends the 'fabulousness' of Code Geass with the over-the-topness of Gurren Lagann. Other good things about the show is a solid soundtrack, stunning animation and elegant original robot designs... a plot that makes sense is in the works.

My prediction is that this show is on the short list of giant robot Animes since 2007 trying to recapture what Gurren Lagann nailed on the head. Asura Cryin' tried hard but didn't get there, Basquash was so damn close but too genre specific, and I'm not sure if the 2nd season of Code Geass counts. There are few if any recent Animes which rival Gurren Lagann's appeal (i.e. perfection) even in its 2 movies, but I think Star Driver has what it takes to be the next Gurren Lagann.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 08:01:12 AM by Professor Vogler » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 04:36:50 AM »

Definitely a fabulous show; one of the few I'm excited about this season.
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 11:18:43 PM »

Watched part of... the third or fourth episode, not knowing anything about the popularity. It struck me as trying too hard to give me a boner for most of the episode. Except I knew the teasing wasn't heading anywhere, and it didn't, so I lost interest.

The art is definitely nice, I agree. Those villains and their crazy costumes!
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2010, 11:56:06 PM »

Watched about 5 episodes of it before it was either stop watching or reach for the guy.

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It struck me as trying too hard to give me a boner for most of the episode.

Pretty much this. It's shows like this that have made me cut back my Anime consumption drastically.
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2010, 04:16:15 PM »

Since theEND and Vogler liked it so much, I browsed through another episode. Still find it obnoxious, but I give props to the gorgeous animation and to the genuine drama during the battle. It played around with cool angles and let the good ones linger, even had cool parallax and foreground-background focus shifts. At least in episode 6. Maybe they put extra effort into that one. Since it looked like a turning point.

The ED sequence is also very clever, with lots of good design. It could almost be a music video.

But yeah as I scanned through most of the episode it was a million scenes of cloned high schoolers sitting primly across from one another at various cafes-->straddling some babe to giver a lower-back massage while they all discuss the dimensional warriors of destiny-->one of those awkward anime date-montages (can't show any real interactions, cuz that might force character development!)--> BATTLE!

On second thought, they did put most of their effort into the battle.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 04:27:41 PM by R. Daniel 01 » Logged

Professor Vogler
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2010, 03:40:31 PM »

But yeah as I scanned through most of the episode it was a million scenes of cloned high schoolers sitting primly across from one another at various cafes-->straddling some babe to giver a lower-back massage while they all discuss the dimensional warriors of destiny-->one of those awkward anime date-montages (can't show any real interactions, cuz that might force character development!)--> BATTLE!
Did you actually watch Episode 6 through, or just skipped every 01:30? The episode was a sort of breather and gave more back-story to the third main character (Sugata) and even some development to the motives of non-leadership enemies on the island. Even Episode 5, which is arguably the weakest of the episodes so far, had some sort of important plot information thrown in.

The way I see it, Episode 1 threw a ton of stuff at the audience (by means of AWESOME and CAMP) that requires preexisting knowledge to understand in the context of the show's universe. Episode 2-6 have been slowly filling us in on missing details (the properties of a cybody, the Resistance movement) and interesting twists (like people other than Takuto being able to pilot a 3rd Phase cybody, and the "Clark Kenting" of the Glittering Crux members), with the latter half of each episode being a "monster of the week". The usage of "cloned high schoolers sitting primly across from one another at various cafes" is perhaps a poor way to dump exposition and I can't really argue with that... but at least they're talking about plot-relevant stuff. Granted I somewhat agree with "(can't show any real interactions, cuz that might force character development!)", but I think it's because Takuto realizes he's the outsider budding in on a relationship that, despite being arranged, is very strong. Compare to other stock "awkward date scenes" in high school anime, these are quite tame and don't end with the standard "*blush* Can't wait for the next date!" soliloquy.

Something tells me that the series is going to take off at episode 7. They just threw an amazing wrench in the status quo of the island, and perhaps things will move faster now with more action/active-development.  Even Gurren Lagann had about 6 episodes before shit got crazy-awesome and character-developmenty. Despite the blatant "we got to save Sugata" plot instigated in Episode 6 and the "let's break the maidens' seals" excuse for the villains, there's still the rather underdeveloped Checkov's Gun from Episode 1 of Takuto looking for his father. So there's plenty of potential yet for the series. Here's hoping that the girl-appeal in the show (i.e. the camp and HS stuff) doesn't get in the way.
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 03:13:02 PM »

Ah. My concern is that the typical date-montage is dead space, when it should be rich. I'm down with blushing and blossoming emotions and all that jazz. That's something I understand.

I have a different view than Graham, probably, about what constitutes otaku-bait. Like Char, I'm fine with erotic stuff. That's not otaku-bait because it delivers. I only see it as bait if it dangles the infinite carrot. My thought in that situation is, stop trying to look edgy and just BE it! Enough with false promises.

Hur hur. I did skip. But thank you for acknowledging the laziness of those scenes.
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