Sunday, 24 October 2010

Star Driver - Episode 4

From its first three episodes, Star Driver seems to have set up its episode plan in a pretty formal way - frolic around with some high school drama and comedy, reveal a minor point or two about the wider plot, then finish the episode with a short but satisfying burst of giant robot fighting action.

In fairness to episode four of the series, it does succeed in shaking things up slightly.  After a little taster of what is to come, we jump back to those everyday school goings-on courtesy of a drama club meeting where things get a little awkward for various reasons, be it Takuto not answering a question about his feelings for Wako or Wako's rather "interesting" imaginings about Takuto and Sugata.  However, as this conversation goes on we realise that something is amiss elsewhere in the drama club group, and we soon find out why, as Tiger Sugatame is kidnapped on account of her own interest in Sugata; a love which means that removing both Wako and Takuto would be in her best interest.

From here, we see Wako waking up to a world where everyone else appears to have vanished... except Takuto of course.  After chatting for a bit and going through the inevitable anime trope of "oh no, we got caught in the rain, let's strip off in the same room and try to avoid gawping at one another", it starts to become clear that this is neither a dream nor some kind of odd occurence in the real world, but rather a unique kind of Zero Time, hence Takuto and Wako being the only ones present.  Despite this, Takuto finds himself unable to call upon Tauburn until things start to look dangerous with the appearance of a Cybody finally confirming their suspicions, at which point his giant robot appears and chases away their opponent who is, of course, Tiger.. Sugatame that is, not Woods, otherwise I imagine Wako's seal would have been broken by now.  Ahem.  While this seems like a happy ending for the pair of them, it appears as though this was just a part of the Glittering Crux Brigade's real plan - so what are they plotting?

I have to admit that this instalment of Star Driver has done more to fire my interest in the series and its plot than any of its previous episodes - while it wasn't great, at least it mixed things up a bit and broke out of its own staid narrative conventions to some degree, while the shifting sands of the various parties involved and their plans are also beginning to look a little more fully formed, or at least more intriguing.  From appearing as though it was going to fall into its own repetitive trap, Star Driver suddenly feels a little more fascinating again as it returns to the precipice of genius and stupidity.  Now, we just have to wait and see upon which side of that fence it falls.

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