Sugata might have been spared his life-long coma in Star Driver's previous episode, but something was still clearly not right with this all-important part of the show's trio of main characters following both his ordeal and the kiss from the Glittering Crux member known as "Scarlet Kiss".
If Sugata's behaviour after these events could be viewed as a brief aberration, from the opening of this episode it becomes clear that something far more serious is going on, as Sugata gives short shrift to Wako's concerns at school before walking out of class while others speculate on whatever fight has developed between the two of them and Takuto.
Meanwhile, our girl in the birdcage with a penchant for writing Squid Girl fan fiction finds herself released from captivity, choosing to leave the island for pastures new. As she sings to herself on the boat leaving the island, so the brewing conflict between Takuto and Sugata comes to a head... just in time for the inevitable Zero Time fight sequence, which sees Sugata take over Scarlet Kisses' Cybody to take on Takuto and Tauburn. Impressive fight ensues, Tauburn wins, rinse, repeat, come back next week for the same all over again.
Herein lies the major problem with Star Driver as it continues on its merry way - no matter what happens to the major characters within the show and no matter what developments emerge, it seems like the series is Hell-bent on keeping its episode format intact. This makes for a tiring and predictable viewing experience where we know exactly what's coming, but we still have to sit and wait for most of the episode for it to happen. This wouldn't be so bad if the build-up to the giant robot scraps were packed to the rafters with fascinating drama and character development, but this is rarely the case, instead leaving us with some rather overblown stuff that doesn't have any real impact. Sugata's plight should have made for a huge amount of potential, yet here we are with that part of the story seemingly resolved and yet virtually nothing was made of it. No matter how much I want to like Star Driver (and those fight sequences really are increasingly impressive), it just seems to disappoint me every time I try to give it another chance.