Sunday, 23 January 2011

Star Driver - Episode 16

It's no coincidence that Star Driver breaking with its traditional episode layout also brought about one of its best instalments yet last week, allowing us to dip into episode sixteen of the series with renewed hop.

No matter how you slice it, episode fifteen was a rough one for Mizuno, and despite the help of Wako et al things really aren't getting much better for her, with her sister seemingly missing and the news that her estranged mother will be sticking around on the island for a few days.  It's no surprise then that she jumps on the offer of a way to allow her to escape the island - an offer which isn't technically incorrect, but one which also proves to be a trap as she falls right into the clutches of the Glittering Crux Brigade.

So, with another of the island's maiden's captured, the Glittering Crux have managed to reach the third phase - an event which also allows them to show off a Galactic Pretty Boy of their own, which seems likely to spell trouble for Takuto and Tauburn as this individual seems rather more proficient in his decidedly Tauburn-esque Cybody.  Just as defeat finally seems to be on the cards for our hero, cue a flashback to Takuto's past which reveals his motivations and the source of the mark which provides his power; a set of circumstances and memories which leads to the inevitable upgrade to Tauburn that gives Takuto the power required to easily defeat his latest foe and free Mizuno not just from her kidnappers, but some of the other baggage which troubles her.

This leaves me with an episode that I'm rather torn about - the revelations and story built around Mizuno turned out to be quite a nice twist in the tale (although they arguably weren't used to their fullest extent) and the Zero Time section this week was absolutely stunning even by this show's standards, while the Glittering Crux finally reaching their so-called Third Phase after blathering on about it for several months is as much of a relief as it is a sign of some tougher competition for Takuto.  Set against that, the whole flashback element into Takuto's past for this episode felt clumsy and bolted on, leading in to a sudden upgrade to Tauburn's powers that was boringly predictable but unavoidably so.

Thus, I don't know what to make of it all - certain elements of the series have moved in some decidedly interesting new directions while others look to be stuck in a rut.  Overall I suppose that's an improvement, but it still isn't enough to turn Star Driver into a good series at this juncture, let alone a great one.

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