Sunday, 30 January 2011

Star Driver - Episode 17

It's time for the seventeenth instalment of Star Driver, which can mean only one thing... it's beach episode time!

Thus, the first eight minutes or so of the episode are filled up with the usual pointless staples of such an episode - sunbathing, having oil rubbed onto your back, and beach volleyball, which on this occasion takes place between Wako and Ruri on one team against a pair of new-comers on the other, with Takuto in place as the prize for the winner.  One thing there won't be prizes for however is figuring how those two new girls fit into the rest of this episode.

Just as night follows day, so these shenanigans are followed by a meeting of the Glittering Crux Brigade, and a very important one it is too after the events of the last episode, with Vanishing Age's leader announcing that he knows the identity and location of the East Maiden, but refuses to divulge this information due to the changes which come from their reaching the fourth phase.  Oh, and while he's at it Head also announces that only those with "marks" will be able to fight in Cybodies from now on since the move to the third phase, rendering much of Glittering Crux aside from a select few redundant.

Amongst those still capable of fighting are, of course, those two new girls, and it's one of these who takes to the stage that is Zero Time to fight Takuto and Tauburn this time around.  The individual in question is Madoka Kei, aka Window Cleaner... oops, sorry, Window Star, who brings us another battle free from the restraints of second phase combat, while also showing some of Takuto's motivations when fighting before he inevitably shows off an upgrade to his own Cybody to win the day.

Just as it seemed as it Star Driver had broken free of its repetitive episode conventions, it looks like the announcement of third phase combat last time around has seen a return to the tried and far from trusted episode layout of weeks gone by - high school hijinks, Glittering Crux meeting, big battle where Takuto wins via some previously unknown/unexpected deus ex machina.  Yawn...

In fairness, at least the mysterious movements of the Glittering Crux Brigade and its members make for some intrigue in this episode, but this isn't really enough to cover for the fact that the series as a whole has slipped back into "boring and predictable" mode, just as I thought it had broken its old habits.  I wonder how many weeks we'll have to wait for something out of the ordinary to happen this time?  And no, another change of background colour in Zero Time doesn't count.

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