With Star Driver fast running out of episodes, its time for this series to start getting a serious move on in terms of plot development and adding some spice to its major story lines - thankfully, that's exactly what this twentieth episode sets out to do.
In essence, this week's instalment is a tale of two love triangles - of course, we've been watching the triangle that encompasses Sugata, Takuto and Wako since the very start of the series, but that particular conundrum sees something of a shift as Takuto finds himself jealous of the close relationship shared by the other too; indeed, it's the same quandary that it appears caused Keito to separate herself from her former friends.
However, that scenario is well and truly cast into the shade compared to another love triangle we're introduced to this episode, that being the relationship between Tokio (aka the head of Vanishing Age and the Glittering Crux Brigade), Katashiro (another Glittering Crux member) and Sora, a girl who started with an arranged marriage to the latter before falling in love with the former and seemingly bearing his child before leaving the island - no prizes for guessing who that child is...
In the midst of all this we see Camel Star (not sponsored by a cigarette company, in case you're wondering) trying to shake things up, as he figures out the true identity of the East Maiden and puts his own plan into effect to break the Southern Maiden (aka Wako's) seal. Cue a Zero Time battle than sees Takuto fighting whilst somewhat disabled courtesy of Camel Star's first phase, while his plan ends up causing a minor civil war between Glittering Crux Cybody drivers, in turn allowing Takuto and Tauburn to win the day... as per usual.
After frittering away so many (read: almost all) of its episodes, it's nice to see things finally building in an interesting direction at this late stage - although I can't quite get my head around Takuto's parentage at this juncture (is Tokio really that old?), we did learn some significant information about the man at the helm of the Glittering Crux Brigade, finally see a fire (or at least a slightly damp match) lit under Takuto's feelings for Wako, and perhaps most important we got a Zero Time battle that was interesting for almost thirty whole seconds, which is a new record on my watch. With next week's episode also promising to continue in the right direction, can Star Driver pull out a decent ending to this tepid series? It won't be enough to save it from the halls of anime mediocrity, but regardless of that I sure hope it does so that my hours of watching this series don't prove to be in vain.