Sunday, 6 March 2011

Star Driver - Episode 22

Now that the lead female role for the drama club's school play has been decided, you can probably guess what takes up almost the entirety of Star Driver's twenty-second episode.  That's right, this week we get two contrived storylines for the price of one!

The play in question tells the story of a girl who nobody can see (played by Wako), aside from one man alone (played by Sugata) who sets eyes on her one day.  Of course, the two fall in love, but this man named Columner is still unable to touch or hold the girl, Kleis - something that he learns to live with until he's offered an opportunity to change this by a mysterious woman in return for sailing a ship.  This is no ordinary ship however but some kind of magical device, and drunk with power Columner forgets all about Kleis as he becomes king of this particular world, leaving Kleis alone until the appearance of another man named Mark who is played by Takuto and really doesn't do anything interesting at all aside from getting to kiss Wako at the end of the entire ordeal.  Which is, to be fair, a pretty awesome thing to do.

Aside from this attempt to paint Star Driver's story and character interactions with a different brush and offer some additional foreshadowing for the final few episodes, this episode also introduces Takuto's visiting middle school friend and first crush, while also seeing Sugata discover just what our East maiden has been up to with him in the dead of night.  Above all though, much of this episode is really just about hammering home the current state of Wako's heart when it comes to choosing between Sugata and Takuto, as though the end of last week's episode didn't make that entirely clear and we needed to sit through all of this to explain things.

I probably wouldn't be so harsh on this episode if it were ensconced within the first half of Star Driver, but with only three episodes to go the series still seems intent on pissing away what little time it has left on incredibly dull and forced plot devices in the hope of somehow seeming "deep" that really add very little to either the show or its characters.  I know that Star Driver is a lost cause now, but there's still so much I want to like about it that even at this juncture I get frustrated by its inability to do anything worthy of note with its setting and the individuals within them.  Goodness knows it has enough intriguing, likeable or downright cool characters to play with, so how we ended up with this tepid and clumsy cluster-fuck of a series is becoming increasingly mind-boggling.

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