Sunday, 3 April 2011

Star Driver - Episode 25 (Completed)

It's taken what seems like an eternity, but we're here at last - the end of Star Driver.  I think it's fair to say it hasn't exactly dazzled the stage but let's see how it winds up, shall we?

As the end of last week's episode suggested, this finale is one long, balls to the wall battle in Zero Time, with the appearance of Sugata piloting Samekh for seemingly unknown reasons while Head now has his own Cybody in the form of Sinpathy.  With Keito's seal broken, anything can happen and duly does, with Head taking control of Samekh using that aforementioned Cybody before disowning the rest of the Glittering Crux as he unveils his grand plan involving the destruction of the whole planet and the use of Samekh's resulting powers to travel back in time over and over again to what he considers his golden era.  An allegory for the desires of the older generation in Japan, perhaps?

If that isn't bad enough, Head also resurrects all of the Cybodies Takuto has defeated previously to rise up against him, while Wako Apprivoise's to protect Tauburn only to find herself seemingly at the mercy of Head.  Can anyone save the world?  They certainly try, as the remainder of the Glittering Crux pull some kind of stunt out of their ass (it wouldn't be Star Driver without doing that, right?) to retake control of their Cybodies before launching an ultimately fruitless offensive against Head.  Cue Takuto's turn to do the impossible and save the day, before going on to break Wako's seal (oo-er missus) in an attempt to stop Sugata sealing himself away with Samekh, preferring instead to risk the entire planet for the sake of his friend.  Mission accomplished after a final battle in space, Takuto and Sugata both float to their certain deaths in the airlessness of space.  Probably.

It's taken half a year, but we finally we get the episode of Star Driver everyone had been crying out for from the very start.  Okay, it still has an utterly stupid plot (Head's motivations and actions come straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon, and Takuto's decision-making isn't much better), but it had lots of awesome action and visual spectacle to make up for that lack of coherency.  Having seen this example of what Star Driver could have been all about somehow only serves to make the rest of the series all the more disappointing - if only the series had this level of tension and peril written into it from the very start, then we might have been able to forgive the ridiculous dei ex machina that turned up on a regular basis and the distracting slice of life shenanigans that would have served better as a spin-off series in its own right.  In terms of wasted potential, this Star Driver must rank at the top of the tree for the last year, and one line in this final episode really said it all: an exclamation of "this battle meant something".  At the show's own admission it took twenty-five episodes to have a meaningful battle in a series built around such action sequences - I rest my case.

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