God help me for trying to apply logic to this show at all but this really does bug me. Why does nobody recognize any of the glittering crux members just because they wear domino masks? I know Takuto isn't exactly the brains of this operation but you'd think after he got attacked by his RA for the third time he'd figure it out. You don't know who Scarlet Kiss is? Really? You're sure its not the other tiny make-out obsessed girl with pink hair that lives near you?
Personally, what weirds me out even more is the fact that the members of Glittering Crux don't seem to recognize each other, only guessing correctly every once in a while and knowing for sure once they've confirmed in person with the "KIRA~BOSHI~!" sign. But, then again, this is anime. I'm not trying to think too hard about it.
Takuto already knows who Doctor Green is, he might figured out every member he had encountered but probably doesn't care as long Crux doesn't cross the line.
I think that Takuto and crew are somewhat aware of who in their daily lives are also Crux, but are also aware that there is little they can do about it. It seems more like peaceful cohabitation out of necessity (or lack of better options for the time being). Sugata in particular seems to have a knack for recognizing Crux members while piloting their Cybodies, such as during Takuto's "true" battle with Benio.
Despite a few of the Glittering Crux sounding surprised whenever identities are revealed, there are those who seem quite aware which members are who/what. For example, going by their tones and facial expressions episode 20, neither Keito or Ginta seemed at all taken aback that one was Ivrogne and the other Camel Star. It could be argued that those who know more about the goings on of Crux might be more aware of others' identities, but it also seems to be implied that some are more observant than others. To their credit, I think a few have even said something like "I wondered if it was you"... Though yeah, you'd think it wouldn't be that hard to observe that the brightly pink-haired girl in school might be Scarlet Kiss.
I like that they addressed this as the show went on, to the point where by 23 its basically just become The Masquerade for all parties involved. My irritation with Takuto's inability to identify his carnivalrejectenemies sooner still stands, but we'll just chalk it up to a low wisdom score. After all you don't get that FABULOUS using charisma as the Dump Stat.
There has been evidence to suggest that Takuto does know that everyone's in Glittering Crux. He just doesn't care.
That seems to be the best explanation. For example, we know for certain that he figured out that Scarlet Kiss was his RA after their cybody swordfight. His response? Do absolutely nothing. If anything, he was nicer to her than before.
How about Clark Kenting? The people at Glittering Crux act like Card-Carrying Villain or least ham it up a bit, but when they are in school they act normal highschoolers so it does not register to the heroes and other members of their group right away. Plus it not like Takuto talk them everyday and only fight most of them in their Mecha so he can't see their faces anyway.
This Troper's anime club came up with a theory as to why nobody in the Glittering Crux seems to recognize each other, and why the main trio don't either - it's because the outfits are meant to distract viewers so that they don't/can't focus on trying to figure out who it really is. Given that Cybodies are apparently powered by libido....
I know the format doesn't allow much time for all the battle-story-building-plot to go on at length, but the Zero Time battles JUST BUG ME. Several episodes have a huge build up for the battles, showing how talented/cunning/quick/skilled/smart/etc. the Glittering Crux member is and then this happens: the person shows that they are a force to be reckoned with and then...Takuto blasts them with this or that (new power or some deus ex machina) and the Cybody is destroyed. SERIOUSLY? How can the battles be so easy for Takuto, and why should I even bother thinking about his limitless indestructible-awesome, and the tension between the opposing forces is completely lost. I really keep wishing the battles go differently, but so far nothing has changed.
Marked pilots like Takuto can use phase 3 cybodies automatically, which are vastly more powerful and probably the source of Takuto's various Deus ex Machina weapons. So until the crux members break Mizune's seal they'll be at a huge disadvantage. Hell the head has even told them outright to stop fighting Takuto since they're just getting fed into a particularly fabulous looking meat grinder every damn week. Unfortunately crux's power is only matched by its atrocious management issues and they're all still clamoring over each other to eighty six Takuto and seize control of the project. Of course they all have their various reasons for doing so, but most of the time it boils down to a flagrant disregard for rule 24.
There are also some hints that Tauburn isn't your average third-phase Cybody. It really isn't, it's the only Cybody designed to be used by humans. Add that to the fact that Takuto's been trained as a Star Driver from a young age and he's been getting regular training. Plus he gets better at using Tauburn while his enemies have to fight him during their first time piloting the mecha (at least until the regeneration process is discovered).
Rather than keep dragging him into Zero Time battles in an attempt to defeat him, why don't they just kill Takuto at some other time? It wouldn't be that hard. I mean, heck. This is the kid who almost drowned trying to swim to the island. Knock him out, get him in a boat, toss him in the sea, people will think he drowned trying to visit friends on the mainland over the weekend. (Admittedly, I'm only three episodes in, so this whole issue may be jossed soon. But if Takuto is such a big problem, I've yet to see any practical reason for why they don't just get him out of the way.)
Head himself declares that whoever defeats Takuto will be the leader only if he or she does so in Cybody combat. So there's your reason.
They have tried to kill him directly, like in episode 6. Takuto is just a good a fighter as he is in Zero Time.
Some of the members want to avoid killing as much as possible. Plus, it would really suck for them if they tried to make an enemy out of Sugata. Additionally, a bunch of the members aren't really bad people, and not really willing to go that far to achieve their goal.
Camel Star actually tried killing or at least incapacitating Takuto by getting him bit by a poisonous snake. Also, after being defeated, he Lampshades Crux's behavior by grumbling that he's surrounded by idiots.
Plus, the majority of Crux are still just regular high school students, and most likely never killed or went through the mental conditioning required to kill someone. Madoka is the only exception, though it's pretty well established that she's a total psychopath.
As of Episode 17, only the Vanishing Age can pilot cybodies and three of the previous main antagonists (President, Professor Green and Scarlet Kiss) are now entirely useless and pointless periphery chracters. Why were they even major members of the Crux in the first place if they're going to play no part in the finale? Also, since Head was effectively in charge of the Crux in the first place, why didn't he simply install the Vanishing Age as his evil council of doom? If the three women were essentially filler antagonists, wouldn't it have made more sense since he wouldn't need to perform an overly complex coup of an organisation he ALREADY RAN!?!
All of them were important to the functioning of the brigade. Manticore once commented on why the brigade kept teams around without cybodies. President then pointed out that without her funding of Professor Green's technical expertise the brigade would not be able to do anything at all. And Scarlet was probably kept around to act as the main fighting strength before the brigade reach 3 phase - why waste potential third phase cybodies in the second phase. And maybe to fool the people, who where funding everything, into believing they would also be able to use cybodies
Scarlet Kiss is a glorified enemy of the week and President and Professor Green may have certain roles, but I don't consider any of their roles/attributes to be big bad worthy. Also, the Vanishing Age could have been the big bad council from the start and they could have delegated the fighting roles to the "lesser" enemy of the week members. So, the only option is to believe the trickery explanation. But, that just bugs me even more because it means that the three women were just cannon fodder to make Head look awesome. That also means that the three women are nothing more than filler characters who serve no purpose to the plot! Obviously, the series is still ongoing, but during Episodes 18-20, President, Professor Green and Scarlet Kiss did nothing. That bugs me both in and out of canon... Or maybe I'm trying to bring too much logic into this show.
I don't see what the problem is. Scarlet Kiss was specifically stated to be useless, since she basically joined the Crux to be significant in the grand scheme of things. So yes, she and her lackeys are cannon fodder. Adult Bank and Professor Green are still there as the support teams that allow Vanishing Age to function, they're not Big Bad material because they really aren't, they don't have marks, so they're just cooperating with Head to be able to join the Departure. But they're still main branches because an army still needs supplies and stuff (you know, how real life military works). Basically, there's specialization going on here. Also, they wanted Sugata to be their leader, which is why Head made a game out beating Tauburn.
You've adaquetely provided an explanation for in the story, so it doesn't bug me that much anymore (apart from the fact that Professor Green and President looked like completely useless idiots). However, the coup still bugs me from a show perspective. IJBM that the three antagonists were filler antagonists before the Vanishing Age appeared and that any character development they had was just as pointless. IJBM because if they were never Big Bad material, then the time could've been spent developing the main bad guys instead (even though I find the three women to be awesome and I find the Vanishing Age to be boring). Although I will admit that episodes 21 and 22 seem to be making attempts to fix this and depending on how the show plays out, it might not bug me in the end.
Ending suggests that President, Scarlet Kiss, members of their sections, and Professor Green are going to join Takuto. Either this or they will play more important role if Star Driver is going to have second season and this one is just about introducing characters and plot elements. We have to wait and see.
We're two episodes from the finale, and not one of them has played a significant role since VA's coup, with the exception of Green and the quickly forgotten Overphase System. The rest of the Crux have been incredibly awkwardly handled since then, even taking logistics into account, and this even applies to VA members; Madoka, and presumably Kou, randomly decide to up and leave the island for no reason, making their characters entirely pointless. Takashi defecting served no purpose, as he just went right on back to Adult Bank without even having his Cybody repaired, and he still hasn't been seen since then. George's training led nowhere, and certain characters have just floundered after their arcs concluded, like Benio and Kanako. And what about Mylene and Leon? Where the hell are they? What of their plans? I can only assume Bones is banking on a second season being greenlighted, because the writing is all over the place.
I'd just like to add that I thought the overphase system was Professor Silver's idea and Green's job was to stand there and look pretty. And I agree that it is depressingly funny that a new set of villains were introduced, who managed to take all of the screen time of the formerly important antagonists, yet also be nothing more than another set of filler antagonists too. IJBM that the only possible reason for the damn coup was to show how epic and awesome and eeeeevil Head was and show how unbelievably braindead President, Green and Kiss are.
Aside from possible second season, Madoka and Kou served to show Chaotic Evil side of people using Cybodies. There is still one episode for George to shine, and this would mean a role for Benio. Recent episode shows that Adult Bank is going to evacuate everybody from island, what fits the bill of important role, and this involves also Mylene and Leon who were watching things behind the scenes to act now. Takashi was secretly in Vanishing Age since beginning and Head knew he had true mark. Possibly he was spy in Adult Bank but he couldn't stand Vanishing Age anymore (because of Madoka and Kou). Green's role actually seems to be smallest and her purpose was to be Joke Boss and give us Techno Babble (but wasn't she the one who made regeneration possible?). And coup was Head's plan B, he wanted to defeat Takuto himself and become fully accepted Crux leader, but was forced to give everybody reason to turn against him.
It bugs me that I can't decide whether the ending to episode 16 was cute or insane. On one hand, Mizuno and Marino are reunited and it's cute as hell. On the other hand...Mizuno is completely accepting the fact that she created Marino, and treats her exactly the same way. I mean, have all of the Break the Cutie moments completely shattered her mind, or is it totally in character for Mizuno to love the people she cares about, real or not?
An illusion that doesn't disappear may as well be considered real. Some people don't care whether things are real or not. So this is definitely a YMMV thing.
Marino is a clone, not an illusion. Yes, she was created by Mizuno's First Phase, but her continued existence has nothing to do with that. The various times where she disappears and reappears (or not) isn't her blinking in and out of existence (as most fans assumed), it was just mundane camera-dodging. And she showed up on the boat at the end not because Mizuno summoned her, but because she thought "huh, what would I do if I was Mizuno? Boat." I realize that's all a little bit off topic, but hopefully it can quiet further questions before they crop up.
Does Scarlet Kiss's first phase even work?
It does, as she was able to keep Sugata inside her Cybody. It was just that he was just beyond her control. An issue of who gets to have a stronger libido, perhaps?
There wasn't much closeur in the end, which bothers me. Will they make an OVA to fix this? Perhaps a movie? They have to do something.
I'm hoping for this or a full second season as well, though I was happier with the ending than I thought I'd be.
I don't think there's enough to do for a complete second season, and the plot with the cybodies was wrapped up. But an OVA to show what happened with the characters themselves is totally welcomed.
Not really anything in the show, but people always saying "Well, that's not the point of the show" when anyone complains about the robot fights. They're the main conflict of the show, so why should they be immune to criticism?
No, they aren't the main conflict of the show. They're the main physical conflict of the show, maybe, but Takuto's clearly an invincible hero, and the show doesn't really try to hide that. The conflict has more to do with the motivations and methods of the Crux, and their progressions are largely made independently of the battles they lose. The fights are usually just flashy backdrops for the climax of whatever plot happened in that episode. Of course, they're not immune to criticism, but they really simply aren't the point of the show.
Why does Marino care so much about protecting Mizuno from having her seal broken if the breaking process is nonlethal and non-injuring? She acts like her primary motive is to protect her sister, but the seal-breaking process doesn't hurt at all, the only reason to stop it is the overall goal of preserving zero time. It almost seems like Mizuno would be better off, personally, if Marino made sure it was broken faster, she'd get to leave the island sooner, etc. Again, that would be bad for the future of the world, but Marino acts like she's motivated by protecting Mizuno, not protecting humanity.
Manticore shows up out of the blue. For all we know Marino could have taken a minor position under Head and then worked her way up one way or another. That would also probably mean she only witnessed Sakana-chan's seal being broken in the beginning and then Sakana was gone. Marino would not know whether she died shortly after due to her seal being gone or whether the Crux disposed of the Maiden they didn't need any longer. For all she knows letting the Crux getting Mizuno could very well kill her.
Do we know if the process is painless? The maidens don't look happy to me when it happens.