Roll up, roll up, come one, come all to see the spectacular of the season, the very first certified Iaculus liveblog! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, for this night only
we are kicking off a recounting of the latest, greatest, and campest Studio Bones
production, Star Driver
Ahem. Sorry about that.
So why the title, you ask? Well, I must confess that I have already watched the first two episodes of this show, so this isn’t entirely new to me, but most of it is. Hence, not quite blind, but at least partially-sighted. Plus I’m partially-sighted myself, but that’s beside the point.
Anyways, let’s get going. First things first, though, it’s no fun to wade into a show with foreknowledge of what’s going to happen, so if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just employ the fastest, simplest, and most reliable means of applying Laser-Guided Amnesia
to myself that is readily available – specifically, the nearest wall.
we go. Ferfectly pine, ossifer. Now, let us commence this inaugural liveblog of WHATEVER-IT-IS: EPISODE SOMETHING
We open to a shot of the night sky, a thousand pinpoints of starlight scintillating against the heavens like diamonds on deep blue silk. The camera pans down, showing an island slumbering in an endless, breathtakingly clear sea.
A young couple are walking along the beach, savouring the tranquil beauty of their surroundings, and I commence a steady mental countdown to their inevitable, horrible deaths. No, wait, wrong genre.
Anyway, they’re busy having a nice, passionate discussion of the female member’s future travel plans, when she manages to completely ruin the mood
with one, immortal line.
“I smell... a boy I don’t know.”
And this, guys, is why you should always
apply that extra layer of deodorant during moonlight-stroll season. I hope you’re taking notes.
Of course, it turns out that personal hygiene is the least of this particular guy’s problems at the moment. He’s stretched face-down in the sand a few metres away, unconscious and very, very damp. As Miss Olfactory – now introduced as Wako – administers CPR, the episode title rolls.
Episode 1: Galactic Pretty Boy
... Meh. I’ve seen worse
It’s the next morning, and our mysterious washout is coming to in an unfamiliar (and very fancy) bedroom. He’s still in the clothes he was wearing last night, which won’t help his already-poor reputation for cleanliness any, but he doesn’t seem to mind much.
“I made it... to my new stage!”
Bit cramped, isn’t it? Clearly, our boy is used to low-budget productions.
Anyway, the couple from last night walk in, and the male half makes the appropriate introductions (he’s called Sugata, by the way) before giving their rescuee the rundown. You’re in my house, Wako saved your life, I’m sure we can get the sand out of that nice bed you’ve just ruined, et cetera. The new guy and Wako exchange a long, lingering look, which is abruptly terminated by the latter’s stomach rumbling. Clearly, lifesaving is hungry work.
Over breakfast, the truth behind the near-drowning of our newbie, one Takuto Tsunashi, is revealed.
“And you missed the last ferry, so you just swam across the sea?”
“What was I supposed to do, miss the opening ceremony?”
... Good point
. Of course, Sugata points out that he could have just taken the morning ferry, but that wouldn’t have given us a perfectly good Establishing Character Moment
, now would it? Always nice to know what sort of protagonist
you’re dealing with.
Wako, meanwhile, asks him the thoroughly sensible question of why he picked this school rather than one where the morning commute’s a bit less wet, salty, and life-threatening. Takuto’s answer?
“To do something amazing! A fabulous school life!”
... You said it, sweetie.
He continues spouting slogans with an enthusiasm that would make the island’s tourist office weep with joy (apparently, his grandpa was one hell of a salesman), but Sugata has other things on his mind. Specifically, whether Takuto has had his first kiss
yet (answer: no, but it sounds like a great idea), and whether he thinks that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation qualifies
. Wako’s reaction is predictable
... Hold on a sec, I thought those two were a couple?
Oh, wait, they’re not only that, but actually engaged to each other
. Huh. Guess Sugata’s a big believer in open relationships, then. Oh, and the maids here wear cat ears for no readily-apparent reason.
It’s now the beginning of school, and everyone’s lining up for the administrative deelies. Cue Wako getting glomped
. The enthusiasm is short-lived, though. Turns out that everyone’s in the same class, and Wako is soon forgotten as our unnamed glomper (along with the entire remainder of the school population that possesses a uterus) salivates over the fresh new bishonen man-meat that is Takuto.
Unfortunately, our heroine, silly, silly
girl that she is, mentions that she has actually had prior knowledge of the brand new lust object, and her friend promptly declares that THIS SHALL NOT STAND. Odin knows what they would have done if she’d mentioned that she swapped spit with the guy last night, but it sure wouldn’t have been pretty.
Unfortunately, this latest quester for the interior of Takuto’s pants, Ruri Makina, elects to show off her marital suitability by detailing her extensive culinary skills, which has rather more effect on Wako
than her intended target. As Takuto obliviously navigates through his horde of rabid fans
, a pair of sinister-looking male students skulk over to check him out as well, and engage in a cryptic conversation in which Wako is referred to as the ‘South Maiden’. WHAT CAN THIS MEAN.
Some time later, Takuto and Sugata are chatting over a painting of a girl in a summer dress standing by the sea as the former settles into his new dorms. Apparently, it was made by Takuto’s Disappeared Dad
– though whether it was before or after he rewrote reality by turning the Earth into a giant egg remains to be seen
Meanwhile, Wako is busy having a bath at the local shrine, because there’s no gratuitous nudity quite like vaguely-symbolic gratuitous nudity. Apparently, she’s a Maiden, one of four MacGuffin Girls
of nebulous significance dwelling on the island. Oh, and Sugata isn’t too fussy about this whole Arranged Marriage
thing, so he’s totally cool with Takuto hitting on her. Man, I wish all the fiancées I
met were this understanding. Then again, I don’t inspire uncontrollable lust in all I encounter, so it’s kind of a moot point.
An announcement echoes over the tannoy; Takuto needs to head off to student registration, and- OHDEARGODWHATTHEHELLISTHAT?
... Huh, so it seems that Kiko
took a trip to Innsmouth
in between seasons. Honey, I know you’re upset that Li isn’t returning your calls – despite you ringing him up three hundred times in the past day or so
– but Deep Ones really
don’t make for good rebound boyfriends. Trust me on this one.
Anyways, this particular blank-eyed, pink-haired, fish-lipped apparition introduces herself as one Benio Shinada, student representative and punishment game aficionado.
OH COME ON THERE ARE DOZENS OF YOU IN THIS ROOM SOME OF YOU MUST BE SANE SOME OF YOU MUST BE RUNNING BY NOW.
... Except for you, Takuto. I know better than to expect a sense of self-preservation there
As Kiko, daughter of Dagon, ineffectually attempts to lay down the law of the land, our hero is busy making a new friend – specifically, George Honda, head of the boxing club. Didn’t know Jeremiah Gottwald
was your average meathead high-school jock prior to the whole fascist dictatorship thing, but in retrospect, I suppose it makes a whole lot of sense.
Oh, and apparently, the local abandoned gold mine is off-limits. Cue the stampede
. A moment later, we see why, as Kiko, daughter of Dagon, now dressed in what appears to be carnival-themed fetish gear, enters a massive Elaborate Underground Base
beneath it and exchanges an incredibly
camp salute with two similarly-garbed associates. Wait, what?
... Aaand... cue the credits! Wait, what
? That was it
Actually, no, turns out that it wasn’t – which still isn’t exactly great news for my mental equilibrium, since in our absence, things have taken a shift from the merely weird to the outright bizarre. Naked, blue-haired girls! Abstract statuary! High-tech control centres! If anyone can make sense of this, please
, drop me a line.
Anyway, one invisible sword slash, a series of glowing, golden masks, and some impenetrable technobabble later... something
has been accomplished, and the folks wearing the carnie outfits seem very happy about it. One of them steps out onto a speaking platform, and...
Oh, wow. There really are a lot of them, aren’t there? This place’s costume budget must be through the roof
“My brothers! With this Star Sword, I’ve broken the North Maiden’s seal, and led the Glittering Crux to the second phase!”
Thanks for clearing that up, Mysterious Masked Guy! Also, awesome way to announce losing your cherry
Back in the world of (relative) sanity, meanwhile, Wako has heard a mysterious noise whilst washing her hair, and pops outside to investigate. Turns out that it’s Jeremiah in his full Glittering Crux uniform, plus Glowing Eyes of Doom
and a Slasher Smile
. Oh... dear
. Really, Jerry, what happened to being An Officer and a Gentleman
? Right, right, the whole ‘genocidal, racist evil empire’ thing. Guess you’re practicing early.
Meanwhile, Sugata is demonstrating his multitasking skills by musing about Takuto’s true motives whilst engaging in hyperkinetic solo martial arts practice, and the boy himself is up by the goldmine, succinctly outlining the crucial flaw in the Glittering Crux’s ingenious security system.
“If you tell me not to go, then I’m gonna be dying to go. That’s just how guys are.”
... Can I say ‘totally called it’? Also, Takuto, sweetie, most stealthy infiltrations don’t involve Calling Your Attacks
when applying wire-cutters to a fence
. Just, y’know, FYI.
Anyways, the Glittering Crux mooks show up with an unconscious Wako, and immediately see through Takuto’s rather pathetic attempt at staying out of sight. He, meanwhile, says what we’re all thinking.
“Yep – they’re creepy all right.”
Jeremiah, naturally, takes objection to both his presence and evaluation of their dress sense, and decides to resolve the matter by beating the living crap out of him... with minimal success.
“I was raised to fight for the powerless
“You’re gonna do that by dodging?”
Takuto tries to answer him with a haymaker to the face... which his opponent promptly dodges.
I swear, that’s the worst thing about getting attacked by huge, masked guys in bondage gear whilst in the woods in the middle of the night. Hypocrites, every last one of ‘em.
Whilst our hero is trying to figure out where he went, Jeremiah demonstrates... with a fist to the stomach. Ouch.
As for Wako, she wakes up tied to a chair in Glittering Crux HQ with a bunch of hellcarnies spouting vaguely-mystic gibberish at each other. Always fun when that happens. Takuto’s unconscious behind her, and Jeremiah’s volunteered as a Star Driver. Whatever that is.
Oh, and it turns out that the local base leader has the blue-haired girl from earlier locked in a cage in his room, wearing only a skimpy white dress
, and ‘hopes that they can be friends
He asks her to sing for him, and she obliges with the episode’s Theme Music Power-Up
. Handy talent, that. Back in the main chamber, preparations are underway as Wako is bundled towards a huge machine in the centre and Jeremiah boards something called the ’Cybercasket’.
Yay, Technology Porn
Moments later, one of the statues in the room has turned into a Humongous Mecha
, much to Takuto’s astonishment and Wako’s chagrin. Honey, if you know what’s going on, mind sharing with the rest of us?
He tries to charge the hellcarnies holding her, but is somewhat interrupted by time coming to a complete stop
. Then everyone’s in giant soap bubbles in an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield
in space. Except for him, because he doesn’t have either a mask or Wako’s weird glowing birthmark... thingy. Yeah.
Anyway, just as Jeremiah’s about to do something unspecified (and probably horrible) to Wako with the shiny new mecha under his control, who should arrive on the field but Takuto, without even his own soap bubble?
Oh, huh, turns out he has
got a weird glowing birthmark after all. Good for him.
the Galactic Pretty Boy?”
... Yes, apparently. Terrifying, isn’t it, Jerry?
Oh, and Takuto’s apparently got a Humongous Mecha
too. With high heels, Hartman Hips
, and a feather in its giant metal hat. Whatever floats your boat, man.
One standard shonen speech later, plus a lot of posing from our boy in his fabulous
new combat uniform (seriously, I want that coat), it’s SHOWTIME!
Jeremiah, as ever, may have the size advantage, but his... shoulder... horn... things are no match for Takuto’s epic pirouetting, and with one punch to the face, it’s all over. He even managed to grab the Distressed Damsel
before things went boom. Nice going, Takuto.
With Jeremiah’s defeat, they’re back to the real world. The man himself slumps out of the Cybercasket, only to have his rank insignia rudely removed for his failure. Sorry, Jerry, but I’m afraid you’ll have to get turned into a cyborg, forget all about your desire to wipe out the Japanese, and get handed some bullshit Freudian Excuse
before you’re allowed to kick ass. Never mind. You’ll understand when you’re older.
Meanwhile, Takuto and Wako share a brief, tender moment at the shrine where the latter was having naked times earlier, only to be interrupted by her stomach rumbling again. Seriously, someone give that girl a sammich. Or ten
The ED rolls, and it’s wall-to-wall OT 3
teasing between Takuto, Sugata, and Wako. Again, totally
Well, that was... a hell of a thing. Join me again, as things get even more demented in Star Driver: Episode Two
edited 16th Oct '10 11:12:46 AM by Iaculus