Reviews: Star Driver

Starts off promising, but....

Star Driver has a lot going for it. The animation is great, with the action scenes getting a special mention, and it has a campy sense of humor , but can take itself seriously when necessary. In many ways it comes across as Revolutionary Girl Utena with a bigger budget. Unfortunately the shows' flaws become apparent real quick. The main character is too much of an invincible hero for the fight scenes to be truly exciting and the series is also very repetitive with Takuto facing a member of Glittering Crux and defeating them with a super power we didn't know he had. This formula is used for almost every episode. Luckily, like Utena, the show focuses more on the characters than the fights, but here we run into another problem. The cast is simply too large for anyone to have any breathing room and at the end even the main characters feel distant. 2.5/5

Absolutely Fabulous

Star Driver is every bit as preposeterous and silly as the trope page describes, and thankfully, that seems to be what the series is going for. It's completely over the top, right from episode 1 on.

The story is actually rather repetitive for an anime, which isn't too surprising given the setup: Everyone lives on South Island. 4 maidens (representing the four seasons) have magical seals on them which can be broken by mecha. If those seals are broken, they release a mecha dangerous enough to control the world with. The series centers around an Ancient Conspiracy full of Fashion Victim Villains, the Order of the Glittering Crux, who try to unleash said mecha, while our protagonists try and stop them. Amusingly enough, both groups go to the same school, and all are aware of each other's alter egos, but no one comes out and says anything throughout the course of the entire show.

So there's basically a Monster Of The Week format. (Almost) every episode, the Glittering Crux will send a mecha after a maiden, and it's up to protagonist Takuto, the GINGA BISHONEN, to stop them in the most flamboyant way possible. In between those bits, throw in some typical (but still fun) high school romantic comedy. The show is much more character driven than anything else, so let's talk about them, shall we?

  • Red Headed Hero Takuto is very much a Nice Guy, and surprisingly rather smart for this kind of show. He's got the Hot Blooded flair, but doesn't make epic, passionate speeches, instead choosing to appear calm, or even happy while he shows off his flamboyant bravado.
  • Blue Oni Sugata isn't the typical soft spoken intelligent blue oni either. He's more of a Trickster, and likes to mess around with people's heads. He has very little angst, but sadly doesn't get to fight much.
  • Designated Victim Wako completes the Power Trio, and is generally nice and pretty smart, although easily embarassed. Being the West Maiden, she doesn't get to fight much either.

There are several other excellent characters (such as Keito or Kanako), but I don't have the space for them. Artistically, the series is Code Geass with added gorgeous, and the music is amazing, particularly the songs the maidens sing.

So, while the show is a bit repetitive, it comes recommended.