Star Driver ReviewJenny Wagner
Dazzling the Stage! It's the Galactic Bishounen!
Star Driver covers many genres and has a bit of something for everyone to enjoy. It’s a supernatural psychological action comedy science fiction romance drama anime brought to us by Bones (the same people who brought us both versions of Full Metal Alchemist). The talented Takyua Igarashi directed Star Driver. He also directed hits like Ouran High School Host Club and Soul Eater. The animation quality is top notch, and the soundtrack, by Satoru Kousaki, was beautifully done.
The story follows a high school student named Takuto Tsunashi, who has come to the fictional Southern Cross Isle. Takuto makes new friends, joins a club just like normal high-schoolers. Yet, underneath the island is a group of mecha-robots called Cubodies. These can be controlled by a human in an alternate dimension know as “Zero Time” that only those special enough are able to go into.
Here, Takuto transforms into the fabulous Ginga Bishounen (Galactic Pretty Boy) and pilots the extravagantly designed mecha Tauburn against the members of the Kiraboshi Juujidan (Glitter Crux Brigade). The group intends to use the island's Cybodies to break the seals of four shrine maidens whose protection prevents the Cybodies from functioning outside Zero Time. Every episode Takuto takes on the chosen member to protect Wako and the other maidens, and keep the world as it should be.
The story is half about the life of the members of the school who include the members of the Brigade, the maidens, and of course, Takuto. The rest is beautifully done Mecha battles. The series never seems to take itself too seriously. Many questions are never really answered, yet I don't feel that's a reason not to watch it. What some people love about Star Driver, others point it out as its flaws.
There is a large cast, with some very unique character designs. The minor characters get a lot of spotlight in this series, and each seem to have their own issue or demon they must deal with. While some could arguing its “padded” it's really adds to the depth of the story. Many times in anime my favorite character will only show up for part of an episode, and this was a nice relief to see mine throughout the series.
Star Driver also is one of the last series to be released in America by Bandai Entertainment. The 25 episodes were released in two parts. Episodes 1-13 were released in November 2011 and 14-25 in January 2012. Star Driver was never dubbed into English, so for the North American release, only subtitles are available.
Overall, its a fun, quirky anime. Its exquisite artwork and amazing soundtrack make the story pop and engross. I watched it while it was released in Japan, and each week I found myself anxious and excited for the next episode to become available. Not being in English, it requires a lot of reading, yet being released in 2 discs makes it a fairly cheap show to buy.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.