Hey, hey, HEY there fans! Welcome back to another edition of Happy Fun Thursdays, and this week I finally have time to preview some of the new anime coming out of the land of the Rising Sun. However, instead of doing a preview of three different series in one post, I’m just going to do one at a time. That way I can concentrate on and be more articulate about a certain series, rather than having to split my trains of thought in different directions. This week, I’m previewing an anime so new I haven’t found a way to watch it without delving into the darker side of the Internet. It’s mecha anime that has something in it that I thought could have only been shown by the bishonen, yaoi-bait boys of Ouran High School Host Club: FABULOUSNESS.
Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto (Star Driver: Takuto of the Radiance), produced by BONES, starts with the hero, Takuto Tsunashi, winding up washed ashore on an island called Southern Cross Isle, found by the main love interest of the series, Wako Agemaki, who also happens to be the fiancée of Sugata Shindo, another main character (thus continuing the happy tradition of love-triangles in mecha animé). We soon find out that these youths are students of the Southern Cross High School on the island, and high school-related hjinks and tropes ensue.
However, Wako also happens to be one of the island’s maidens that protect the secret kept underneath the island: giant robots called “Cybodies” that can only be activated outside space-time. But a secret society called “The Order of the Glittering Star Cross,” also on the island, wants to free these robots from their inter-dimensional prison and take over the world. When Wako gets kidnapped by these thugs, Takuto rescues her and finds out that he can also control a “Cybody,” a particularly spiffy looking one called Taurburn.
Well, let’s just say that I’m bemused by this anime. It’s certainly got the feel of the high school drama right, while also keeping the epicness I require from newer mecha anime ever since Gurren Lagaan. No flags there, so far so good. However, the sheer originality of the robots’ design shocked me the first time I saw these “Cybodies” duke it out in an interdimensional arena. This is great in terms of exploring the limits of design, but the radicalism therein could have the potential of scaring away mecha fans, used to the designs given to the medium by the likes of Gundam and Macross.
That being said, I was too busy enjoying the costumes used by the cast; personally, I feel like the show’s creators decided to make as outlandish a costume as possible to say “Here you go, cosplayers, try making THAT.” And the FABULOUSNESS of everything just makes me laugh; seriously, Taurburn has hips and high heels, Takuto gets a transformation sequence AND highlights, and male bare midriff EVERYWHERE. Which is unsurprising because the writer and the director of the anime haven’t worked together since Ouran High School Host Club. Otherwise, it seems just as good a start to a decent mecha anime, which I have no complaints about.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars
So, with that in mind, I leave you to ponder the details of the series with its opening theme while I try to find a way to watch it without have to summon the dark side of the net to do so. See you next time, when I get to do this again, with yet another new series!