star driver 1

“With a punch!”

Despite so many recycled tropes, why not keep doing it bigger and bigger? That’s what Star Driver tries to accomplish. Yes, I’ve seen giant mecha fight before… yes, I’ve seen a mysterious plucky boy save the girl (and the world, but not as important as the girl)… yes, I’ve seen a love triangle… sinister evil organization… strange unexplained giant fighting machines… connection to relatives of the past… I’ve seen this, you’ve seen this, we’ve all seen this before. Yet… here we go again.

Star Driver is an original story with an impressive pedigree. Bones is handling animation with what looks like most of the Ouran Host Club team with Takuya Igarashi (Ouran, Sailor Moon, Soul Eater) as director. Yoji Enokido (Utena) penned the script, which explains what the hero giant mecha is so fabulous. Yoshiyuki Ito (Ouran, Gurren Lagann) and Shigeto Koyama (Gurren Lagann) handle animation and mecha design respectively, which explains why the mecha look like Gurren Lagann at a rich boarding school. And the main seiyuu cast feature Mamoru Miyano (Setsuna F. Seiei), Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch), and Saori Hayami (Saki) in a love triangle where hopefully the two boys don’t end up together.

(Maybe they will. But hopefully we’ll keep that to just Comiket.)


In a nutshell, Takuto (voiced by Mamoru, red hair) is the protagonist who has an innate ability to call forth a giant mecha. Why? How? Wha? Pa-chomp-pa-chewy-chomp? It doesn’t make any sense. But I’m willing to work with it… and, yeah, so many tropes. Plucky rebellious youth who say things like “If you tell me not to go there, it only makes me want to go there more!” (He’s not talking about boobs, unfortunately.) Mysterious origin. Saves the day in a hugely deus ex machina way.

(Red hair = outgoing… this has to be yet another Modern Law of Anime. Do any of you remember which number I was up to?)


The blonde, nakkid girl (voiced by Saori) is Wako, one of the remaining shrine maidens. Apparently, this sinister evil secret organization is sacrificing shrine maidens to unlock more and more powerful mecha. Why? How? Wha? Pa-chomp-pa-chewy-chomp? None of this is explained and “increasing stock price” has been the only allusion to any sort of overall goal. (Damn, this is how you increase stock price? By sacrificing hawt young haremettes? DAMN YOU WALL STREET! DAMN YOU TO HELL!) Of course, I’m guessing that Takuto will be tasked with protecting her. This is an absolutely original idea in anime. *cough* Sagara and Chidori *cough*

This season alone, Saori Hayami is voicing Sora no Otoshimono‘s Ikaros (hands down, her finest VA work), Bakuganman‘s Azuki, MM‘s Yuno, Ore no Imouto‘s Ayase, and this role for Star Driver. Busy, busy lady. She is definitely the “it” seiyuu this season.

(Thing about all those roles… all very different.)


Blue haired guy is Sugata (voiced by Jun, fabulously), and, well, I’m not sure what his role is. Except he’s supposed to be engaged to Wako, yet he’s saying things like, “I believe one should follow one’s heart”… does it mean he’s falling in love with Takuto? I wouldn’t be surprised, but, then again, this isn’t Sunrise (despite the Sunrisian setup).


Not a blatant rip-off of Gurren Lagann‘s final battle at all. None. I don’t see it.


Nakkid shrine maidens?! Yes, please.


Nekomimi and usagimimim meido?! Yes, please.


The masks… they don’t work so well in terms of hiding your identity. Somewhere, Graham Acre is smiling and thinking, “Hey, I no longer get the worst identity-hiding mask-wearer in anime distinction.” But they do allow them to pilot the mecha, much like how Simon shoves a drill into a hole, they shove masks into a mask slot.

(Andohbytheway, Is this the same sinister organization responsible for the costume orgy party in Eyes Wide Shut?)


From now on, this is how I would like everything explained to me: instructions on 1040 forms, rules at the local YMCA, how to order a hamburger from Five Guys, Obama’s health care plan, the Denard Robinson playbook, cooking ramen, crafting in Final Fantasy XIV, synopsis of The Sound and the Fury, piloting 00 Gundam, proper etiquette for a threesome, chocolate chip cookie recipes, building shit in Minecraft, reading the diagnostic port on my car, how to pick up school girls wearing thigh highs, assembling Ikea furniture, plot to K-On!, etc.

(Benio’s not as awesome as “God” from Maria+Holic. Then again, no one could top her… so, if you’re keeping track at home, Maria+Holic features the top dorm hall monitor, the top trap, the top sarcastic meido, and the top suitcase tentacle monster. Why oh why is there no sequel for it?)


The animation? Incredible. Jaw-dropping good. This is why we need retina display 52″ televisions.

(Sorry, Tauburn, the name of Takuto’s “cybody” just screams fabulous. I cannot think of it and not think of the penis mobile from Utena‘s movie. Then again, it all makes sense now… maybe we should get Benio to explain this with her whiteboard as well.)


“It’s the Galactic Pretty Boy!”

If I were Takuto, I’d go change that effing nickname. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. And, of course/sadly, it’s fitting since Takuto goes into a magical girl transformation sequence to pilot said Tauburn… except he’s a boy… and it’s highly awkward. Again, from the creative team from Sailor Moon, Ouran, Rahxephon, Eureka 7, and Utena… what do you expect? Manliness? His outfit does look like a more flaming version of Simon’s final outfit crossed with Ouran‘s school uniform and a dash of Ohtori Academy for good measure.

(Okay, okay, Simon’s final outfit was fabulous too, especially the black leather corset, but we all knew how hard he was banging Nia so it’s okay. Plus, Kamina’s dead… but if Kamina were alive, I’d reconsider things.)


Disappointed he didn’t do the Sailor Moon wink at the end and disappointed he didn’t pull Tauburn out of Wako’s chest.

(This show feels a lot like Asura Cryin’, only even hokier, more fabulous, and better animated.)


The OP, Gravity 0, reminds me of a cross between K-On! (Yui running to school) and Mirror’s Edge. I’m enjoying it, but, sorry, you’re not topping Forte‘s Ring My Bell.


It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good giant mecha show, so I’m looking forward to more Star Driver.

(It can’t be more gay than Gundam, right? Mmm… right?!)

22 Responses to “star driver 1”

  1. The last 5ish screenshots are about as straight as a slinky.
    Mitigating factor – two naked chicks with glowing chests.

  2. You forgot ‘best harem, if any of them save Yuzuru were into girls’ for Maria+Holic. And best assistant to the student council president. But that’s for another time.

    No traps in this yet, at least.

  3. Oh God!! ….soooo much FABULOUS!

  4. I’ll definitely check this out. I hope this show handles the whole “your classmates are evil” bit properly.

    That pink-haired girl with the twintails makes me think that this is what Idolmaster Xenoglossia (a Sunrise adaptation, natch) was missing: masks!

    Funny aside- the main guest at this year’s AWA, Shini Aramaki, is apparently involved with this project, and asked if anyone had heard about it. Practically no one responded. Usually con guests are surprised by how fast anime/news spreads over the net. It’s rare that people are behind the curve- maybe it’s just us.

  5. So in a battle of up-to-eleven mecha pilots, who would win: Kamina, or Takuto?

  6. It’s gonna be a draw. Kamina has overwhelming gar, but that gets cancelled out by Takuto’s overwhelming fabulousness.

  7. Making Code Geass look straight.

  8. The main char looks soooooooo gay. That’s all I can say, man …

  9. Thanks for making aware of this fabulous show, Jason. Looks set to be the most promising show of this season. :)

  10. GALACTIC PRETTY BOY! ……..Faaaaaabulous. Well, I’m sold on this show. Unless there’s more surprises this season (and fingers crossed for TWGOK), SD would rank pretty high on my season’s thin slicing.

  11. Wrong.

  12. The episode was good but that’s it.Now to see what they’ll make out of it, if it will fail miserably like Ookami-san or shine untill the end like … can’t think of any for last season (except Rainbow and Uraboku but I’m the only one thinking this), I don’t find this fabulous at all. Also, I hope my guess is wrong and they’re not going for mecha of the week, and that the guy he beat this episode won’t come back seeking revenge and kidnap the girl.
    I’m just waiting for Maaya Sakamoto’s chara to appear.

  13. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good giant mecha show,

    SRW OG2: The Inspector is out this season.
    Then again, this line —

    Yoshiyuki Ito (Ouran, Gurren Lagann) and Shigeto Koyama (Gurren Lagann) handle animation and mecha design respectively, which explains why the mecha look like Gurren Lagann at a rich boarding school.

    –sold me.

  14. >And the main seiyuu cast feature Mamoru Miyano (Setsuna F. Seiei)
    Y’know, I think mentioning that the voice actor plays Kida Masaomi is more relevant considering he’s being voiced the exact same way and it’s awesome.

  15. >SRW OG2: The Inspector is out this season.

    The SRW anime, while it had a great soundtrack and decent animation, wasn’t that good an anime. It felt rushed, and(IIRC) only covered the first half of the first game. I don’t have that high of hopes for the 2nd season.

  16. Is it bad that Shinji has the most potential to be gar than all the other pilots of 2010? Passing of the torch?

  17. Lelouch and Setsuna?
    Oh, they WILL end up together alright….

  18. @Cube:It’s true they failed with the first one. You know, No one had hope for the 2nd season until they saw the first episode bro.

  19. The SRW anime, while it had a great soundtrack and decent animation, wasn’t that good an anime. It felt rushed, and(IIRC) only covered the first half of the first game. I don’t have that high of hopes for the 2nd season.

    Divine Wars is a piece of shit. Do not compare it to The Inspector ever again.

    Then again, not having high hopes is a good attitude. I didn’t have high hopes for Star Driver either, but it’s surprisingly entertaining.

  20. Is a Galactic Pretty Boy a male Galactic Nymph? He sure dresses like a genderswapped Sheryl Nome. Are we going to get regaled by Takuto’s Hopes and Dreams?

  21. Star Driver = Gurren Lagann: Gay Version

    I didn’t like lots of randomness and no explaining of anything, but it looks like the second episode clears some things up.

  22. for those of us in the states, the mecha is a dead ringer for Prince Poppycock, from America’s got talent……. He’s a Yankee Doodle DANDY!!!!!! hahaha…

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