Don’t let appearances fool you, this isn’t a mecha anime show with high school elements, but is instead a high school anime that happens to have robots in it. After reading a transcript of a conversation between Igarashi Takuya and Enokido Yoji, the director and writer for the series, one aspect of this show that is the most interesting is the fact that no one is going to die. Say what you will about Code Geass, but some characters did die (and stayed dead) in that show. Now by no means am I saying this show is going to be better or worse than Code Geass, or any other mecha anime, because people don’t die. But when you really think about it, the concept of giant mechas fighting, regardless of the body count, is a pretty ridiculous idea and Star Driver seems to understand that. However, with that said, this series needs something to hang its hat on, and some of the show’s elements indicate that redemption may be a core theme.
Though the scene doesn’t make for an appealing screen cap, or joke for that matter, I thought that the most intriguing scene in episode two was when we gained insight to the life of episode one’s “villain”, George, post getting beat down by Takuto. This is where the concept of no one dying in this show really starts to matter. While many shows have undoubtedly left their characters in a state of dejection (Yugi’s defeat to Kaiba for some reason pops into my head), I can’t recall having someone lose so fabulously in such a public and grand manner. It is relatively easy for anyone to identify with a winner of a battle, and many people have focused much of their attention on the relative ease with which Takuto has defeated his two opponents. Some even lamented at the fact that it doesn’t seem like Takuto is going to lose a battle anytime soon and honestly, I think it will be some time before he does. But that isn’t the real issue.
In defining that issue, I think it is necessary to at least mention the show’s OP, which along with its excellent animation also has some interesting lyrics (you can find a subbed version somewhere on YouTube). Among other things, it seems to be preaching that life is tough and you have to work hard to get over it. I think the real crux of this show is how these defeated star drivers are going to have bounce back from their defeats. Whether or not this will eventually include Takuto is still up in the air, but I do think that it would make for a good storyline.
Of course this whole argument begs the question as to what these expelled star drivers, currently George and Tetsuya, need to get over. On the surface, it is obviously no longer being able to pilot a Cybuddy, but there is obviously something that piloting robots stand for. At this point, it is still too early to speculate on what exactly this is, but the show has provided a few hints, mostly sexual in nature. That aside, the multiple references to glass in this episode would have been difficult to miss, but I thought the show handled it well. Takuto’s entrance into zero time clearly alluded to breaking through glass, which was in stark contrast to Kanako not minding the glass for her kiss earlier in the episode.
At this point, you have to consider the strategic location that is this show’s setting, which is an island removed from the rest of the world. Now before contemplating the meaning of an island setting, we should consider that this story clearly begins before episode 1. The most obvious example is that the Glittering Crux Brigade is without their leader for some reason, and we can only assume that something fairly substantial happened before the Galactic Pretty Boy washed up on shore. Perhaps, Takuto’s purpose is to break down the walls that separate people’s dreams and somehow merge them with reality. Takuto’s third level ability, in which he is able to see the action from his Cybuddy more clearly than his Crux counterparts, who are only at the second level, might be an indication of this.
I know that sounds a bit too much like Instrumentality, but this offers some sort of explanation as to why the Crux’s members wear masks, even if it isn’t a first level solution. Now that George and Tetsuya have lost their masks, I would venture to guess that we will see their characters, and anyone else who loses a battle, get the most development, while those who are still Star Drivers blissfully go about their lives without any sort of characterization. Getting back to the island, it is cut off from the rest of the world, and perhaps the distance between it and the rest of the world will eventually shrink. Whether this is through an outside influence or character flashbacks to the mainland doesn’t really matter at this point.
If you have read this far, I thank you for putting up with a lot of theorizing and an admittedly poorly organized post. Nonetheless, I didn’t just want to write four paragraphs rewording how “fabulous” the show is and asking questions.