Blu Ray Review: Star Driver Volume Two

Star Driver

Volume 2

Bandai Entertainment

In my review of volume 1, I compared Star Driver to Revolutionary Girl Utena.  The comparisons grow more prominent in this second volume, mostly to the show’s benefit.


Star Driver and Utena take place in  slightly whimsical versions of the modern world.  In both cases, something very whimsical (some may even call it fanciful) happened in the distant, unnamed past, and the protagonists are now forced to live in the aftermath as they strive to correct the damage that was done.

Neither series is totally clear on exactly what happened; but interesting, both use the same conceit to reveal the mysterious past, at least in a metaphorical way; a play within the play.  In Utena, the shadow girls relate the fairytale-like story of a prince, a witch, and a magic castle in the sky which conspired to create the Rose Bride and the dueling tournament.  In Star Driver, we find that the play which the drama club the main characters belonged to has been working on all along tells, whether known to them or not, the secret history of the cybodies and their trek to Earth.  It involves a prince, a witch, and a spaceship, and ends with a bizarre revelation that isn’t elaborated on, though I wish it had been.

Star Driver unceremoniously drops the viewer into a very complex mythology.  I think that I was able to grasp most of it; though the details and the larger implications are murky.  It’s not unlike finding some ancient artifacts from an unknown civilization and trying to piece together a story about them; you’ll get part of it right, but you’ll never really know the whole truth.  As it turns out, that’s pretty much the same position that the characters of the series are in.  They, too, found the cybodies and only scarcely understand them.

Takuto, the hero of the series , is a little too goody-goody.  He’s overly optimistic and overly powerful so that he’s never truly threatened or challenged.  In this volume, he has his long-awaited confrontation with the father that abandoned him.  I liked the way it was handled; direct and to-the-point, and perfectly inline with Takuto’s character.  In a way, it showed a lot of growth for him; as the mission that had originally brought him to the island was now a near-meaningless diversion.

Star Driver is a fun and colorful mecha series with an interesting (though elusive) story, flashy battles, and a lot of style.  The  blu ray contains 13 episodes on two discs.  It has the Japanese audio with removable subtitles and unedited video (original Japanese credits and titles).

This was the final disc released by Bandai Entertainment.  It was a perfect example of the type of show they loved to do and they did a good job with the presentation (though they couldn’t be bothered to make any extras by that point).


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