I have to admit that prior to watching Star Driver, my initial expectations were not that high. I didn’t want to read into too much detail about the show, but while skimming through various recaps of the first episode, a few words quelled my interest: robots, transformation, confusing plot, Galactic Pretty Boy…to name a few. Not words that’ll win me over.
Still, because of some of the people behind the series — director Takuya Igarashi (Soul Eater, Ouran High School Host Club), writer Yoji Enokido (FLCL, some of Neon Genesis Evangelion), and studio BONES (Full Metal Alchemist) — I gave it a chance. The first episode piqued my interest enough to where I continued to watch. Now I’m caught up.
There are positives: very high quality, smooth animation, nice fight sequences, good voice cast and an intriguing narrative. It’s a pretty anime, make no mistake. Sure, it could come off as confusing, but that’s what the whole season is for.
Admittedly, I have come to like the series.
My main gripe, though, was that through 3 episodes it was becoming too formulaic. It’s an old soul in a sense that every episode ends with a battle between our hero and a challenger, and every battle ends the same way. Bokurano had a similar approach as well. But from the get-go, its subject matter was so engaging, that it superceded the repetitiveness. With Star Driver’s story not as appealing, in my opinion, I was starting to worry that I would lose interest.
Thankfully, the flow of the show was changed up a bit in the fourth episode, while still managing to plant seeds and progress the story. I would guess the fans that enjoyed what the first 3 episodes had to offer were a bit disappointed. In my opinion, though, the approach to the 4th episode was well needed. It proved that they’re capable of switching up the narrative and being a bit unpredictable.
Now I’m officially sold and will be watching until the end.