Star Driver 1 – Listen to My Song?

From what I’ve read, people have been going on about the camp value of Star Driver‘s first episode: The mecha designs (Takuto’s mecha looking like something the Scarlet Pimpernel would pilot, George’s mecha having a cock ring of all things, etc.), Takuto’s flamboyant transformation, the crazy masked cult, and so on. Takuto’s whole vibe actually reminded me of a true piece of anime camp I watched during the summer . . .

Yep, throughout that whole sequence, I kept expecting Takuto to shout, “Listen to my song!” and was actually somewhat disappointed that he didn’t. (Just so people know, that link is from Macross 7, which is by far the campiest anime I’ve ever seen. I bet Shoji Kawamori would be proud to know he crafted such a thing.) He kept talking about singing out his youth — he couldn’t belt out a little tune while kicking some ass? Takuto doesn’t appear to have Basara’s pacifist streak, but I couldn’t think of anything else while watching him; don’t know if that’s a good thing so far, though, since I’m not a huge fan of Macross 7, to say the least. (Will admit to enjoying the extreme goofiness of the first half before it actually turns seriously serious, though.)

But, yes, BONES is really indulging in the inherent silliness that runs through many mecha series. You can’t have a hero nicknamed the “Galactic Pretty Boy” without being at least somewhat aware of how utterly goofy it is. Same with all the other nonsense spread throughout the episode. Especially anything related to ancient rituals. I can never take those seriously unless they involve blood sacrifice or something, because at least then there is some element of danger to them. Otherwise, it’s like the initiation in Animal House: “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”

The mechanics of Takuto’s mecha also remind me somewhat of the mobile trace system in G Gundam. (Another series, by the way, that could possibly be considered camp, taking into account the general goofiness of many of the Gundams and characters. I think it falls short, though, because the series actually has a good story that you can take completely seriously, despite how over the top of full of hot-bloodedness it is.) Speaking of, I’m looking forward to seeing more crazy mecha as the series goes on. Surely the Fourth Musketeer and the cock ring can’t be the best of what we’ll see. Someone at BONES has to have been spending the entire summer concocting ideas for the weirdest possible mecha designs.

That said, I wonder if Star Driver can keep up such devotion to campiness throughout its run while not completely losing its shit and falling off the train tracks in a blaze of glory like Macross 7 does. Really, full-on campiness is best suited for the movies because of their relatively short running time. (Or really short TV series/OVAs. Like, Garth Marengi’s Darkplace, for instance, is a fantastic self-aware horror series full of ridiculous camp, but it’s just six episodes.) It’s just so damn easy to get tired of pure camp after a while.

10 Responses to “Star Driver 1 – Listen to My Song?”

  1. I’m sure there’s plenty of time for Takuto to break out into song. I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see a full mid-fight coreographed dance

  2. [...] others go on about how fabulous and campy Star Driver is, I’d rather just note that the show takes itself much less [...]

  3. “Galactic Pretty Boy” reminds me of a kung-fu movie I watched once, in which the main character is asked his name, and he says it is, “Wandering Swordsman”. Later someone frames him by claiming he is “Wandering Swordsman” during a robbery. When the villagers find out that the robber said his name was “Wandering Swordsman”, they turn on the real “Wandering Swordsman”. I always wondered if the villagers would have been tricked if the main character had used a proper name instead of a generic noun.

    Hopefully “Galactic Pretty Boy” won’t have similar problems, but if he does, I’m sure he will look fabulous while having them.

  4. [...] basically everybody in the blogsphere I agree that there’s some serious OVERtones in this show, but really that’s to be [...]

  5. I think they ARE aware of how goofy this show is… I really wonder whether the goofyness is actually just a ‘stunt’ kind of thing to get viewers and that there’s really a show underneath, or if the goofyness is all there is to the show.

  6. I’m glad you made the effort to use the word “camp” as opposed to the more popularly used word for this series at the moment. Though I can’t say it didn’t cross my mind. I too am interested to see if this series can keep up this tone for what is a full-on 20+ episode mecha series. It feels like they pulled a little bit of a bait and switch with us. It says it’s mecha, but it feels more “magical girl”. Much like how G Gundam says it was mecha, but it honestly felt much of the time like a hot blooded martial arts/action series.

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