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.