Star Driver – Episode 22


Whats up of us, and welcome again to Mistaken Each Time. At this time I’m thrilled to be returning to Star Driver, as we cost ahead into what I’ve to imagine is the present’s endgame. With Ko and Madoka having deserted their pursuit of the Ginga Bishonen, we’re mainly out of secondary conflicts at this level; all that’s left is the varsity play and Tokio’s machinations, which means I’ve each expectation that we’re in for a college competition episode.

Taking one last break earlier than the large motion climax appears greater than superb by me. Each Igarashi and Enokido are of their factor spearheading comedy; the 2 have been collaborating on pleasant goofiness ever since their Sailor Moon days, and given his lengthy stewardship of the Doremi franchise, I’ve doubtless laughed at extra Igarashi nonsense than some other artist within the business. Of their arms, irreverent college adventures and ludicrous expressions aren’t only a break from the motion, they’re typically a automobile for characterization, revealing as a lot or much more about their casts as their actions underneath stress. With that play and its long-anticipated kiss scene approaching, I’m guessing we’re in for an episode that revels at school shenanigans whereas concurrently harnessing them as a automobile to discover Wako’s hesitant, shifting feelings. Let’s discover out!

Episode 22

“Now the world is about to be reborn.” We open straight on the play itself, as Wako provides a tune of flowers blooming and the world awakening – the identical conflation of sexual awakening and apocalypse that defines the present as a complete. So presumably this entire play will function an elaboration on or mirror for the present’s central metaphor – yeah, we’re in deep Enokido territory right here. Any veteran of Utena should certainly be properly acquainted with its frequent “play inside a play” interludes – a way that has been used to elucidate truths the precise gamers are denying since not less than Hamlet, although I’m certain there are earlier precedents

Sarina addresses Takuto as “Marc.” He seems fairly cute in his newsboy cap and suspenders

In the meantime, Sarina is wearing some type of weird jumpsuit, and Takuto addresses her as “the avatar of the Nice Squid King.” Oh shit, are we increasing on Tokio’s fairytale? I recall “killing the squid king” was his stand-in for claiming nice energy, however that it required the sacrifice of a maiden – mainly one other metaphor for the island’s Cybody transaction

Sarina states that Marc is in love with Crace, Wako’s character, although Marc doesn’t appear to know her title

“Are you able to see her?” “I’m in a position to see her.” So Wako’s character is outwardly ephemeral, of unsure substance, which is smart for this portrayal of the liminal age

“I got here right here to inform you the story of Crace, and of the ship.” Given Tokio additionally knew this story, I’m guessing that is the legend of the island itself – the origin of this entire Cybody paradigm

“Crace was invisible to the eyes of bizarre folks”

“However Crace wasn’t lonely. Why? As a result of she met Calumna.” Sugata’s character, seemingly taking part in the identical function as he does in actual life, the identical function his ancestors as soon as carried out

Their apparel and equipment are purposefully chosen. Sugata’s in a enterprise swimsuit with a briefcase, an grownup man who should attend to his skilled duties, whereas Wako is in a college uniform sitting at a bus cease, the younger maiden who’s perpetually on the verge of flight

“It’s essential to have a particular aura of life that no bizarre individual has. The radiance of that aura is what’s reflecting me in your eyes.” Even Crace frames herself as an phantasm, a distortion of perspective

“I believe you’re the primary man who’s seen me.” “Then that makes me the happiest man on this planet. As a result of that candy smile of yours belongs to me alone.” His love is outlined by possession from the beginning. Ladies are to be tucked away, out there solely to their male protectors

“My physique is sort of a mirage.” Crace has no bodily substance – she is a determine of longing alone, the specified excellent maiden that can’t be held within the arms. A destiny that appears to echo Tokio’s perspective; ladies he can really maintain are swiftly discarded, he solely longs for that retreating, unreachable again. He’s at all times in search of the shrine maiden, however the shrine maiden have to be pure – the second it’s claimed, it’s now not the perfect he seeks

“Each morning and night time for the remainder of my days, I wish to gaze upon your smile.” And but that smile isn’t sufficient

“I’m certain that I used to be born simply so I may stay at the present time.” And firstly, Crace can also be completely satisfied to outline herself by Calumna’s happiness

Tiger is our subsequent solid member to look, realized as a jewel-bearing temptress who questions Calumna’s love

Tiger may apparently see Crace as properly

The expression work is high notch for this episode, a welcome precedence for a sequence so pushed by character appearing

“It’s not some radiant aura I possess. It’s eyes of magic.”

“Are you saying you’re a witch?” Sugata instantly brandishes his knife, the image of his workplace. The chief of this island covets shrine maidens however detests witches – as soon as once more, ladies are topics of worship till the exact second they’re claimed, or categorical company

“Each man has not less than one knife on him.” The play frames Sugata’s place as merely the best way of all males

Tiger introduces herself as “Sayin the Witch,” and her gem because the “Jewel of the Night time”

“If you happen to put on this jewel, you’ll be able to contact Crace’s physique.”

God, the character appearing is so good this episode! Tiger’s seductive sneer, Sugata’s guileless longing – their “performances” are so good that it’s simple to get caught up within the drama of the play, whereas additionally appreciating how the solid members are pushing past their consolation zones (or embracing their true needs, in Tiger’s case) in providing these performances

In trade for the jewel, Sayin needs a ship docked on the north shipyard, an ominous vessel that appears very like some megasized Cybody

In between acts, Takuto spies a lady he is aware of within the viewers, presumably from the mainland

“To his shock, it turned out to be a ship that would fly.” The ship as realized on-stage is kind of completely different from that momentary imaginative and prescient of a Cybody, additional implying that this can be a reenactment of the island’s origin story

“I could make this ship fly throughout the heavens wherever I want! I’m not the identical man I used to be yesterday!” Enthralled by the liberty provided by this activated Cybody, Calumna instantly forgets his promise, and his girl Crace

“However flying within the sky was taboo on the Fish Planet. The queen resided in a excessive tower of the fort. And it was taboo for anybody to return close to the queen’s room.” One other girl who can’t be touched, solely coveted from afar

The queen is performed by Jaguar, who’s additionally having a ton of enjoyable along with her function. Sadly, she is assassinated just about instantly by Calumna

“Who’re you?” “I’m the brand new king of the Fish Planet.”

“My efficiency ends right here!?” We even get some laughs from the gang as Jaguar makes her last plea for a much bigger function

“The king needs to be within the highest place. In different phrases, whoever can attain this peak must be king!” Round, self-aggrandizing reasoning, which finally posits that the need to beat and subjugate is its personal justification

“He progressively forgot about his love for Crace. Or maybe by that point, he was unable to see her.” Fascinating. So fulfilling his ambition erased the sense of dissatisfaction or longing that allowed him to dream of the shrine maiden? I suppose that matches; the shrine maiden can solely exist as longing unfulfilled

“So long as I’ve bought this ship, the whole lot the world has to supply me is mine!” However what does the world need to give you, Calumna? What has your freedom introduced you? The desires we see on this island by no means appear to increase that far – the horizon is at all times distant and shimmering, vague

“The ship belongs to you? Haven’t you realized it but? You are the ship now.” A phrasing that additionally resonates with the development of the Cybody activation phases – given Madoka’s final transformation, the pure subsequent step can be complete integration of the human and Cybody selves

In the course of the intermission, Hanako questions Kate on the story to this point. “How tragic, he selected ambition over love. However Class Rep, because you’re so cool-headed, do you discover it extra convincing to guide such a business-like life?” An fascinating jab. Hanako is clearly twisting the knife deliberately, obliquely referring to Kate’s lingering emotions for Sugata, mocking Kate for her superficially cool-headed nature. I’m additionally intrigued by the selection of “business-like” as a manner of describing Calumna’s decisions – a phrasing that echoes his costume, implying induction into the world of adults essentially requires each abandoning romance and getting into the company sphere

“I believe Crace continues to be completely satisfied, regardless.” A response that is likely to be Kate making an attempt to persuade herself she’s okay along with her personal decisions, along with her incapability to really declare Sugata

The woman from the mainland reveals she really got here to see Wako, as a result of she “wished to see what sort of woman Takuto fell in love with.” Ah shit, we’re actually in it now

And now we get the OP drop. Goddamn!

The menacing robotic our heroes face within the OP is identical one which briefly appeared representing Calumna’s ship, confirming its id as the unique, absolutely built-in Cybody

A slight wardrobe malfunction as Tiger is lowered onto the ship through crane equipment. They actually went all out for this play’s manufacturing!

Despite allegedly being paralyzed by the witch, Calumna swiftly stabs her as properly, drawing on the ability of the ship to betray his associate

“Die, you damned witch!” Our transient minimize of the unique story reveals the “witch” to be one other individual built-in with a Cybody, although this one of many extra typical Cybody measurement

The witch states that merging with the ship is his punishment for abandoning his love

“Afterwards, Calumna continued to rule because the king of the Fish Planet, however he remained hidden deep inside the fort.” So is Calumna nonetheless the wielder of that final Cybody?

Sarina states she is without doubt one of the “Entropeople,” presumably riffing on entropy, a system’s pure tendency in direction of dysfunction and decay. So she is trapped like Calumna, slowly disintegrating over time

They’re “a galactic race that has vowed by no means to make use of magic.” Maybe they have been the unique shepherds of the Cybodies, understanding their energy shouldn’t be exploited

The solid members to the facet reveal that these strains aren’t really within the script – Sarina seems to truly be managed by the real Entropeople, who appear to be controlling her by our fox mascot character

“Do you carry a knife, simply as Calumna did?” Will you wield this energy for violence, Takuto?

“My objective is to not steer the ship, however to see her radiant smile. If I do have a knife, it is just to guard her.”

After the play, Tokio tells Sarina that she “ended it on the proper place,” as he’s in fact incapable of believing that any man could possibly be glad with that conclusion, and that any continuation would inevitably lead to Takuto’s character embracing Tokio’s personal selfishness

Takuto introduces the customer as his junior excessive good friend Hana Okada. She elects to depart on the final ferry, assured that Takuto has discovered his route – that he “hears the soul of the world,” as Takuto’s grandfather as soon as phrased it

And now Tokio’s telling Sarina he’d like to color her, although she’s thankfully far too good for that

“Not like the others, Tauburn is a Cybody created particularly for earthlings. Even we do not know what it’s able to.” Positive, simply sneak some last-minute alien overseers into our narrative, no drawback

We conclude on Kate’s nightly ritual – although this time, Sugata awakes

And Carried out

Goddamn, what a reveal-stuffed episode! Our drama membership’s play turned out to be much more informative than the outright flashback-focused episode, revealing the complete origins of the Cybody system whereas providing an array of pleasant performances within the discount. Apparently Aliens Did It, although in fact realizing the alien origins of those Cybodies doesn’t actually affect their thematic significance – as a substitute, these last reveals successfully illuminated the darker corners of Star Driver’s central metaphor, articulating a perpetual cycle of males in search of love, however being drawn away by the attract of energy as soon as love was of their grasp. I notably appreciated how Sarina’s interpretation of this story differed from Tokio’s, providing some damning context for his story of Squid King violence, whereby solely by sacrificing the maiden may the hero obtain true freedom. Fables can both clarify our world or information our future – let’s hope that Takuto embraces Sarina’s telling, and breaks the cycle finally.

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