Autumn 2010 – First Impressions (Star Driver & Super Robot Wars OG – The Inspector)
A double dose of mecha this evening, Star Driver: Kagayaki no Tokuto & Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector (although the shows couldn’t be more different from each other if they tried!).
Star Driver: Kagayaki no Tokuto
Oh wow. If you need a show to brighten up your day, look no further than Star Driver; this episode was a joy to watch. As an introductory episode it does its job pretty well; most of the main characters are introduced, the basic plot is highlighted and a lot of the world specific terminology is fired out there – a lot of information is crammed in and not a lot really makes sense yet. However even if things don’t make sense, it was still a massive amount of fun to watch. Star Driver seems to be very self-aware, and is trying its damnedest to be the most Fabulous thing you’ve ever seen – the campness levels of this show are through the roof! From the mid-rift barring figure hugging costumes, to the magical boy, sorry excuse me, Galactic Pretty Boy transformation sequence and the way the mecha prances around like an egotistical ballet dancer; everything has the camp factor turned up to 11 – and I loved every moment of it!
Now so far I seem to be whining about the lack of quality animation in this Autumn’s anime, such is not the case with Star Driver – this show is gorgeous! The character designs may be camp and rainbow haired, but they’re consistently well drawn and very smoothly animated, the backgrounds are glorious and the brief mecha action scene showed no sign of any hideously obvious CGI – the way the mecha practically danced across the screen was fantastic (really not going for realistic Break Blade type movement here). Thank god for BONES, they can always be counted on to deliver the eyecandy.
The OP is a pretty decent number, and I liked the way it was animated as a consistent scene of Takuto running across the island – its nice to see an OP that’s clearly been drawn just to be an OP. I also quite liked the ED animation focusing on the trio of main characters, although the accompanying song is nothing remarkable. Background music is suitably epic sounding. Cast is drool-worthy; Mamoru Miyano is channeling a hyperactive Masaomi Kida (Drrr!!) in the main role, and most of the episode was an exercise in ‘hey its that voice!’ with such names as Jun Fukuyama, Akira Ishida and Ami Koshimizu.
So yes the show is as shallow as a puddle at the moment and I have no clue whats really going on, but hey, Star Driver is fun and I really enjoyed watching it – definitely a keeper!
Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector
And now we have a much more classic mecha series, filled with yelling, stuff blowing up, fanservice, political speeches, stuff blowing up, more characters than you can shake a stick at, stuff blowing up, mecha with boobs, tea, and did I mention stuff blowing up? I have absolutely no idea what this was about, I’ve never watched or played any of Super Robot Wars before so everything went clear over my head – I have no idea what Mr President was talking about in his long rambling speech and I don’t know what was going on with Mr two-tone hair (new must have accessory for main characters in mecha series this season) being all crazy evil in the pre-op segment, and then all sane and GAR in the main episode…..and most of all I don’t know why there is a fight going on in the first place! Still its always fun to watch stuff blow up, and there was plenty of that to watch in this episode.
The character designs are pretty terrible, but the mecha is nice and the action is well animated – very little CGI as well which was good to see. The OP had me giggling – its hilariously overblown, full of shouty vocals and loud guitar riffs in a very ‘look at me! I’m a classic mecha show and I have loads of characters and stuff blowing up!’ kind of way. The ED is just fanservice – I didn’t even watch it all. The voice acting is pretty cheesy, although the majority of it was classic one-liners and yelling so not much to really go on.
I don’t think I’ll be bothering with anymore of this, much as I love watching stuff blow up I also like to know whats going on!