Star Driver is Studio Bones' personal Dragonaut. No, it's not so goddamn painfully stupid that it'll make you a little more retarded for having watched it, but like Studio Gonzo's shitty dragony opus, Star Driver is nothing but an incomprehensible mongoloid plot, filled with hanging un-resolutions, dumb characters, and the lamest "heart-felt moments" you've ever had to trudge through, but it's also got one of the most enormous animation budgets I've ever seen in a weekly TV show. The amount of time and money they threw at this lame production simply boggles my mind.
Let me back up and tell you a little about Star Driver's "plot" first, so you can see exactly where I'm coming from. See, there's this tropical island off the Southern coast of Japan that's actually a secret depot for a couple dozen giant, mystical robots, and four shrines (and shrine priestesses) that keep these destructive mechs in a restricted time/space known as "Zero Time," lest certain naughty people bust the mecha out and try to take over the world with their powah.
Where these robots came from, what they really are, how the bad guys dug their base of operations (a ginormous excavation about 10Xs the size of that giant warehouse seen at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark) under that tiny volcanic island without anybody noticing (that much rock and dirt really would have aroused at least an inkling of suspicion with the locals), and how the main bad guy gathered so many stupid, unquestioning people (mostly teenagers who actually have the ability to pilot the magical robots known as Cybodies) to his side are apparently unimportant issues that the writers and director never bother answering, so just pretend I never brought them up.
Anyway, to this island (one Southern Cross Island) comes red-headed idiot transfer high school student Takuto, who, because he missed the last ferry from the mainland on the day before his school's opening ceremonies, decided to swim to the island that night (instead of possibly waiting for the first boat early the next morning). Well, he almost drowns, but is given mouth to mouth by an island girl (who just so happens to be one of the island-sealing shrine maidens) named Wako who just so happened to be walking on the beach that Takuto washed up on with her fiance, Sugata. All three of these yahoos then become fast friends even though a love triangle instantly appears with both guys wanting to boink the homely Wako, and together the trio unite their powers (and Takuto's inexplicable ability to call forth his own Cybody from outside the island's Zero Time, and transform his hair and clothes in the cockpit) to fight the Glittering Crux Brigade (not making that up for a gay vampire joke or anything, that's indeed what the bad guys are called), so that they don't break all the shrine seals on Zero Time and take over the world.
It sounds straight forward and stupid, and it is. And it's also a clichéd monster-of-the-week formulaic show (well, a robot-of-the-week show I mean). Every episode starts off with Takuto pining for Wako, Wako wanting to jump both Takuto and Sugata's bones, and Sugata.... well, he honestly might want a piece of both Takuto and Wako, it's never made clear. Anyway, they do goofy things, and the main Glittering Cox Brigade baddie of the week observes them in their daily lives, and then calls forth Zero Time that night (Zero Time being when and where time stops for everybody in the world except for people with Cybodies or shrine powers, who are then pulled into a strange dimension where the bad and good mystical giant robots fight, and Takuto's Cybody always destroys the bad Cybody with the same exact finishing move every goddamn time... Don't worry, it makes even less sense in the show proper). Next episode, same shit, different baddie (since of course Takuto's Cybody can pretty much just walk all over the opposition like they were kittens and he was wearing spiked golf shoes). Seriously, there is NO drama in this thing at all! Nobody ever dies when their robots explode (Takuto always saves them), and when one of the shrine priestesses of the island has her seal broken (nothing sexual or disgusting there, unfortunately) she lives through the experience, and afterward she's actually able to leave the island and explore the world (the island wouldn't let them go before... Kind of like the ka-razy island from Lost)... So like win-win for all! NO DRAMA AT ALL.
The writers tried to make this thing all mysterious and cool by giving everybody a complicated relationship with each other, but in the end they never explained anything, and so it all looks half-assed. For example, Takuto is the son of the main Glittering Cox big bad, even though the villain still looks like he's 17 years-old. How is he still that young when everybody else with seals and Cybodies ages properly? I got no fucking clue. I thought I missed that explanation or something, but upon rewatching the one episode dedicated to Takuto's pappy's past I still could not figure out this quite important plot point. Oh, and there's that green-haired high school chick who's financing the Glittering Cox with her mad Wall Street skillz, who kisses any boy who comes her way through glass, who's also married to a 65 year-old French business man... for no reason. And the Frenchie only shows up in one or two quick scenes in the whole thing, making us think that he's actually a big player in the whole story that we've yet to see... but then he's forgotten/ignored.
Oh, then there's the two shrine maidens who played fairly large roles in the series (and who had pretty deep personal stakes in the plot as a whole, especially in relation to other main characters' motivations), who, after their seals are broken and their tales only half told, simply leave the island for good with no closure at all. And don't forget that final shrine maiden who used to be friends with Sugata and Wako when they were all younger, who used her powers to save Sugata's life once, who then gets naked in his bedroom every so often in order to use her super shrine seal aura to... do something that we're never told. And there's that high school senior in charge of the drama club that the anti-Glittering Cox students are all members of who I thought was going to play a very important part in the grand finale (since she seemed to know more about everything that was going on in the shadows than anybody else in this show), but she's completely ignored in the last few episodes, and she ends up not doing ANYTHING important at all. Oh, and Takuto's mother and grandfather, who pretty much got this whole thing rolling in the first place by dissing Takuto's dad back in the day.... They're shown like once or twice in flashbacks, but then forgotten too.
Honestly, if I had to describe this show in one quick sentence it'd be this: "Star Driver is the biggest cock tease story ever, in which everything that you think is important is not." There are no twists in it, there are no cool new concepts. It's the same shit episode after episode — no interesting histories or stories for anybody or anything, and by the end of it you're just so bored with the concept that you simply don't give a shit what happens in the grand finalé (which is neither grand, nor a real finalé... Discuss)... It's pretty much Sailor Moon, but with lame-looking robots instead of chicks in weird costumes.
Man oh man... that ending. Ugh, I guess I really need to talk about it so that you understand what a let down this whole production is. So instead of "taking over the world" with the unbeatable Cybodies once the four island seals are gone (like he told all his sheeple minions he was planning to do), Takuto's daddy instead wants to awaken the island's biggest robot evah, kill everybody in the entire the world, and then spend the rest of his existence time traveling back to the happiest moments in his life.... I... Does this sound like a good plan to you? Because to me it sounds like a mentally challenged 3 year-old came up with it. After watching the ending I asked my very intelligent 7 year-old niece, "Hey, if you could travel through time, what would you do? Would you relive your most fun day over and over again?"
She looked at me like I was the stupid kid in her 2nd grade class who ate her glue last week. "No, Uncle Ross. That would be sooooo boring," she explained to me. "I'd like to see me as a baby, or maybe go back to see some dinosaurs! Or maybe some unicorns before they all died out." Unicorns, dinosaurs, see where you came from... All three infinitely less retarded ideas than Takuto's daddy's master plan. Oh, and Takuto's papa actually announced his betrayal of all his minions' trust when they STILL HAD THEIR GIANT ROBOTS right in front of them and COULD STILL OPPOSE HIM... And he's absolutely SHOCKED when they do in fact try to stop his dumbass scheme too. Ugh....
Okay, so to wrap up, there are mysterious (read, "never explained") mystical robots locked up on a small island. The good guys want to keep them there, and the bad guys (who have total run of the isle, and can easily persuade tons of sexy girls and pretty boys to join them) want to use said robots to kill everybody in the world and relive their glory days over and over and over again... Add to that about two dozen plot threads that were made to seem important but were instead left hanging, and that's pretty much about it.
I was totally blown away by the smoothness of the animation at first, and the action and speed of the Cybody battles, but with no substance behind them I found myself simply not caring about jack or shit in this thing. And my GOD! They don't even have Wako pick one of her boy toys above the other in the end! Even Hikaru picked Risa over (the much better) Minmay at the end of Macross, and he was one of the wishy-washiest guys ever written! Wako actually comes right out and states that although she feels bad about it (*SNORT!* HA! Bullshit!), she loves both boys equally and simply cannot choose... What. The. Fuck, Japan?! Honestly, I wanted her to pick the bland Sugata because I liked Takuto and thought he deserved that happy-go-lucky pink-haired girl, or her magical twin... But pinky vanished never to return and Takuto was stuck with the blah Wako (even though every other girl on the island was throwing her moist panties his way, but he was just too blind to see it, or too much of a gaylord to understand it). Goddammit, knowing how pathetic Takuto and Sugata are you just KNOW Wako would soon be able to talk them both into some front and back door simultaneous action. Fuck...
This is perhaps the absolutely gayest thing I've ever seen outside of two dudes going down on each other... Not that there's anything wrong with that, just that when I'm not expecting that level of gayness in a giant robot TV show, it's kinda surprising is all.
So, you want to know if I say if you should watch this show or not? Well the answer is NO. No, I do not think you should.