First Impressions – Star Driver

Well, that was Bones through and through. Ridiculous budget, mecha, apparently a huge plot about to unfold. We have an all-star cast (Saori Hayami, Fukuyama Jun, Mamoru Miyano, for starters) and the director of Soul Eater, Takuya Igarashi. And on balance, the first ep didn’t disappoint.

Bishounen were certainly everywhere in this, led by the lead, “Galactic Pretty Boy” Takuto. He turns up on the beach on an unnamed island, apparently dead, and is revived by hottie Wako Agemaki. Turns out everyone on this island is attending a rather posh-looking high school and they all seem to have an interesting secret backstory. Wako is one of the island’s four shrine maidens but it’s Takuto who gets the transformation sequence – that’s just how pretty he is – as his inner bishounen is released. The baddies seem to have set up shop in an abandoned gold mine adjacent to the school, and that looks like the source of the bigger plot and much of the action sequences sure to follow.

I rather enjoyed the scenes in the school, especially the new student mixer being headed up by Ruri Makina, voiced by Emiri Katou (fast becoming one of my favorites). These scenes really exemplified the exuberant, flamboyantly silly tone that ran through the first episode. It’s obvious that BONES has their A-team of animators on this one, and the story and characters look strong enough to keep pace. I like the start – it didn’t bowl me over, but there’s a ton of potential here.


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