Star Driver, Sharks, Theater

The phrase “jumping the shark” only has meaning when we walk the careful planks over a suspension bridge of belief. Do we want to use that term in regards to Star Driver? Does it really matter when Fonzie jumped it? Does it really matter when Takuto pulls out a new trick every battle?

The answer for both cases, of course, is that it does. In Star Driver’s case, however, sharks are a regular of the set. Maybe that’s just how it is on the planet of Fish.

In reality, the ebb and flow of the series tumbled up and down and we were on something like a roller coaster for the past 22 episodes, ever since Mr. Protagonist beached on a certain southern island. For each, uh, shark, that we hopped over along with Takuto et. al., we lost some people on the bandwagon. The overly theatrical nature of the series doesn’t help at all, either.

And Star Driver is, if anything, theater. Should it bother us when Mizuno, uh, jumped the bus? Or when Sakana-chan had weekly one-person plays? I don’t know; but a little, almost-undetectable hair-fracture-slice of my belief in the show evaporated for each Kiraboshi salute or for each time Professor Green’s underboob showed up on screen. It isn’t that I disliked any of it, it just became something that was, for its own sake, theatrical. I no longer understand why it is theatrical.

I mean, at least Glee gave me a song and dance every now and then.

Maybe Star Driver just needed more dancing; Utena had the right idea with that at least, although I too appreciate it when giant robots tangoed under a prismatic starry sky. Perhaps all that we need is a bed of roses and an ax. Star Driver, instead, gave us an Inception-esqe school play (a play within a play?) as both an allegory for viewers and an alternative way to communicate between characters, within an already exceedingly theatrical construct at the basic level. Was there anything unusual in this latest installment besides over-subbed dialog and artful display of constraint in prop use (to signify this is suppose to take place on a stage)? In other words, isn’t a dream in a dream still just a dream? Why do this to us? It’s too much.

In conclusion: there needs to be a stage play for Star Driver. Or better yet, Star Driver: The Musical. Someone makes this happen, please!

No Responses to “Star Driver, Sharks, Theater”

  • ToastCrust

    It’s quite unfortunate that it is this way, but we all know how anime musicals turn out, right? =_=

    Still, it’s true. Every week passes and I watch SD. And I just dunno what they actually want to do. Still, at least it entertains on a raw level, if not intellectually.

  • omo

    I think it is interesting intellectually as a mystery piece, but it doesn’t seem to have a big impact even if you do figure out how things are, and then empathize with the various characters.

    Partly because it’s already so out there.

  • Taka

    Not all theater is suspending disbelief. I don’t disagree with you but I would pick a different adjective.

    Star Driver has been a bit of a spectacle and there are been times when it threw a few twists or hammed it up with some Glee grade corn, but overall I think it’s downfall is the underlying formula. I can only go through so many episodes of Takuto having school-life antics in the first 15 minutes followed by a predictable and boring robot battle with little to no variation from villain to villain. I think the things that force me to suspend my disbelief are the things I watch the show for. Like Mizuno singing atop a bus speeding along the beside the boardwalk as the sun goes down. Mizuno’s arc for me was the ending of the series for me. Mizuno and Takuto got together and had many babies and you or anyone else can’t tell me otherwise.

    Also: BONES ending. I can already smell it.

  • iconograph

    Question: Is it gap moe when Germany makes the heel face turn into deredere forever?

  • omo

    I think it’s a good boundary case.

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