STAR DRIVER: Kagayaki no Takuto – 20
「描かれたあの日の虹」 (Egakareta Ano Hi no Niji)
“The Rainbow Drawn That Day”
The plot finally opens up in a major way with backstory on both Reiji and Katashiro Ryousuke (Miki Shinichirou), and comes with a love triangle that’s oddly familiar to Takuto, Sugata, and Wako’s situation yet noticeably different at the same time. Also, the suspicion that some people had about Reiji actually being Takuto’s father turned out to be true, as his real name is Tsunashi Tokio. The explanation behind his young appearance and ignorance about Takuto being his son is hinted at briefly at the very end, when Ryousuke mentions that he’s lost his heart in Zero Time. That was undoubtedly the biggest revelation this episode, but it was just the tip of the iceberg.
I almost don’t know where to start with how much was divulged this time around. We have Ryousuke whose life was decided for him by his parents from his fiancee Sora (Orikasa Fumiko) to his participation in the secret organization attempting to revive the Cybodies (i.e. Kiraboshi), and Tokio who ambitiously wanted to take part in it but couldn’t because his father Ikurou chose not to pass on his mark to him. The three of their paths cross on Southern Cross Island much like our current protagonists, and Sora ends up falling in love with Tokio because she mistakenly believed Ryousuke didn’t care about her. It seemed straightforward but came with the twist that Ryousuke backed off after using his mark’s ability to presumably see the future, and Tokio’s obsession with receiving a mark from one Makiba Shingo (Asanuma Shintarou) led to him forgetting about Sora and the fact that he had gotten her pregnant. She leaves the island and many years later, Takuto returns in her place, leading us to where we are now.
Incidentally, it doesn’t seem like Ryousuke’s ability could foresee everything, as he took out his own left eye after realizing that Tokio could appreciate Sora’s beauty in ways he couldn’t even fathom. Had he known he would abandon her as soon as he found someone who would give him a mark, I doubt he would’ve given up on Sora so readily. What kind of puzzles me is that after Shingo fell into a coma for a yet to be explained reason, Ryousuke voluntarily gave his mark to Tokio, claiming he has no need for its powers, and goes on to support “Miyabi Reiji” in his pursuit of taking the Cybodies out of Zero Time. The mark is one thing, but the support part I can’t quite grasp the justification behind unless he’s doing it in pursuit of knowledge as a researcher. I would’ve figured he’d feel spiteful towards both Tokio and the Cybodies, seeing as those very two things led to Sora being forgotten. I’m rather curious as to what motivates him now, and if he’s truly just following the path in life his parents decided for him.
All of that served as ample build-up towards Takuto’s eventual face-to-face meeting with Tokio, whom I’d imagine he’d recognize without his mask on from pictures that his mother likely had. However, the story actually progressed on several different fronts with a little tension in Vanishing Age between Head and Camel Star, a.k.a. Ginta Ryou (Kimura Ryouhei), and both Needle Star and Window Star taking the risky plunge to revive their Cybodies. Thus far, Camel Star hasn’t really done anything to stand out, but his first phase ability to take control of animals and spy on everyone makes him the only outside person to know what Reiji’s up to and that Keito is the east maiden. There was also emphasis on other nations nuking the island if they actually manage to get the Cybodies out of Zero Time, out of fear of what they’re capable of.
In short, Camel Star’s been sandbagging the dart board so that his Cybody will be around to withstand any potential nukes, whereas Head’s been stalling for time reaching the next phase so that he can receive Shingo’s mark instead of risking the revival process like the daring female duo. Both revelations are particularly interesting, since they imply that those without a working Cybody when Zero Time is unsealed have no chance of surviving. This episode sort of drove that point home with Needle Star stopping Camel Star from going after Wako, because Window Star’s Cybody wasn’t fully repaired yet. From an overall story standpoint, it works well as a plot device since it implies the destruction of the island when the fifth and final phase is achieved.
Judging from the preview, the new thing will be some Over Phase System that the Science Guild cooked up to artificially reach the next phase. Madoka with her love for thrills looks to be up first, and achieves a state where the Star Driver and Cybody become one just like Head explained back in episode seventeen. We also see more of Sakana, whom I figured would be back at some point. Hopefully we’ll see Mizuno/Marino as well before long.
* Let’s see if we can make it through without any Geass or Lockon Stratos comments. Everyone’s already thought it, so you don’t need to say it. Now that I’ve already brought it up, you will look dumb if you do!