「王の柱」 (Ō no Hashira)
“The King’s Pillar”

Despite what the preview showed last week, I was half-expecting this episode to end up in Zero Time again, with Sugata in the pilot seat being the only difference. Going into the episode with those mixed feelings, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised that that was not the case. Instead, we were given some nice action scenes outside of Zero Time, something we haven’t seen since the little scuffle between Takuto and George in episode 1. I found this to be a nice change of pace which helped to further emphasize the fact that the students are not at all as they seem during school hours while also expanding on a couple of pivotal plot points. I certainly wasn’t expecting Taiga and Jaiga to be kickass battle maids in disguise, which should be a normal reaction considering Taiga was caught fairly easily by Keito in episode 4. Watching the two maids battle in cheetah-style ninja clothing was hilarious and awesome at the same time, and needless to say I will never look at them the same way again.

On a more important note, it didn’t occur to me until now that First Phase abilities could be used to physically attack and weren’t just supplementary skills (inb4 slowpoke.jpg). Likewise, Watanabe’s hypothesis that First Phase abilities stem beyond conventional “superpowers” and can be shown in the form of sudden social success, as she believes is the case with her First Phase. When she said that, I immediately thought it was some kind of foreshadowing or connection to Takuto’s First Phase ability, which hasn’t been revealed yet. His sudden popularity at the Academy after swimming across the ocean, and the fact he was even able to survive doing so, could be due to his First Phase’s ability. In my opinion, his First Phase has something to do with luck, which would explain his natural abilities in combat, his popularity at school, and why he’s able to get out of some impossible situations relatively unscathed *points at last episode’s ero-victory*. Coincidently, Takuto also briefly pondered the nature of his First Phase this episode while discussing Sugata’s past with Wako.

Speaking of that, the star of this episode was definitely Sugata, who was finally given some character fleshing after being in the background for the past 5 episodes, for the most part. As was mentioned in an earlier interview with the director of Star Driver, Sugata possess the strongest Cybody on the planet as the heir to the Shindou Clan, and as such possesses a great burden to go along with it. Having found out that he possesses such great responsibility, and is restricted from leaving the island as a result of it, on his birthday, he has developed a deep resentment for the day of his birth and would rather mourn than celebrate over it. For a character that has been rather stale up until this point, Sugata suddenly got a boost in depth in my eyes after this episode, and his lack of any notable personality traits seems justifiable now. That said, this series has surprised me again with its willingness to take out characters with no remorse this early into the series, and it’ll be interesting to see where we go from here. From the looks of things, the gang will try to wake Sugata up somehow next episode, but Takuto’s monologue at the end of this episode leads me to believe that Sugata will be asleep longer than until the end of next episode. While the latter would be an unfortunate turn of events as far as story goes, I can’t help but hope for it to be the case for the sake of making the series even more interesting than it already is. I wouldn’t mind if Sugata was miraculously awakened from his coma next episode, but I would still be a bit disappointed if that’s the route the series decides to take. Seeing as how Sugata has been played up to be a big character in the series from promotional images and such, there would be something daring and cool about having him taken out this early and be a spiritual motivator for Takuto and Wako as the series progresses, much in the same vein as Kamina, with less impact on the actual viewers of course.

And of course I can’t end it without talking about our newest Kiraboshi member, Yano Mami (Saito Chiwa), who gave us the great action scenes this episode. Her First Phase ability was the first to be demonstrated as an offensive type, and after seeing the results, I can’t wait to see more First Phase abilities that are used for attacking. Hopefully, this new development will broaden the potential battle sequences and make the trips into Zero Time more spread out than they have been. Not only does it help to diversify the combat, but it keeps things more interesting in the sense of seeing actual people fight rather than giant robots every episode. If Bones can strike a nice balance between human fights in the real world and robot brawls in Zero Time, then I’ll be a happy camper as far as battles go. Having battles outside of Zero Time also increases the chances of having actual damage done to the characters, rather than losing in a fight protected by a cockpit. While I don’t expect any characters to die, as the director has already confirmed that there will be very little if any deaths in the series, it would be interesting if the writers switched things up a bit by having characters fall into comas from over usage of their First Phase abilities, as was with the case with Sugata and to a lesser extent Mami.

 

Preview

33 Comments

  1. interesting episode indeed! another episode without zero time formula 🙂
    though I believe that Takuto haven’t discovered his first phase ability yet… because one can only use first phase ability after they use their cybody… and Takuto haven’t done so when he got to the island…
    battle maid with tiger/rabbit ninja style FTW!!!
    and hope you are well now, Suzuku!

    jrj
  2. I thought this episode was pretty awesome, especially with the First Phase abilities being shown to affect life outside of Zero Time, but I also thought that it was kind of random at parts, like when they decided to thrown in that it was also Takuto’s birthday xfd.

    Click
  3. SUPER decent action this ep, but i really wish the show would be more clear as to the plot…i mean i feel like an outsider watching this, like i was supposed to read a manual before viewing.

    BROOKLYN otaku
  4. I felt like the King’s Pillar was kind of wasted on some small fry character’s First Phase. Coma characters are really quite annoying like a Deus ex Machina card they can pull out whenever later on. From the explanation of Sugata, I’m pretty sure he’ll become the main boss later on definitely.

    xcswmboy
      1. But in the end, those battle maids were pretty useless. Though I don’t get how Takuto’s Galactic Cross Slash would work without his Star Swords cuz you can’t exactly do a blade beam with a normal katana.

        Suppa Tenko
  5. I was wondering what was this First Phase, since they first introduced it at episode 2(Scarlet’s Kiss). Turns out it was a power they gain after apprivoising their first cybody. Now this is where this series gets more interesting with seeing offensive types of First Phase abilities there’ll be human fights which is awesome because it’ll keep it off the MOTW format, as mentioned by Suzuku.

    PS: King’s Pillar is awesome 🙂

    Nhelraios
    1. No, First Phase was introduced in ep 1, and the one shown here is not the first offensive type we see. Head’s First Phase is Star Sword Diamond, which he used to break the Northern Miko’s seal. I clearly remember one character saying something like “Head’s First Phase lead Kiraboshi to the next stage” (because by destroying the seal he activated the Cybercasket used by the brigade to pilot their own cybodies in Second Phase).

      Steelman
  6. You just know that the most prominent thought in the back of Waku’s mind is: “Alright! Sugata’s gone, now I won’t feel bad for hooking up with Takuto in THE VERY NEXT EPISODE.”

    And then Sugata comes back evil, sees this pair, and goes beserk.

    da5id
  7. The only thing that bothered me in this episode is how Wako’s neck is made of an alloy of zol-orihalcon and titanium, her neck should have broke when the doll captured her with such a powerful grip near the end .

    Rockmanshii
  8. This episode was awesome! The whole scene with the King’s Pillar was definitely something. The animation definitely improved and looked awesome…

    I’m surprised they’re taking Sugata’s character out so early because he hasn’t had development up to this episode… I wonder how long he’ll be out for. It’s like his coma-ness doesn’t mean all that much ’cause he wasn’t been that important in any of the episodes previously (Kamina, on the other hand, was basically the main character until he got taken out).

    Yuumei

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