「そんなミズノの初恋」 (Sonna Mizuno no Hatsukoi)
“Mizuno’s First Love”

Suffice to say, this episode pleased me on many levels, both in terms of story and my own personal gloating rights. As last week’s preview suggested, we were formally introduced to You Mizuno (Hidaka Rina), the girl who randomly appeared for two minutes last episode, this week. I can definitely say that I’m liking Mizuno more than Wako already, both in terms of personality and character design. While Wako is just a bland character all around, Mizuno is the complete opposite, with a unique hair style and very bubbly attitude. You can’t help but die on the moe stretcher when she makes the cutest expressions while fawning over Takuto. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be disappointed if there ever came a situation where Takuto goes back on his promise to protect Wako and focuses solely on Mizuno, who is shaping up to be Wako’s rival of sorts, in more ways than one. By that I mean, of course, the revelation that Mizuno is actually the island’s Western Maiden, supporting my theory that all four maidens were gathered together on the bus last episode. Speaking of that, before the series began, I remember reading that the director of Star Driver, Igarashi Takuya, stated that the series would be broken up into four arcs, each focusing on a different maiden. Up until now I didn’t understand how that could be, as thus far the plot has been pretty straightforward and not episodic at all. However, it appears that, while the plot isn’t clearly broken down into four separate arcs, there is a subtle shift in the focus of characters, with Mizuno making her appearance right as fish girl took her leave last episode. There has also been a noticeable decrease in focus concerning the development of Takuto and Wako’s relationship, which was at the forefront of the series up until two episodes ago. Perhaps this is what Igarashi meant when he said the series would be broken down by the focus on the maidens.

That aside, Mizuno wasn’t the only new character introduced this episode, with her older twin sister You Marino (Hirohashi Ryou) also taking center stage as the new acting leader of Kiraboshi while Head is recovering from his depression, presumably caused by fish girl’s departure. Considering we haven’t gotten to know Head that well in these past nine episodes, it doesn’t really feel like anything has changed, except perhaps Marino’s more boisterous attitude during Kiraboshi meetings. I’m certain that Head will be given more focus later on and we’ll be able to get a better feel for his character, but for now his absence holds no weight whatsoever in terms of emotional value. That said, his leaving did help the plot move forward, as the remaining Kiraboshi members are now making moves to enact a plan to revive Marino’s Ayingott, use its detection ability to locate the Western Maiden, break her seal to reach the 3rd Phase, and defeat Takuto with their upgraded Cybodies. The revelation that Kiraboshi has also solved Orichalcum Formula and are able to restore destroyed Cybodies is also an unexpected development, especially this early into the series. With this, Kiraboshi will be able to restore all the Cybodies that have been destroyed by Takuto thus far, a development that has the potential to make the past nine episodes of “progress” seem completely pointless. Hopefully that kind of deus ex machina won’t be absolute, and comes with some sort of trade-off. Getting back to Marino, it’s a bit odd that she claims her goal is to protect Mizuno, and yet she’s a part of Kiraboshi, an organization which exists for the sole purpose of capturing the shrine maidens of the island and breaking their seals. It’s possible that she could working from the inside in order to sabotage Kiraboshi’s plans, but considering the way she was portrayed this episode and the fact that the other Kiraboshi members speaking in the bar were saying they would just throw her away after they use her to find the the third maiden with the power Ayingott, it’s more likely that she’s being tricked into believing that Kiraboshi is on the side of good while Tsunashi Takuto, the Ginga Bishounen, is an evil manipulator. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how the dynamic between Takuto, Mizuno, and Marino evolves, as Mizuno is quite infatuated with Takuto while Marino sees him as nothing but a danger to her sister.

As for this week’s battle, there wasn’t much to it and it felt a bit pointless when compared to past battles, which have all held some meaning to them related to the plot. It felt as if this fight was thrown in simply for the sake of keeping the trend of having a weekly fight, which wastes nothing but time that could have been used to further expand on Mizuno or Marino’s character. Admittedly, the storyboard writers probably did not want to reveal any further information about Mizuno and Marino than was given this episode, and thus used the fight as a fall back to kill a couple of minutes and finish out the episode, but it still just came off as lazy to me. That said, the fight can be seen as a final conformation for Kiraboshi that they need to reach the 3rd Phase before they can take out Tauburn, but only time will tell if that holds true. At the very least, the shift doesn’t appear to happen next episode, which seems to be strictly Marino focused judging from the preview and title. Of course, the title would also suggest that Takuto is working his way towards building an actual harem in this series, if the title is referring to him being Marino’s first love.




    1. That’s completely up to him. I’d like him to since that’s what we originally discussed when I let him cover the series, but we’ll have to see how good his understanding is alone.

      I don’t plan to stay up and help translate any potentially harder to understand dialogue week after week. I’d be doing that if I were the one blogging STAR DRIVER, but I’m not! 🙂

      On the plus side, it sounds like Suzuku’s intent on trying.

  1. Wow much love to Suzuku <3

    I liked this episode, although still a little jarred overall on the pacing of the plot.

    No fish girl song = boring fight though :(.

    Also in the preview…Tauburn DRAGOON system?! LOL

  2. I more got the impression that Marino got control of the Ein God to ensure that they couldn’t find her sister, and will instead try to mislead them into thinking someone ELSE is the West Maiden when it gets down to it. Thats my theory at least ;).

    I agree with jello though, fish girl song makes the battle sequences 10x more enjoyable.

    1. agreed she is probably intentionally going to try and destroy that cybody in some way that renders it unable to locate her. also i wish that they would at least make one of the maidens sing for the battle i liked it.

  3. Aw, I was hoping they’d discuss Sugata’s first phase a little this ep, which could have possibly explained some things from last week’s ep. Oh, well. As long as they get to it eventually and not leave a gaping hole.

    Also, I was thinking, the fact that this is a subtitled series, Kagayaki no Takuto – Takuto of the Radiance, I would think they’re going to continue Star Driver in one way or another after episode 26, which makes me happy

    1. Possibly, but it all depends on how well it sales. Original anime usually have a set story already that leaves little room for direct sequels, but I could see prequels or side stories fleshing out characters happening. Hell, even a sequel could happen if it sales well enough, just look at Darker than BLACK, another big Bones series. That said, STAR DRIVER BD/DVD preorders on Amazon aren’t looking too hot.

      1. Yeah, I was thinking they’d do something like Code Geass with Suzaku of the Counterattack and Nightmare of Nunnally. So many possibilities, especially with alternate realities taken into consideration

  4. I am pretty sad, because the Fish Girl Song havent appeard this episode. (Well the fight was – as you wrote pointless enough, but still…). But Mizuno is pure Love. I like her very much. She is so cute beeing lively.

  5. It’s just not the same without fish girl ;A;
    But Mizuno is lovely~ <3

    I think that Marino is trying to sabotage Kiraboshi rather than the fact that she may be manipulated. She stated at the end that she'd never let anyone find out but earlier she was saying that she'd make sure to tell Kiraboshi who the western maiden is. As for her dislike for Takuto, I think it's more of a 'he's an outsider and my little sister has a crush on him' jealousy/dislike. :/

    And for the battle at the end, it did feel kinda unnecessary but I think it was supposed to show how no one really approves of Marino and Head and how Sugata still doesn't really trust Takuto. He was about to jump into the battle after all. As for the part about Head, despite it being his orders, his underlings still fought against Takuto in 2nd phase.

    Also, did anyone else notice the bus image change in the ending song? I think that's how they'll show which maiden's arc it'll be. Since till now it was fish girl's right?

    Irational Promise
    1. Yeah maybe the girl in painted in the bus is the guide to see in which arc are we. I had the same question about why the sudden change in the bus until i read it here (sorry had to wait for the subs)

  6. Forgive me if this has already been discussed, but does anyone thing that the story about Sam was actually about Fish Girl and Head? Head is Sam and he killed “the girl” by breaking Fish Girl’s seal. This was supposed to allow him to use the Squid Kings ship to travel the galaxy, aka the cybodies. We can tell they were “in love” with each other because Fish Girl stated she liked him and thought he felt the same way. So now Fish Girl has left the island, similar to being dead. Head seems to be going through the process like Sam where he realizes that he didn’t want access to cybodies at all, but Fish Girl.

  7. Have to agree the ‘ohrihalcon’ or whatever ‘formula’ is a terrible cop out device, that trashes the progress in terms of cybody battle thus far, but I honestly can’t believe they’d pull a card like that in any decent series so…time will tell what that’s all about. Like Suzuku said, maybe there’s a trade off.

    Soo…more in on the paintings by Takuto’s grandpa…I think? and other Cybody-babble; just waiting for the moment when it all falls into place and I smack my forehead going, ‘ahhh!’. -crosses fingers-

    Preview: Takuto’s busting out the gundam trademark FANGS. gg

  8. Rant first: Ug, you can really tell the director is new to the robot genre. Even after all this time the fight scenes are soo~ boring. By now I’m beyond sick of Takuto’s “Get my ass kicked” to “Asspull / Just Try Harder” combo every week. The battles have no sense of tension or strife. I want to see the main character *WORK* for his win, not just pull another ace out of his sleeve at every turn.

    Eh… I wanted to say a bunch of good things after that to make up for the negative vibe… but everything I typed turned nasty lol. I really do like this series, its art is amazing and the cast is colorful, but I just can’t take it seriously as a giant robot anime.

    I would compare the experience to eating an foreign dish prepared by someone who had no idea of how it should taste. Something like topping white rice with canned peaches. Anyways, sorry for the rant. ^_^”

    1. i though they might do something like this the hat feather im not sure of unless it turns into a barrier or a sword i don’t know what it could be -still giving his mech a remote attack weapon ups its power a fair bit

  9. can’t stop laughing this episode… so much lol points…
    and yet again… male lead is on his way of building a harem… 😀
    did anyone think about angel beats when seeing the preview?
    and fangs/shield bits for next episode? lol

    1. another thing, is Keito in the same situation as Marino? \

      (there are probably several other islanders having the same disposition to the “outsiders” being used in there, we already know one of them)

  10. Why is it the other maidens don’t show up in Zero Time like Wako does? If that’s the case, Kiraboshi wouldn’t have to “search” for them since they’d know what they looked like. Though Sugata didn’t show up in Zero Time until he apprivosed.

    Plot Hole?

    1. Wako mention back in episode 3 (I think) that when she was kid she apprivosed. Fish girl never showed up because breaking her Cybody/seal caused Zero Time to be activated. Mizuno hasn’t apprivoised therefore they don’t know who she is, her family also probably doesn’t mention that stuff to anyone. As for Keito, they showed in the first episode that as long as you have your mask you can enter Zero Time. I don’t know if she has apprivoised or not though.

      Irational Promise

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