The best scene in this episode. It’s also possibly the best single moment in Star Driver.
Also, this is the only Takuto-oriented picture in this entire review. You have been warned, Sugata-haters (or in other words, Sugata fangirls, rejoice).
To review:The episode begins with Takuto facing off against Sugata in the dojo. Sugata takes a moment to ask “what does it mean to fall in love?” while having flashbacks of Keito from the last episode. When Takuto admits to not knowing what Sugata is referencing to at all, Sugata reminds him of the bet they made regarding Wako- Sugata ups the stakes by saying that if Takuto wins a spar against Sugata, Takuto can take Wako.
During breakfast, Sugata receives the delivery of a painting by “R” - who they know for a fact to be Reiji, determining that his first phase must be the ability to remain a young man, unaffected by time. Taiga notes that the painting is full of unpleasant libido, and Jaguar comments that it has intent of “controlling” rather than capturing a subject- and when she apologizes to Takuto for making that comment, Takuto replies that he knows he’ll have to stop his father at some point, and that he’s resolved to fight anyone after Wako.
Sugata then abruptly tells Wako that they should go on a date. Wako is surprised, but she agrees. While they’re out, Sugata muses to Wako what would happen to the third wheel if Wako chooses either him or Takuto over the other. He asks Wako to kiss him- which she doesn’t do, and he pulls away, and tells her he was joking. Meanwhile, Takuto is out and about on his own, running into the Filament trio, watching a romantic movie by himself (that’s right, rub it in some more, plot devices). He also runs into Reiji, who tries to play his mind games- but Takuto, being the up-front guy he generally is, gives his daddy a nice punch in the face and tells him off.
Meanwhile, the remainder of Vanishing Age decides they need to get rid of Takuto once and for all. They decide to regenerate their Cybodies. Takuto and Wako, meeting after Wako’s date with Sugata, are pulled into Zero Time where Tauburn is faced with three opponents. Things are looking bleak, and Sugata decides to intervene, telling Takuto to trust him. Tauburn takes Sugata into its core, and Takuto fires his Tau Missile, now powered with Sugata’s Eccentric attack, and Sugata takes out all three of the opponents’ Cybody cores.
Sugata stops before Ivrogne, prolonging his moment of glory. His flashbacks reveal that Keito not only confirmed that she was the East Maiden, but also Bougainvilleae’s leader, Ivrogne. Shortly thereafter they return to real time, where Takuto admits that Sugata is really amazing.
Unfortunately, this relief is short-lived, as it is revealed that Sugata has accepted the position of the Crux’s Emperor as (codename) King, with Ivrogne at his right hand. Somehow, Reiji doesn’t look quite as excited about this development… though he was the one who offered Sugata that position in the first place.
*fangirl squeal of doom*
Okay, I’m done now.
But seriously, Sugata’s finally made the choice to take the Emperor’s rep spot in the Crux. I’m curious to know if his actual motivation was protecting Keito, or if it was because Wako turned him down (unofficially). Regardless of his initial intentions, I have a feeling that Sugata will being using his power as King to watch out for the East Maiden- or he could be using her to get into the Crux, but I doubt he would be that cruel to his childhood friend.
Anyway, Sugata’s Crux outfit is ridiculous. But who am I to judge if someone likes wearing tight, glittery bodysuits that show all of their unreal 12-pack, with peacock feathers and a super-hero cape no less?
Off that subject, it seems like the (ex?)trio is not entirely oblivious. Takuto already knows that Reiji is his father, and that Reiji likes to play games with people. Again, while Sugata practically dominated the key moments of this episode, Takuto had the best scene of this episode when he punched Reiji full-on and warned him off. Takuto claims that he’s ready to face his father and that his resolve is to protect Wako - but will that resolve hold if he’s also forced to face-off against Sugata at some point? And is he strong enough to beat Sugata on his own? It doesn’t seem as if he’s beaten Sugata in any spars yet.
These final episodes should be really interesting. While originally I thought this was going to be fluff, especially with the date bits, it was completely serious in terms of plot development all the way through. Over all, I agree with Benio here:
Yay, momentary breaking of the fourth wall. We’re slowly beginning to see the tension build and build…
GO Rating: 4.5 (for Takuto’s knocking Reiji to the ground, Sugata’s induction to the Crux, and the plot development)