ReviewsStar Driver

Star Driver Ep. 23: Emperor


At Sugata’s dojo, a sleepy Takuto asks if they can at least take Sunday off. Sugata wonders what it’s like to fall in love with someone and the desire to comfort or control her. He thinks about his recent encounter with Keito. Takuto wonders if he is thinking about some new attack. Sugata brings up their prior bet that if Takuto beat Sugata, he’d call off his engagement. He says the stakes are raised and he’ll give Takuto Wako if he defeats him. Takuto accepts. The two begin their duel. Later in the hot tub, Sugata tells Takuto he still has a long way to go and criticizes him for his care free attitude. Takuto had nearly beaten him but had refrained from trying to finish him off. Sugata asks Takuto if he is still confident that he can protect Wako. Wako calls out to them from outside the room. Jaguar shows up and offers Wako a change of clothes if she wants to join them. Later, Takuto walks alone down the hallway, staring at a painting by Reiji on the wall. The three later eat and are interrupted by Tiger, who tells Sugata that a package has arrived. The package, which is a painting, is revealed to be of Sugata, and was painted by Reiji. Sugata tells Takuto that it seems he has met his father, although he didn’t look much older than them. Wako wonders if this is his first phase ability and if he is with Glittering Crux. Tiger says while the painting resembles Sugata, it isn’t really like him at all as the libido is all different. Takuto feels as if he is going to be fighting him and says he’ll fight anyone who comes after Wako, not being fazed at all by this. Sugata asks Wako on a date, shocking everyone. Later Wako meets Sugata at his front door, asking if her outfit is alright. Sugata says yes and to wait a moment as he closes the door. He comes out a moment later, in an outfit he says he put on to match her. Takuto comes across Benio, Tetsuya and Joji, commenting on how close the three of them are. Tetsuya asks him what happened to his trio and he says Sugata and Wako are on a date, shocking Benio. He is unable to provide her with the further details she wants. Benio seems to have not given up on Sugata and storms off. Joji tells Takuto his room has been fixed and he can move back when he wants. Tetsuya asks Joji if he invited him back so as to get back at him later and he says it was just because he seemed sad. They wonder about leaving Glittering Crux since they are no longer drivers and talk about their recent love interests. Tetsuya says the Filament Brigade will exist as long as Benio wants it to and they will always guard her. Various people comment on what a cute couple Sugata and Wako make as they go out to eat at Cafe Tamaya. Sugata comments on some discomfort between it being just the two of them. Wako says this is the first time he formally asked her on a date. Sugata wonders if Takuto will visit them someday when they are married. Or if he will be the one to visit them if they get married. He asks Wako how she liked the kiss on the stage and she says it was just acting. Sugata leans forward to kiss Wako and then pauses, saying he is just kidding. Takuto meanwhile goes to a movie theater and watches a film with a couple kissing. This causes him to think of him kissing Wako in the play. He leaves the theatre and heads to the beach where Reiji is, asking him for directions so he can get a good view at the volcano. Takuto punches Reiji in the face telling him not to put on this act and walks away. Ryousuke helps Reiji get up. Reiji says their only choice is to annihilate him since he’s protecting the southern Shrine Maiden. In the Vanishing Age lounge, Ginta talks about regenerating his Gimelock Cybody. He says he doesn’t trust Reiji and they need to do this before he obtains Synpathy. Takeo agrees with him and Tsukihiko decides to go along with them as well.

Later at the cafe, Takuto asks Wako how her date with Sugata was. She says she had a good time, but thinks of when he was about to kiss her. She asks the sighing Takuto if this isn’t a date as well since they are out to dinner together and comments on Sugata mentioning something like that earlier. Sugata is at home staring at the painting. Takuto says he met his father today and punched him in the face. The two of them are suddenly summoned to Zero-Time. Three Cybodies, the Gimelock, Lamdth and Zaynith appear around Takuto. Takuto apprivoises with the Tauburn, which appears. Sugata comments on how they have changed their battle strategy. The three of them ready their attack. Takuto pulls out the Emerald and Sapphire Star Swords. Ryousuke tells Reiji that they have shown themselves to be braver than he by going through the regeneration process. Two of the Cybodies attack the Tauburn at once, but it is able to jump away and then dodge an attack from the third. Reiji says the three Cybodies are in Phase 3 and have received a power boost; their number alone should decide the battle, saying the Tauburn shouldn’t have an advantage even with its power. Takuto uses the Dynamic Galactic Cross Slash on the Zaynith, which blocks the attack. The Gimelock then punches the Tauburn and grabs its arms, trying to pull them out of their sockets. The Lamdth also attacks the Tauburn from behind. The Tauburn is able to lift the Gimelock and launches it right into the Lamdth’s attack. Reiji comments on Takuto receiving star driver training since he was a child and the creed he is on about protecting the powerless, but today looks to be the end. He says the Vanishing Age colleagues are doing well. The Tauburn is able to swiftly knock limbs off of both the Gimelock and the Zaynith. He says it will be a pinch. Sugata calls out for Takuto and he is able to dodge another attack. Sugata tells Takuto to get him on board in order to fire the Tau missile. Takuto agrees and brings Sugata into the Tauburn. With all three of his opponents charging at once, Takuto and Sugata launch the Tau missile, shooting out Sugata through all three of the Cyobodies with one shot. All of the cybodies explode. Takuto tells Sugata that was incredible. Sugata looks up at Keito. He thinks back to her revealing to him she was the Eastern Shrine Maiden and Ivrogne of Glittering Crux. Time returns to normal. Takuto says the enemy is getting restless. Wako asks for more food, acting rather oblivious. Takuto asks Wako why she isn’t scared and she says both Takuto and Sugata teaming up will make them invincible. Various members of the Glittering Crux Brigade meet. Midori has a hard time calculating the Samekh’s energy, wondering what will happen if it gets revived. Kanako wonders why they have been summoned here tonight. Benio notices that Keito is gone and asks if she can go home. The lights go out and the center lights up. It is announced that a new member is joining them. Representing the first Brigade, Emperor, is King, revealed to be Sugata, with Keito by his side. Kanako wonders why Sugata joined them. Benio thinks it is for her. Sugata puts on his mask and raises his hand, making the Glittering Crux sign.


Definitely a big development at the conclusion of this episode as Sugata joins Glittering Crux, something that Keito apparently was able to pull off on her own. In an episode where Sugata teamed up with Takuto in a battle for the first time it’s something you wouldn’t really expect. Hopefully we will get more of an explanation for why Sugata joined them in the next episode. Maybe he thinks he truly has lost Wako for good to Takuto? Their date was a bit of an awkward one after all. The ending makes me wonder if we are heading towards a finale that is Takuto versus Sugata instead of Takuto versus Reiji. Speaking of Reiji, Takuto meets his father in person for the first time but it is a short one with him punching him in the face and leaving. A fairly good Cybody fight this time with Takuto taking on three opponents at once. It’s clear they needed to up the game a bit since we are so close to the end of the series. Very looking forward to how they wrap things up although I’m still quite fearful over how much they’ll be able to resolve everything with only two episodes left.

Overall Rating
Star Driver Info

Takuya Igarashi

Yoji Enokido

Mechanical Designer(s):
Shigeto Koyama
Yasuyuki Kai
Takahiro Shikama

Character Designer(s):
Yoshiyuki Ito
Hiroka Mizuya
Misa Mizuya

Musical Composer(s):
Satoru Kousaki

26 episodes; 1 compilation movie

Japan 10.03.2010 – 04.03.2011

Theatrical Release:
Japan 02.09.2013


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