Star Driver 14 – Ayingott’s Eyes
Posted by McTricky
「アインゴットの眼」 (Aingotto no Me)
Marking the mid-way point in the series we are presented with a new OP and ED. I’ll give my thoughts on those in a bit. What I do wanna say though is that this episode was a true turning point in the series. The episode felt like that one big boss you have to fight once you reach halfway through an RPG. That’s what it felt like. Shit just got real, man. I have to admit that there wasn’t really much going on in this episode over than a few revelations, so I’ll give this a quick run-through (mainly so I can finish my rounds of blog posts for this week).
The new OP was sung by the singer of the first ED of the show, “9nine”. The song is called 9nine. I don’t really like the song all that much. As for the visuals, I seriously thought they were gonna be lazy again and repeat the entire “Takuto-getting-up-and-running-across-town” thing, only this time it would take place at night. Thankfully, that didn’t last long and we got a rather good visual aspect for the OP showing the other characters of the show this time. I like Gravity O better, though.
I felt as though this episode had two major things it needed to do. I’ll talk about the first one now. The first was to create some sort of friction between Mizuno and Wako. It’s quite clear that Mizuno likes Takuto. It’s also quite clear that Marino likes him too. It’s ALSO quite clear that Wako likes Takuto too but she keeps denying it. What better way for one of them to get jealous is the have a kissing scene in the Drama Club’s upcoming theater production. The Prez had to choose one of the girls (Mizuno, Wako, Tiger and Jaguar) to be the one to do the kissing scene with Takuto. It’s here we finally start to see a little bit of concern or maybe a bit of jealousy from Wako. However they can’t have a Maiden “passionately” kissing someone on stage. So Mizuno is chosen to be the one to do the scene which troubles Wako. You may be thinking: “Hey, but Mizuno is a Maiden too!” Yeah, but no one knows that apart from Marino. Hell, I don’t think even Mizuno herself knows that, but oh well. That was one portion of the episode.
Ayingott is almost ready to be regenerated. Remember that Ayingott is Manticore’s (Marino’s) Cybody. They plan to use Ayingott’s eyes to seek out the rest of the Maidens. That ability isn’t a first phase but it’s actual a function of the Cybody but it can only be used from the second phase, which is convenient, because that’s where they’re at. It’s at this point that one of the speculated hunches from earlier comes to some bit of light. More on that later though. All they need to do is break another Maiden’s seal and then they will advance to the third phase, the phase they believe will be able to defeat Tauburn. Also, Head has returned to take back control of the Vanishing Age.
So anyway, Manticore apprivoises Ayingott and begins the sub-concious regeneration stage. However, something dark begins to consume Manticore. However, her resolve to protect Mizuno prevails and she is set free, sucessfully reviving and apprivoising Ayingott. Now, let me tell you that Ayingott is like, as I said, one of those big bosses in RPGs that totally set the line between easy and fucking boss-level-difficult. Zero Time begins and our trio is once again pulled in. I don’t believe Manticore’s job was to fight Tauburn here, only to use Ayingott’s eyes to seek out the remaining Maiden’s. Which also raises another question I have: Why doesn’t Mizuno get pulled into Zero Time too? I mean, sure that’d give away that she must be a Maiden, but still… Kinda weird. Anyway something goes wrong, and Ayingott consumes Manticore again and the Cybody itself goes completely berserk. Takuto apprivoises with new music. Not exactly a Maiden hymn, but the song used hasn’t been played in the show since Episode 6 during the fight with Undine’s clones.
Takuto is more or less subdued instantly, but Sugata and Takuto tag-team and COMPLETELY HACK THE FIGHT by Sugata apprivoising Samekh’s King Pillar which stuns Ayingott and then Takuto finishes it off with the boring old Galactic Cross Slash. Talk about disappointing. No, seriously. I was really disappointed by this fight. I was expecting more. I was expecting the fight to drag out a little longer, but NOOO. But anyway, there are bigger things at hand.
So here is where the big hint is dropped. Manticore reports that she could not find the West Maiden. That she doesn’t exist. Perhaps Ayingott’s eyes are not working? But then Ivrogne (Keito) asks: “What about me?” It’s at this point it’s more or less 100% confirmed that Keito is the East Madien, as I said in Episode 8. In any case, everyone knows that Manticore’s lying. All four Maidens were definitely born on the island and since they can’t leave the island without their seals broken, none of them could be “missing”, so to speak. The North Maiden (Sakana-chan) is fine. She had her seal broken and she’s free as a bird. It’s at this point we get think about what could happen know. Ayingott is viewed as an evil Cybody, which might explain why it was crushed in Samekh’s hands before it got revived. That also might explain why Sugata recognized the Cybody. Also, Sugata will probably figure out that Head isn’t an ordinary person since he disappeared during Zero Time. Also, while it’s bait that Ivrogne is the East Maiden, she doesn’t seem to care if people find out. Head is fully aware, and it would seem that they’re conspiring something.
I LOVE THE NEW ED. And of course I love the new ED. Freakin’ SCANDAL is singing it. I did quite like the animation in this ED too. Also did anybody notice how Tauburn was fighting another coloured Tauburn? Could it be an alternate Tauburn? An evil version? Who knows? What I can say is that things are gonna start to get interesting from here on out.
At the end of the episode an advert for the Star Driver PSP game was shown. I’ve known about it for quite some time now, and I do plan on getting it and checking it out. I heard it was gonna be an adventure game, but from the shots I saw in the advert, it seems like it’s gonna play like a visual novel or something.