Star Driver 21: Obvious Conclusions

So unlike certain shows, I’ve never really considered Star Driver to be a hot one for discussion or speculation. It certainly delivers well on entertainment, but it ultimately doesn’t do quite as good a job at seeding food for thought and discourse at the ideal pace as Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. That is not really the subject of this post though, but rather the few new bits of info that came out visually in the most recent episode, that essentially finalize the narrative purpose of what I like to call Story Time with Sakana-chan. Without a doubt, they were my favourite segments of the early episodes of the show, and it was quite saddening to see them go so early. Of course, it didn’t help that Sakana-chan‘s exit was also marked by the exit of Monochrome as the apprivoise song.

I consider myself a big fan of robots, but something about the Second Phase apprivoise sequence is really attractive to me.

Now, as you may understand from the subtitle of this post, I don’t think the conclusion gotten from the key scene is particularly obscure or hidden. But, may as well overcompensate and state everything (and finally make a post for a show that probably gets search queried a lot!). Additionally, rather than spell it all out (which would be a bit boring), I’m just going to for the most part place all the raw material thus far in one place.

 

So, first up, is the defining scene of the episode:

Doesn’t leave much to the imagination, huh? Still, it ties up Tokio’s subplot fairly well, and his love lost to ambition mode of being foiled against Takutou’s juvenile romantic triangle (which almost made the most contemptible sin in romance writing possible) is a nice way of doing it (unlike the much sharper contrast between Takutou and Madoka that can get a bit tired). Well, it also helps the little romance subplot telling in the past two episodes about Tokio and Takutou’s mom were way more fun than the romance hijinks that were ongoing throughout the entirety of the show thus far, lol.

With that fairly definitive slideshow out of the way, we move onto a transcript of the story of Sam the Squid-Piercer. Fortunately for me, it turns out someone did one already, so credit goes to Truffle:

So the boy fell in love.
He fell in fierce, passionate love with the girl he met on the shore of the Fish Planet.
The boy was a skilled fisherman; his name was Sam.
Sam dreamed that he and the girl he met got on a boat and sailed away into the shining galaxy.
But did Sam love the girl he was with or the brilliant galaxy around him?

Only one ship could sail from the Fish Planet to the Galaxy.
That ship belonged to a King.
One day, the King issued a proclaimation.
Whoever defeated the Squid Emperor and brought back his blue blood would have any wish granted.
On the Fish Planet, there was a squid emperor who ravaged the land as he pleased every night.
The boy, Sam, resolved himself to defeat the Squid Emperor and get the ship that could sail into the galaxy.

‘Take the chance!’ thought the girl.
‘You have to beat the Squid Emperor and get the boat that can sail into the galaxy!’
Sam took up his spear and began practicing with it, training for the day he would do battle with the Squid Emperor. And so the name of Sam, the Squid-Piercer, began to spread throughout the kingdom.
So the girl waited in her cottage by the seaside fror Sam to return.
The two had a secret.
They the ate the squid.
On the Fish Planet, squid are the servants of Evil.
It was forbidden for their flesh to pass your lips. But still, the two ate the squid.
They shared that dark secret and their bond grew even deeper.

‘If you want something, don’t falter!’ said the girl.
They had learned where the Squid Emperor was.
But in the previous year, a huge storm had risen and the waters had become dangerous. Sam the Squid-Piercer faltered.
So the girl berated Sam.
That was when Sam the Squid-Piercer left the girl and the cottage, and went out into the wild and dangerous sea.

They begin to fight. In the dark, wild night sea.
Sam fights on with his spear. And in a fierce battle that cannot be described in words, Sam slew the Squid Emperor and took his blue blood.
From in its bottle, the Squid Emperor’s blue blood sparkled and lit up the dark night sea.
Sam took the blue blood and went back to the King.
‘My King! I have brought the blood as promised. Here it is!’
The King took the bottle and suddenly drank the blue blood.
That blood was the one potion that could remove the King’s magicial immortality and end his eternal life.
‘Thank you, Sam. Now I can finally sleep and never awaken.’

The King offered him the throne.
He had intended all along to give his kingdom to the one that brought him the curse-breaking blue blood.
But Sam refused the offer.
‘My King, I only desired your galactic ship. I wanted to sail it out into the shining galaxy. I do not want your throne. I do not want your kingdom!’
And the King replied thus:
‘Fine, young man. I promised anything you desire. I will not break my word. You will have my galactic ship. However, young man… Sam the Squid-Piercer, heed well these words. To sail that ship, you must spill the red blood of the girl you love. Leave but a drop, and the engine will not move.’
Yes, Sam had to killed the girl he loved.
If he did not, the boat will not sail.
‘Now take it, the ship belongs to you.’

Sam killed the girl.
To sail into the shining galaxy, he offered her red blood to the ship’s engine.
In the end, what Sam truly loved was not the girl, but his longing for the world out in the galaxy. The girl he loved had never been more than a flower adorning his journey.
Sam got on the ship and sailed out into the galaxy.
But soon Sam realized.. though he was in the galaxy he had dreamt of, all those worlds were different from the fish planet of his birth.
The fish planet was but one world in the vast galaxy. The galaxy was not some far off world. Sam had been living in its brilliance all along.
Why did he kill the girl?

On a superficial level at least, you can see how this story ties into Tokio’s past. Without a doubt, he has already metaphorically spilled the “red blood” of a “girl [he] loves” to complete his ambitions. And not even just a single girl, but (so far as we can see at this point) two. Of course, he didn’t kill them, but his ambitions essentially ended the relationships. Particularly in Sakana-chan‘s case (assuming, from the short flashback scene, that it’s safe to consider that relationship also important to him), where he literally cut her down (or at least, her cybody).

Will it end for Tokio the same way it does for Sam? Or are we supposed to understand Tokio as a Sam that has already come to the conclusion that he had “killed the girl” for no purpose, and as a result, only deepens his drive to “sail the galaxy” in hopes of finding a way to turn the clock back? Of course, Tokio doesn’t seem to really appreciate the ending of the story, so perhaps that in-of-itself is telling enough.

Of course, as viewers, we're privy to the generic foreknowledge that this has no chance of working out well for him: at all

In contrast, Takutou has triumphed in the face of all difficult decisions so far. Granted, the largest decision he’s had so far is whether to kill his opponent, and through the grand mastery of hax, Takutou has dodged the necessity. Still, either way, Takutou has been presented as fairly stubborn about his own ethical standards, so it’s hard to see him making the same choice as Sam, the Squid-Piercer. Will the show eventually lead Takutou into a dilemma he’ll have to resolve by actually making a choice? Or will it power on as is, having him suffer the gravity of the decision for a short while, before being granted the perfect solution that will allow him to not bend his standards thanks to his own libido (or that of someone else’s)?

 

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About ToastCrust

Generic procrastinator and Japanese Media hobbyist.
This entry was posted in 2010 Fall, Anime, Watched serial and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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