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Episode 1: The Galactic Pretty Boy

 

Review by Brian Shea

September 15, 2015

 

Summary

 

Sugata Shindo and Wako Agemaki walk along the beach of Southern Cross Island, commenting on the weather and sky. They see a shooting star and Wako soon identifies a red-haired boy passed out on the beach, so she tries giving him CPR. The boy later awakens in a bed at Sugata's home and is greeted by him and Wako. Sugata introduces the two of them to the boy and tells him he owes Wako his life. Wako's stomach rumbles and the two later eat breakfast. The boy, named Takuto Tsunashi, says he missed the ferry to the island and tried to swim his way there. Takuto says he has come to the academy on the island to experience great things as recommended by his grandfather. Sugata asks Takuto if he has experienced his first kiss and whether mouth to mouth necessitation counts, embarrassing Wako. Takuto thanks her for saving his life as she and Sugata leave. The maid tells Takuto that Wako and Sugata are betrothed. Later at school Wako is greeted by her friend, Ruri Makina who quickly spots Takuto. Many of the girls find Takuto attractive. Takuto says hello to Ruri. A boy named Tetsuya Goda arrives on a motorcycle and wonders who the new guy is. He talks a friend of his, Joji Honda, and they comment on Wako being the southern shrine maiden. Later in the dormitory, Sugata comes upon Takuto who is looking at a painting of the beach. Sugata says his father painted it. He tells Takuto that Wako is performing a purification ceremony as one of the island's four shrine maidens. During the ceremony a glowing mark appears on Wako's chest. Sugata says it is a tradition in his family to marry shrine maidens, but he thinks people should be permitted the freedom to choose their own partner. Sugata invites Takuto to dinner but an announcement of a gathering for new residents interrupts them. Takuto heads there where Benio Shinada, the dormitory director, speaks to the group. Benio discusses the rules of the dormitory. Tetsuya argues with her, claiming she is breaking the rules herself by wearing lipstick, which she claims to just be lip balm. Joji asks Takuto if he really swam to the island and asks Takuto if he has any desire to enter his boxing club. Benio yells at them. She states that the abandoned gold mine on the island is not permitted entrance. Later that night at the gold mine, Benio, wearing a mask, greets Tetsuya and Joji, who are wearing masks themselves. They greet each other with a hand signal, stating the phrase "Glittering Crux."

 

Deep within the gold mine are a group of large stone dolls, each with masks on them. A group of masked individuals comment on the stone dolls, called Cybodies. A masked man, Reiji Miyabi, speaks before a large crowd of masked individuals, saying their star sword has broken the Northern Shrine Maiden's seal and the Glittering Crux Brigade has now ushered into Phase 2. The shrine maiden, a blue-haired girl named Sakana sits in a large bird's cage. Wako, in her room, senses something strange and goes outside. A masked man appears before her. Sugata trains in karate and wonders what Takuto is doing here. Takuto at that moment breaks through a fence towards the gold mine, which is on a railway track. He hides as a train car arrives. It is boarded by Tetsuya and Joji, who have taken Wako captive. Joji and Takuto fight and Joji is able to knock him out with a punch to the stomach. Wako awakens, finding some masked individuals talking about her capture and that they weren't supposed to nullify her seal until they move to Phase 4. Joji wants to move ahead with the phases all at once and wants to be the first Phase 2 Star Driver. Wako notices Takuto unconscious behind her. In another room, Reiji and his colleague Ryousuke Katashiro speak about Takuto breaking in. Reiji wonders if Takuto is searching for his father. Reiji asks Sakana if she can sing a song for him and she does so. Joji heads into the a chamber by the stone dolls called the electric bier and places his mask against the wall in front of him, shouting "Apprivoiser." This transforms one of the statues into a Cybody, the Alephist. Takuto awakens and sees it, wondering what it is. Wako complains to the masked individuals about them breaking the seal. Takuto rushes over to help her, but the masks people around them glow and time stops. Spheres form around the masked individuals and the landscape changes to Zero-Time, a landscape that appears as if it is in outer space. The masked individuals comment on this being the "beautiful prison" that can hold activated Cybodies. A symbol with four parts to it appears in the sky. Joji calls for a shrine maiden, Wako to be given to him and she is pushed forward towards Alephist. Joji says he'll smash the Zero-Time seal Wako is protecting. Takuto suddenly appears and tells him to get his hands off of Wako. Joji questions how Takuto can enter this realm without a mask. An emblem on Takuto's chest starts glowing and he says that his grandfather only told him what happens up to this point. Joji asks if he is the "Galactic Pretty Boy." The hand of a Cybody bursts out of the ground and holds up Takuto. He shouts out Apprivoiser and the Cybody completely makes its way out of the ground. Within the cockpit of the Cybody, a costume appears on Takuto and his hair changes color as he calls out "Tauburn," his Cybody's name. The masked individuals wonder how he has made it to Phase 3. Takuto is able to easily control the Tauburn and feels it surging within him. Joji charges at him with the Alephist, which the Tauburn knocks a horn off of. The Tauburn holds off the Alephist's next charge and punches it in the face, smashing its mask. The sphere holding Wako comes out of the Alephist's hands into the Tauburn's. The Alephist shatters as the Tauburn jumps away from it. Everyone returns to regular space-time. Joji falls outside of the electric bier chamber and his mask falls and shatters. He is stripped of his Star Driver class rank. Outside, Wako stares at Takuto as the two sit in a stone hand. Her stomach rumbles and the two laugh.

 

Commentary

 

This is a decent start to the show, introducing us to the show's main characters in Takuto, Sugata and Wako. That said, a little more character development would have been good. Hopefully we get more of that over the next few episodes. The style of this show is quite a bit different than I'm used to, with a more light-hearted tone and a high school/academy type setting. Takuto in particular is proclaimed Galactic Pretty Boy and has a transformation reminiscent of Sailor Moon or G Gundam. The designs of the mecha are the most interesting thing here, with both the Tauburn and the Alephist being very unique looking. Both the design of the Alephist and the space-like setting of Zero-Time reminds me of Gurren-Lagann. The "mysterious' Glittering Crux Brigade is actually not all that mysterious, with several of Takuto's classmates being involved. Although what they are after is something I'll be interested in learning more about as the series goes on. The fight itself is a fairly short one, but I imagine we'll probably see longer ones in later episodes with the initial introduction over with. The singing of Sakana during the introduction of the fight is a fine stylistic choice.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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