Twos: Star Driver, Panty & Stocking

Star Driver 2 runs pretty much the same way episode one did. Start out with eccentric normality and end with an acid trip battle. The only reason it doesn’t top last week’s WTF is that we’re getting used to the routine. Mixed in with the main story are little scenes and moments, tossed-out metaphors that fly by but I assume will have great importance later on.

To begin with Takuto is introduced to more strange people, such a married woman who will kiss anyone if there’s glass between them (kissing through glass is a metaphor for this episode, though I haven’t quite figured out what it means). I was wondering it all relates to his recent battle. We learn soon enough when he’s led to another odd batch of people who know all about the Cybodies and are determined to stop them. None other than …

… from whom we get some backstory. We get more during an absurd meeting of the Glittering Crux Brigade (the bad guys), who plan to take Takuto out. It’s a wonderfully overdone scene. While they scheme and contemplate the fallout from last night’s failure we get sinister waltz music and an unseen crowd who cheer and boo on cue. A great way to cover up an infodump.

Scarlet Kiss makes her move.

This evil group may cooperate but its members are capable of acting on their own, hence last week’s “Raging Bull” failure. Glittering Crux member Scarlet Kiss, also the dorm’s RA, can charm any man she kisses, so first she tries to kiss Takuto (the kiss-through-glass metaphor comes up again), then kisses another underling. Things are (pleasantly) silly enough, but it’s just getting started.

Last week Wako was physically kidnapped and taken to the evil lair. This time she’s just whisked away. So is Takuto. Maybe you can’t do one without the other. We get another fight, this one laced with comedy as the enemy, Tetsuya, is hopped up on Scarlet’s kiss mojo and the baddies looking on joke that he’s a virgin. It ends as you would expect but again with so much to look at you don’t care. This show, at least for a while, will have an enemy of the week format. Next time it’ll be the married glass-kisser.

Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt 2’s second story is the better one. In the first they infiltrate a high school to figure out the mystery of missing students. By infiltrate I mean pretty much take the place over.

It’s all right. It has lots of bees and football players and the school queen is named Barby. The second one expands the show’s reach. No mystery to solve, instead, the girls prepare for their premiere movie, only for Panty at the preview to mention she was once in a movie before. She just happens to have a copy …

The public learns about Panty's past.

So off they go around the world to track down every copy of the video. These are the best scenes, brief but with a million little things happening at once. This show’s great at throwing things at you. Not so great in inspiring me to write profound things about it. But it was nice to see the two girls actually at odds with each other for once.

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