March 12, 2012

Anime Review: Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto

A slightly disappointing action sci-fi anime that tried to be cool but ends up corny in the end. There are some good bits to the anime worth mentioning, but overall, the anime can be highly debatable.

Star Driver: Kagayaki no TakutoSynopsis:
To the south of Japan, there lies a lush green island called Southern Cross Isle. One night, a boy by the name of Takuto Tsunashi washes up on the shore of the island. Having swum from the mainland alone and without any possessions, he enrolls in the senior high level in the school on the island - Southern Cross High School.

With his bright and positive personality, he starts to mix with various students in the school and builds relationships with many of them, including Wako Agemaki and Sugata Shindou. But this school hides a deep secret. There are sleeping giants hidden under the ground called "Cybodies".

There are about 20 of these giants, and they are just some of the various secrets kept by everyone on the island: The secret movements of the mysterious organization known as Glittering Crux. The songs of the shrine maidens. And even Takuto himself will soon come to embrace a great secret...

This island in the southern territories surrounded by the blue sea and the blue skies is the stage where the "Eulogy of Youth" filled with love, dreams and friendships, will begin.

Where can I start? Well, from what I've gathered, this anime has a pretty weak story line to begin with. It is about a guy that washes ashore on a mysterious island protected by four maidens to prevent evil people using the Cybodies that only appear in 'Zero Time'. Many questions were left unanswered such as how did the Cybodies end up on the island in the first place and some minor annoyances were evident in the anime. To begin with, if you never watched this anime before, the first few episodes will leave you with many expressions similarly to 'WTF' and 'O.o'. The action sequences were stupidly funny and the slightly random phrases and actions that take place will leave you going 'what just happened?'. The action does not get any better than the ones you already seen in the first few episodes. It is just too structured and predictable. All I can say is that this anime felt a total joke to me, overly dramatic, not to be taken seriously and the totally ridiculous entrances of the Cybodies just got bored after the first few episodes. The anime is not confusing although I wished they explained the story a bit better.

The art was pretty well illustrated. I still cannot get over the Cybodies and how they looked. They felt a bit generic compared to Gundam overall. However, the environment effects were really well animated with explosions and glass shattering like they should. The characters were pretty well dressed drawn. You will come to realize this anime has a slight touch of ecchi/harem although it is not over dramatically emphasized.

The voice acting was decent. The theme songs were catchy enough for me to listen a couple of times. Nothing too memorable here. The anime dialogue however was just humorous in every way possible. The corny names of the 'Glittering Crux' to the 'Star Swords' was just a plain joke. I felt I could not take the dialogue seriously even though the characters were talking seriously. The story and dialogue did not manage to touch on my emotions.

The characters were of great variety but at the same time annoyingly bland. the only major difference in characters is the hair style/colour and clothes. Otherwise, you just got a bunch of 'evil' girls dressed in revealing clothes and trying to take down the main protagonist in every means possible. Aside from the ecchiness, the main protagonist felt a bit arrogant, uncaring and selfish. Also, he was just too overly powerful when it came to the battle scenes. I did not like much of the characters in the anime as none of them appealed to me.

Overall, all I can say that this anime was entertaining enough to keep me going till the end. The amin reason actually was that I wanted to see if the story improved or the characters relationships improved better. But, that did not happen and the audience is left with a major unanswered question. Who will Wako choose!? I was slightly disappointed at the ending and how the story was developed throughout the series. The jokes were pretty funny however there were some annoyances I couldn't stand. This anime is probably more suited to the sci-fi fan that just want the action and not the story.

Weak I tell you. Weak! I tried to get involved with the story but the many distractions kept dragging me down. Much background information was left out.

ART: 7
Not bad for a sci-fi anime. The battle scenes and the various action sequence effects were pretty well illustrated. Loved the character outfits though. =P

One thing I can't stand is the repetitiveness of annoying entrances. There were plenty of that in this anime. On the other hand, the theme songs were nice and catchy enough. The Maiden's songs were also a bonus.

What can I say? None of the characters appealed to me in any way what so ever. I tried my best to pick a favourite but I did not find one. The character outfits were eye catching though.

Honestly, I can't say that I totally enjoyed this anime. Many times have I gotten annoyed or distracted at the characters or the story.

I tried to love it but in the end I gave up. A 6 is the best I can give to this anime due to the weak storyline, annoying characters and corny dialogue.

2 Days of Play: Camera ZOOM FX

Introducing Camera Zoom FX. Probably the best camera app on Android and not its 25c only for today. It packs a ton of great features at a very small price. I bought this app a long tome ago before it went on sale and I have used it ever since. In addition, it includes your standard camera controls as well as interesting fun filters, image effects and all sorts of gimmicks that you probably won't use that often. It's a great app for those who just love to take photos whenever and wherever.

Camera ZOOM FX

● Optical / digital zoom (up to 6x)
● Flash (if avail)
● Front facing camera (if avail)
● Customization of ALL hardware buttons
- e.g. volume buttons to control zoom, trackball to snap shot...
● Live previews of some effects, e.g. frames, buddies
● Silent camera (if device supports)
● Tweak hardware options: autofocus, whitebalance, nightshot...
● Send, share your shots
● 1-click upload photo to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. - ALL AT ONCE!
● Customizable grid overlays
● NEW!! Live Wallpaper - now "Photo FX Live Wallpaper" app

● Stable Shot: on-screen meter to show current level of movement
● Timer
● Voice Activated: take a picture by clapping, shouting...
● Burst Mode
● Collage
● Time Lapse

● You can import existing photos from your phone's gallery by clicking Menu->Import.

● Combine effects using non-destructive editing
● Process at full camera resolution (up to 8mp if avail)
● 10 ready made presets: Diana, Retro, Holga 35mm, Toy Camera...
● 20 Color FX: vintage, lomo, cinematic, funky, pencil...
● 13 Frames: thin, rounded, lens, polaroid, filmreel...
● 6 Vignette Surrounds: heavy, invert, spotlight...
● 12 Distort FX: fisheye (like fxcamera), mosaic, twirl...
● 9 Mirror FX
● 3 Tilt-shift FX
● Crop to any size of your choice: 3x8, square, instant, 6x4...
● Digi composites (photoshop style overlays)
● Props and famous 'buddies' in your pictures (move and resize!)
● Create stunning collages: e.g. 2x2 passport style combination shots
● Random effects

● Fullscreen shutter: click anywhere on screen to shoot!
● Animated shutter effect
● Support geotag / exif tags
● Select sdcard folder to save photos (incl external sd)
● Auto save shots
● Win $100 in Instagram style photo contest
● Pro scene modes, e.g. nightshot, beach (Droid only)
● View last shot in picture gallery
● Use as default camera
● Rotate / crop photos
● Widescreen lens / capture (if device supports)
● Support from Android 1.5 through to Android 4.0 (incl tablets)

● Fun props
● Frames
● Famous ‘buddies’ in your pictures
● Composites (paper overlays)
● Shutter animations
● Scary Halloween ghouls and ghosts

Get it here now.