[EDIT] Since responding to individual comments is effort:
Obviously this chart is a generalization and it doesn’t apply to everyone. The point I’m getting at is that I think Star Driver is suffering from a bad case of genre (fandom?) clash. While you’d think that having elements of a wide variety of genres and anime “traditions” would draw in a broad range of viewers, what it seems to have done is just the opposite‚––elements from one genre (say magical girl) not only don’t appeal to fans of another genre (say mecha) but they actively turn fans of the second genre away/against the series. The primary (negative) reactions from the three groups I’ve pointed out tend to be as follows (in my experience at least):
The mecha fags: Either they say it’s too “gay” for them to watch or they’re bored and frustrated by the handling of the robot action (too short, too repetitive, etc). They also tend to complain about the lack of exposition on the world mechanics (ex. complaining that they didn’t explain what the Cybodies were in the first episode‚––would you complain that Gundam doesn’t explain what a Gundam is? is all I have to say to that).
The 90s nostalgia fags: Tend to complain about the characters, somehow they’re too “boring” and “underdeveloped.” They also take great offense when Star Driver is compared to a holy 90s show (eg. Utena) because Star Driver is apparently just some conglomeration of stuff that some producers thought would appeal to a lot of people and therefore make a shitton of money.
The FABULOUS fags: Admittedly this is a broader group than the other two because I couldn’t think of what else to call them, but they tend to have gone into the show thinking it was going to be a straight-up parody/comedy and are bored/frustrated as a result. They want the show to be more over the top and are troubled by people suggesting that it should/could be taken at least somewhat seriously. (Though this brings up a good question, just what is Star Driver? It’s not really a comedy, but it doesn’t take itself 100% seriously either. Something about that hard to define tone seems to put some people off too.)
Personally, I fall right in the middle-–I love the 90s anime I grew up on (but it’s not the be-all end-all of anime), I like robots and SF and I like ridiculous over the top craziness––and I have literally no complaints about the show (this is a very strange feeling tbh)––Star Driver feels like it was made for me. So, I’ve been trying to understand why it gets so much hate, and all I can come up with is that unless you have just the right mix of interests and/or are sufficiently open-minded (i.e. you’re not a mainline mecha-fag who can’t deal with anything vaguely effeminate) Star Driver just doesn’t make sense. I really don’t want any of this to come off as elitist BS about how those of us who like Star Driver are special because we “get it” and everyone else is too dumb or biased to “understand,” because that’s not even remotely productive. Yeah, idk what I’m trying to get at anymore, so I’ll just leave it at that.