Haters gonna hate

[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.

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41 comments
      • Xard said:

        this can’t be true. :(

        Star Driver is great. Only category I fully fit in is “90s nostalgia fags” though I have heavy strands of mecha and FABULOUS faggotry in me. Oh well, haters gonna miss out

      • Keep on fighting the good fight though. :3

  1. …I’m not even sure where I belong there (aside from the ‘likes Star Driver’ part) LOL

    I think it’s not that there are little fans, but more that there are a lot of vocal haters? :(

  2. theflow said:

    lol so sad.

  3. Reaper said:

    But in Japan it’s doing good, isn’t it?

  4. Funnily enough, it’s true.

    I know a mecha fag and nostalgia fag IRL and none of them want to watch STAR DRIVER on the basis it’s too fabulous for them.

    Also, COAL site change!

  5. d said:

    Yeah, I know a few people who are like that also.

  6. Crofesima said:

    pretty much.
    but also the objectively-speaking-it’s-one-of-the-best-shows-right-now-if-you-don’t-take-it-too-seriously fags.

    PS. lol the background

  7. Nox said:

    Wow, site change.

    Anyway, I guess I fit in Mecha and Nostalgia there. I’m kind of surprised this show isn’t more popular. Especially since it’s really gotten going as the show has gone on.

  8. Shinn said:

    Funnily enough I’m exactly this.

  9. Arabesque said:

    I’m ok with the 90’s, like fabulous and mecha. And I absolutely love this show.

    I think it has to do more with how cynical many people make themselves these days. Any show is the worst thing ever, as if the 90’s were just made out of quality shows and there was never a bad one.

    More people need to watch Utena in order to appreciate this show more. It certainly increased my love for it.

    btw, is the black bar above supposed to be part of the background?

  10. rightofleft said:

    lol I don’t even know which category I belong to in this graph. But I can see why this show is not more popular than it should be.

    Mecha fans will not watch this show because of the robot design. Though the design part could be debatable but for those who are accustomed to gundam this may not be the show they would prefer.

    Fabulous fans won’t watch this because, will, they prefer magical GIRL and not BOY.

    Not quite sure what I can say about the Nostalgia part though.

    Well, at least there are enough of us to actually enjoy and discuss about this show without all the trolls.

  11. Nye said:

    I don’t really fit into any of those, but I am an Enokido fag? I think most people are turned off by the repetition and don’t really bother seeing all the small things. I remember reading reviews of episode 3 and a lot of them were “Great, the same thing for the third time” while all I could think was “What, are you kidding me? That punk has a mark! Plot twist!!”

  12. Dragonfly said:

    Yay comment explosions! I’ll definately agree that I like all of those things (to various degrees), and I probably would have checked out Star Driver anyway in that regard. But if that’s all it was, I think I would have said ‘Okay, that was fun,’ and been done with it. I think that the reason I’m jumping on the new episode each week instead of letting a backlog form, like I usually do, is because under the fabulous/90s/mecha wrapping is some quite intelligent writing that doesn’t underestimate the ability of the audience to make connections. I like being challenged to think about things. That’s probably true about everyone who reads these posts (otherwise why would we?).
    So I also want to say thank you to Good Haro and everyone who comments here. Reading the debates every week has made Star Driver that much more fun! :) (I’ll try to de-lurk more in future)

  13. Crofesima said:

    > Though this brings up a good question, just what is Star Driver?
    I’d say it’s very campish. this style is generally hard to understand by some… well, most people from what I’ve observed.

  14. Bunny said:

    Hmmm, I guess I would fall under the fabulous/90s nostalgia group. I don’t really like mecha but I’ve been enjoying Star Driver so far. Actually, I think some of the mecha-designs are pretty cool.

    If there’s one thing I like about the SD fandom, it’s the crazy speculations everyone throws out. Those kind of things are always fun to read~

  15. LavenderGray said:

    I think the new layout is pretty good, but the bunching of tags, links, and comments at the top of the post is confusing compared to the old way where they were at the bottom of the post and bigger.

    Personally, I love action shows that have a grounding in real world situations and issues. I wish I had been able to work through my adolescent angst with giant robots. But I think what I like most about this show is that every single character is completely awesome. No weedy emo losers or grating tsunderes here, sir! They’re all uniquely badass. Even the maidens are badass in a nonviolent “mystical wisdom” kind of way.

    • Yeah, that’s the one thing that’s bugging me about this layout, but I can’t really do anything about it without shelling out money for WP upgrades or choosing a completely different theme.

  16. NoOne said:

    is there statistics to prove that Star Driver is not that popular? like TV ratings or DVD/Blu-Ray orders? and how high does it rank compared to other shows?

    i wont believe its underrated unless i see some concrete proof :)

    • Average ratings for shows in it’s timeslot:
      Geass R2: 2.67%
      00 S2: 4.47%
      FMAB: 3.48%
      SB2: 2.38%
      SD: 2.34%

      It’s not bombing, but it’s not a hit.

      gg’s release of episode 15 was only downloaded (via torrent) 23k times (keep in mind gg is the only group releasing in English now), which is similarly mediocre (not awful but not terribly popular). Compare with High School of the Dead which usually pulled in ~45-50k downloads per episode.

      If you look at blogs and forums the English language speaking sphere’s reaction has been largely negative and there aren’t many “anime blogs” that cover it in episodic reviews (however stupid I think this practice is, it does seem to be at least somewhat indicative of popularity).

      The anti-thread on 2ch is pretty weak last I checked though. It seems like in Japan while it may not be a smash hit it hasn’t received the same negative backlash.

      We won’t know about BD/DVD sales until next week.

      • NoOne said:

        hey its doing fine against Sengoku Basara and Code Geass R2, so i guess in Japan its doing fine

        but as for the other evidences of statistics/consensus, that sucks i thought this show deserves better, imo this is better than xam’d lost memories of BONES

        people complain about lack of mecha fighting but in fact it has more battle scenes than xam’d lost memories and eureka 7 as far as i know, because 90% of the episodes so far of star driver has a lot of action, and the fights maybe that short but it very well drawn and animated for a TV series, so screw the haters lol

      • Xard said:

        Sengoku Basara and Geass R2 were very popular so I think Star Driver is doing pretty good! It’s not smash hit but it fares fine IMO.

        As for english speaking fandom…well, criminally underrated. I think first episodes were simply too weird and threw many people out. Rest were outed by “lolwut stupid repetitive shit bla bla bla” attitude

        I for one get my SD via DDL’s so of course the 23k torrent downloaders don’t offer the whole truth

        • They were, but ratings-wise they seriously underperformed (poor FukuJun got the nickname “Mr. 1.4%” after the worst rated Geass R2 episode). If it aired in a late night slot these would be good ratings, but in “prime time” it’s pretty terrible (though, again, compared to the other shows in the same slot, not so bad).

          Star Driver doesn’t have the explosive popularity of either CG or SB, unfortunately. But it seems to have a reasonably sized group of fans in Japan–like, enough to support it (I feel pretty confident that it’ll break the 3k profitability line on the BD/DVDs), but it’s hard to call it “popular.” It does seem to have a lot of fans in the industry though.

  17. Silverspot said:

    “Star Driver feels like it was made for me”
    I’m in the same boat, really. It’s kinda weird. Sure, there are a few things that I would like to see happening, but I’m perfectly fine with how things are being handled atm.

    Oh well, I guess I’ll just continue to discuss it with the fellow SD fags on /a/ until it lasts.

  18. Anonymouse said:

    I like the show, i’m not crazy about it but I enjoy it, but the biggest problem I have with this show is the sexual fanservice.

    I cannot stand seeing nearly every girl showing tits and ass. Their Crux clothes are… god, I have no words to describe how fucked and stupid they are. And yes, I can see they put fanservice for us girls too, but I cannot bear to see half-naked girls all the time.

    Oh, and I’m also a bit of a 90s nostalgia fag, I suppose. I cannot avoid to compare things with Utena and thinking Utena did it better. My fault, I know.

    • Yeah, I think that’s one category I forgot to address (it hasn’t come up much since the beginning, I guess that’s why). Personally, the fanservice doesn’t bug me because I find it funny and I feel like it fits as a thematic element/motif since sex is one of the main topics being addressed in the show.

      I guess I see it kind of like the “manly” but decidedly homoerotic stuff you see in a lot of hotblooded mecha anime targeted at guys. Guys read it more as over the top manly awesomeness while girls (can) read it as fanservice too (because like, half naked guys touching each other, lol). As sexualized as the Crux girls might be at points, it never really feels demeaning? Like, they seem to have chosen those outfits themselves and they’re usually being pretty badass when they’re wearing them.

      Er, I hope that doesn’t come across the wrong way. It’s perfectly understandable to be uncomfortable with or dislike that aspect of the show.

  19. Silverspot said:

    Just checked your twitter… STAR DRIVER ONE COIN FIGURES? Sign me in! How am I supposed to resist the cuteness?

    Also.. I wonder just who the hell is the 9nine chick voicing…

    • Some girl named Hana. I’m gonna guess it’s the girl with the long brown hair from the preview/Takuto’s photo.

  20. Kevin said:

    I don’t fit into any of those categories, but I LOVE Star Driver. That very first trailer blew me away with its FABULOUS and EPIC animation + music.

    By the way, where can I find more AWESOME Zero Time backgrounds?? =)

  21. Pike said:

    You wrote down all the feelings I didn’t even know how to start expressing. This is exactly what I feel when people hate on SD but refuse to understand why I like it. I could never quite understand why they couldn’t “get it” but with your graph now I know.

    Still it seems a big waste that a show like this is being shoved to the side because doesn’t fit neatly into genre A, B or C. It just feels so restricting that for a show to be deemed “successful” it has to cater specifically and only to a sub-group of fans.

    Personally I don’t feel that “Mecha”, “90’s Nostalgia” and “Fabulous” are contradictory categories, nor are they overpowering SD or even overshadowing each other in any way. Rather they are layered and weaved carefully into the whole that makes SD strangely but alluringly unique.

  22. Randomguy said:

    I honestly do like the show but my only problem so far is Takuto’s sheer invincibility against everything, even after episode 16 where I thought he’d actually get beaten, he phased up and made Reshbal look like a bitch after the OP and ED built him up to actually seem like a real threat.

    Guess I just have to come to the conclusion that Takuto will not lose…ever

    • The outcome of each fight is irrelevant. It’s what happens during the battle and the reasons for it that are important.

      • Randomguy said:

        That’s true, I just feel like there’s a lack of…tension throughout the whole thing. After all that build up to Reshbal it was a bit of a disappointment

        • Yeah, not gonna lie, I felt like the resolution to the Reshbal fight was a little disappointing too. Less because Takuto didn’t lose and more because, like, there wasn’t all of the Head blogging about how awesome he is that I was expecting.

  23. kargarus said:

    It disappoints to me view some the hate which I really think is due to the point you made about a lack of open-mindedness.

    I visit your site regularly and just wanted to say thanks and to share some Star Driver love! I enjoy the mysteries surrounding the show and your musings are really great in understanding them! Keep up the great work and fans unite!!! :D

  24. Shion said:

    lol I found Star Driver when I was looking at the Robot Damashii prototype and thought that it was awesome. I guess that puts me in the Mecha Fag category, then?

    But the characters are good, too, and the Fabulous is awesome!

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