Star Driver 21

So Madoka finally tests her theory that Tauburn’s downfall will come as a result of Takuto’s refusal to kill a cybody pilot. Since Madoka regenerates her cybody with her own libido, entering third-and-a-half-phase, her body literally melds with the cybody in Zero Time. Destroying the cybody kills her too. Whether she’s ready to die is irrelevant, because she thinks she’ll win.

She’s pretty much right: Like an adult cat who never learned the killing bite, Takuto just can’t do it, and ends up on his back and in serious trouble. We know Sugata’s first phase is useless now, so it had to be – yup – Wako, with her maiden powers (the details of which escape me) which somehow negated Madoka’s superphase, allowing Takuto to wrest her from the cybody – defeating her without killing as he has always done.

Frankly, after saving him from a snake bite I thought Keito might be the one to intervene, but that would be treasonous action against her Cruxmates. Having saved Takuto’s skin and now volunteering to be his kising partner in the play, it could be – with only four episodes left – that Wako’s made a choice. Maybe? Rating: 3.5

Level E 8

Level E switches gears from the Color Rangers to a new and potentially more dangerous scenario: an alien princess has come to earth to find a human mate. Only problem is, when she finds one and they reproduce, a virus will be transmitted which will quickly spread to all males, rendering them sterile and eventually rendering the human race extinct.

Craft and his two underlings must ensure this doesn’t happen (Prince is in the jungle somewhere, watching bugs mate for some reason…that in and of itself is funny). So Craft meets her in a remote and isolated winter resort. What he wasn’t counting on: a guy who was just turned down by a friend he wanted to be more than a friend with meeting eyes with the princess. It’s love at first sight, and the shounen won’t let anyone come between their love. That can only mean one thing: SNOWMOBILE CHASE!!! Wait, what? Okay, sure, why not?

The romance is a problem for Craft, because he’s part of the Earth Defense Force, and if he doesn’t defend the smitten kid from the cute and innocent foreign princesss, humanity is doomed. His attempts to dissuade both of them throughout the episode are as ineffective as they are hilarious. I imagine if there was ever a Men In Black anime, it would be something like Level E: interesting missions in which the world is always on the line, but the show is never too stern or serious about it. Rating: 3.5