Aikatsu Stars! Episode 18 Review: The Movie Hype

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Movie hype and drama.

On one side, there are people who wants something new in the Aikatsu! formula, and they got what they wanted by adding a major plot, the “legendary idol gone sour” kind of plot and giving supporting cast of characters that weren’t in the arcade games some purpose or relevancy.

On the other side, there are people who wants to keep things as they were — An anime series that doesn’t follow the melodramatic footsteps of their counterparts, an anime series that’s lighthearted, colorful, comfy and with good music. A series that’s all about a group of girls doing idol activities and nothing more.

I’m on the latter.

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Episode 18 is setting up for the movie’s (now on theaters in Japan) main story. Four Stars Academy is holding another big event called “Aikatsu! Island” and it’s basically an Aikatsu-themed park of sort. Everyone on Four Stars Academy will be joining and to kick off Aikatsu! Island, the school is looking for 4 freshmen to sing and dance on stage. Gee, I wonder who among the hundreds of students will be selected.

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It’s a two-part story involving Ashida Yuri, in charge of the Dress Make room and of course Yume as she works hard so she can be selected in the top 4. Now before you go adjusting your goggles, Yuri (有莉) means “existence” and “jasmine.” Yeah, this is one of the reasons why you should NEVER translate something using Romaji. And hey, if the vague tweets are true, we may see a new character named literally Lily.

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Okay, so we get to see Yuri’s background story, but it wasn’t really enough and majority of it spent with Yume as she helps her with the promotions and posters. The 2nd half of the story is Yume working her way up to the rankings. The episode properly showed how idols self-produce their events and activities, but this time, Yume had to balance her idol activities and helping out Yuri.

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Rank 30 isn’t really bad, Yume. I mean… My rank in Photokatsu’s current Aikatsu Stars Event is currently at rank 2900+ and dropping fast. ;_;

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In the end Yume, Mahiru, Rola, and Ako got in. I mean, DUH, no surprise there. The other students should just quit because there is no way they’ll reach anywhere near the 4 girls. Anyway, we get to see some more tidbits about the headmaster’s evil plan which I assume is about pushing the girls to near exhaustion because maybe he wants to test their limits or see if they can replicate the power of the nameless idol that keeps a picture of.

CONCLUSION

It’s a good episode but as I mentioned in the first part of this review, I’m not a big fan of the changes of the series. Aikatsu! was different and unique among idol shows at the time. Now, Aikatsu Stars! is trying some new things that are alienating. I may like it, but a part me feels like I’m just watching this out of sense of responsibility(?) because I am a fan of the original.

— SHiN @ Lazy Lily Fansubs

P.S.

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Koharu just swallowed the gum…

T-Times like this, you need Juicy Fru—*ahem*

5 thoughts on “Aikatsu Stars! Episode 18 Review: The Movie Hype

  1. Ever since Aikatsu experienced a huge drop in quality in its storyline during the late half of Season 3 and for much of Season 4, there has been a sizable fanbase (including me) who have been clamoring for change; so Aikatsu Stars! was created with those fan’s opinions in mind for a more dramatic, plot-driven approach over its traditional reliance on idol activities in order to produce a successful spin-off.

    Since then, that approach has paid off handsomely; the amount of emotional, drama-filled moments and surprising plot twists shown in the eighteen episodes that have been aired so far have exceeded the same amount present in the entirety of the original series. By lessening the reliance on the old plotline of idols going through character development via working hard to obtain new premium cards based on their respective brands and focusing instead on more realistic situations, Aikatsu Stars! has managed to cast off the shackles that prevented the original series from gaining any more potential for further story development and thus is able to forge its own success that gives it a edge over its predecessor.

    • As I pointed out in (I think) my first review was Aikatsu Stars is doing something new by adding a more mature story. It’s something I applauded at first, but my biggest gripe and shifting opinions is the changes were too drastic and foreign. Aikatsu! or Idol Activities, as the name suggests, is about idols doing idol activities and season 1 was a good example of this. They did away with drama, romance, a telenovela-tier story and made Aikatsu! unique and light-hearted compared to other idol anime that deals with the harsh reality of being idols and then some. Aikatsu! is that stand out show to watch if you wanna sit back, just relax, and never worry about a character dying or is mentally fatigued.

      It’s a bit of a stretch the studio or writers listened to the fans badly wanting something new. Since when did this happen for any franchise aside from bringing in boob and panty shots? First and foremost, Aikatsu! is a card game and their goal is to sell cards. The anime series is just one big advertisement to attract the little girls to buy their cards and has enough appeal to attract the big guys to buy their figures and Pizza Hut.

      I’ll disagree that the story quality dropped in S3 and S4. The story is fine for the little kids to understand, but the biggest flaw of S3 and S4 was using the original cast as a crutch, a means to keep the fans from coming back because the Akari generation of characters were still overshadowed and underdeveloped. Soleil leaving Starlight for a nationwide tour and get touching unique ending featuring the song Calendar Girl was supposed to be a perfect closure for Soleil and the rest of the original cast. And without the original cast, the new girls will have their chance to shine on their own, but what happened a couple of episodes later? Soleil is back. To put this very simply: Is Aikatsu! S3 and S4 watchable without Soleil? No. For newcomers to the series, yes, but for long time fans? No.

      And I also disagree the anime needed a good story and Aikatsu Stars! was the result. Aikatsu Stars! was made because they can’t continue making Aikatsu! using the original universe with new characters because fans will seek out Soleil and the original cast. They’re more interested in seeing the future of the original cast than watching the new cast of characters (Look what happened to Nono and Risa). Will Mizuki move on? Is Akari the true partner of Ichigo and be the next Masquerade? Will Aoi continue on with her acting career? Will Ran find new models for Spicey Ageha and eventually find someone to succeed her? By making a new universe, the anime is free from this attachment. Well, almost, because Tsubasa, Yuzu and Yozora are still voiced by the same VAs who voiced Ichigo, Aoi and Ran. Even in this new universe, the series is still afraid of alienating the fans.

      Aikatsu! never needed more emotional depth, nor it needed drama-filled moments, nor it needed romance. Aikatsu! is about girls doing idol activities and nothing more.

      • Another thing to consider is that not all characters work in Stars…

        Aikatsu! Has its moments of depth and some drama, but in the end was quite cheerful and comforting… (this works much better if you really work)… basically Aikatsu! is Anime that really works for all audiences…

        Stars is trying too hard to compete with other Idol Anime … we all know that is specifically PuriPara

        rather than romance is Ship-tease cheap and annoying… almost the same level as the Harem series uninspired, or these romances where two characters are couple only because the script says…

  2. Well, I don’t really mind the changes. It makes it more enjoyable, I couldn’t even watch S3-4 because it was so boring and repetitive lol(I just watched a couple to gawk at Akari….Maybe I’m bi. I’m not sure yet, I have many waifus and husbands)
    But I sometimes feel like it’s trying to hard to be like Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream and that bothers me slightly -_-
    It already took a lot of effort to continue watching Aikatsu(I dropped it in the middle of episode 2 because I was angry that they copied PRAD, lmao I was so childish then). I’m glad I continued watching though because now it’s one of my favourite idol animes-and the romance is just a bonus. Now if only there’s a canon yuri pairing I can die happily lol

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