Aikatsu Stars! Episode 19 Review: Idol Activities

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My readership is still small, but I do appreciate it when people talk about my thoughts on the anime I review. Yeah, some may be antagonistic because their views are different, but come on, if we’re thinking the same thing and agree on the same thing, wars shouldn’t have existed.

With that said, I recently argued that Aikatsu! doesn’t need drama or romance because the point of Aikatsu! is about girls going about their idol activities. Is this really true? Or is it just me in denial because I’ve been accused as “anti-het” or someone who hates heterosexual relationships in my Chinese cartoons?

While my preference of anime porn is indeed yuri, I don’t hate het. My favorite anime of all time is Vision of Escaflowne and the anime I consider the most beautiful anime ever made is Full Moon wo Sagashite. Who are the couples in these shows? Yes, exactly.

At any rate, I will prove my point at the end the review.

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It’s summer in Four Star Academy, our young idols are feeling the heat and experienced strange things like Koharu’s hair defying the very laws of Physics. Luckily for them, the girls bumped into S4’s free-spirited idol Nikaido Yuzu and she invited them to check out a major summer dance event (purportedly) up north where it’s cool. The trio takes a back seat this time around.

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Before going further, I’m gonna point out that I’m very, very fond of Koharu now and she’s my 2nd favorite non-S4 character in the anime. I’m not exactly sure why I like Koharu, really. I mean, I used to hate her but after that much needed Koharu episode, I’ve grown attached to her. Yeah, she’s not as flashy as the other idols and she’s never gonna be the new S4, but there’s something about her charm that I find very attractive. Not in a sexual way, FYI. :V

Anyway…

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The long-awaited Yuzu episode is finally here… d-dazo…!

I could say this is a two-part story featuring the free-spirited Yuzu and her entourage (not sure how to translate kanbu here) who specializes in catching one elusive senior. The first part is Yuzu being the most carefree girl in S4, a girl with loves interacting with people and have fun. If you look away for a second, Yuzu will run off to do silly things and this is where the Dance Class’s executive students come in.

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Actually it’s hard to talk about the anime without tossing out spoilers, but I will just say episode 19 is one of the best episodes out there with a combination of great pacing, fun, humor, character development for Yuzu and the Dance Class, and a bit of mystery to keep the fans excited.

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If you were following me on Twitter, I RT’d a magazine screenshot of a potential new character. I wasn’t sure if this new character is for the game only and thankfully we got a confirmation that Shirogane Lily is in the anime.

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Lily is good at singing, she’s with the head students at the Song Class and she’s childhood friends with Yuzu. We only got a brief glimpse of her in episode 19 and I’m sure she’ll play a major role in the anime soon.

CONCLUSION

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Typical stoner hippie. Blaze it.

I know my review didn’t really highlight how good this episode is because you need to see the best parts for yourself and posting spoiler screenshots just ruins the fun of the episode. My opinions of Yuzu in the first few episodes were mixed (despite her being voiced by Aoi’s VA) and I considered her to be the weakest girl in terms of characterization. Now that I’ve seen Yuzu inhibited and how affects the people around her, I can say she’s easily on par with Hime, Yozora and Tsubasa. I can see why this 2nd year is a deserving member of the coveted S4.

All in all, episode 19 is a very good episode and this is what Aikatsu Stars! should be like. And this brings me to…

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I wasn’t pulling words out of my ass when I said Aikatsu Stars! was suffering from an identity crisis because the show was indeed trying to be different by adding new things like drama, male supporting characters, a plot, while missing the point on what made Aikatsu! great.

Episode 19 is a good example that Idol Activities is the anime’s greatest strength. The episode is well-made, true to the original theme and it contained no drama, no Subaru, no fainting idols, and no headmaster hatching a shady plan. The girls were having fun, everything in this episode was so comfortable, and relaxing. It’s like I’m watching the original Aikatsu!.

If the fans were really clamoring “for a more dramatic, plot-driven approach over its traditional reliance on idol activities,” then they’re asking to bastardize the very soul of the anime. Go watch this episode and watch, say, episode 17 and I’ll ask you: Do you really want change?

— SHiN @ Lazy Lily Fansubs

4 thoughts on “Aikatsu Stars! Episode 19 Review: Idol Activities

  1. Yes, I would accept change if it was for the greater good. Change is unpredictable yet undeniable, and even the most solid of foundations must eventually make way for new ones as part of change, in which the same principle applies not just to Aikatsu Stars!, but the whole of the Aikatsu franchise as well.

    First off, before I elaborate any further on my views, I must apologise for any comments that I made on your blogs that might have offended you in any way. If I really did so, then I am sorry.

    The thing is, I noticed that certain parts of your review were edited in response to my earlier opinion that Aikatsu Stars! had improved over its predecessor due to having adopted a far more dramatic plot-driven storyline with mature elements that did not exist in the original, which was focused on idol activities and characters having fun together while working hard. And there’s also the accusation that Aikatsu Stars!, in a desperate bid to prove itself worthy of being a successor series, is using these plot points to gain an edge over other successful idol series like Pripara. You did also mention that the anime series never needed all those emotional depth plot points, romance, etc…because they fly in the face of what Aikatsu stood for.

    But…

    What I can say with confidence is this: Both of us are right and wrong. I know that Aikatsu was always about the idols having fun together as they learnt more about idols and trained hard for their performances while having many adventures together. But it’s not as if Aikatsu Stars! didn’t abandon all of that and completely went on the serious, emotional path that I mentioned before. In fact, even with all for the angst and drama, the series has in fact still maintained its original beliefs, that of having its idols have fun together doing idol activities!

    The thing is, Aikatsu Stars!, as a spin-off, used the “same yet different”method. By “same yet different”, I mean that the series brings various (many, actually) plotlines, character designs, personalities, and so on from the original series and reorganizes them into many different yet similar ways. And by instilling the dramatic, plot driven approach into the mix, Aikatsu Stars! was able to create a unique combination of both! That’s what I’m trying to say; both idol activities and drama can coexist with each other to create an even more incredible and satisfying viewing experience for those who wish for a more dramatic story and for those who prefer the simplistic approach that the original series had. There’s no need for Aikatsu Stars! to continue on with emotional angst for every episode or throw it away in order to appease the original fans; by separating both of these factors to be utilized in different episodes, a proper balance can be maintained.

    Keep in mind that Aikatsu Stars! is at this stage still a series that is pretty much in transition, so there’s plenty of room for potential nd improvement. It’s okay to experiment, maybe even change, but as long the series can provide a viable medium for both drama and idol activities to coexist, then I believe Aikatsu Stars! is currently headed in the correct direction. Who knows, maybe I could be wrong or you could be right, or vice versa. But, don’t we all have different views yet hold one thing in common, our love for Aikatsu (and Aoi-sama)?

    • I’m all in it for change for as long the spirit of idol activities isn’t snuffed out. Adding romance is the worst thing that could happen.

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