Aikatsu Stars! Episode 22 Review: How to not self-produce 101

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When I was young, around the time MTV actually meant “Music Television”, I was rather picky when it comes to artists I follow, and with one exception, I never followed the local artists. The reason for that is they’re only popular because of their looks and some okay-ish singing skills.

There was a popular teen actress promoting her new debut album on TV. While it was nice she’s making a CD single for her fans to enjoy, what she said really turned me off. She said “the CD contains revivals of popular songs” and that killed my interest of ever checking her CD out. “Where is your original song? It’s your debut single, surely you have something original to sing.” I said to myself.

It’s not even an isolated case, 90% of these singers always say their CDs are a collection of revivals. This lack of originality and lack of passion to sing made me hate my local artists and throughout my childhood, the only local artists I cared for was the Eraserheads. Oh yeah, Boyzone is my most-hated boy band in the 90s.

And yes, this is relevant in my review of episode 22.

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I felt exhausted listening to this guy for some reason.

Yume beat Rola in last episode’s audition and Yume is excited to work on her first ever CD debut. In order for Yume’s debut successful, her new producer (I still don’t know his name) will see to it everything’s perfect and ready. Of course, preparing and promoting Yume’s CD debut is not an easy task.

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Which reminds me, I think Aikatsu Stars! just contradicted itself due to this fella, Yume’s producer. Where’s the “self-produce” philosophy? Yume had no contribution to the entire thing. Yume just went to radio interviews, some photo shoots, handshaking with fans and recording the songs.  Everything, including the selection of songs for her CD, came from this guy.

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Her producer had good intentions and he’s experienced in his craft, but this is not Aikatsu! at all. Yume is just there with no direct influence to the production of her CD. Now, you could argue this is all the headmaster’s secret plan to take over the world using idols, but it’s even worse. The headmaster denying Yume to self-produce, a philosophy he enforced, is hypocritical.

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By comparison, Aoi made a lot of contributions to her song stranger alien. Aoi took part in meetings with the director, filming crew, and the Futuring Girl staff. Aoi was the one who picked the coords for the song, helped with the dance choreography, and pioneered the idea of using holographic screens as part of the dance. Aoi was never in the back seat.

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The music video involves walking on a runway and asked Ran, a model, for help.

Did she write the song? No, but Aoi was an integral part of stranger alien. Aoi was involved in everything. In that episode, Aoi showed how to self-produce. This is why Aoi is one of the most successful idol in OG Aikatsu!

Aikatsu Stars! episode 22 is very weak in this regard.

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Now, it would be unfair of me to not mention the good sides, so, uh, I’ll mention the good sides. Despite its biggest flaw, it’s still an interesting episode of Yume working hard to make her dream come true. The pacing was great, there was a bit of a Rola moment with Anna, and the final scene between Rola and Yume was cute, sweet, and they’re still the best of friends, even though they’re rivals.

A HEART WITH NO SOUL

ohys-raws-aikatsu-stars-22-tx-1280x720-x264-aac-mp4_snapshot_13-33_2016-09-08_22-19-56Yume is extremely talented and gifted, no doubt. It’s just it feels like Yume is just a popular face with a passion of singing at dancing, but lacked that soul of a singer, a soul of a genuine artist. This is her CD debut, this is her first chance to let the world know of her existence, and yet she never gave that extra effort to at least pick the songs she wants to sing. She sang Honey Bee Kiss, but why? Why that song? Did she personally pick the song? Is the song portraying her personality? Or did the school and her producer give her the chance to write her own song?

Yume, Rola, Mahiru, Ako, S4 and pretty much everyone else is like that young artist who made a debut single with nothing but revivals of popular songs.

This is not their fault. It’s the anime’s fault for not giving the music itself a story. I would have respected Sumire more if Queen of Thorns was part of the story and made her effort more palpable and noteworthy. I certainly wouldn’t respect Ichigo if she picked The Etude of Radiance from a random love song playlist.

CONCLUSION

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A flawed yet okay episode of Yume working hard, and Rola being TSUNDERE AF.

— SHiN @ Lazy Lily Fansubs

P.S.

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Lily is going to make her proper debut in episode 23

4 thoughts on “Aikatsu Stars! Episode 22 Review: How to not self-produce 101

      • I mean it in a good way; after all, you really did a good job of describing how you really felt about this episode and its shortcomings.

        The thing is, previously I had no idea what you were talking about when you said something about the anime not giving the music a proper story, but now I finally get to understand; yes, it is true that in the movie, we got to appreciate Etude of Radiance because it had a legitimate purpose to be sung by Ichigo as we were shown why it came to be written.

        That said, I also loved how you used a relevant plot point from the original series and compared it with the events of today’s episode; it makes even more sense come to think of it, after all I did feel that Yume didn’t really do that much self-producing in the first place when she was being constantly babied along by that record label guy.

        But TBH, Yume isn’t Aoi by a long stretch. Aoi-chan, as we all know and love, was a person who was constantly in the thick of things and as you mentioned, always involved herself in matters and constantly helped out with everything that could be of use to her during a upcoming show, music video or stage performance. Aoi’s intelligence and drive were what enabled her to become an integral part of many of the projects she was involved in, to the point where even the head director would listen to her advice and ideas with great attention. In contrast, Yume isn’t anything like Aoi at all, she might come out top in physical terms, but she lacks the will nor the experience to be deeply involved in matters that require her to self-produce, so it actually seems reasonable that she’s holding the hand of Mr Record Label Guy first to get more experience before gradually becoming more independent.

        That said, if Laura had won it would be a very different story.

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