Aikatsu Stars! Episodes 38-45 Review Marathon

B-B-Belated Happy New Year…! ;_;

The start of 2017 was rather hectic and I have to decide which ones to prioritize and which ones to put in the back burner. I actually lost my internet for a good full week and I spent my time watching Aikatsu Stars and try catch up. Ohys-Raws raws have way low volume for my liking, by the way. Better than nothing I guess.

Anyway, I watched past episode 45, but decided to make my marathon review stopping at 45 because I think the S4 competition starts on episode 46. Either I make individual episode reviews or just another review marathon.

EPISODE 38: HAPPY NEW YEAR

New year episodes are literally identical, so you can pretty much expect the same situations you see in previous new year episodes. Dressing for the occasion, playing games, eating, praying in shrines, writing your wishes on those wooden-thingies, etc., they’re all here.

Despite that all the cliches, there are some great moments like the anime is fully establishing Hikaru’s role as a joke character (in a good way) like his students and peers poking fun at his deadpan demeanor. And of course, our budding idols still dreaming big in this brief moment of respite. It’s a good episode.

EPISODE 39: IT’S ALWAYS THOSE DARNED RUSSIANS

I find Lily’s stamina inconsistent. She is athletic, fit, and can take on cleaning jobs in hot spring resorts in one episode and is sickly and can’t take a few more steps in another. It’s like a convenient plot device of some sort.

Episode 39 is Lily’s episode where she joins a competition hosted by a Russian, who happens to look American, and speaks like British like Alice in Kin-iro Mosaic. At some point, Lily’s sickness kicked in and is ready to retire from the competition until Yume and Rola showed up to, well, show support. Obviously Lily recovered and won the competition.

This is also a good episode and we get to see more of Lily’s character. Lily won, but it also showed Lily that there are friends who will support you and they’re part of the reasons why Lily rose to success.

EPISODE 40: I’VE GOT A LOCK ON YOU, SWALLOWTAIL!

Phantom Thieves Shadow Stars has announced their next heist and Detective Tsubasa and new recruit Officer Ako is hot on their trail!

This is Aikatsu Stars!’s take on the venerable Swallowtail episode of OG Aikatsu! and thankfully the entire episode isn’t a copy-paste rush job. The story focused more on the detectives rather than Shadow Stars is a bit of a bummer mainly because my favorite characters are playing the notorious phantom thieves.

I think this episode is inferior to Swallowtail because the Swallowtail episode was more exciting and adventurous while the Shadow Stars episode didn’t focus on the thieves and more on the detectives’ busywork. It’s still good though because the story has some twist and turns, and Ako did some neat detective work. And the new song is very catchy.

EPISODE 41: TERRITORIAL CONTROL

Aikatsu Stars! is at its best when the stories focuses on actual idol activities and episode 41 is one of them.

Hikaru announced “Fuyu Fes” or “Winter Festival” where the school’s 4 main classes compete by winning in mini events and the same time winning the hearts of the visitors in a territorial control kind of event. Four Stars Academy is split into many areas and one of the classes win by conquering these areas. This is a very fun episode giving each prominent idol good screen time and some of the situations they got themselves into were very funny.

With that said, this episode leaned towards Mahiru and Yozora’s sibling bonding. The other sibling whose name I forgot got the short end of the bonding stick, I guess. He was Ben Affleck from Interstellar tier.

EPISODE 42: “POP AND COOL” IS THE ANSWER TO THE MEANING OF LIFE

Another big event is coming up and Yuzu is need of a partner-zo! However, no one can keep up with Yuzu’s endless energy and enthusiasm-zo! Or maybe except Yuzu’s childhood friend Lily-zo?

I’m starting to believe the anime is focusing on fleshing out the characters before the finale, and that’s a good thing. One of the idols will lose because, well, S4 has only 4 slots, and you need all the impact and attachment for the viewers to jump with joy or hang themselves because their favorite idol didn’t make it.

Jokes aside, it’s another good episode featuring Lily and her fondness and closeness towards Yuzu, and if I see one more Lily episode, I’ll confirmed death flag has been placed. S4 represents the 4 idols types and the two cool type idols Rola and Lily will eventually clash to take the spot. Gee, I wonder who will win…

EPISODE 43: NOT IN A MILLION YEARS

HOLY SHIT A VALENTINE’S EPISODE AND WE SEE SUBARU-KYUN AND YUME ALONE UNDER A MOON-LIT NIGHT AND ONE OF THEM IS HOLDING WHAT APPEARS TO BE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES!

I don’t understand why people are expecting romance after watching 4 long seasons of a kid’s anime all about idols doing idol-ey things. Romance will never happen in Aikatsu and dare I say these people are delusional for pushing this crap to people.

If they want romance, the anime needs to do a few things like giving M4 actual character development, a reason why romance is happening. M4 has only a few minutes of screen time (I reckon a total of 20 minutes or less) and they serve no real purpose in the anime. I believe they were shoehorned into the anime because they’re the only guys in the school and we never got to see the boys section. In all honesty, I like Subaru. He’s a guy who acts like that annoying big brother and soon developed a crush on Yume. Sadly his actions towards Yume is his undoing because he got zoned hard in this episode.

Yume is a role model for little girls who will eventually enter in idol events in Japan. As a role model, Yume isn’t written to fall in love with a guy because it goes against the idol code. Unless you want to see thousands of young girls have their heads shaven. Yume represents idolhood and she’ll keep it that way.

Come to think of it, the other name I remembered from M4 is Kanata. I’m not sure he’s Yozora’s younger brother or that Mega-Nii look-a-like wearing those cheap Skullcandy or Razer headphones.

EPISODE 44: MY RANAO OF AIKATSU STARS!

Rola and Mahiru are working very hard as idols, but there’s something missing and if they don’t figure it out, they may lose in the upcoming S4 competition. The two decided to team up and see where this will lead them.

Don’t get me wrong, Yume x Rola is canon thanks to that very gay love story of a movie, and I love the pairing to death. But I love seeing other pairings as well, and since I adore Rola and Mahiru, and my goggles reacted several times when I see these two together, well, expect me to translate a ton of Rola x Mahiru doujins in the foreseeable future. Provided the ship is popular in Japan and fan artists.

Anyway, it’s a good episode and I like the animation in this one. The characters were drawn very nicely and I didn’t see any lazy drawings. I can’t explain it, but I think episode 44 is the most cutely and nicely drawn episode in Stars.

EPISODE 45: GLUG

Grade Up Glitter. From now on I’ll call them GLUGs. Nips tend to confuse L to R and vice versa, so, yeah, GLUG.

GLUGs are special glitters that gives an idol the ability to improve their dress by having more options in that dress make booth-thing. In order for an idol to get a GLUG, they must essentially do a huge performance. Yume, Rola, and Mahiru got their GLUGs and Ako is having trouble getting one. Unfortunately for Ako, there’s a schedule conflict and Ako must chose one of two live events.

It’s an Ako episode with a bit of self-producing and the story gave Ako more humility and in turn gave her more charm. Yes, I like Ako.

CONCLUSION

Aikatsu Stars has improved thanks to tighter focus on character development and idol activities. Episode 46 is, I think, where the S4 competition really starts. And as I before, I’m not sure I’ll do individual episode reviews or another marathon.

— SHiN @ Lazy Lily Fansubs

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