I’ve made several attempts in creating personal blogs, but I ended up abandoning them because if I wanna rant at something or talk about something, I’ll just use my fansubbing website. I even made a MAL account once and abandoned it a few hours later. I’ll just use Excel if I want to keep track on my anime.
I’m not really sure why. Maybe because my pathetic third-world weeb life isn’t interesting compared to other weebs, or no one really cares because I get more responses when shitposting in image boards than making episode reviews of one anime series. I mean, I rarely get any responses from my reviews and one of the handful of followers prefer to bitch and moan why Aikatsu Stars has male characters rather than talking about, well, you know, everything else. It’s very surprising this blog is still alive after a year. I think I’d be more invested in this blog of people actually replied and critique my opinions.
Or maybe I should go normie and do normie things like post random pictures using my phone and take pictures of greasy foods I ordered, and take random videos in portrait mode.
Aikatsu Stars! season 1 is finally over and it’s time to review the last 5 episodes and tell you what I think about the anime. And as always, I’ll be brief and avoid any spoilers as possible. Avoiding spoilers is pointless at this point though because this is a late review and 99.99% of the fans already seen these episodes.
EPISODE 46: IT BEGINS
The much-anticipated S4 competition is here! Every year, Four Star Academy selects the best idol from each of the four classes to succeed the current S4 members through the usual idol showdown. Apart from Yuzu who is a 2nd year, Tsubasa, Hime, and Yozora are graduating, so with so many talented idols wanting to be part of S4, competition is fierce.
Episode 46 is mainly an Ako-centric episode and honestly there’s nothing much else to talk about. Ako is definitely a worthy idol to be part of S4 and since there are no other notable characters in the acting class, Ako will eventually get the spot. I’m not saying that to demean Ako, no. Ako worked hard and managed to rank high despite having a standard coord with no GLUGs. The last scene with Ako was definitely my favorite part and I have nothing but respect for this character.
EPISODE 47: THE BATTLE OF THE SISTERS
Mahiru’s main rival is her sister Yozora and they’re now on even ground. Their accomplishments are nothing short of spectacular and even though their rivalry isn’t in-your-face all the time, you can feel the two working hard to avoid one of them getting the upper hand, and the final result of the competition is both emotional and satisfying.
Though I’m wearing my tinfoil hat here because I can’t help but feel everything’s convenient in the episode. Why did Mahiru end up using the song TSUBOMI -Azayaka na Mirai e-, a song first debuted by Yozora? And why did Yozora allow it? Did Yozora gave the match to Mahiru because she’s leaving to France and doesn’t want to leave with unfinished business? Maybe I guess it’s just plot convenience to let Mahiru shine using the new song.
EPISODE 48: LILY VS ROLA
Out of the 4 classes, the Song Class is the most competitive with top students, freshmen and sophomore alike, competing to succeed Hime and be one of the new S4 members. For this episode Lily and Rola will face off and see which one of them is the better idol. Will Lily win with her experience and huge emotional support from Yuzu, or will the student Rola win and surpass her mentor Lily by being true to herself?
The episode is divided into two parts (well obviously) and the show did a good job at giving Lily and Rola some character development for fans to attach themselves to. Sort of similar to shows where a character gets a ton of screen time and then killed off to give fans emotional distress. The conclusion was very obvious and while my prediction was correct, the outcome didn’t feel cheap. These idols did their best, but only one gave more effort.
EPISODE 49: YUME VS HIME
Next up is the climax! Yume and Hime facing off at long last. Yume has risked her life and dedicated her life to be one of the best, but how will she fair with Hime, one of the best idols in Four Star Academy?
I wasn’t surprised at the outcome of this episode because Yume would be too overpowered and it’s way too early for her. We still need Yume to experience more things and face greater challenges to make the next episodes more interesting and a bit unpredictable. Ever wondered why Batman is more popular than Superman? Same reasoning. Though if Aikatsu Stars! didn’t have a S2, then I guess I’ll accept the alternate outcome because it’s a good closure to her character and to the series.
EPISODE 50: THE PASSING OF THE TORCH
…or baton. :V
The S4 competition is finally over and the students went back to their usual idol activities and the seniors prepare to move on to the next step of their lives. Tearful farewells aplenty.
Season 1 is finally over and I’m greatly happy that everything, or at least the most important parts, were all wrapped up with nothing big sticking out. If there are, I’m hoping they’ll be ironed out in S2 or expand upon. What’s important for me in this episode is how things are gonna happen now with the new foundations in place.
Overall episode 50 has everything needed to conclude S1 while leaving some breadcrumbs for fans to follow. I’m certainly following.
Aikatsu Stars is a good spin-off with a unique identity of its own. It didn’t wallow in nostalgia too much and while there were blatant nods of the original, the anime didn’t do a cut and paste job. The characters are great with tons of favorites like Yume, Rola, Mahiru, Ako, and Lily, but I still not fond of Hibiki Anna and M4.
Anna is an inferior version of Johnny Bepp with cringey Engrish quips and simple character design. Granted Anna was more engaging towards her students than Johhny did, but… she lacks charisma and energy.
And for M4… oh boy, I can see it now: A random idiot reads my opinion on M4, blurs out my points and arguments and just focus on the part I said M4 is useless and served no purpose. “SHiN is anti-het!” But that is assuming people read this review.
M4 is an oddity in the series. They’re there, but it feels like they don’t exist in the anime. There’s this scene with Yume in an interview together with M4 and to my shock, Yume and M4 are in the same show and stage, but Yume was in a separate table. Yume never talked to them in that interview. Apart from that, they look like they’re not part of the school because they don’t wear uniforms, we never get to see them studying in a classroom, nor we see the boys side of the school. They’re like outsiders staying inside the school for female idols.
Their characterization, apart from Subaru, is virtually underdeveloped or non-existent. I really don’t know them. The glasses guy wears headphones and perhaps has an attraction towards Ako, and that’s it. Asahi is related to Mahiru and Yozora and he knows Mahiru loves chocolates, but that’s it. The other guy, the tall blonde-ish one is a complete literal who. He’s the leader of M4, I’m guessing. Subaru on the other hand has good screen time and character development and he could work as a separate entity like a random classmate or an idol of a rival school. Still, Subaru is still a pointless character in the end. He was never there when Yume needs help, nor helped move the story along. He started off as a typical boy making fun of a girl but pushed it so hard that he ends up looking like a pesky older brother than a medium to help Yume develop.
The art and animation are good and they grew on me. The music is great with lots of great songs to choose from, but the songs are still not part of the story. They’re just there for the idols to use. Who wrote them? Why did this idol use the song for the event? Does the song reflect the idol’s character or the message they’re trying to convey? I was expecting these to happen after Etude of Radiance by Ichigo in OG Aikatsu, but oh well… It’s not a big of a deal breaker in the end.
So there you have it. Will I continue making for reviews for S2? I guess so. No one reads my stuff so there’s little urgency for me to write one, but yeah, I’ll continue writing. At least I’m not Shia LaBeouf.
— SHiN @ Lazy Lily Fansubs