Ensemble Stars! Episode 4

I feel like an ongoing trend with the two David Production anime I’m covering this season all have a very similar problem. Both are telling the story way more than showing it and I’ve complained about it since these series have started. So from this point on I will TRY to not linger on how bad the pacing and storytelling is because I doubt that will change.

In any case, it seems like UNDEAD (and a couple others) were able to pull one over AKATSUKI by using some interesting tactics by forcing their point count will be buffered. While initially I felt like it wasn’t really fair, this is a freaking coupe so of course they’re going to resort to some underhanded methods. And in order to do so, they’re going to pull out all the stops. The student council is going to have their hands full and will need to stay on their toes if they want to remain the strongest. Good luck with that lol.

When they started singing Rebellion Star, I was immediately like: Wait.. I know this song and was actually one of my favorite songs to listen to from Ensemble Stars. Though the one sung in the episode was different from the one I listened to and I noticed right away. I noticed that Hokuto actually used to be voiced by Yoshimasa Hosoya back in 2015 when the game first came out but was replaced by Tomoaki Maeno in 2017 for unknown reasons… for me at least. I’ll probably look up why later if a reason was actually specified. So I was used to hearing Yoshimasa Hosoya sing this song and hearing Tomoaki sing it instead was different.

But thinking about the name of the song fits in very well with the fact that they want to create a revolution against the system. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t see the other groups perform and just kind of heard their songs in the background, I can understand that they’d just want to keep to one focused performance in an episode. Though I guess I’m just more miffed that they skipped over AKATSUKI’s performance since they sung my favorite song from them… But oh well. Rebellion Star more than made up for that. While they didn’t have the props and overall finesse like AKATSUKI, the stage was extremely flashy and just matched the energy of the song. And while it could be that there was too much going on, I feel like it complimented the performance pretty well and didn’t distract me from watching the characters dance. So far, the biggest strength of the anime is giving life to the characters’ performances and are just really fun to watch.

Anzu continues to be more of an audience surrogate than a character as she probably had the least amount of lines in this episode thus far. They even resorted to having the camera be completely in her pov a couple of times. I wish we could see her actually do things more than just “Oh hey, I made these off screen.” However, I do appreciate that characters are using her name more regularly now. I swear I was going to lose it if they kept referring to her as “producer” or “transfer student”. We got to see both Haruka and Tsumugi do A LOT of things in their respective idol shows and while they aren’t the strongest characters, they were still able to establish themselves as their own character rather than a blank slate for the viewers to self project on. When they proclaimed Anzu as the “leader” of Trickstar I had to pause the episode and groan because: WHAT THE HECK WHY?! Whatever… the show does what it wants, I guess.

Trickstar wins the tournament to no one’s surprise. Because of how everything built up to this moment, it felt like it was more obligatory rather than earned. I guess it also has to do with me not being invested in these characters. However, it is one step in the right direction for their revolution as they were able to beat out AKATSUKI, but just by a smidge. Though I am thankful that AKATSUKI weren’t salty about it and were graceful losers. Even seemingly being respectable rivals by dropping the typical rival quote: “I won’t lose next time.” Also, after the 2nd teacher to show up in this show drops by and berates Hasumi for losing, I started feeling sorry for the guy and his position. Hasumi only wants order in the school and is just doing his best to live up to the expectations of the student council. He even admits that he got a little too proud of his position. And while I don’t agree with everything the guy has done, I can respect that he is trying his best and I appreciate him as a character. Also, what that teacher said to him at the end was SUPER foreboding. I wonder if they’re related somehow since he sounds like the sour older brother taking out his frustrations on his younger sibling. Makes me want to root for Hasumi now…

Speaking of foreboding, when the student council president returns does he ever make an entrance, dramatic music and all. He seems like a pretty shady person if that entry music had anything to say about it. And he seems to have some sort of connection to Hokuto… maybe. However, he pretty much just killed the previous hype of their recent victory against AKATSUKI. This guy has been hyped up since the first episode and I guess we’re going to be seeing what this guy is capable of in the near future.

While this series is nothing to sneeze at, I actually did enjoy this episode a lot more. Probably because of the performance. Things are getting very dramatic, well more than usual, and I’m curious to see what else this series has in store.

Shadow

A passionate yet somewhat awkward individual who just wants to talk about anime

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