Ensemble Stars! Episode 12

I’m confused. Is this series done or is this just the first cour and the second cour has yet to be determined? On MAL it’s still set as ongoing but on AniChart it claims to be completed… I’m getting mixed signals.

But ignoring the weirdness for now, all the hype that was built up for this episode felt like it was wasted and in the end it just felt underwhelming. Which is sad because I had hoped for something… a bit more eventful and surprising. Sadly that did not happen. One of the biggest letdowns for me was that it just didn’t feel like Trickstar actually WON against Eichi. It basically came down to him letting them win. Throughout the entire episode it felt like everything happened because Eichi let it happen rather than having the rug pulled out from under him like I had hoped. Seeing a victory happen because the antagonist let it happen just doesn’t feel satisfying.

Since he CHOSE to rip up the contract that was holding Hokuto in his grasp and then chose not to go through with the overtime match, basically just handing over the win to Trickstar. And while it definitely had to do with everyone wearing him out previously, it just felt like Trickstar won out of default rather than achieving it themselves. Like a cop out. It’s as I’ve been saying for a while, Trickstar never felt like they had the talent and skill to beat fine. They were always given a helping hand and the others basically wore others down so that it would be easier for them to handle. It never felt like they earned a win.

Now, I know it is definitely hard to show a competition winning performance in idol anime because more often than not, it honestly feels like the rival units/teams should have won instead. In the second season of Utapri, Heavens’ song and performance felt so much stronger than Starish’s. Even in Idolish7, the i7 group’s performance felt a little underwhelming compared to Trigger’s. Not that it was bad, I just don’t think that was the right kind of performance to beat Trigger with. And while we never got to see fine’s final performance, Trickstar’s performance was… not that appealing. Their first performance against Akatsuki was really entertaining to watch. However, this one had WAY too much going on. It was hard to watch at times because there were too many things just flying across the screen. I could hardly keep track of what they were even doing on stage.

When they announced that fine actually got more votes in the end, I wasn’t surprised. Okay, I lied, I was a little surprised. But thinking about it, it made sense. In the end the votes still felt like a popularity contest. The fans were still going to vote for their favorite unit, no matter how much better Trickstar’s performance may have been. Fine have established themselves as a powerful unit and have garnered much fans while Trickstar are new and lack the fanbase besides the other units who are supporting them. But then they just pull a cop out when they claim that that if the unit only wins by just a little bit, they have to do overtime. WHAT KIND OF SYSTEM IS THAT?! If that’s the case, wouldn’t it have the same results??? It literally felt like the winner was fine and then at the last moment: NOPE NEVERMIND TRICKSTAR WINS. UGH. It almost felt like a pity win.

I also feel like they rushed through Hokuto’s “coming home” as well. We all knew he was going to come back eventually, but It didn’t feel as satisfying as I would have hoped. Though I do admit I felt a lot of emotions when they flashed to Hokuto crying over his grandmother’s letter. I was also proud of him for standing his ground against his parents to do what he believed was right instead of bending the knee to make them proud of him. Sadly, I think Eichi being the one to tear up Hokuto’s contract kind of undermined Hokuto’s betrayal rather than him taking things into his own hands. It probably would have been better if Hokuto ripped up the contract himself.

Now, this episode definitely felt like they were trying to make Eichi seem like: Oh no, he’s not REALLY a bad guy! Look, the guy may have a tragic backstory, but that by no means excuses his actions. He has TRAMPLED over so many others and even bribed to get to where he is now. Just because they’re trying to build Eichi up as sympathetic, what he did during the “war” shouldn’t be overlooked or forgotten. I’m unsatisfied that this guy didn’t get what was coming.

It’s not hard to see that I was disappointed with this episode. Everything just felt so lackluster and rushed, leaving me feeling indifferent to everything that happened. There were a couple good moment that happened, namely how the other units were super supportive of the units going against fine. Man, I wanted Undead to win too! But don’t get me started on Anzu. I’ve already shared my disappointment for her role in the anime and it hasn’t changed. I just had to roll my eyes whenever someone stated how it was because of her that Trickstar didn’t crumble. UGH. And while I know that the season has been missing some characters, I totally called that they would all show up as cameos at the end. But whether this is the end of the season or not remains to be seen and if this is indeed the final episode, I’ll make sure to come back and post my final impressions.

Shadow

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

2 thoughts on “Ensemble Stars! Episode 12

  1. I really don’t like how they handled Anzu in this adaptation. In the game even if it is supposed to represent the player the writers have managed to give her a personality and even has a story of her own that relates to another game. They even have a novel (which is told from her point of view), the truth is that this adaptation has been quite badly planned, things are too rushed and without a doubt made for fans who already know the history.

    1. I agree with you on all fronts. It honestly felt like Anzu wasn’t even necessary to the plot. She hardly had any lines for crying out loud. She was just there. I have heard that the games gave her more of a personality and I’m really bummed that they failed to give her anything to make her interesting. The only time I cared about any of the characters were ironically done through the flashback episodes, namely Nito and the five eccentrics.

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