Sunday, August 30, 2015

Uta no Prince Sama Season 3 Review (Collab)

Uta no Prince Sama Season 3 Review (Collab)

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the third season of Uta no Prince Sama. If you wish not to know some plot details, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please exit the tab, and join me once you've watched the show. Or you know, you can continue to read, since you don't care about spoilers.

Anyways, with that said, thank you, and onto the review:

Before I start off with the introduction, I mentioned that this review was going to be a collab. I've already told in my last review who the guest is as well, but I think this deserves a more dramatic introduction. *clears throat* Okay, here goes.

This person has been a great friend of mine since I've joined the online world. He's watched several anime series with me, and has quite the same humor as I do. He has also started his own blog, which will be linked in the next few paragraphs. He's recommended anime series to me, some I liked and some I didn't. And other than that, he's a great guy, and my personal beta reader. So Luke, you can come on out! Your introductory paragraph begins now!

Thanks for the beautiful introduction, Dazz! But now let me introduce myself to the others.

Greetings! My name is Luke Reynolds, and today I'll be collaborating with Dazz on this review *blows party horn*! I love to write, watch anime, read books, listen to music, and other fun stuff, and if you want to read things that I write, you're welcome to visit my blog The Writings of Luke Reynolds or find me on Quotev and Wattpad as LuketheAuthor. Click the link to check out my blog!
Okay, self-introduction over. To wrap up our journey through the Freezing Prince Summer (yes, we came up with this term), we decided to watch Uta Pri Season 3 before school started. Now, I've heard less than satisfactory things about the season, such as the franchise is starting to show signs of being milked for money, and the horrible animation in some of the episodes. I really liked Season 1, and liked Season 2, though it was very clear that Season 2 was weaker than the first. Besides the introduction of QUARTET NIGHT, we had some slips in the development department, and it had some of the cheesiest lines I have ever heard in an anime series (they can rival "When I look into your eyes, I know you're not evil."  Because that was just WONDERFUL! *sarcasm*). 

While I was wondering how the third season was going to hold up, I was still looking forward to it. I was excited to see more QUARTET NIGHT development, especially from Ranmaru, and I wondered if some of the issues with Season 2 would be better. So, what happened? I'll have Luke start this off, since he's my guest. What did you think of this season, Luke?

I'm going to say outright that this is the weakest season out of the three. Despite Uta no Prince Sama being undeniably cheesy and simple in its story, the thing that I like about it the most is that it's not trying to be something it's not. It's all about an idol group trying to become famous and bringing their music out into the world, all while getting help from their composer and facing challenges along the way.

However, the challenges that STARISH faced were solved via Haruka and her composing gifts this season (but then again, it's been like this since season 2). The boys of STARISH have now been reduced to a couple quirks and their dependence on Haruka, and when I say dependence, I mean that Haruka is the air that they breathe, At this point, everyone feels like those paper cutout statues of celebrities, and they ring just as hollow as those pieces of disposable property.

Agreed Luke, very well said. I also think that each season has progressively gotten worse, due to some of the exact same problems from its first. I get what Uta Pri is trying to be, and I've known that way before I even watched it. Besides the whole STARISH members being 1 body and pretty much being rocks at the side of the road, this season's story is beyond puke-worthy once we get to the final few episodes, with some character development of QUARTET NIGHT fleeing along with any sense of hope that it may get better. The animation also manages to slip up towards the latter half as well, and when it gets bad, it gets bad.

But good news is that this season isn't completely horrible. I mean, we still have Ranmaru (EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), and STARISH's performances aren't as unrealistic this time around. And hey, the cheese isn't as moldy, so that's a plus. We still have some eye-roll inducing lines though.

*coughs, then begins to imitate Ren* "We've wanted a revolution from the beginning!" 

There was one line after that was worse, but NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STAHP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think we should talk about the story now, so let's move on.


Last season, STARISH won the Uta Pri Award relatively easily and gained a new member, a prince from the kingdom of Agnapolis. The mission this season? Why, STARISH must perform at the Super Star Sports opening ceremony (otherwise known as the Triple S, the SSS *imitates snake*, or SU-PAH SU-TAR SU-PORTS!) However, Trolling Shining Saotome won't let them. In order to prove their worth, Shining wants the group to begin a revolution (which is also the most used phrase in the entire show) and has them enter in Cross Units (which basically breaks down the group of seven into three groups, two groups of two and one group of three).

But before we fully dive into the progression the Cross Units have, let's rewind a little bit. Our season starts off with Haruka returning after a undisclosed time away from Saotome Academy's Master Course dorms. Once she re-encounters everyone (and I mean everyone, minus the teachers and TROLOLOLO until later), Shining announces that QUARTET NIGHT will be performing at the Triple S, and suddenly it seems that most of the cast have the knowledge of what that is. After Cecil talks to them about when their chance will come, considering that the Triple S is an event apparently watched around the world like the Olympics, the gang decides to ask Shining to let them perform. But like Luke said above, Shining refuses and wants them to show that they are worthy. And after a little trip to the beach for a variety show filming, the Cross Units work begins! Let's run away "cheering" now!

First off, we have Natsuki and Otoya participating in a rock musical. They get casted as roles opposite of their actual personalities, which causes a problem huge problems. Thankfully we have friends Haruka to help us out, and remind us of what their "colors" sounds like. *gags*

Our second group consists of Ren, Syo, and Cecil, which was the most surprising group for me. They're tasked with creating the idea for a cell phone commercial (the actual cell phone isn't shown until about minute 16 of the episode). They all have different ideas for how they want the commercial to go, and as a result, things end up getting hostile. But it's not because they all have black hearts; in fact, they want to find a way to make sure they're each being represented in the ad. Haruka is of course involved (she's writing the jingle after all), but she actually doesn't help them out that much (thank gosh). She sends them a snippet of the song, and as a result, the guys decide to end up incorporating all three ideas. The commercial goes on to be extremely successful, and it wins the hearts of fangirls everywhere. I think the phone also sells well too but who cares about that because OMG THE FANGIRLS JUST WANT THEIR OWN PERSONAL STARISH MEMBERS TO but it pretty much just gets glossed over.

The final Cross Unit pairing is Masato and Tokiya, and right when they were announced, I knew they would work well together. They're going to be performing at a music festival (which doesn't look like any music festival in real life because there's no other performers mentioned and it's filmed on a set), and the two of them are writing a song for it. However, they reach a dead end when they agree on things, disagree on others, but ultimately can't make a decision. Everyone gives them space so they can work, which the two boys translate to the others ignoring them for some reason, and when it all looks to be doomed, Haruka plops down on the piano and plays something ("I thought of you and it just came to me! Tee hee!"). The day is saved all because of Nanamiprofen, which is now available nationwide at every leading pharmacy retailer. 

It's moved on from Walgreen's kiddos! Now the wonderful people of America can experience the same feeling these boys get when she always comes in to save the day.

Also, I agree with you Luke on the Cross Unit group with Shou, Ren, and Cecil being the most surprising. Having those 3 pair up is kind of interesting, seeing as they have different personality traits.

We'll talk a little more about the Cross Unit episodes later, but we can't forget about QUARTET NIGHT. They need to have their own episodes too, because what about that development, right?

In Episode 4, we find out that Ai is officially a robot while filming for a movie (I'm going to guess a TV drama). He doesn't understand some of his character's lines in the film, but eventually starts to understand his character's motives, and possibly develops more understanding in the emotional department.

2 episodes later, we focus on Camus, who has very little development, other than the fact he has a lighter demeanor while working so to not showcase his inner grump. BECAUSE GOD FORBID THE FANGIRLS AND THE PEOPLE HE WORKS WITH FIND OUT ABOUT HIS LESS THAN STELLAR ATTITUDE! THE HORROR! I did mention in my last review that Reiji needed to benefit from development the most, though I think Camus could have too. Though he did have some inner thoughts to Maji Love 1000% when it was performed again along with other feelings, it felt kind of nonexistent. As he is selected to be the performer at the grand opening of the Shining Tower (which in my opinion, looks very phallic), Haruka has to write a song for him. This time, it's going to be different, since Camus pretty much sashays away from her, and tells her to give the finished song to him when she's done.

After assisting him to his work places, and being his servant so she can serve him relaxing beverages, Camus isn't impressed by the final product, and refuses to sing the song. Now naturally, you'd think this would cause more of a panic, but Camus writes lyrics for the song anyways and performs it. Because reasons?

Next episode. it's Ranmaru's turn!

One morning, Ranmaru gets a call from one of his old bandmates about performing with them for one last time, as the stage they used to hold a lot of their concerts (I guess) is being torn down to make way for the preliminary round of the Triple S performers concert. Because he has work, Ranmaru declines, and then promptly decides to push his rocker side into the background to focus on now being an idol for QUARTET NIGHT. He then begins to overwork himself, causing concern to sprout like seeds from the other members of his group, including STARISH. As Haruka works on his solo song, she comes to the realization that the Ranmaru now and the Ranmaru from the past can be balanced, and Ranmaru also comes to this himself while at a photoshoot with his other idol group members.

Have you noticed anything different yet? I think some people have gotten it by now.

Reiji's episode is just simply Haruka finding out a little more about him, and Tokiya and Otoya getting jealous. It's less satisfying than the others in my opinion.

Alright Luke, we're going to talk about the further development of the main plot line now. Are you ready?

Back when Shining declined STARISH entry into the casting for the Triple S performer, he said he was going to enter QUARTET NIGHT in and have Haruka write them a song. That day finally comes in Episode 10, and the five jet out to the magical resort house from Episode 2's variety show filming. While there, Haruka reiterates wanting to know the artist in question when composing their songs, and QUARTET NIGHT proves to be a much better working group than STARISH ever was (Camus and Ranmaru beg to differ though; they're practically like an angel and devil fighting). After eating food cooked by Ranmaru (who originally said he was making food for himself, because he's a tsundere) and having a cute moment with each of the guys (Ranmaru's was easily the most adorable because reasons), Haruka gets to work, and soon, the song is born, complete with an a capella intro and some bad animation (what happened to the great quality, A1?)

For some mysterious reason (which I was completely calling, by the way), Haruka doesn't return from the mansion with QUARTET NIGHT. The four don't even bother telling STARISH why, but they instead decide it would be much better to say that they're taking her away (SERIOUSLY? Fighting over Haruka grew old two seasons ago). Desperate to get to her, STARISH ends up running to where she is, and they cross paths with Haruka on a stone path (I do have to admit, that scene was cute). It turns out that she stayed behind to write a song for STARISH (CALLED IT!), and upon first glance, everyone declares that the song is amazing (which also got old two seasons ago; doesn't Haruka compose any duds?). The eight stay up all night to finish everything, and thus this completes the revolution.

But wait just a minute! Shining isn't that fully impressed yet, and says that the group hasn't shown a lot of "revolution" yet. It's not until QUARTET NIGHT tells Shining that they think they've got what it takes to perform at the Triple S before Shining decides. He then explains the concept of what he calls "revolution" (which he didn't explain earlier because TROLL), with a dazzling light show.

This now means that STARISH and QUARTET NIGHT will have to compete against each other...........for the opening performance at the Triple S...............not as senpai and kohai.............but as rivals and enemies. OH THE HORROR!

What will happen at the concert? Who will win between the idol groups? Which group is SO not welcome? How many f**ks could you not give at this ridiculous tug of war between STARISH, QUARTET NIGHT, and Haruka Nanami? Find out in this show's wonderful final episodes!

*deep sigh*

One of the main problems about the story is that Haruka is used as a plot device rather than her being a character. Natsuki and Otoya can't figure out how to play their characters in the rock musical? All Haruka has to do is play out their colors (*gags*), and suddenly they can do their parts without failing. Are Cecil, Ren, and Syo unable to talk to each other, yet desperate to want to work with each other again? No worries! Once Haruka sends them a snippet of her latest composition, all is well! Does it appear like Masato and Tokiya will never get their lyrics done? Haruka comes in to save the day with her happenstance playing!

It's so ridiculous you would want to

A) Roll your eyes at how Haruka saves the day in Cross Unit conflicts.


B) Wish you were in the show yourself so you could smack STARISH on the head for being so vapid.

This is what I remember the most about the Cross Unit episodes. Besides the guys doing such interesting things, Haruka for the most part is just there to bat her eyelashes and act as moral support. And with the "problems" that ensue, she is the one who always, and I mean always, saves the day. At least QUARTET NIGHT's episodes don't have this happening, because this season would be even worse then it would be, but the fact that the episodes follow a formula is honestly kind of sad to see.

I didn't fully enjoy an episode besides Ranmaru's, and it's not just because he's my favorite character (or Luke's for that matter). And no, it's not for that shower scene either. It's because he shows the most character growth, and has a bit of depth to him.

But the main problem that makes this story as bad as it is occurs in the last few episodes.

I want to just say that I'd rather watch the uncensored version of the Cat Planet Cuties trailer 10 times than EVER watch these last 3 episodes full. I mean, Episode 12 was on the level of Episode 3, but Episodes 11 and 13 were atrocious.

Besides the fact that Uta Pri managed to be at its worst since Season 2, QUARTET NIGHT started to develop some traits most known to exist in STARISH. More will be talked about this later, but this foreshadowed why the episodes didn't work for me one bit. Also, these episodes were just not interesting. Episode 10 at least had some amounts of me caring, but the things I remember most about the episodes that followed aren't pretty. At. All.

I don't think that Episodes 11 and 12 were bad because of their content (Episode 13 is an exception). However, the animation completely takes a nosedive in quality. Season 2 also had this problem (albeit not as horribly), but pretty much all the faraway shots, some of the performances, and even some closeups (when you have bad animated closeups, you know something's wrong) looked like someone decided to mix colors of paint together to create a piece of art. UtaPri usually has absolutely gorgeous animation, so seeing that this was put on TV is kind of a shame, Hopefully it can get fixed on the DVD's.

But there were some problems with Episodes 11 and 12 regardless. Do we really have to have QUARTET NIGHT become so enamored with Haruka that they end up becoming rivals to STARISH because of that reason (they say it's because STARISH is now on their level, but I'm calling bull on that)? I get that QUARTET NIGHT had their own episodes with Haruka to develop potential romantic bonds (to be honest, I don't ship any of them with her), but I don't get why she's at the middle of this childish tug-of-war.

After the group tells Shining that STARISH has what it takes in Episode 12, it turns out that they were doing it for their own gain. STARISH may be on QUARTET NIGHT's level now, but QUARTET NIGHT's actually gotten "higher" (again, BULL!). During this entire explanation, I just felt absolutely frustrated with them, Why are they all acting like more jerkhole versions of Camus and Ranmaru?

The reasoning just seemed absolutely ridiculous, and it definitely should have gone a different way. Maybe more like this:

"Look, we wanted you to come with us to the Triple S preliminary round concert because we know you have the potential to win. You're on our level now, and it's been fun to see that happen. But now we need to get serious, so don't expect us to go easy on you. We'll see who can win."

Here's what it sounded like. Take it away, Dazz!

"So, ummmmmmmmm. Like, we didn't, like, do that for, like, you guys. Like, we just, like, did that because, like, we've been, like, rising even higher than, like, what we were at the, like, beginning of this, like, season. Like, even though, like, we've only, like, released 2 singles, like, we're, like, on a completely different, like, level than, like, you guys. Like, also, we want, like, Haruka, so, like, yeah. Like."

As you can see, it's pretty much an over dramatized version of what the reasoning sounded like, hence with all the "like's." Channeling my inner valley girl here guys!

But still, this whole thing is just ridiculous. It comes out of complete nowhere, and gets no buildup whatsoever.

Speaking of which, did I mentioned HEAVENS comes back at the end of the season? I did in my Season 2 review, and guess who's excited? Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not.

If I wasn't spoiled, I probably would have been more pissed off. But still, I don't really understand why they came back, because they're so uninteresting. Me and Luke will talk about the new members who may or may not have potential to do better elsewhere.


I agree with you on that one. The cliffhanger felt absolutely unnecessary, especially since the episode was dragged out for way more than it should have been. If QUARTET NIGHT's concert hadn't been repeated at the beginning, and if STARISH had gotten their butts on stage without their QUARTET NIGHT stand-off and that talk with Haruka (including some pretty awful lines), the plot twist could've been dropped at the halfway point. Instead, every conversation felt longer than necessary, and by the time HEAVENS made their reappearance, I felt like 20 years had passed (that's an exaggeration, but you can guess how I felt).

We're not saying that we found the 3rd installment to Uta Pri horrible, but the story just keeps on getting worse and worse with each season that passes. The cheesiness isn't as icky as it was last season, but the last few episodes, and just the overall progression of the story just fell flat for me, and for Luke. When the only episode that is completely enjoyable is your favorite character's, rather than multiple episodes being very good, and when some of the episodes are complete garbage, you know it's a bad sign.

We've been dragging this on for too long, Dazz.

I get that, but we needs to talk about every point we didn't like. Let's jump to characters now before I whine anymore.


At the end of Season 2, the main characters of this show weren't horribly troubled. Some of them were interesting based on their appearance, some got a little more development besides Season 1 that was good in its own way, others got explored (mainly QUARTET NIGHT in this season) when they faced a troubling situation or we just got to know them better, and some haven't really changed (Natsuki). So, as a reverse harem situation, it wasn't too horrible cast wise, though QUARTET NIGHT easily took the cake for me.

By the end of this season, STARISH suffers from the lack of development the most, as this season, they're all pretty much caricatures. Basically, they have their distinguishing traits, but the writers didn't even seem to care about some of the developments of the past.

Throughout season 1 and 2, the boys of STARISH had their development, including the pasts for some of the boys in season 2. But now, the writers just seem to think that was okay, and the idols are now as dull as sandpaper. They missed opportunities to develop the characters in the Cross Unit episodes. Masato and Tokiya made a great team together; they would have definitely benefited from development that showed why their personalities are the way they are now. Instead, they're just simply thrown together, and we spend that entire episode in limbo. 

Haruka is now basically just there because of plot. In my Season 1 review, I mentioned that she had a good backstory way, and that doesn't really need to be brought up again because it isn't needed. HOWEVER, the whole composing "goddess" shtick returns this season. And in the Cross Unit and final episodes, it becomes so painfully irritating to notice it, especially when she saves the day. Again, at least in QUARTET NIGHT's episodes, this doesn't happen, and I'm grateful for that. But she's a freaking main character! Stop treating her like she's one of the sides!

QUARTET NIGHT has the most development this season, which is great, as they were introduced as seniors in Season 2 with a fantastic group dynamic. We learn more about why Ai is so detached and aloof, how Camus can be so cold and yet so kind in public, what happens when Ranmaru leaves behind his past and the effects of that (and yes, there's more to him than a tsundere, like all tsunderes), and why Reiji remains optimistic even if his group members don't buy into it. Ranmaru had the most development (and he benefited greatly because of it), while Camus and Reiji had the least (Camus's episode was particularly disappointing). However, this development doesn't come into play at the end of the series for one particular reason. And if you saw the part where QUARTET NIGHT joins the fighting over Haruka front, you'll know what happened.

In the last 3 episodes, pretty much all of the development that has benefited QURATET NIGHT for this past season is tossed almost completely out the window. This is only because the writers decided it was a jolly idea to make QUARTET NIGHT pseudo-antagonists. And let me just say this before I go any further:

You can't just throw development away in the trash, and go to a route where all the QUARTET NIGHT boys just hate STARISH's guts. It doesn't work like that! At the start of Season 2, they were a little unwelcoming (besides Reiji), but they grew to see STARISH's potential in time. Reiji's happy-go-lucky personality seems to be also non-existent now, and that's a shame. You guys had a lot of funny conversations and just had another funny group dynamic session in Episode 10! WHAT HAPPENED?

In all honesty, this was the most upsetting thing about these final episodes for me, and it enrages me. Let's just end it off with saying the whole rivalry is about as thin as the sparks that are shooting between Satellizer and Rana below:

At least Ranmaru's personality is saved a bit, because if not, it would be WAY worse. Now to talk about HEAVENS. Ugh! Thinking about the 3 members from Season 2 is enough to put me to sleep, so thank god for 4 more interesting ones. The good outshine the bad!

Eichi, Nagi, and Kira haven't changed a bit (Eichi is still one creepy mothereffer), which is to be expected (are we expecting depth at this point?). Four new members have been added by Raging to truly set the stages for an idol group war (which, in all honesty, will probably be solved within the first five minutes of Season 4), and it helps that there looks to be more depth to these new characters. Eiji, Eichi's little brother and another one of Raging's sons, seems to be the kindest and quietest member. I find him absolutely adorable, so let's hope he gets more screentime! Yamato is the younger brother of Ryuya Hyuga (*GASP*) who's basically like Ryuya on crack (it's also proven because he yells his only speaking line like he's about to murder the audience). 

Kiryuin Van is the flirtatious one out of the new members, and he has a really funky hairstyle. I don't see a lot of mullets in anime, and the last one was in Space Dandy (AKA I need to watch that show soon). And finally, we have Shion Amakusa, who seems to be quite the mysterious one. I wonder what will happen if development shows its place, hm?

Regardless though, HEAVENS still aren't going to be anything special, unless we have a little development. For now, they're all pretty much one-dimensional rivals who, like Rias, have pretty much zero appeal beyond their character designs. Besides, I don't think everyone wants to be blasted by blue flames if they shoot out towards us, do we?

No, we most certainly do not. It may come across as hot in that world, but it seriously creeped me out. At least it was better than that dragon imagery from season 2. Anyways, let's hope for the best for HEAVENS (even though the writers will probably not care and we don't like them)!

And now on to Ranmaru, who even though loses some dedication in the final episodes, still has the most personality to him. Who claims that he's excited to sing with the other guys in QUARTET NIGHT in the final episode, and still has his funky groove on. So for you:

Cue the mini GIF train!

*grins evilly*

Uh oh, Luke's giving me that look again. 

<_< I'm always giving you a look. It's part of my job.

Better start on the animation section before I get fangirled off into next week.


The animation for this series was once again produced by A-1 Pictures, most known for shows such as Black Butler, Working, and Sword Art Online.

The animation for Uta no Prince Sama has always been one of the best parts of the show. Everything from the environments, the character designs, and the art style have been gorgeous since the first season, But at least in the first season, it remained consistent, because in this season of UtaPri, quality is varied throughout.

Yep, can agree to that. Particularly, again, in the final few episodes. It seems like the animators kind of lost their interest, and it kind of shows in some of the off-modeling. Examples include Haruka's almond shaped face in Episode 9, the stick arms in Episode 11, the not as detailed faces. and the blurry tone to Ranmaru during QUARTET NIGHT's performance of Evolution Eve. There's also some slight hair issues, but I wouldn't say it's as bad as some of the animation for some of the episodes that happen in the last half.

But for most of the time, the visuals are still on point. Especially for the... *hears faucet turn on* Oh look. All of the shower heads across the world are feeling all the feels, and are showing their emotion by spilling out water for all of the fangirls and the fanboys to enjoy.

So, you know, just because I like to troll and what not: 

HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *runs off*

*grabs flyswatter and attempts to smack Dazz with it*

Anywho, I must say that this scene is a great example of subtle fanservice that works really well, instead of this over and over again.

At least Freezing balances it out, and doesn't rely solely on it, as there's other factors that work for it too. 

But overall, there's more noticeable dips this season, and that isn't a good thing.


The score for this season of Uta no Prince Sama is from the same composing group of the last two seasons: Elements Garden, who has also composed for Kamigami no Asobi and The Fruit of Grisaia.

Unlike the first two seasons, where the score was incredibly dull and not very memorable, this season livens things up a bit. There's a lot more personality to the tracks, and the usual pianos, keyboards and synths are peppered with drums, horns, and other percussion.

However, as a result of nicer sound production, a lot of the songs don't blend together well in order to create a cohesive soundtrack. Also, instead of taking a few seconds or using a scene to gradually change tracks, the music this season loves to rush into the next song without any pauses, creating abrupt changes in tone at points. If there's a happy scene and the anime wants to transition into mellow, the music will change at the drop of a hat, allowing no time for the viewer to adjust. Instead, they get distracted.

This score really has no musical identity. There's so many different tracks here that the score just feels cluttered and very weird. At least the score was more memorable this time around, with a very nice piece with bells, and one getting into some jazz elements. Which really only fits in 1 scene in the 3 episodes that it pops up (you know what scene I'm referring too).

As for the actual songs our reverse harem sings, there's some more memorable pieces this time around. Although like last season, the majority of them just aren't as good as Season 1, and don't really come to mind as much.

My favorites this season are The Dice Are Cast by QUARTET NIGHT (which I think sounds a bit better nightcored) as it has a great beat, and has a nice feel to it, and Only One, Ranmaru's solo song. Though the instrumental is very cluttered and limp at points, Tatsuhisa Suzuki's voice is very raw and powerful, and the lyrics are the most serious that Uta Pri has even gotten.

As for our least favorite song, me and Luke come into agreement that it's Evolution Eve, also by QUARTET NIGHT. And by which version, we mean the final version with all the "wonder." *sighs* The piano version was SO much better. Why did you guys ask Haruka to change the arrangement? It's not that good. Really.

The intro of Evolution Eve is completely different from the rest of the song. I thought it was going to be a powerful rock ballad, However, once the a capella part is done, it instantly transforms into a cluttered pop rock song with a weird key change that's pretty much them declaring war on STARISH (evolution vs. revolution, get it?). There's also lyrics about a girl making them who they are (*cough*Haruka*cough*), and then I realized that it sounds like all the other songs this season: their love for Haruka is interwoven through the song lyrics with cheeky and often weird callbacks to their original songs (Halsey does it better, people).

The voice acting is still pretty good though, and that's a good thing. All of the actors do their best beyond the bad facade of the last few episodes, and some of the new actors seem to hint at good performances, mainly Daiki Yamashita and Ryohei Kimura. But who knows, right?

I agree with you on that, Dazz. The voice actors are all really good at their roles (although sometimes Takuma Terashima as Otoya rings a little fake to me) and they also are mostly good singers (it also helps that some are singers outside of this show). I think if I had to name a favorite, it would definitely be Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Ranmaru (hey, I'm a Ranmaru fan too). His voice is absolutely perfect for the cynical and brash person that is our bass playing idol, and every once in a while, I heard Haru from My Little Monster come back to the surface, which made me really happy (if you guys like romance anime, My Little Monster's a nice title and Tatsuhisa delivers another great performance). I also liked how he helped lend depth to Ranmaru's other personalities and made them pop. I have no doubt that he'll continue doing a great job in the future, and I hope he gets cast in more shows so we can see his full range (because just Makoto Tachibana ain't gonna cut it).



I wish this season overall wasn't so disappointing. :(

From what I saw on the web before I started watching, I was expecting this season to be weaker. And while I'm glad there wasn't a lot of cheesy lines, we still had other problems that managed to bubble up from the sea. STARISH pretty much having 1 thing going for them (WE LOVE HARUKA!), QUARTET NIGHT's unnatural and forced "rivalry" towards STARISH, the dips in animation quality, and the horrendous cliffhanger makes this season feel as if the staff just doesn't care at this point. It's not horrible, but it's far from how good Season 1 was.

I think what made Season 1 so good has now been permanently etched out of the script, and although I still have a good time watching UtaPri, I still come out of episodes feeling unsatisfied. Most of the characters feel like cardboard cutouts at this point, clinging onto their main characteristics and sticking to the norm as the 23 minute increments pass. And with the last couple of episodes, I can only guess that this franchise is being milked like every single one of Disney's multi-million selling movies.

But there's one final thing that we should probably touch upon before ending the review, Dazz. Will we watch Season 4?

You know what Luke, I'm planning on it. Besides being quite curious to see what's going to happen next (even though it's probably pretty predictable), I'm hoping that some of the characters will actually have their depth granted back to them. For now, we got what we got, and in the end, I'm not really happy.

I'll be joining you on that wild rollercoaster ride. HEAVENS's new members need some more screentime, and I can't just leave Ranmaru abandoned on the side of the road (he always brightens up a bad scene). Let's hope for better animation, more development, and more active characters next season, Dazz! Cheers *holds up mug*!

Cheers! *clinks mug with Luke's* Let's just hope we get what we want.

And to end this review off on a positive note:

Ranmaru: forever in our hearts <3.

Score: 6.5/10


Some good aspects of story still intact.

QUARTET NIGHT's interactions good for the most part.


Some animation is still pretty nice (Episode 7 being its best).

Score does slightly improve.

Voice acting is still good.


Last few episodes of season are puke-worthy.

Haruka is a plot device.

Formulaic episodes for the Cross Units.

QUARTET NIGHT's development completely gone in final episodes.

STARISH are now traits and nothing else.

Animation dips in several scenes.

Score has no musical identity.

Disappointing ending with unneeded cliffhanger.  

Rating: **1/2

Tentatively recommended/recommended (especially for Uta no Prince Sama fans)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sekirei Review

Sekirei Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the first season of Sekirei. If you wish not to know some plot details, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please exit the tab, and join me once you've watched the show. Or you know, you can continue to read, since you don't care about spoilers.

Anyways, with that said, thank you, and onto the review:

This is one of those shows I watched when the overfill of anime watching was flooding through my veins. Originally, I wasn't too keen on watching this show, and instantly dismissed it as another crappy fanservice show. But after Luke showed me some funny moment videos that he watched in Study Hall, I reconsidered, and was interested to see what it was like. I've heard other good things about it, and I shouldn't judge it based on Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians, right?

I think the me who looked at this show a few years ago is shaking its head again. But regardless, Sekirei managed to surprise me with how good it was. The story was pretty entertaining, the characters (for the most part) were pretty nice, and most moments were highly enjoyable. I cared about a lot that was going on, and I'm happy that this show at least has a brain to balance out its fanservice with story progression, like Freezing later down the line.

Though there are a few minor problems with the show, such as some animation issues and other various things, this show still convinced me that I shouldn't judge fanservice by its cover, and helped me get out of my comfort zone a bit for shows. I was able to complete Highschool DXD  and Freezing, two shows that probably have the heaviest fanservice, so what else could be next?

Let's first talk about the story this show has:


In the year 2020, Minato Sahashi lives in Shinto Teito. He has recently failed the college entrance exams for the second time in a row, and he worries about his life not changing and him being stuck at point A. When he runs into a girl named Musubi after she falls from the sky, his life drastically changes. 

Musubi is a Sekirei, along with 107 other individuals, which range from bodacious beauties to cute boys. Each Sekirei has powers that are unique to them, and they compete in the Sekirei Plan, organized by Hiroto Minaka, who was one of the first people to find these mysterious beings, along with the future head researcher of MBI, where he becomes the chairman. This competition involves Sekirei fighting until the last one is standing. When Musubi kisses Minato during a tussle with two twin Sekireis named Hikari and Hibiki, Minato become her Ashikabi, a human with unique genes that helps empower the Sekirei that serve them. After escaping, Minato allows Musubi to stay at his apartment, where he eventually gets kicked out.

After finding a new place to live at the Izumo Inn, run by Miya Asama, the place also holds various other attendants, some of them also Sekirei. After meeting various other people related to the Sekirei Plan, which includes an Ashikabi and making contracts with 3 more Sekirei, it's going to get very ugly. When Phase 2 of the plan starts, which blockades Tokyo to make sure no one escapes, a lone Ashikabi asks Minato to help him escape from the city, due to his Sekirei, Kuno, being very frail and weak. It's not going to be easy, thanks to the Discipline Squad providing quite a struggle. What will happen in this final fight? Will Minato be successful?

One of the things that Sekirei does right is that the writers progress the story during each episode. Yes, Sekirei is aware that it's a fanservice show, but one thing they remember to do is to try and balance the amount of fanservice with how much the story develops along the way. There's some interesting things that come to light, as well as how characters react. Don't forget some of the twists!

Also, the show manages to have some great moments along the way that made me laugh or crack a smile. Some examples:

One thing that did kind of bug me was this moment in Episode 12 that clearly was just put in there for a deus ex machina. I mean, I was expecting it since the season ended happily, but it bugged me a bit. And then we have the slightly open ending, where Minaka promises that it's only the beginning for the Sekirei Plan. And considering the premiere for Season 2 was so disappointing, it's giving me less drive to find out what happens next. Damn it!

Let's talk about some of our characters:


The main characters in Sekirei were actually pretty nice. Though I think some of the side characters felt a little tacked on and didn't really have a lot of personality, aside from a few of course, the main cast does make up for it nicely, and that's a good thing.

For this review, I'm going to talk about Minato and 3 of his Sekirei that he gets in the show's first season. But let's talk about this leading man first:

Minato isn't necessarily the most interesting main male protagonist out there, but he's not a complete special snowflake that has unique abilities. I say he's like Kazuya, with the fact that he's got determination, though he's less of a miracle who has incredible powers. I feel like I should like Minato a little more, but he suffers from being too bland. He does have a kind personality, and can be nice to others, but let's be honest, the girls are most definitely better and far more interesting.

Are ya'll ready for Musubi?

Musubi is Minato's first Sekirei, met when Musubi fell from the sky during a battle with Hikari and Hibiki. She is Sekirei #88. Her powers mainly consist of hand-to-hand combat, rather than a special element for example. Though FUNimation advertises that pretty much every fight in this show will end up in tattered clothes, this isn't necessarily the case. Though I will say that Musubi's fights will normally end up in her clothes looking like they went through the shredder, and that's fine. You know, since she's the main girl. *wink wink nudge nudge*

Out of the Sekirei Minato gets, Musubi is perhaps the most dense. She can get pretty competitive, and will want to automatically fight with a Sekirei upon discovering if they are one. Yet, at times, she can easily tell Minato about certain things of the Sekirei Plan, and I like her devotion to Minato, even if that connection felt a little too insta-love looking back on it. 

Out of the Sekireis we meet, Musubi isn't my favorite. However, I still really like her. I like her energy, her enthusiasm, her courage, and just her positive attitude in general. There seems to be some things to see that may need some explaining (like the too spoilery moment I mentioned earlier) and I am interested to find out more about her. Plus, I want to see if she gets stronger.

Time for my favorite to emerge. Ku, where are you?

Kusano, also known by her nickname Ku, is Sekirei #108, the last of the known numbered Sekirei. She's also Minato's second Sekirei. Besides being the youngest out of Minato's Sekirei and perhaps the youngest overall, she was also known as the Green Girl, as she was trapped in a garden after being severely traumatized after Mikogami, another Ashikabi we see in the show along with Seo (though Mikogami has like a billion Sekirei) tried to wing her by force.

Before Minato decides to set off for the garden, Kusano communicates with him telepathically, on one occasion even helping Minato and Musubi not have as rough of a fall after Musubi flies with Minato in the sky for a while until she runs out of power. She hates when the other girls fight with each other, and is the most attached to Minato, calling him big brother.

Ku can control plant life, often making plants grow at rapid acceleration, making things unnaturally large sizes. However, her powers can go a bit out of control whenever she gets angry or upset.

Overall, despite the fact that she has a lot of cuteness going for her, I really like Ku due the fact that the writers don't find an excuse to objectify her. For one, she's very young, so that would be kind of gross to do, and it just wouldn't feel right at all. Also, she's very warm and friendly, but can get into spats with some of the other girls over Minato, since she does view him as an older brother. I'm happy the relationship stays the way though, since again, she's too young.

Tsukiumi's last up:

Tsukiumi is the tsundere character out of this series, and is the fourth Sekirei of Minato. She mainly speaks in 16th century English (in the dub), and is different from the other Sekirei that Minato has collected. For one thing, she rarely smiles, and is always quite serious when fighting and in everyday conversation.

Before being winged by Minato, she thought she could go off unwinged because she wanted to be the strongest without the use of an Ashikabi. She first appears in one of Minato's dreams where she claims she will kill him. This causes Minato to search for her, and to successfully obtain her. 

She has a hilarious rivalry with Musubi that works better than other rivalries from fanservice shows (such as Rias and Asia). This is because she is very possessive of Minato, and refers to him as her husband. Her powers mainly consist of water and being able to manipulate it, most known by her main attack of Water Celebration.

What helps makes Tsukiumi as entertaining as she is is her Shakespearean dialect. But aside from that, I think she's a pretty strong fighter, even though she may go into things a little too strongly. I do get her feelings for Minato and how she eventually warmed up to him. She also has some of the best moments of this season, an example is when she tries to ask Minato is he wishes to sleep with her, before getting interrupted by a drunk Matsu.

Other Sekirei include Matsu, Sekirei #2, that is very perverted and is the 3rd out of Minato's Sekirei, who is great with technology. Kazehana, Sekirei #3, who has the power to control wind. Homura, Sekirei #6, who has the power to control fire and has no official gender. The Discipline Squad, which are the most interesting side Sekirei. a numberless Sekirei named Akitsu, Sekirei #43 named
Yomi, who was sent by Mikogami to kidnap Ku in Episode 3, Uzume, Sekirei #10, Shiina, Sekirei #107, who later becomes Minato's sister's Sekirei while trying to find Ku, Hikari and Hibiki, Sekireis #11 and 12, Kuno, who is Sekirei #95, and some that I skipped over since they don't appear as much.

Other characters include Miya Asama, the landlady of the Maison Izumo, Minaka, who I mentioned as one of my favorite anime villains of last year due to his awesome strategic skills for the Sekirei Plan in general, his assistant, the Ashikabi of the Discipline Squad, Mikogami, the people behind the blackmailing of one character's duty (which I won't spoil because it's fairly interesting to find out who), Minato's younger sister, Uzume's Ashikabi, Seo, an old friend of Miya's late husband who is very laid back, and Haruka Shigi, the collage student who wishes to get Kuno out of the town, 


The animation for this series was produced by Seven Arcs, who are also known for working on series such as Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Dog Days, and Trinity Seven,

As a whole, the animation for this series is good. There are a lot of bright colors that contrast the darker tones of the show pretty well, But it's not amazing, as there are some choppy moments where the animation becomes very mediocre, There's also some weird modeling issues that take place in some of the episodes, but it doesn't dominate the show. The most notable scene that has some of the worst modeling is in Episode 11. I mentioned it in my Trinity Seven review, and I'm talking about it now. I even got a screenshot of that moment since it's on a clip from FUNimation's Youtube channel. I never want to see something like this again in any other show. It's just as bad as some of the shots I've seen of the recent Fairy Tail series, in case you're curious on how bad it is.

*sighs* I think I've made my point. So overall, not bad animation by any means, but there's some obvious moments where the quality drops the ball.


The scores for this series was composed by Hiroaki Sano, who has also worked on the scores for the Magical Lyrical Nanoha franchise. He also ocntributed scores for 18+ anime, from looking at Anime News Network, which I didn't now about until recently.

As a whole, the score is pretty much the same as the animation. While there are some nice moments in it, I wouldn't really call it memorable in most regards. Even though it's been a year, I can still remember some pieces from The Devil Is A Part Timer and Karneval, for example. This series doesn't have that, which is kind of a shame.

I watched this show in English, mainly because I first saw clips from this in English, but also due to the fact that some of the Japanese voices are kind of annoying. As a whole, the English dub for this series is very good, and is close to some of my favorite dubs from FUNimation. Most of the voice work just stands out as a whole to me, with majority of the voice cast giving some very memorable performances.

Highlights in the show's English dub include Joel McDonald, Alexis Tipton, Tia Ballerd, Lydia Mackay, Colleen Clinkenbeard (whose voice sounds completely different from her other roles), Leah Clark (same thing as Colleen), Monica Rial, Jamie Marchi, Ian Sinclair, Brittney Karbowski, Cherami Leigh, Chuck Huber, Shelley Callene-Black, Christine Auten, Anita Neukar (possibly Trina Nishimura), Clarine Harp, Jasmine Mendigo (possibly Brina Palencia), Maxey Whitehead, Josh Grelle, Todd Haberkorn, Carrie Savage, Eric Vale, Anthony Bowling, and Kristi Kang (credited under her maiden name, Kristi Bingham).


So overall, I think Sekirei helped me understand not to judge a fanservice show based on its cover. This was a much better show than Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians ever was, and it helped me open up to other shows in this genre that I could watch. Though it does have some problems, I think this is a show that I would be happy to revisit. 

Speaking of, I haven't maanged to watch Season 2 yet, besides the disappointment of Episode 1. The OVA to Season 2 I have watched though, but I count it as kind of a prequel/bonus episode of Season 1, as it takes place before Season 2 does. This episode is actually very funny, and just a ball to watch, besides the English script writers deciding that this was a great idea to shove in as many synonyms for boobs as possible that it becomes a bit facepalm worthy. But overall, this episode was quite entertaining, and was very enjoyable.

As a whole, if you like fanservice anime but are disappointed in the lack of stories, I would recommend watching this one. It has a great story, along with some nice progression, and it's definatley one of the better fanservice animes out there, compared to others.

Score: 8/10


Good story.

Story progresses every episode, unlike other shows.

Main characters are pretty nice.

Decent animation.

Great English dub.


Minor animation slip-ups.

Side characters aren't as interesting compared to main cast.

Score is fairly average.

My next review will be my first collab. But instead of my inner spirits like in my Top 12 Favorite Anime Characters, this time, it'll be another person, AKA the friend I've mentioned several times. Because let's be honest guys, it's not a collab unless there's more than one person. ;)