- Genre: Romance, comedy, drama, reverse harem, pure bliss
- Episodes: 13
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
A pretty little meth addict figures she should break into the music industry since her heavy drug problem will probably be less of an issue there. Making her once in a lifetime rational decision, she attends X Factor University in hopes of attaching herself to the next One Direction. Because fortune favours the…bold(?), she is rewarded by immediately achieving her goal as all the most desirable up and coming boy idols of the school instantly fall for her sweet sweet…personality. Follow the adventures of the nicest little drug fiend and her beautiful totally platonic boy friends as they prepare for inevitable fame!
If you’ve read my Magic-Kyun Revolution review, it will come as no surprise to you that since I finished that sunny summer day in show form, I have dedicated every waking moment to finding an anime worthy of following in its footsteps. An unattainable task if ever I’ve seen one. Or so I thought! My epic struggles have finally paid off. I give you: Uta no Prince-Sama – Maji Love 1000%!!!
Uta no Prince Sama is dashingly handsome. I mean just look at those boys. Ok so maybe details get lost as soon as there’s any movement and angles are super weird but who cares. Do you? Of course you don’t. Besides it’s not like there’s much movement anyways. These are more signing idols than dancing idols so unless they’ve really learned a choreography, every one is careful to keep their movements slow, stilted and a little stiff. As any good idol would. They also know their best angles and stick to them as much as possible. This said, the main music video features a fantastic vintage boy band choreography which will make you instantly create a series of glittery signs for STARISH’s next show. My own closet is full of them.
As music is at the heart of this show, the soundtrack is obviously very important and they make sure we know it. The background music is very present and often bafflingly intense. If at any point you are unsure how to feel, just listen for the musical cue. The answer is: Passionate!
WARNING: The following review may contain some minor spoilers, as if anything could spoil this show!
The characters are, to sum it up, glorious. Not only do you have every classic stereotype of the genre (said genre for the record is “da bomb”) but those stereotypes are revved up to 11. Instead of one we have 2 poor little rich boys, the stoic serious type with the soul of a poet and the carefree playboy type with a tragic past, who are simultaneously bitter rivals and long lost childhood friends! We have a pretty, silly boy with a dark split personality and magical glasses. Secret fake twins; a shapeshifting mystical CAT BOY… You’ve probably tabbed away to watch, or more likely rewatch, this show. That’s actually a great idea, I’ll do that too.
OK, back. Even better the second time around! The rest of the cast is valiantly almost keeping up with our main boys. Now obviously they don’t have personalities or stuff like that. Character development is for nerds and this show is for the coolest of kids. But they are all visibly unhinged. We even have a beautiful trap teacher, which is an unusual feature in an otome, yet one that makes perfect sense. You can now have a bestie girlfriend who can never be your rival. Why isn’t this a part of every single reverse harem?
As for our main character, she’s so amazing that she doesn’t need a name. She has one, but it doesn’t matter. I call her: My Hero! She is the ONLY character with hyper diluted milky pupils but everyone’s too polite to point it out. Extremely considerate of them, non? And she deals with her crippling problem like a champ. Even though she is incredibly frail (a point that is repeatedly said aloud), clumsy (also said aloud), helpless (that one you just figure out for yourself) and astoundingly passive, she manages to get the attention of a bunch of beautiful, artistic boys who will certainly never ever lose interest. She smartly employs the tried and tested Little Mermaid strategy, being generally silent, and having most of her lines as inner monologue. Nevertheless, she is singlemindedly determined to help everyone around her, as long as they’re attractive and successful young men, and even though she usually ends up being the one that needs saving it’s all good. The boys are right there for her. They even manage to get her out of trouble within the first 3 minutes of the first episode. I will clearly never be like My Hero, but I will spend the rest of my life striving for it.
And when she commits to something, completely random for no obvious reason at all, she commits ALL THE WAY. Take notes ladies.
With such amazing characters, you may think the authors would have been able to just relax a little a simply lay back on a generic narrative but once again you have severely underestimated this critical oeuvre. Just take a look at the following storylines:
- The ominous implication by the principal that things are about to get “dangerous” in episode 2;
- Hijirikawa’s fracture relationship with his father;
- Ren’s trauma over his mother’s death and his family’s expectations of using him as a pr tool;
- Ren and Hijirikawa’s broken friendship;
- Natsuki’s past trauma that left him deeply psychologically scarred;
- Hayato’s sudden turn in his career;
- My Hero’s dramatically fragile health;
- The magical cat (every explanation given just raises so many questions…); and
- They fact that love is forbidden….
That is 9 complete threads (and some can easily be broken down into several separate points), started up and abandoned in a mere 13 episodes! Can you even understand the mastery required to do that. Uta no Prince Sama doesn’t even need to complete a plot point, that’s how boss it is. And part of you really wants to know how all those fit together right? Well, I mean you’ve already seen the show so you do know, but you want to be reminded. Because Uta no Prince-Sama is made entirely out of happiness.
Like Magic-Kyun, we get music videos but this time every single episode! The overall tone of the series is much more silly and comical on purpose, but the music videos are surprisingly serious, consisting mostly of realistic montages. I would have enjoyed more bubblegum fantasy but I understand this choice since everything else is so avantgarde.
This brings me to the generally agreed upon conceit that Uta no Prince Sama is a post modern chef-d’oeuvre. Characters do not react in the expected or rational way. Space-time gets warped into creative and mindblowing new shapes. Narratives flow in seemingly impossible directions. A new character gets introduced a few episodes from the end and gets immediately dispatched through a sudden heart attack. Why should we care, where was he all this time, was his medical condition known or is this a death note situation? The possibilities are endless! Everything is reinvented because Uta no Prince Sama is 1000% unique, that’s why!
There are 3 more seasons of this because of course there are. Why would anyone ever stop making this show. I WILL watch them and tell you all about it. You are all welcome.
Random thoughts: The line “every word that comes out of my mouth is a love song” exists. Can I legally marry a show? My Hero has really big hands: a boy twice her size was helping her with her piano skills and their hands were exactly the same. At some point we see a chorus of sick kids singing amazing grace in the hospital yard…I know! I drained an entire pen of ink in exclamation points only!!!
And guys, we NEED to make the Prince of Fighting spinoff happen, now!
What this anime taught me: Follow your dreams no matter how
stupid, crazy, unlikely they may seem
If your date ain’t what you expected, drink till she is!!
Suggested drink: a Purple Rain – I’m very proud
- Every time Ren says Little Lamb – take a drink
- Every time Hijirikawa is aloof – take a drink
- Every time Ren and Hijirikawa bicker – tell them to make up
- Every time Natsuki says kawaii – take a drink
- every time he says cute – take another
- Every time Ichinose is being Tsun – take a gulp
- Every time we see the black cat – take a drink
- Every time My hero mentions/talks to her grandma – call your grandma (you guys might as well watch this together – you’ll be on the phone the whole time)
- Every time My Hero is overwhelmed – take a drink
- if she’s saved by a boy – raise your glass
- Every time Natsuki tortures Syō – giggle
- Every time the principal shows up – take a drink
- Every time Natsuki cooks – have a snack
- Every time My Hero trips and falls – take a drink
- Every time anyone mentions HAYATO – clap