- Genre : Everything that’s right and good in th world
- Episodes: 13
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
My Hero is back and better than ever! Having done several things at next pop star school and experienced so many events, she and the boys are now ready to take on their greatest adventure yet. Winning the Uta Pri (prince should always be shortened to pri from now on: Pri Harry) competition and taking the first step towards world class unparalleled stardom. But in STARISH’s way, stands the devilishly talented rival group HEAVENS. Can our boys defeat them with the help of professional idols QUARTET NIGHT and the appearance of a mysterious 7th member? I hope they keep adding on new members each and we end up with a Boyz 12 situation except more like Boyz 79 cause they should never stop making this show…
The very first line of Uta no Prince Sama season 2 is: “STARISH was born amid splendor”. OOOHHHHHH Snap! That is some high falutin statements to be throwing out there first thing. A lesser show might have bend under the weight of such statements. Might have opted to cautiously temper expectations. Such shows aren’t fit to stand in Uta no Prince Sama’s shadow!
If you missed it, I reviewed the first season of this masterpiece and was stomped as to how it could possibly get any better. And production wise, it couldn’t really…There’s simply an objective peak to mankind’s capabilities in anime production and Uta no Prince Sama had already reached it. In fact, if anything, they took that perfection and made it MORE. More animation, more movement, more voices!
This may be just me but I actually really appreciated the voices this season, The boys all have very unique sounding voice actors that can be easily distinguished from one another even when singing. Sadly, new comer Cecil’s voice was… well it was bad you guys. Just not good. For some reason I think the voice actor is probably really hot. Like the voice sounded not good but also sounded like it belongs to a very attractive guy. I don’t know why. On the up side, little Syo was sounding mighty fine! They should make him lead singer.
Story wise, season 2 ups the stakes considerably. The Uta Pri competition, and potential dismemberment of the losers (that’s what you call it when you split up members of a band, right?) keeps the narrative nice and focused and gives everyone a common goal to strive for. This makes for a much cleaner storyline overall while sustaining the dramatic tension. It’s brilliant you guys! A singing competition! How do they come up with this stuff?
To go along with this refined story, we get a whole slew of new characters. An inferior show might have been intimidated by the idea of introducing and developing 9 new characters while continuing to refine the personalities of the 12 central returning ones, in a paltry 13 episodes and that is why that show fails. QUARTET NIGHT gives us both Camus and Ai, which are fighting for favorite chara spot in my mind as I am writing this, and HEAVENS thought me that from now on all shows should include evil boy idols. And not just idol shows – ALL shows. Stranger things? The Upside Down Demogorgons… DEMOGORGS?!?
Second-rate shows tell their stories by showing or explaining what’s going on. How pedestrian. Like fine Jazz, Uta no Prince Sama is just as much about what it shows as what it doesn’t show. For instance, Cecil was apparently cursed because reasons and is now not… also he’s top boy now. Ichinose (the clear main guy of season 1) is not really important any more. He gets the least screen time and my hero hardly acknowledges him despite being a diehard groupie. What happened? The magic is in the imagining. Ren and Masato seem to have patched up their blood feud, somehow, at some point. Truly genius shows demand truly genius audiences and Uta no Prince Sama knows that you guys don’t need to have everything spelled out.
And it does opt for some true character consistency. Let’s just take my hero for example. Within the first 4 minutes, she needs to be saved, a nice wink to the season one opener and also to every single episode she’s actually in. She remains just as obliviously and beautifully superfluous to the story. An actual real note I took because I’m not a very nice person: “I like how the show stopped pretending she has a personality…” Don’t listen to me. I’m just jealous. My hero is the walking, very seldom talking, representation of feminine grace. She also has a touch of development this time around. She stopped talking to her imaginary grandmother and is having sexy dreams…My little hero is growing up so fast!
Season 2 embraces the fun-loving kitsch aspect of idol shows much more than season 1 did and that is truly a great improvement. The sober and down to earth AMVs have been replaced by wonderfully gaudy explosions of sparkles and sappy surrealism – not quite yet up to Magic-kyun standards but getting real close, and light touches of ho-yay are sprinkled throughout to show us that someone’s done their market research!
But beyond the improved and adjusted mood of the season, what we have here is real growth in storytelling. Wrapped up in all those glowing hearts and bubbly tunes, is a deep exploration of the human condition and the responsibilities of having a soul. Uta no Prince Sama is unafraid of tackling important issues like deep trauma and the effect long term mental illness has on someone and their loved ones. Or the exploitation of art in a commercial setting and the repercussions of artists losing their artistic license over their own creations. It even comments on the transient nature of happiness and how our society has become increasingly impatient towards any delay in instant gratification.
Surely, the shining gem in this treasure of a series was episode 13. The culmination of all the events of the season not only didn’t disappoint but exceeded any reasonable expectations. The Uta Pri competition turned out to be a concert/weird Eyes Wide Shut combination (I have not seen Eyes Wide Shut yet I still know this was and reference to it) beacuse of course it was! HEAVENS, who call their fans “angels” – ANGELS you guys. Are you screaming? I am – gave a top-notch performance. All good songs should at some point spell out the name of the band. And just as I was titillating on the edge of rapture at such a singular performance and despair for STARISH’s chances, my boys pulled through with the Ultimate Happiness Wave. I stared at the TV, not realizing I had stopped blinking and was subconsciously holding my breath. It occurred to me, that my entire life had been leading up to this moment. Season 2 should just have been episode 13, 13 times in a row. All shows should just be episode 13 of Uta no Prince Sama 2000% Magi-love.
As my final gift to you, I leave you with the lyrics of 2000% Magi-Love. This song plays at the end of every episode (and during some), and it has been a source of endless entertainment trying to figure out what those letters are supposed to stand for:
Natsuki: I need your… S…
Tokiya: I feel your… T…
Cecil: I miss your… A…
Ren: I kiss your… R…
Otoya: I believe you… I…
Shou: I hold your… S…
Masato: I want your… H…
All: ST☆RISH Forever
Favorite character: turns out Camus won by a hair because the boy knows how to make an entrance!
What this anime taught me: How to live – but also that open toe combat boots are a thing.
I did not drink your acohol, I only tasted your liquor (I don’t understand this but I think it relly fits in here)
Suggested drink: Long Happiness
- Every time my hero is dumbfounded – take a breath
- Every time the principal makes an entrance – drink
- Every time my hero blushes – drink
- Every time anyone “catches” my hero – drink
- Every time my hero has an art fail – drink
- Every time you hear gratuitous English – drink (not if you’re watching dubbed…)
- Every time Camus has his Crystal staff (he has a crystal staff you guys) – drink
- Every time Syo gets a little tsun – drink water
- Every time my Hero sounds like she’s saying something important but really is just stating the obvious in a hesitatent voice – nod, maybe put a hand on your chin
- Every time Cecil is in a tree – drink
- Every time Otoya is pure sunshine – cheer
- Every time someone has a dead relative – pour some out
- Every time we see Ren’s weird profile – drink
- Every timewe see anyone as a kid – awwwww
- Every time my hero doesn’t understand somehing – be patient
- Every time you see a season 1 flashback – drink
- a season 2 previous episode flashback – drink more
- a same episode fashback – ok maybe put the glass down…
- a season 2 previous episode flashback – drink more