- Titles: Star Mu; STARMYU; High School Star Musical
- Genre: Comedy, School, Slice of Life, Music, Stardust
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: C-Station
Ayana Academy is a school like no other. The lucky young men who graduate from its hallowed halls don’t just get to look forward to a bright future, they get to become Stars! But that’s not an easy goal. Something Hoshiya is about to find out. He just started hoping to meet up with a student that had so impressed him years ago, and already he has to fight just for a chance to stay. And on top of that, he’s just been assigned to a maverick team full of guys no one else wanted. Can they really come together and shine?
As some of you may know, I enjoy pretty boy anime. Mostly because it tends to be very self-aware. These shows are ridiculous and delight in being as kitsch as possible but they don’t really pretend otherwise. There’s a reason the fandoms are so chill and no one white knights for any character. Everyone is in on the joke. Of course, this means that when they are badly made, they are completely insufferable. I usually drop those in the first five minutes – they don’t even get a dropped mention on my AniList, that’s how little I regard them!
Since we’re all here, you guessed it, I didn’t drop STARMYU!!!
These shows usually feature boys that do artistic things, like dance or sing but otherwise don’t move too much. And a lot of the dancing is usually in still shots. What I’m saying is that as an animation STARMYU isn’t really about the animation. It’s about them cute boy character designs that all kinda look alike! Awww yeah!
If you are like me, and you find a piece of clothing that you really like and just end up buying a whole bunch that all look almost exactly the same because that’s what you like, then pretty boy shows like STARMYU are for you. All the character designs were great. If you were to take them and shuffle them all in a bin with the other pretty boy character designs of other shows, I wouldn’t know which ones they are! And I like it that way. It’s familiar and comforting!
One small design quirk did hit me though. The 5 main boys are all colour coded, as in the all have different eye and hair colour and usually match their outfits to that colour. I.e. blue, red, purple and yellow. That’s only four, I know. That’s because only the main guy had different hair and eye colours. Brown hair and green eyes. There were green-haired characters and brown-eyed ones. Why is he the only main guy that doesn’t match? It’s not special, plenty of supporting characters don’t match either. I’m sure there is a profound and potentially heartbreaking symbolism here, but I’m just not deep enough to grasp it!
So the production is good. On par with what these types of shows usually have to offer.
We are off to a great average start ladies and gentlemen. Ok, mostly ladies… So the story follows a bunch of boys that have apparently joined an idol school. Most of the time we see them practising dance choreography together. One of them plays the piano, and one of them is a kabuki actor but only outside of school. They put on performances for their exams that are idol numbers, where they all sing and dance in costumes. But everyone calls them actors. In one of the first episodes they do a short improv sketch and it is never brought up again. All the rest of the time they dance and occasionally sing. But they are actors!
If you are the sort of person that is bothered by this, do not watch STARMYU and maybe try to avoid all shows in this genre. (My favourite is Idolish 7, I will devour the second season shortly). If you are a master at suspension of disbelief and can just go with the flow and say, sure those are actors, then my friend, you are in for quite the performance!
Look, STARMYU is just fluff held together by cotton candy. And I love it. It’s the type of show where I can actually do the drinking game, thereby watching the series completely buzzed, and not really miss anything!
Don’t expect substance or great characters, that’s not why any of us are here. I will say that STARMYU does seem a bit more openly self-aware than most. It goes into some really ridiculous territory and pokes fun at itself often.
In one episode, before a performance the boys are supposed to put on, we find out that one of them really enjoys drawing and wants to create the poster for their show. The episode ends with him creating the episode as a few of the others watch over his shoulder and exclaim in awe and admiration. We don’t get to see the poster right away, the camera slowly pans out to reveal it. I remember thinking, I just want this to be The Worst. Like a 5-year-old drew it but a 5-year-old with NO talent and they’re all just too polite to say anything. When it happened I actually squealed with glee.
I realize that this is a pretty easy and obvious joke but most pretty boy series are extremely earnest and wholesome. That’s part of the appeal. So even though it was obvious, I still really wasn’t expecting them to go that way. But they did. the humour in STARMYU has just a little more bite than most boy idol shows. And by that, I mean that it has the bite of a toothless Asiatic Black Bear whose gums are lined with thick memory foam.
I just found out that the Asiatic Black Bear has the lowest Bite Force Quotient of all carnivores. And now you know as well. You can whip this little piece of trivia out at the next cocktail party you go to and impress literally everyone! Aren’t you glad you didn’t skip this review! One of the highest BTQ belongs to the Tiger quoll and that has to be one of the cutest things ever.
See, that’s what watching STARMYU is like! If you understood that sentence then you are ready for the experience. And if you’re wondering what I’m on about then you’re still on the right track!
The only real way to do justice to these series when I review them is to whip myself into some type of giddy frenzy. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. And when I can’t quite manage it, my reviews just pale in comparison to reality. So I can’t really explain or describe the experience of STARMYU to you. I can say that even after long days of work and long evenings of watching other shows, I always looked forward to continuing the series and I looked up if there were sequels at episode 3.
There are 2 more seasons by the way. On Crunchyroll for some reason (the first was just on Funimation only). I will be watching all of them but not right away. I need to space these shows out because too much happiness can lower your IQ, they say!
Favourite character : Tsuugumi but Yuki is a close second
Suggested drink: a Classic Star cocktail
- Every time Tengenji calls someone a boor – take a sip
- Every time Otori says boys – take a sip
- Every time Hoshitani has to have something basic explained to him – roll your eyes
- Every time there’s a spontaneous music video – dance!
- Every time Otori and Hiiragi fight – please don’t fight
- Every time Nayuki blushes – awwww
- Every time anyone sings a line in English – take a sip
- Every time Hoshitani is late – take a sip
- Every time any two characters have a cryptic conversation standing opposite one another – who has conversations like that?
- Every time Nayuki cooks(ed) something – get a snack
- Every time Kuga plays piano – take a sip
- Every time Tengenji has glasses on – take a sip
- Every time a wild beast shows up (cats and imaginary bears count) – take a sip
- Every time Yuzuriha speaks french – prenez une gorgée
- Every time Akatsuki skulks around – take a sip
- Every time there’s a star – Star!
In case you’re new here, I have a Pinterest with all my screencaps (there are a lot!). If you can’t find a show you are looking for in my main boards, just go to Anime Screenshots. I move the shows I have reviewed there. Of course, I’m still going to add a few images here!