- Titles: High School Star Musical 2, Star Mu 2
- Genre: Music, comedy, school, cbdct
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: C-Station
Yuuta and friends have made it through their first year but they can’t relax just yet. As official students of the prestigious Ayanagi Academy for music entertainment, they have a new intimidating task ahead of them. They will need to help the third years put on and perform the graduation play. A tradition at the Academy that has previously showcased some of the best and brightest new young talents in the world. Putting on a full stage musical is no small feat though. Especially when some unexpected challenges threaten to shut the whole thing down. But the boys are up for it, with old friends and new coming together to rise to the occasion.
I’m not sure when this will publish. As it is, I have my posts sort of planned out for the next four months already so a lot can change in the meantime. In any case, I just finished writing my review for A3! (not link cause it’s not scheduled yet). In that post, I mention that I was watching A3! and Starmyu at the same time and because they are so similar in idea and content, I just couldn’t help comparing them. Let’s just say, Starmyu 2 Compares Well.
I have no gripes with the Starmyu production. In fact, for what is most likely considered a throwaway or time filler project, it’s always been very well produced. There are mercifully no CG sequences, despite frequent dance numbers. It also boasts tons of characters, each with its own distinctive design and with an array of costumes and looks. I mean, that’s actually kind of impressive when you think about it.
Sure, there isn’t exactly a ton of animation but what there is, is perfectly suited to the needs of the show.
As a musical though, score and sound design are very important. Like a lot of these shows, there is one song that does get repeated rather often but there are also many other single performances to keep things interesting. now this is only my personal taste but I actually think Starmyu 2 includes my favourite soundtrack for any of these types of shows (i.e. idol or musical anime). I genuinely thought a lot of the musical arrangements in this season were very good and new character Riku Ageha, voiced by Nobunaga Shimazaki (turns out I’m really familiar with this guy’s work and kind of surprised), has an amazing singing voice.
I’m not sure if the voice actor was also the one signing but if so, they should give him more singing parts. There’s an acapella performance early on that’s downright impressive.
Story & Characters
Just like comparing two anime together might have been unfair to A3!, it may be playing in Starmyu 2’s favour. Because I really enjoyed this season. And it made me enjoy season 1 more in retrospect.
Fact is, I have been liking the franchise in general. The characters feel more fleshed out and nicely varied than I usually see in the genre. Both seasons so far have boasted a good amount of plot threads to keep me entertained but not so much as to leave the narrative a knotty mess and there’s been a consistent and enjoyable smattering of jokes and humour throughout.
Oh and the music. Ok, so Starmyu’s premise makes like no sense. These guys are all supposedly studying to be actors. Sure musical theatre actors but still Actors. Yet their courses consist exclusively of dance (not classical dance mind you, choreographed small group pop numbers) and singing. In this season we did actually get a script reading for the first time but only during play rehearsals, nothing official.
As such, the series itself has a lot of musical numbers. At least one, if not two an episode. It’s a musical anime about a musical play. Musicals usually go one of two ways with the musical numbers. Either they are completely non-diegetic and we the audience understand that the scene is surreal and the entire town didn’t actually drop what they were doing to turn into a massive flashmob that’s also narrating everything in song, or they are incorporated into the narrative where the signing happens the context of the story.
Starmyu 2 actually decides to use a mix of both approaches. As they are practicing for a musical, some of the numbers are the actual songs from the play and the characters are practicing or performing them. These are fairly realistic scenes with only occasional flourishes (and flourish is the right word as there are a lot of flowers) to show that a performance is particularly good.
However, the magic really happens with the other songs. The ones were out of the blue and for no reason, a bunch of people just start singing and dancing and the show suddenly becao9mes a technicolour dream ripe with rainbows and nonsense. These mini music videos randomly dropped in throughout the series were an unfailing source of unmitigated delight and bottomless mirth for me. And the fact that they were only occasional and mixed in with much more sober performances just kept them fresh and amazing!
Starmyu is not stupid enough to make me go into my idol happy place yet. This is why sadly my posts are retaining some coherence. And just to make things perfectly clear, I mean stupid as a huge compliment here. The type of stupid that makes you smile and makes your heart dance. Not the type of stupid that makes you sad. That type of stupid is no fun.
Hmm, I may have to retract my coherence statement after all…
So what I’m trying to say is that unlike UtaPri for instance, Starmyu 2 hasn’t yet completely given itself over to the cheese. There are certainly plenty of cheesy moments and most of them are wonderful, but as a whole the story this season was pretty decent. It held together, the characters were consistent and manage to have a bit of evolution here and there that properly served their arcs and the main conflict was both logical and engaging. Assuming you enjoy Starmyu in the first place.
Rarther than being glorious nonsense revelling in its kitsch and shining for it, it’s a fairly decent season of anime with camp added in for flavour. But it does still all work together which is the important part.
If I could find a fault with the show (I can find many but humour me) it’s that the little star finger sign didn’.t come up this season except in a single episode towards the end. What the heck! Is this amateur hour! When you have a brand, you flaunt it. What is this subtle stuff? Boooo!
There is still one more season of Starmyu. I figure it’s the boys’ graduation so it should be the most bombastic season of all. I will definitely be watching and even though I know my pretty boy reviews get very little attention, I will also be telling you all about it. It’s my duty and I take it seriously! You’re welcome!
You might like this anime if:
You enjoy cute boy idol shows or you liked the first season.
My favourite character:
a Classic Star
- Every time there are blue flowers (sweet ones) – you eiher get it or you don’t
- Every time Tengenji isnults someone – take a sip
- Every time anyone calls Haruto a prince – roll your eyes
- Every time Tengenji and Kaito bicker – take a sip
- Every time anyone drinks – join them!
- Every time the twins show up – cheer
- Every time Haru calls someone – be suspicious
- Every time there’s a flashback to the alums’ school days – take a sip
- Every time we see Tavian – Toast!
- Every time Ageha is standoffish – take a sip
- Every time Hachiya is clumsy – ouch
- Every time the guys share a meal – get some snacks
- Every time we see the Shadow & Light script – take a sip
- Every time – take a sip
- Every time Hachiya is a (too) good friend – awwww
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.