Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight Episode 12: Revue Starlight [Final Impression]
“Do you remember? That promise we made?”
A lone girl brings herself to the top, and in order to pass on brilliance to her companions, she repeats the same play on her own. Over and over. Carrying the sins of her companions, she punishes herself to futile labor. This is the fate Hikari has chosen for herself.
Hikari digs up stars, climbs a tower of them, lays the one she dug up on top and reaches out to the stars above, only for said stars to destroy her tower and making her start from scratch. In this sense, Hikari is Sisyphus, the founder and king of Corinth. For his cunning crimes against the Gods, he’s sentenced to eternal punishment in Tartarus, pushing a boulder up to the top of a hill only for the boulder to roll back down, over and over. Watching Hikari take on this role was incredibly sad, but powerful. Hikari’s futile effort only drove home the message of separation between Flora and Claire, and the futility of wanting to stay together. As usual though, Karen is here to rescue her. Giraffe sits back and watches Karen try to help her in comfort under his tree, and in an oasis. Karen pleads Hikari to remember their promise, and that they can reach the star and fix things. They have their duel and I think what happens next can easily be summarized but the message we get needs to be dissected.
They duel, Karen doesn’t want Hikari to be alone because a play can be a play alone. If Hikari is a sinner, then all the girls that participated in the auditions are just as sinful, which I’ll get to later. Hikari wants to rid of Karen so she can continue her punishment but Karen won’t back down. While she may have been defeated, she came back reborn in order to change fate, to change the story. The Fated Stage Reborn. Even if her brilliance is gone, it won’t be extinguished.
In the end, the brilliance and light, the star that they wanted was each other the whole time. Karen always wanted to grasp Hikari, and Karen is Hikari’s star. The tiara and being Top Star is completely pointless.
This anime has always commented on the theater and acting industry and its difficulties. The pain and hardships you face. But it also talked about the stage itself and its life. Being Top Star is completely pointless. Live theater is something that’s a collaborative effort by a group of people. There is not one person that is the Top Star amongst their peers. Being Top Star means putting yourself over others. And being Top Star means doing whatever it takes to make it out on top, even if that means crushing others beneath you. I understand what they mean when they say the Top Star is a sinner. The Top Star goes against what a live stage is supposed to be. Fighting each other, damaging your relationships in order to be on top is sinful, and actually reaching the top is the greatest sin. It places you apart from your group, and you end up alone. That is why Hikari is seen alone, trapped alone, taking part in a “play” alone. She is stuck in this loneliness because of her actions because that is not what a live play should be. That’s why she is the biggest sinner of them all. The stage itself is alive. It’s alive from the radiance, the brilliance, and the shine from its actors that perform on it. They are reborn again and again. Plays can be repeated, but are reborn through the passion of the performers, never making one performance the same as the other. The stage truly does need sustenance from its performers. In a live play, the stage really is alive.
But what really threw me for a loop was the Giraffe. I’ve always wondered what the Giraffe meant in this show, and it was revealed so suddenly but made total sense in the end. The Giraffe the whole time was just an observer. He was literally the stand-in for, us, the viewers, the audience. Just like us, Giraffe wanted a stage none of us have ever experienced. From the beginning the show surprised me and I wanted to continue waiting for the twists and turns, the spectacles of the stage. I wanted something amazing. And from the beginning, we all were just watching one hell of a performance. And in the end, we got the happy ending that we all most likely have been waiting for: the fulfillment of Karen and Hikari’s promise to each other. Personally what I think, we were always watching a story that was meant to end a certain way. We were always going to get the happy ending between Karen and Hikari because it was a story that was set in stone from the beginning. As the audience, we’re just the spectators that watch the performers carry out this story to the end. I think we were all expecting some kind of twist, but in the end, there wasn’t really a twist which is a twist in of itself! Like the synopsis of the show said in the first place, Karen and Hikari set out to fulfill their long-awaited promise. And as the audience, we just watched that story. The audience can criticize and think of changes to its story, but the only ones that can are the producers and people involved.
To put it simply, the show is a huge metaphor about live theater and…wakarimasu~
And honestly, I don’t even think there’s anything else I can even say about this show. I certainly hope I made my analysis clear (if you can even call it that). I feel like I was rambling but I think I said what I wanted to say. But my goodness, this anime was amazing from start to end.
Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight is an incredibly unique and creative show. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a show like this. The show was such a joy to watch from start to end, being able to dissect and figure out the meanings and symbols each episode presented. It had a great cast of characters that each had their time to shine, going into what makes them who they are. The plot, the metaphors, and the direction of the show is, simply put, genius. It was a beautiful story with beautiful characters, fantastic visuals, and an amazing OST. I can’t wait to hear all the revue songs in full!
The show was a memorable experience with details and symbols sprinkled in. I’ve already professed my love for this show, I’ve told the team plenty of times how amazing this show is. It’s beautiful, touching, romantic, and downright heartwarming. I’m upset that most people wrote this off as a typical “idol” show and ignored it because this show transcended everyone’s expectations, even mine. The show is a hidden gem and criminally underwatched, and the show is an example of what I wish more anime was like. Creative. And I’m sad this amazing performance has come to a close.
I guess the audience were the giraffes we made along the way. I would absolutely love to hear your guys’ opinions and interpretations by the way. This anime was a headscratcher sometimes so I’d love to have some discussion, my fellow Giraffes. Also, one of you Giraffe commentors said that Revue Starlight would be a contender for AOTY against Yorimoi. It was always a contender, but after this finale episode, it’s an incredibly close tie. Closer than I thought! I was going to leave this anime as a solid 9, but this final episode’s genius changed it all for me.
Watch out, Yorimoi.