Ensemble Stars! Episode 7
Alright… I admit that this was a solid episode. While it still hasn’t shaken its habit of telling rather than showing, this episode was a lot more interesting and had solid plot progression than the others. I’m legit surprised. I just wished that this episode had come out before the flashback. The characters kept talking about how the performance was the other day, but it felt so much longer for the viewers because the flashback kind of messed with the pacing.
So I’m a little bummed, but also a little relieved that there was no kidnapping and that it was just people crowding around Anzu to try and get her to be their producer. Still a little annoyed that she has little to no lines but I don’t see her role getting any more relevant. Sigh…
However, this episode gets into the nitty-gritty real fast with how the president just tells them straight up he wants them to disband. My immediate response was: Oh SHEESH, are you kidding me?! What?! It felt like he was trying to split them up in retaliation for winning like a sore loser. He even had the gull to try and talk them into joining student council oriented units. Not to mention he even resorted to try and BRIBE them. TALK ABOUT CONCEITED. He even went as far as to get Hokuto’s family to approve of him joining fine and trying to use Subaru’s love of money to sway him. When Subaru said “Screw you”, I pointed at my screen and was like “YOU TELL HIM!” Subaru’s reaction was basically my reaction after all that crap he spouted. Hikaru Midorikawa, I love you, but why must you voice so many terrible characters (i.e. Nash from Kuroko and Eiichi from utapri). Don’t get me wrong, Eichi is a GREAT antagonist and his character is actually really interesting. Especially due to how gentle his tone is and how he acts but can also be domineering and ruthless against others. It also shows that he often has to go to the hospital due to an illness or something. But because he’s such a good antagonist, I want him to be freaking dunked on because holy crap he made me mad (in a good way).
While I was furious and yelling “screw you” at Eichi’s suggestion for Trickstar’s members to join other units, I actually thought that would be pretty interesting. For them to work on the revolution while apart sounds like it could be a pretty neat concept. Divide and conquer! But we all know they’re going to do everything in their power to stay together as Trickstar. Oh well… Though it seems like each member is having some inner struggles on what they should do as Isara just wants to relent and just go along with Eichi’s suggestion. On the surface it seems like a good opportunity for them. However, it completely trashes what they set out to do in the first place. By relenting, they’ll just end up going along with the school’s system and doing things out of selfish desires. They want to change the system and it would be a little more difficult to do so in other units that have strong ties to the student council. But that would still be a really good and interesting conflict by being put in other units.
Eichi’s view of what an idol should be is pretty twisted. Saying that they should be a “mass-produced solider” rather than a talented individual. And while I kind of have a feeling that Eichi has some merit to his beliefs, it also feels so ingenuine for an idol to just be a mass produced product. They weren’t kidding that the school was just creating idols that have lost their ability to connect with the fans. It goes against everything that I have learned from watching Idolish7 and Utapri lol. As those shows have stated, an idol has to be able to touch the hearts of their fans. If they can’t connect with them in that way, then what is the point of them being an idol?
Keito has been growing on me with each appearance he makes and I’m glad to see that he’s not completely on board with what Eichi is doing. He even straight up says that he doesn’t agree with his decision to try and disband Trickstar. YOU TELL HIM KEITO. This poor guy has to deal with all sorts of crap. I feel sorry for the guy… At least he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. While he may be domineering, it seems like he just wants order and for things to be done fairly and not resort to underhanded methods like what Eichi was doing.
I was honestly a bit disappointed to find that Wataru was part of fine since I was starting to like him from last episode. Which could also be a pretty big upset since Eichi was able to gain a powerful ally due to him being part of the three eccentrics. Though it was hilarious that Hokuto doesn’t seem to want anything to do with him. Come on man, you sported the same braid as him at first (and essentially had to kiss him during a play lol)!
We finally get to see fine’s performance and… it was good? I’m not a person who specializes in music or performance so I’m not sure how fine is supposedly the best unit in the school. But then good ol’ information dump expert Hokuto explains what makes them so great… GOSH DANG IT, JUST SHOW ME DON’T TELL ME. Just based on what I saw though, they don’t seem better or worse than any of the other performances we’ve seen. So a little bit of disappointment there, but I do think it’s difficult to show exactly how a performance is better. It also doesn’t help that everyone who voices the characters are trained voice actors who know how to sing so I wouldn’t be able to tell who is better or worse in that regard.
I was pleasantly surprised by this episode, but it’s probably dangerous for me to hope that this series will get better. Especially since last episode ended up being pretty disappointing. At this point, I think I can confidently say that this series has a lot more going for it than Fire Force. Since Ensemble Stars actually has a strong sense of where the plot is going (not well paced but at least it’s something). However, I’m eager to see what is going to happen since the school will be hosting a DDD to determine who will be sent to attend a country-wide competition. And while Eichi made it seem like anyone could win, he had a knowing tone that fine will win. Though it seems like what he said lit a fire underneath Trickstar to move forward with their current group to win. Put this guy in his place!