Ensemble Stars! Episode 13
Aaaaand we’re back, surprisingly! Well, surprisingly for me. I wasn’t sure if this series was just done or if it actually had a second cour. And it seems like some people were right on it continuing. While I had suspicions on it since MAL had it as ??? on the number of episodes, I wasn’t sure what was going to become of this anime. But because I’m this far, I might as well continue this series since I’m having… somewhat fun talking about it lol. And it seems like the main plot of the story is done, which annoys me because THEY COULD HAVE SLOWED DOWN THE PACING SO THAT I’D ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT TRICKSTAR… but I digress. I know there’s some characters that we haven’t seen yet and I’m sure there’s leftover drama between characters.
In any case, it feels a little strange to come back to this series with Trickstar not being the center of attention. However, I guess I can’t really complain since I like Ryuuseitai and they deserve all the appreciation for all of their support for Trickstar and the revolution. Not to mention we get to see a little more of their dynamic and where most of the characters stand in how they feel about the unit. I was honestly surprised to find that most of the members either had nowhere else to go or was just dragged into it by Chiaki. A lot of the units feel like they are comprised of students who didn’t fit anywhere else and were turned away by the bigger units like Ra*bits. It was also kind of sad to find that almost all of the first years were put off by Ryuusetai’s superhero theme. Even Nagumo thought that superheroes were stupid but I appreciated the fact that he felt like he’d be able to find his vision for himself within the unit.
Though I think the only character I didn’t really feel convinced of was Midori. And maybe it’s because they crammed a lot of things into this episode, but just couldn’t care that much about his problem. I guess I can’t really connect with characters who just complain about all the negatives. But maybe the anime is at fault since we can’t go as deep into the characters as the game can.
It was also nice to see Shinkai since he was one of the eccentrics we didn’t get to see all that much. And while his progression through out the episode didn’t feel as meaningful since it was all crammed into one episode, it was still cute to find him accepting his role as honorary mother of the group as all the first years slept on his shoulders. A really cute bonding moment if you will. I did like how the group bonded a little more this episode.
Chiaki honestly seems like the kind of character I’d find annoying, but seeing how much of a support he was of Akehoshi, he just seems like a very high energy older brother. Not to mention he’s very supportive of all of his underclassman and becomes ecstatic when Nagumo seems a bit more interested in what they’re doing. I also think it’s touching how he wants to do his best for Ryuuseitai out of honor for his senpais. I appreciate him.
I’m also liking how not all the units in this series are geared towards one specific audience. Ryuuseitai in particular seem to be such a hit with young children and their style goes so well with the theme park environment. It was honestly really cute to see them pump the kids up with their performance. But man, those stage props were CRAZY. I’m glad that Ryuusetai were able to show everyone what they were made out of. I honestly think that if we had gotten this episode without seeing how supportive they were during the revolution, I feel like I would have liked this episode a lot less. Especially since I wouldn’t have cared about or be attached to them.
Speaking of which, it was really weird to see Eichi of all people be a little more supportive of the group… I STILL HAVEN’T FORGIVEN YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO THE ECCENTRICS. He’s a lot less antagonistic and would rather see the other units grow, which feels like a complete 180 and I’m not sure how to feel about it. He feels like he’s your average student council president now devoid of any interesting qualities. So while in the long run it’s probably better for the others that he act this way, but on a character progression standpoint, it feels a little strange. This change came too fast. Though I guess I can appreciate that he made an effort to go out and see Ryuuseitai’s performance.
However, the thing that caught my attention the most in this episode was that ANZU ACTUALLY SPOKE. Like A LOT more than she has ever talked in the past and I am so impressed. I feel like Ensemble Stars is actually TRYING to at least attempt to give Anzu justice and a character now. We also actually get to see her do something besides just being told she did this or that. Not to mention I’m so happy to see Anzu actually talk and interact with others without one of the Trickstar members tailing her. And while I wish we got to see her work with Chiaki with the proposal, this will have to do for now. Though she still lacks character, at least she still felt like a character this episode and not the audience surrogate. I do hope we can see more of her character explored. Though I kind of doubt it since the series wants to focus more on the boy. But, at least this was progress. Baby steps… baby steps.
Also much appreciation that the others are actually using her name instead of the tasteless “transfer student” or “producer.” At least that’s one less thing that gets on my nerves gone.
I honestly enjoyed this episode a lot more than I expected. Maybe it was because Anzu had more of an actual role or we got some nice character building… or both. Probably both. This episode definitely felt like a step up from a lot of the other episodes despite it being a little more fillerish than plot driven. I’m excited to see more of the other characters be fleshed out a little more and hopefully they can continue to give Anzu a little bit more characterization. I’m not holding my breath, but they definitely wrote her a lot better this episode than the past ones. So I have a newfound hope… Please Ensemble Stars, don’t kill that hope.