Ensemble Stars! Episode 14
This episode was definitely a lot more clunky than last episode. Though it’s probably because unlike the previous episode where they mostly focused on one unit, this episode touched on like four different units, while also including some rando appearances from AKATSUKI, UNDEAD and Trickstar. But man, there were A LOT of characters that showed up this episode. However, it was kind of nice to see more dynamic between the character interactions that aren’t just restricted to their units. And while it felt sporadic with all the characters just kind of running in and off the screen, this episode was mostly done as a build up for part 2 of the festival plot.
Now, I’ve said this in the last episode, but I’m just so glad to see Anzu becoming more active in interacting with the other units outside of Trickstar. It’s still so nice to see her being treated as an actual character and not an audience surrogate. Not to mention that she’s actually being challenged to take on different tasks, such as putting together the next DresFes. That’s a pretty big deal as it feels like she was kind of just thrown from a pond into a lake. However, I’m sure this will definitely grown her and give her experience on managing bigger projects. And while she probably should have been more unsure and overwhelmed with this large task, at least she was shown seeking out different people to ask what they would want from a DresFes and even brought it upon herself to research past events before the current ranking system. So I can at least be satisfied by being able to see her do her research. Though I have to admit I laughed a lot harder than I should have when she expertly dodged that hug from that one UNDEAD guy and basically building a party of strong guys to help with the manual labor lol.
However, I am starting to get tired of having Eichi be a central part in each episode. Yes, it’s understandable since he is the president, but still. It’s becoming a little too much. Especially when it feels like the series is REALLY TRYING to get me to like him and it just makes it feel even more obnoxious. He also loses points for referring to Anzu as the cursed title of “transfer student” because that is so far beneath us, why are you bringing it back?!
I honestly wasn’t expecting for this episode to be a Natsume, Switch centered episode. When Natsume appeared I was like: “Oh hey, how’s it going?” He seems to be doing well for himself after that terrible tragedy with the eccentrics a year back, so I’m glad for him. It’s always interesting whenever Natsume is involved and not just because he draws magic circles in the middle of school grounds. Whether he is depicted as a small child that needs to be protected or he just says or does something that makes me go “wait, what?”. It’s always fun and nice to have him around. I was definitely giggling at how Anzu remembered him as the guy who skipped out on doing daily chores with her and was exasperated that she didn’t remember him from something better. Come on dude, you literally haven’t shown your face since you made that magic circle in the courtyard lol. Though he definitely caught me off guard when he told Anzu to go out with him and I totally thought he was expressing romantic interest in the most blunt way possible. BUT seems like he was just asking her for help with tech for his unit and even tried to reassure the audience that he had no ulterior motive. Sure dude, SURE.
When he showed his disappointment towards Wataru over the fact that he joined fine, the unit that ultimately crushed the eccentrics, I honestly wasn’t surprised that he still held resentment towards them. However, I’m surprised how civil and somewhat teasing he was towards Eichi. Considering he threw a book at Tsumugi’s head, I honestly expected him to be more hostile. Well I suppose it’s best for him to be civil at best. Though when they did do the flashback, I honestly did hope that he would have taken Tsumugi’s offer and punched him. Since the guy would have deserved it. However, my thirst for vengeance would have to be swept aside. I’m still pretty iffy about Tsumugi after what transpired, however, it does seem like he actually did start feeling bad for what happened and is finally taking the blame for what he did. So I guess it’s a step.
While it may have been a Switch episode, their first performance in the anime didn’t seem to hold much focus and mostly just glossed over it, which was a bit disappointing. Especially since the whole episode felt a bit rushed. However, because the ending didn’t show their ending version, I can only assume that the spotlight will shine on them later and will get a focused performance. Though considering this was their very first performance as a unit, it would have been better to have let it take the spotlight. Especially since in the middle of the performance, Anzu commented on how they nearly gave up. LET ME SEE IT DANG IT. Oh well, another time I suppose.
While this episode had a little too many things crammed into it, I still overall enjoyed it since we got to see more of Natsume and see how he’s doing. And Anzu continues to feel like she’s actually relevant, so that’s definitely a plus. Funny how when the focus gets taken away from Trickstar, I find myself liking the episodes more. Maybe because the other characters are more interesting… ANYWAYS, I like how Anzu basically made a proposal that would give all the teams a fair chance to continue performing without the terrible previous system that held them back. I hope to see more performances and units being given chances to break out and show their stuff. We also get to see good ol’ Valkyrie after the credits as this was probably the first time we’ve seen them in present day. I was wondering when they would show up. Seems like they’re having a rough time, especially when it seems like Itsuki hasn’t broken out of his old ways. I’m also not at all surprised how apprehensive and dare I say hostile Itsuki is towards Eichi when he showed up. I was sure that drama would rear its head eventually. I’m curious as to where this confrontation will lead and if they’ll address where Nito currently stands with them.
On a completely different note, I’ve noticed it for a while, but there’s a track that sounds VERY similar to this one track called “Ding Dong Swing!” in Idolish7 or is it just me?