Ensemble Stars! Episode 16
I apologize for the late post but stupid Bay Area blackouts happened and while I didn’t lose power, I lost my internet so there was little I could do about that. But enough about 1st world problems, let’s talk Ensemble Stars! Honestly, I enjoyed this episode. The pacing was decent and there wasn’t anything technical that annoyed me this time. However, I did notice they put some extra animation in places that had no reason to be there, which I found funny. There was no need to add those extra stray crumbs when that one guy was eating bread lol.
When the episode started out with Trickstar talking about how they were doing this new collaboration, my immediate thought was: Oh boy, boring ol’ Trickstar back at it again… before being completely caught off guard by a new group just taking over the opening song. insert Patrick Star screaming “who are you people???” image It was such a shock I ended up just laughing in disbelief. Though I liked how impactful it was since it seems this next arc will be focusing on the past fine members it seems.
In any case, because of how well Ryuusetai’s performance was at the amusement park, they invited the school to put on another concert for a Summer Live. Trickstar will be performing with the academy’s rivaling school’s unit, Eve on a special stage during the live. We are then introduced to two new characters. Well, one of them being somewhat new since we saw him in the fine flashback but never really experienced Hiyori Tomoe first hand. And goodness, he is certainly… something. I don’t know what I was expecting… but I wasn’t expecting him to be so… extra. Though I had a pretty good laugh when he proclaims how Eichi is still alive and then follows it up by telling him that he is no longer someone that matters in his life. I was on the floor ROLLING. That had to be the biggest burn EVER and it made it even better that it was directed at Eichi. I know I should find him obnoxious, but him ripping on Eichi makes him kind of amusing. Though not even a moment later, he starts showing a more controlling side. Where he had already created an outline for the Trickstar co-op with Eve concert without giving a care to ask for anyone else’s input. He also seems to be very into himself… a little too much mayhaps.
Despite how harsh he is about how he views Trickstar as being weak because they depend on their friendship way too much, there was a bit of truth in his statement. Such as if you can’t stand on your own, then you won’t get very far. It is true that there are times you’ll have to stand on your own and shine. Yes it is important to grow together, but there are also times where you’ll have to grow individually as well. I actually really like his advice of there being meaning to each person becoming individually stronger. And while I don’t agree with everything he says, he is shown to be able to back up his words with strong gestures and an almost professional way of dancing. Every move he makes is directed towards the audience and none is wasted. It’s almost a more obnoxious and narcissistic version of Tenn lol. It’s gonna take a lot of convincing for this guy to acknowledge Trickstar. Especially since I feel like they didn’t win on their own merits in the first place. They always had help defeating opponents like AKATSUKI and fine. So this may be their actual first opponent that they’ll have to defeat on their own.
As for the other Eve member, Jun Sazanami, so far I feel like he’s a pretty chill dude. Just like Makoto, I thought he was gonna be like Koga Oogami 2.0, only for him to be a bit more polite than expected. I’m just glad that the camera cut to showing him in the background so that we know that something about this guy is gonna be important beforehand and doesn’t just randomly appear like Izumi that one time. That had to be the worst character introduction… But we’re not here to harp on Izumi! When he walked up to Makoto, I honestly thought he was coming up to tell him and Trickstar to drop out or something. I was obviously wrong as he apparently just came up to return Makoto’s dropped wallet. I actually didn’t realize he dropped it until a second viewing. So I’ll hand it to the anime for prepping stuff that the audience could actually see rather than things just randomly appearing and happening. CONTINUITY GET. I already really like this guy since he doesn’t seem to be a buttface
and also has blue hair. However, Makoto’s comment on how he’s glad they’ll be able to get along fine seemed rather foreboding. It actually made me a bit nervous. I HOPE he doesn’t do anything terrible to make me dislike him… but with this series, you never know.
It also seems like we’re starting to finally delve a little into 2wink. I’ve honestly been a little bit interested in them, especially since they were constantly used as sacrifices in all of performances when Trickstar had to go up against powerful units. 2wink, or more specifically, Yuuta is put in charge of the programming of the Summer Live. He seems especially hyped about finally getting the unit’s name out there. Though I can’t help but feel worried for the future of this unit and twins’ bond as their whole twin appeal is starting to grate on Yuuta’s nerves and he wants to get away from that theme. It’s especially telling when he admires how well Ra*bits gets along with each other. Characters don’t normally point that out unless it’s something they specifically lack… HMMMMM. They may be stuck in the typical siblings being unable to communicate their feelings to each other sort of situation. I do hope they are able to push past it and talk to each other about their individual expectations for the unit since it seems like they’re not quite on the same wavelength in that regard. Though it is rather adorable how Hinata seems to heavily support his younger brother in everything that he does. I’m also curious as to why Sakuma refers to them as his children. I look forward to learning more about them!
Also, can we just appreciate how freaking useless Sakuma is in the summer and how he has air conditioning in his coffin lol!
Overall, I really liked the pacing of this episode. Especially since it didn’t feel like they packed too many subplots into this arc and had a manageable amount. A part of it also being that Eichi didn’t really hog that much spotlight as he has been and we were able to ease into the new characters and also set up some intrigue on the twins. This was a nice build up to the eventual Summer Live event. However, I have noticed that the build up episodes are always the best but the conclusion episodes always fall flat. So I’m a bit hesitant on how the next ep will play out. Not to mention they finally dropped the missing knights leader’s appearance after the credits. While I’ve been excited to see him for a while, I’m worried he may tip the balance of the well paced events in this arc. But I guess we’ll see if the 2nd part episode curse will continue or be lifted in this next episode.