Ensemble Stars! Episode 19
Not gonna lie, as soon as I saw that this would be a Trickstar focused arc, my excitement level just plummeted. I’m just not really interested or invested in them as a group or even individually. Like I’ve said before, they just feel so boring compared to the other units. Not to mention at the beginning of the episode, they were going on about how Trickstar is starting to get pretty popular… but we never get to witness how they rose to popularity or what they even did to gain attention. I know I should really stop comparing it to Idolish7, but in the case of the main group, we actually saw them perform on the streets MULTIPLE times while also recording them and also hosting that online show. We can clearly see how they got attention from others so them becoming known was never a question. But with Trickstar… we never see it, we’re only informed of it so it feels very forced. Not to mention it hasn’t even felt that long since they were curb stomped by Eve.
Anyways, we finally meet the members that make up Adam from Shuetsu Academy and the last two members that make up Eden. They definitely were not what I was expecting. On a brief tangent, when Ibara appeared, he immediately reminded me of Gowther from Seven Deadly Sins. You can’t tell me he at least looks A LITTLE like the Goat Sin of Lust lol. Back on track, he certainly was more outwardly friendly than I expected (at least so it seemed). He even says he came from a militaristic background which explains his strange habits, such as saluting and always talking in a rather loud and affirming voice. Nagisa on the other hand was a lot more chill and proper sounding. However, he is a bit confusing as he goes on about wanting to live his life without anything holding him down. What even brought this on??? I was expecting more arrogant and condescending type of personalities from them. However, just like Eve, they are definitely keeping their true motives hidden, hiding behind a kind facade in order to lower Trickstar’s guard. They also seem to be a lot more calculating and ruthless than Eve and seem to be playing some sort of 4D chess.
It was pretty obvious from the getgo that Ibara was up to something, especially when he was suggesting that Trickstar should just switch over to CosPro and into their school. And as good as the offer sounds, especially since the school is so well equipped with the finest technology and tools, the fact that non-honor students are treated like slaves should be a little more concerning and be brought into consideration. So it drove me CRAZY that both Makoto and Hokuto even THOUGHT about the possibility of transferring over. Makoto even brought that fact up at the beginning of the episode and everyone was uncomfortable with that sentiment. Even Hokuto stated earlier that he feels like they’re dancing in the palm of someone’s hand. NO DUR. The hierarchy here is worse than at Yumenosaki. And just because they are being treated nicely as guests, doesn’t mean that they would be treated the same way if they switched over. Have they not already learned not to judge an offer at face value?! This is almost the same as Eichi did to try and break up Trickstar. It sounds good in theory, but it’s not what they truly want. Fushimi even intervenes by having Trickstar stay at a place that isn’t controlled by the “enemy.” You would THINK that this would create some doubt that Adam wants the best for them. And of course the only one who has some semblance of concern is Akehoshi, because of course he is as he is the poster boy. rolls eyes
Not to mention the school started looking like a prison after a while with those gray walls and all. This whole thing feels all kinds of bad.
And then we have Isara drama. Honestly, the whole thing felt so forced and out of left field. They kept bringing up facts that were never addressed or hinted prior. Like when Akehoshi brought up how Isara would often try to brighten the mood when things got too serious, my thoughts were: Oh, thanks for telling me something that was never shown before… And while they did foreshadow the realization that Isara didn’t shine as brightly as the others (somehow) by him showing up later, symbolizing how he’s struggling to keep up with the group, I wasn’t convinced. Especially since they didn’t show this ANYWHERE ELSE. Yes, looking back it just showed Isara as the most stable one in the group, but it never depicted the others as shining brighter than him. When he mentions how the others in the group are so much more gifted, my immediate response was: “…THEY ARE??? HOW???” They must have just TOLD me what the others strengths were because I do not remember EVER seeing what makes the others in the group special and how they could possibly outshine Isara.
Also the whole plotline of “Maybe Trickstar doesn’t need me…” is so frustrating. WE’VE ALREADY ESTABLISHED THAT ALL FOUR OF YOUR DUMB BUTTS ARE A VITAL PART OF TRICKSTAR. I’ve always hated that type of plotline. A character questions whether they belong in a group when it’s obvious EVERYONE wants them there. However the only one not aware is the person in question. It’s just so frustrating to watch. Give me a plotline where it SHOWS that being part of a group is not healthy for that person, THEN WE’LL TALK. I was also annoyed when Anzu yelled at Isara that it’s not true… and then didn’t follow it up with anything else. You have to make a better convincing argument rather than just yelling at him that he’s wrong Anzu. Anzu definitely loses a lot of her personality when she’s interacting with Trickstar and ends up becoming very one-noted.
Their plan to try and combat Adam also feels really badly planned. “If you want to know about Adam, ask Eve.” Would they even tell you though??? Now, Eve has shown to be on better terms with Trickstar and at least Hiyori is shown to not like committing dirty tricks. However, considering their positions, I doubt they would willingly out the other half of their combined unit. Though we don’t know what their dynamic with the other two are, so I guess we’ll have to see what becomes of this meeting. I honestly rolled my eyes when they showed Hiyori and Sazanami roll up as if this meet up was going to be extremely tense… but they literally left on good terms with Trickstar, so I’m like: Wut?
Holy crap this episode was so over dramatic. I don’t know why, but this arc already feels so TIRING. Needless drama just appearing out of nowhere… I just can’t. I’ve gotten so used to not having to focus on Trickstar that seeing them front and center again was kind of disappointing. Even when they were having their throw down with Eve, AT LEAST they showed some of the other units doing things so it wasn’t solely focused on them. Not to mention they kept throwing in information that was never addressed before and tacking on things that were never really shown. This episode just felt so frustrating and I just want this arc to be over with so we can go back to Yumenosaki and be back with the other more interesting units.
Though I have to admit that I snorted when Akehoshi introduced himself to Nagisa while also calling him a jerk in the midst of it.