Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight Episode 5: Is Sparkle Even Possible?
Mahiru finally snaps but things went a lot differently than I imagined it would. It was a lot more hilarious. Mahiru is even more thirsty than I thought.
The running gag of Hikari catching Mahiru almost doing the deed was hilarious, but it was symbolic of the problem of Hikari entering the picture and ruining her chances with Karen. After her outburst towards Hikari I would have thought that the two would have faced off in the revue, but it makes most sense that her opponent would be Karen.
I love Mahiru a lot. She’s just a really sweet and pleasant person that loves sharing her family’s potatoes with all the girls in the dorm. She tries her best but doesn’t feel comfortable or confident in herself. She’s from the country and was the star in her town for being a really talented baton twirler, so much so that she appeared on TV by her grandmother’s recommendation. And also per her grandmother, she applied to Seisho Music Academy and passed and made the news in her small town. She was a huge star, but upon entering Seisho Music Academy, she went from a big fish in a small pond to a tiny fish in a big pond. She realized that she wasn’t so special after all when all the girls in the school were just as good, or even better than her. It made her lose confidence in herself and see herself to be so untalented when she compared herself to the other girls in the class. She was down on herself, however, things changed when she met Karen, as she so dramatically told us through her little “play” in her Revue of Jealousy.
She found the other girls in the school to sparkle and shine where she didn’t. But it was Karen that illuminated her dark world. Karen is bubbly, fun, loud, and just shines all around! Through Karen was Mahiru able to finally shine like everyone else. But when Hikari came into the picture, that’s when her world of brightness turned back into darkness. She didn’t have the shine and she was reminded of how lonely and untalented she really was. She needed Karen back in her life.
The episode did a fantastic job in portraying Mahiru’s loneliness. She was usually shown on her own this episode, being on the sidelines or all the way in the back. One scene that stands out is when Futaba and Claudine are acting out lines from the play and Mahiru is shown to be standing all the way in the back against the wall, in the darkness and even behind nameless background characters who were present in the front. It was actually really sad but smart direction. And of course the message of Karen leaving Mahiru was hammered into us when she literally would leave Mahiru behind in the mornings. Usually Karen would be impossible to wake up, but as Mahiru wakes up to her alarm, Karen and Hikari are already gone and are found in the classroom practicing early in the morning. Every morning we see Mahiru wake up to an empty room where she probably walks to school on her own.
Mahiru’s stage for her revue is probably the most interesting and unique we’ve gotten so far. It was adorable and hilarious. Mahiru acted out her own one-woman play about how she met Karen and attended Seisho and then it suddenly turned into a baseball field with a bunch of cats. The comedy went hard this episode as Karen was literally hit like a baseball and then was sent down trap doors to interrupt the others’ revues as they ran through them. Mahiru went full yandere in the revue, which was adorable, hilarious, and kind of creepy all in one. While the revue was really fun to watch, I tried my best to dissect it in terms of Mahiru’s character. On one hand, you can call it very childlike, connecting it to Mahiru’s childlike behavior towards her jealousy of Hikari. She basically told Hikari “You can’t have Karen, she’s mine! Give her back!” Which sounds childish when you look at it that way. Another thing I thought of was the baseball motif and them barging into the other revue stages. Baseball is a team sport, and maybe it signifies that Mahiru is just in the background part of the team and not the star player. And them barging into the other revues also signified that Mahiru can’t be in her own spotlight and needs the other girls’ stages. I feel like there aren’t right or wrong answers with this one. By the way, the girls’ reactions to them were gold.
In the end, Mahiru tells Karen that she needs her to shine but Karen reassures her that she already shines with her sweet singing voice and her dancing. It was something that Mahiru needed to hear and it made her happy. Of course she loses, but she comes out a different person than before. She vows to work hard and shine with her own talent and not through Karen. The video of herself in the end, of wanting to become a star people can smile about when knowing her, was extremely heartwarming. The episode made me smile again when a little bit of sparkle made contact with the baton in her room, signaling Mahiru’s new outlook in life.
I do admit that Mahiru’s obsession with Karen, and wanting to live through her and depend on her was wrong. She went about things totally the wrong way, but I can understand her. It was a huge culture shock for her to be a star in her tiny rural town to just like the others in the city. This wasn’t mentioned, but she probably also felt pressure to do well in the school since it was her grandmother that recommended her to go to the school. Latching onto Karen when she was at her lowest was the only thing she could do, but it was wrong. However, she learned and is now going to be a better person for herself and I love that! As well as an entertaining revue, her song was also the most different from the others in being more upbeat. I’ve always been rooting for Mahiru and I can understand her issues with Hikari. Because….I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Hikari?
This whole episode just made me more irritated towards Karen and Hikari, because Karen is ignoring Mahiru for a more boring character. We did get slight development for Hikari last week, but even then I’m not totally invested in her. She still lacks personality and likeability and she’s just…there. Karen and Hikari’s friendship is less amusing to me compared to the other relationships of the characters, so I hope they improve upon it. But whatever, I’ll give Mahiru all my love.
One other thing that caught my eye this episode was Banana. She seems adamant about keeping Maya and Claudine as the leads in “Starlight” while the other girls in production want Karen and Hikari. Banana’s sudden change to production always interested me, and I feel like she’s hiding something. Hmmm.