Ensemble Stars! Episode 2
This series continues to be weird and while I’m still not convinced it’s as good as Idolish7 yet, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t somewhat entertaining in it’s own right. However, it still feels like we’re in the midst of explaining everything that goes on in this school and they’re trying to introduce as many characters as they can. And with as many characters as there are in this series, I can understand it, but it still feels a bit much. I feel like they introduced at least 10 new characters in this episode and there is no way in heck I’m going to remember ANY of their names.
And while the pacing in this show continues to be abysmal, there were still elements that had me laughing at how absurd everything was. Like, why is this one guy drawing a magic circle??? And why is this guy being a vampire by lying in a coffin??? WHY??? I also got a pretty good chuckle out of Oogami suddenly kicking Yuuki off a roof. Don’t worry, he’s fine. He had a bungee cord attached to his ankle.
I also found it pretty hilarious when Hokuto just suddenly turns to Anzu and declares that if she doesn’t want to be around them it would be fine if she just said so. Are you trying to get rid of her sir??? It honestly felt like it came out of nowhere since she didn’t even say or hint at anything that could have lead up to this. Though I suppose that the drunk teacher did tell her to believe in and interact with the people she wants to and not be forced into anything. But even so, she didn’t signify any feelings of leaving the group.
The revolution continues to be a thing and is brought up again with Hokuto wanting Anzu to join them since apparently she would be the biggest upset to how the school is currently run. Though we still have no idea how she’d affect things. Things get even more insane when apparently KIDNAPPING happens by a couple twins (ironically both voiced by Soma Saito, aka Tenn Kujou from Idolish7). I honestly jumped a little when they just suddenly grabbed Anzu. Though I don’t know if it’s just the character directing, but Anzu still lacks a lot of emotion when reacting to all the madness around her. I know her VA is top notch and can put up a fantastic performance. She’s freaking Merlin from Seven Deadly Sins and Ciel from Black Butler. But I digress…
Anyways, looks like they were successfully able to grab the attention of one of the “Three Eccentrics” who supposedly have more power (or aren’t affected by) the student council. This part honestly reminded me a lot of that one time in Utapri where EVERYONE was vying to be Haruka’s partner when Sakuma asked Anzu to partner up with his group. Though while all this was happening, I was just kind of staring at him the entire time. One of the reasons being he was indeed eccentric, but also because he sounded VERY familiar. After I listened a little longer and when he used a certain tone my immediate response was: Oh no… is this my VA bias…? And after quickly looking it up and finding out I was right, I then proceeded to bury my face in my hands because this guy was voiced by the same VA as Iori from Idolish7. I am so attuned to his voice now it’s so dumb. But enough of my gushing.
I wasn’t really into the whole idea of a “revolution” happening as it felt extremely shoehorned in albeit a little randomly. Though it wasn’t until near the episode where a little bit of emotion was sparked in me. First of all, I listened to some of Ensemble Stars’ music before watching this anime and to my utter surprise, I was treated to a song by one of my favorite units, AKATSUKI. It’s been a while since I’ve heard their songs due to youtube taking down all of their songs and it completely slipped my mind on who exactly was in the unit. I was basically caught off guard at the fact the vice president of the student counsel was the freaking leader of the unit. Whelp.. now I suddenly like him more… how fickle I am.
And while I was a bit disappointed that they resorted to using CG for the performance, it wasn’t the worst CG I’ve seen so I was able to deal with it. Anyways, it was definitely a bit unfair of how grand a spectacle their performance was… even if I was completely into their song as well. Especially when the group afterwards had to pay and make all of their props and outfits. Though it definitely hit a lot harder at how unfortunate the group was when the audience just up and left right after AKATSUKI’s performance. While I didn’t really care for them as characters, I did feel really bad to see that after all the effort they put into their performance, no one but Akehoshi and Anzu stayed to watch. They weren’t even given a chance. Though I wish they let us just see how it all played out rather than it being talked about in a flashback.
I definitely enjoyed the last part of the episode a lot more, especially since we actually got to see a little more of the prejudice the school has for the different ranked units. I wish the series would do more of that. Show more, talk less. Hopefully once we finally get past all the introductions and actually delve deeper into the plot, this series can finally find its pace and get the ball rolling better.