This is review number ninety nine. It’s been a long journey getting this far but the experience is awesome. The anime I’ll be reviewing is part of the Summer 2011 lineup and it’s an Otome anime. I’ve really spread my hate for Hiiro no Kakera for a while now so I decided to give another Otome anime a try. It’s Uta no Prince-sama and it’s a thirteen episode anime full of hot dudes. Yes….there’s a girl too because it’s a reverse harem. Is it good? Well let’s read on.
Anyways, the anime is about Haruka Nanami who just entered a prestigious boarding school of aspiring idols and song writers. She has a deep passion for music but her inferiority complex gets in the way. It doesn’t stop six beautiful guys to fall for her beauty and her deep appreciation of music though. The school requires each student to pair up (one singer and one song writer) for the final test at the end of the semester. It’s not easy for Haruka though when six guys is trying to her to partner up with them.
Taking the Pants Off
This is my 99th review and I thought I’d try something special. I wanted to have one more crack at an Otome anime (anime adapted from an Otome game) after previous entries like Arcana Famiglia and, the god awful, Hiiro no Kakera gave me an idea just how bad the genre is. They’re not really bad and I know that. They all have potential and I’m sure there is just a special circumstance for an Otome anime to shine. I have lowered my standards and decided to go through one more Otome anime before I hit 10% of my goal. So I found this anime nicely tucked in my list. I cringed at the title like any self-respecting dude but as my goal towards being an unbiased reviewer, this anime is the perfect challenge. First of all, I want to point out the appeal of an Otome anime. There is really just one thing that makes it stand out. The special something called “bishies” or hot dudes. It actually hit me that people rag on about the Ecchi genre having too much fan service and not enough Story. Ecchi has fan service in the form of melon breasts or panty shots or girls in bikinis or any form of sexual act that can be seen as over the top perverted. The Otome genre actually put fan service in front of Story as well. Its fan service is in the form of objectifying hot guys as sexual objects just like how the Ecchi genre uses girls as sexual objects. Ecchi appeals to perverted and probably sexually frustrated boys. It’s safe to say that the Otome genre appeals to girls who are sexually frustrated as well and their imagination has dreamed up the “ideal boyfriend”. Yknow. Someone that looks like this:
And I get it. I understand that and it’s fine by me. I just really wish they put some meat on the Story and just don’t rely too much on their strong handed bishies to carry the show. I am not giving up on this genre because the anime industry is an evolving media. I know that the Otome genre can be fixed and it will be fixed. I just have to be patient. In the meantime though, I’d have to swallow my vomit as I awkwardly watch an anime about dudes. The goal of reaching 1000 reviews in not as easy as pie. Nothing is as easy as pies. (Damn pies.)
Ok, let’s get this out of the way first. If you expect a good story from this anime then you’ll be disappointed. This anime doesn’t even have a decent story or a passable story. It’s bland and it’s predictable. You will pick up this anime not because of the story though; you’ll watch this for the hot guys. It’s all about the bishies when it comes to this anime and in that department, this anime deserves a medal. Not only do these guys have beautiful faces and physiques, they also have beautiful voices. I’m a guy and I’m damn proud of it but even I find the voices to be orgasmic. Is that bad?
The anime actually has a simple set up so you can easily enjoy the hot dudes without any complicated story to bother you. The first episode introduces all the characters of the anime. The rest of the first half is now then focused on introducing the hot guys further and also giving us tidbits about Haruka, the lucky main character. In the game you play as Haruka and you get to choose one guy then take his “route” for the rest of the game. I can tell right away that if the anime focused on one guy then the story would’ve been much better because there are layers of subtle complexity in the relationship of Haruka and a guy that the anime doesn’t explore but they did silently establish it. As if pressed for time, the potential of the story is diluted and it became shallow. I bet the routes are f*cking awesome because the anime was able to dedicate one episode to one guy and we see all the things we missed by not playing the game. Episode two to seven is all about one guy of the anime and his “shallow” relationship to Haruka. You cannot condense a “route” to just one episode but at least the anime tried. The result is a disjointed plot with a half-baked second half and a forced ending. As I said before, just don’t expect a great story or even a decent one. Heck, I’d settle for a clichéd one but the Otome genre is a different creature. Is the anime worth watching though? Yes. Yes it is.
The main appeal of the anime rests upon the characters and there is no shortage of interesting characters here. They are a bit generic but they were interesting nonetheless. Each guy in the anime has a unique personality to him that sets him apart from the rest. There is the feminine one, the loud one, the tsundere, the black sheep, the playboy and the overly eager one. Like I said, they are generic but they are given an episode to shine. The characters really do shine and we get to know them far beyond their generic-ness. I was pleasantly surprised to actually like the characters and I eagerly waited for the rest to be spotlighted. Like the story though, there is a far more complex personality in the characters but since it was rushed; they come off as a bit shallow. They’re pretty hot though and any thirteen year old who has been reading too much yaoi can easily appreciate the anime’s presentation of the characters.
The anime also kind of knew the story is sh*t and it depends strongly on the characters so it decided to take it a step further. The anime had some BL elements woven together and some characters are quietly shipped together. There are six characters and they just happened to be roommates with each other. Cmon, any fujoshi can appreciate that and it’s a nice thing for the anime. Since it’s pretty obvious that Haruka won’t end up with a guy (as most Otome anime) then they added some BL (Boy’s Love) appeal to the characters. It is a really fun part of the anime because the roommates really play off each other’s attitude in a strong way. Don’t be surprised to see doujinshi yaoi of the characters because the anime kinda subconsciously planted it in our heads.
The second half of the anime featured the test before the semester where a singer and a song writer must pair up. I loved how all the guys suddenly became aggressive trying to get Haruka because the reverse harem elements of the anime are being put to good use. There are some romantic teases here and there. I even swoon a bit at the dialogues between the guys swearing Haruka is theirs. I’m a biased reviewer so please….don’t judge me. It was just a brief moment though and the anime turned a b*t sh*t crazy afterwards. All the boys were picked by Haruka to sing all her songs. Yeah, they became a boy band and it a wise move personally because it satisfies its target audience which a mainly pre-teen girls. Seeing the hot guys sing with their dreamy voices and swing their hips is the ultimate fangasm as you progress to the anime.
The story disintegrated at the end of the anime and it just threw random conflicts and events to give the anime at least a decent ending. It was decent and all is well. I do have one massive complain though and it pisses me off even now. I’m talking about Haruka and her eyes. What the hell is that? The eyes tell the personality of a character and her eyes shouts out “I’m bland and I have no personality”. It was hard to get over her eyes because it’s really unappealing. Of all the things the anime (and the Otome game) tried to unique with and they settled with yellowish outer and green center eyes. What the holy hell? Maybe they didn’t want the focus to shift to the main character and they wanted the hot dudes to shine. It worked, I guess.
Sight and Sound
The anime has the standard bishies of all shape and sizes. They guys are all beautiful creatures with the standard tall, dark and handsome physiques and the pointy chins to accentuate their masculinity. They are generic though but the animation was able to really make the characters look more awesome. As for Haruka, she is pretty plain. She has no standout personality and no standout look to her besides the unappealing eyes.
The anime really went balls out on the animation. They are so detailed and the body language was nicely animated as well. The dancing scene in the first episode is enough to tell you that the anime really did a great job on the animation. I even pulled aside my 13 year old neighbor and asked her if the dance is nice. She fan girl screamed and the anime hit a bullseye on that one. The body movement in the dance scene is so fluid and the way the hips shake is really hypnotizing. There other scenes in the anime where the animation shines like when Haruka plays the piano with a really detailed look at how the keys are pressed and a scene where this guy plays the saxophone. He was moving his own rhythm and the sax dances along with him. It’s incredible.
The anime of the music genre and there is always a song at every episode. The anime’s biggest strength is the music because it was the key component accompanying the hot guys. Each insert song in the anime is really nicely sung and the voice actor’s talent really shines as the characters sing. They all have distinct features to their voices and it’s always a treat hearing one of the hot guys sing. I personally eagerly wait for the music portion of each episode because I know it’s always a treat to listen to it.
The anime’s OP is “Orpheus” by Mamoru Miyano. It’s a JRock song with all the components of a good JRock. It has a heavy set of guitar and drum sound and the voice Mamoru is very manly. The song nicely fits the subtle theme of the anime and its Otome charm. The OP sequence featured all the good parts of the anime. It has the hot dudes, awesome soundtrack and really incredible animation.
The ED sequence is the same. “Maji LOVE 1000%” by ST☆RISH sung by the male cast of the anime. The song itself exudes bishie spirit and it’s so powerful that the ED cannot contain it. The song is also very catchy. I was honestly embarrassed watching this anime but the song easily grows on you and the dance scene has some really awesome key animation that I always stop to watch it.
6/10 “Hot dues, hot dudes, hot dudes…..music and more hot dudes.”
If you’re a healthy otaku girl who enjoys the occasional fan girling then this anime is made just for you. To put it bluntly, this anime would get a 3/10 for me if it didn’t have the bishie element to it but it does and it was the sole reason why the anime shined. I have yet to see a really good Otome anime but this one is good. I recommend it.