Despite my absence, there was one thing that I never took my eye off. No matter how busy I got, I still managed to find some time to check in on something. At the time, that was the gacha game for Ensemble Stars! Now, there’s no need to go into how many sleepless nights I suffered grinding for my best boy, nor the money spent on the extra boosts…but, let’s just say that I was excited when I heard that the EnStars (for short) anime was finally set to air in 2019. My boys, finally coming to life!
“Yumenosaki Private Academy, a school located on a hill facing the ocean. Specializing in boys’ idol training, the school has a long history of producing generations of idols for the entertainment world out of the young men overbrimming with talents, like the shining stars in the sky. Due to “special circumstances,” you are a transfer student at the school, as well as the only female student there. In fact, you are chosen to be the very first student of the “producer course,” and your task is to produce these idols… We hope you will enjoy your journey with the idols you meet at the academy, as well as the vigorous ensemble that together you will make.”
I’m not going to sit here and pretend that the story is deeper than any other idol anime, because it isn’t. In fact, it’s probably a lot gentler than other recent idol anime, such as iDOLiSH7. But that’s okay, anyone who still tunes into idol anime knows exactly what to expect: cute faces, and catchy music. And on that front, Ensemble Stars! delivers and exceeds in every area.
The show is animated by David Production, better known for their work on the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series, and therefore high quality was to be expected. And as far as idol anime goes (hell, anime as a general), the show looks great. The colours are bright and exciting, the cute boys are even cuter, and it’s overall done a great job of bringing Yumenosaki to life. Even the CGI segments appear to fit in well with the rest of the animation, avoiding the trap of looking too jarring (I’m looking at you, Uta Prince Sama).
That was half an excuse to jam out to the great songs by Trick*Star, who are the main unit focused on in the anime. But, my point stands, that it looks (and sounds) great. I don’t want to go too tinfoil hat here, but someone, somewhere in David Production quite clearly loves EnStars, and it shows.
The story hasn’t tugged on any heart strings just yet. It follows the age old formula: struggling idol group at school, meet the no-longer faceless self insert MC, and finally find the strength to rise above them all. But…it works. The humour surrounding the characters and their quirks (such as Rei being a real vampire) carry the story out of the boundaries of bland, and creates a show that maybe, we haven’t quite seen before.
Again, I am not going to pretend that this show is revolutionary. But after seeing so many shows similar beforehand written off as ‘shoujo fodder’, I want to interject and tell everyone – seriously, don’t knock it until you try it. And with a cast of almost 40 boys (and counting!) there’s someone out there for everyone to love. And who knows, if you do download the game (please don’t), maybe it will end up changing your life. Or bank account. Seriously, dangerous.
Also…oh my god. There he is. THERE. HE. IS.
My score – 8/10
What are you guys thinking of EnStars so far? Do you have a favourite boy? What do you think of idol anime as a general?
Until next time!