Uta No Prince Sama 1000%: Season 1
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When Haruka gets the chance to take the entrance exam for Saotome Academy for the Performing Arts, it seems as though she's one step closer to her dream of composing songs for her favorite singer, Hayato. However, this is no gleeful high school musical experience, and Haruka's hiding a dreadful secret that may silence her musical ambitions forever. And even if she does get into Saotome, the competition will be more brutal than going on Japan's Top Idol! That's because, as a writer, Haruka could be paired with any one of six radically different male singers. Will it be upbeat Otoya, serious Masato, flirtatious Ren, split-personality Natsuki, optimistic Syo, or the unapproachable Tokiya, who's rumored to be Hayato's brother? And just to make things more complicated and awkward, writers and singers are expressly NOT allowed to get romantically involved! Can one girl and six handsome young men learn to make beautiful music together in a strictly platonic sense? They can if the oddball staff of Saotome, most of whom are current and former idols themselves have anything to say about it in Uta no Prince Sama 1000%!
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First off the Animation:
The animation was done by a studio called "A-1 Pictures" whom did the animation for "Black Butler" ,"Blue Exorcist" ,"Sword Art Online" of course this series. There are plenty of other series' that they have done the animation for but those are jut some of them and yes I will be reviewing both seasons of Black Butler that are currently available.
The animation in this season (and the season after) is honestly some of the best that I have seen in a good many years. I've been watching Anime since Sailor Moon in 1997 and I kept wondering what it would look like years later. Well this studio along with "Studio DEEN" have definitely ramped up the attention to detail that much is for sure and it definitely raises the bar for me as to what I expect to see in my Animes for years to come.
Now let's get on with the story:
The story starts based around Haruka Nanami whom dreams of one day becoming a top composer in Japan. To accomplish this she ends trying to get into the Saotome Academy along with her friend Tomochika (we'll be calling her "Tomo" for the rest of this review) but you see she appeared to be late for the exam and wouldn't be allowed to get into the school to take the entrance exam!
Enter Ittoki Otoya and Ren Jinguji with the former appearing at the gate to try and help her get into the school to take the test and the latter entering by Limo explaining the reason WHY she was late in the first place. Despite this the security wouldn't allow her in until one phone call took care of that and the rest as they say...is history!
The story through these 13 episodes takes the viewer on a roller coaster of emotions both with the highs and lows that make this season (and series as a whole) special. There is enough comedy watching this series as the students she encounters have to resist asking her out because the school has a strict "No Love" policy which makes some of the interactions that happen throughout quite amusing to watch. As a viewer you feel bad because you KNOW that the students she meets want to date her but they can't due to the rule in place there.
Oh but its also not without the typical story at the start when students believe she only got in because of "favors" or whatnot. This story quickly gets dropped however within the first three episodes while we find out that Haruka can play the piano somewhat but reading the actually music...not so much (this is the cause of the talk from the other students)
You also find out that one of the students in the school is secretly leading a double life. When I saw this story my first thought was Endo Kazuki from Gakuen Heaven (one of my first reviews on this site actually) when he lead the double life of student and Chairman. In THIS case it has to do with a student going to school learning to BE an Idol when they already ARE one (and also became the motivation for Haruka to even WANT to go to Saotome in the first place).
The way the story builds up is that the first few episodes are used to introduce each character separately with some kind of pairing or "issue". You got Ittoki and Ichinose ,Masato and Ren and Syo and Natsuki (although Nats houses a "third" person that you do NOT want to meet!) and each of the episodes essentially helps you learn about each of the characters and the fact that they have one singular motivation to have Haruka write songs for them.
As with any Anime you need solid characters and this series has them as I have mentioned throughout so far. From Otoya to Tokiya everyone of them is very much a likable character while you have to try and get used to Saotome and Ringo....the less I say about him the better off I am.
The music is also a joy to listen to especially the OP ("Orpheus") and the ED for this season ("Maji Love 1000%") as those songs make you want to watch the next episode. That sounds weird to say but sometimes after the song plays from a series I kind of just want to stop watching for a little while (and yes that's happened to me in the past).
Want to know the BEST song in the season? "Mirai Chizu"!
I'm not telling :-p
Seriously the reason that song became a favorite of mine you have to see the episode it comes in because its one of those moments that if you were kind of "meh" on the series before the final episode of Series 1 then you are in for a treat come the end of it I promise
If you aren't watching Uta no Prince-Sama then I actually feel bad for you because its one of those Animes that NEEDS to be watched and appreciated as one of the best out there at this point in time!
If you like musicals and romance you love this series as every episode has one character or another singing a song, confessing unsaid feelings for the naive character, Harkura.
If you like slice -of -life anime this series is also for you as it looks into each of lives of the main male characters and how Haruka helps them along the way.
If you like amine where six guys all fall in love with the main female character and you the viewer like to try to figure out who she will end up with or who you hope she will end up with.
If you hate musical anime, this series is not for you.
If you had subtitle anime, this series is not for you.
If you hate slice-of- life anime, again this series is not for you.
If you do not like mushy, romantic or feel good anime, this series is not for you.
If you want to find a magical violin or fairy in this series you will be disappointed.
I, for one, really enjoy this series and I hope the company who produces the series will bring out season 2 of Uta Prince Sama!