Masa’s up on deck and he’s pretty serious about it.
What They Say:
The six members of ST☆RISH, who have made their shocking idol debut, and Nanami Haruka, who has just begun her career as a composer, have advanced to Saotome Academy’s master course. As they continue their lessons in earnest to learn how to be top idols and composers, they join Shining Agency and begin to work as entertainers. But before that, some senpai idols and strange foreign idols with a few odd habits stand before them, and they end up getting dragged into the race for a mysterious “Newcomer Award.”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the singular character focus of each episode, Uta no Prince Sama certainly has a pretty tried and true design about it. The show spent its initial time getting us to know Haruka and her return to the campus as part of the Master Course, but the previous episode started ramping things up a bit with the Uta Pri prize that’s come into play that they all want to get. Competition among the men is normal and seeking this as a way to raise Starish’s profile is certainly warranted since it helps them all individually in the end. With the previous episode dealing with the acting side of things, this time around it shifts to the character of Masa, who certainly has the old school and classic feel about him.
We do get to see some of the acting take place here as well as Masa is really throwing himself into the role that he has, enough so that some of the others even feel a little unnerved by it. His personality is one that will take things in a very direct and serious manner, which goes above and beyond a normal person to some degree. While everyone does take the work seriously, they also know to have some fun, which is what he’s incapable of and what causes some amount of tension between him and the rest. But they do care about him, as they do about everyone in the group, and since they’re all dependent on each other in the end to win the Uta Pri award, they step up and work with him to ensure that he can put on a spectacular performance.
While we have that unfold and see the way that Masa is just taken aback by their outreach, we do start to get some background on Masa himself and his own interest in the performing arts. It’s not something you’d guess about him from the start, but we see how Haruka had drawn him out in a way that he never expected and it’s amusing that we get Cecil being the one to make it as a blunt observation. Cecil continues to be a catalyst for things when it comes to this group of young men so having him make another impact here definitely works since Masa is the type that really needs it beaten into him, even if he is aware of it on some level. All of this effort by others ends up helping Masa of course, and seeing him turn in a strong performance definitely makes for an engaging bit of storytelling.
Though Masa isn’t exactly one of my favorites of the group, he gets a pretty good episode here even if he is largely playing to the archetype for this kind of character. What we see of him here is decent as he takes everything seriously, and is almost dismissive of others as he thinks they aren’t being as serious, only to have them show him that they’re just as committed to the production and goal and to helping him. That little nudge gives him the impetus to really go further with his acting, but it’s the conversation with Cecil that feels like it’s the game changer. It’s a decent episode overall, though it has a lack of Haruka that’s a little disconcerting at some points since I do want to see her more involved and a part of the larger series of growth and changes they’re all going through.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.