This is review number one hundred and fifty six. It’s part of the Winter 2011 lineup. I’m in a brand new lineup while I wait for the Winter 2013 to close its doors. I figured I’d start the lineup strong so I decided to watch an otome anime. It’s Starry Sky, a ten minute anime about a coed school with only one female student. It’s twenty six episodes long and it’s really weak. I ranted constantly in my review so let’s read on.
The anime is about the different stories of thirteen different men who are personifications of the zodiacs. They all go to a recently all boys school now turned co-ed. This school only had one female student though and the 13 men are all close to this girl. The anime explores the different characters and their feelings for the only girl in the entire school.
Taking the Pants Off
Here we have another Otome anime. They’re anime adapted from otome game where you play a girl and you try to make a bunch of hot guys fall in love with you. I don’t like this genre because they usually have some of the weakest anime you can ever see. I’ve seen a lot of anime now going in my first year as TPAB and the otome anime I’ve seen are all awful. I’ve been impressed once but that was because it was a second season. Starry Sky certainly looks like it had a lot of potential. In fact, after watching the anime, I kind of want to track down the game and play it. The anime had a nice thing going but it just couldn’t present it clearly and effectively. The entire anime feels a bit incomplete and it was more focused on tempting you to play the game than to actually present its content. There’s a really good story here if the anime only bothered to actually try and present it.
Don’t you just love the idea of having a school where there is only one girl? There are a lot of things you can do to such a really brilliant premise. You can have the guys chase her around to capture her affection or have them get some alone time with the girl to develop some kind of relationship with her. I, myself, can think of a lot of possibilities and some of them don’t even involve the girl being gang banged. The approach the anime took was to take twenty six episodes and focus two episodes on one guy. These episodes are mostly about a short introduction of the character, his personal problems and weak hearted view on life, a flashback to give us an idea of how the character develop his very personal dilemma and his relationship with some of the characters. Right off the bat, there is no stable story the anime revolves around in. Basically, every episode is like a prologue to a much bigger story but the anime doesn’t go beyond that prologue. It’s about thirteen different prologues that have no central story to tie them all together. The only reason you’re watching, really, is to see the hot guys be hot guys.
The anime got boring fast. After a couple of character introductions, I was kind of looking for a central plot now. I wanted a progressive story but there is nothing like that in the anime. They’re just prologues, short introductions, to different characters. The annoying part is that even these short introductions had no proper flow to them. The anime would start with the characters being introduced to the girl and then it would skip six months to where the guy is now close to the girl with no prior warning. Then there are these screwy flashback scenes in the anime. Some flashbacks involve the characters when they were cute little kids but some of them are when the characters are freshmen. There are scenes in the various episodes where the girl is a freshman and scenes where she is a second year student. You have no way of telling unless the characters address her as senpai. Not only is there no proper progression in the anime, it was also freely fast forwarding and sloppily using flashbacks to the point where you basically just watch to see hot dudes be hot dudes.
I admittedly like some of these short introductions because the characters were interesting. Some characters will appeal to you and with thirteen different dudes, there is bound to be at least one where you lean towards to. Some short introductions are pretty decent like the Gemini arc where the guy dared the girl to be his girlfriend for a month just to destroy her notion of love. It was a pretty exciting setup for something that we never actually see. No, we didn’t see them date because the episode after that is about a new guy. It’s really hard to watch this anime and I tried hard to like it. Hell, I tried hard to finish it. Some arcs are good but some are really boring and predictable. The one thing that I really can’t stand though is the constant monologues of the characters. Every f*cking guy does a monologues for their arc and majority of them are just plain ramblings that the anime tried to present as highly deep or philosophical thoughts of the characters. They come off as pretentious and shallow coming from a bunch of bland characters though. These monologues would’ve meant a lot more if there were actually a central story to the anime instead of short introductions. After a few of those goddamn monologues, I’m like, please no more. Just shut the hell up. Just be hot dudes being hot dudes.
Amidst the lack of story and proper presentation, there are actually some plot points in the anime. Some guys are friends with guys who have their own arc so there are actually some common elements among the arcs to easily follow them. Of course, the anime doesn’t just let you piece them together though. The main idea is to have the characters introduced and not how they relate to each other. If they bothered to set these plot points though then it’d be easier to follow the anime. After you progress to the anime, I’d say the second half if you ever reach it, then you’d notice that the guys are grouped into four. There are also four plot points in the anime, the thing the characters all share among them. Oh, the girl is also involved in all the plot points and the guys share her among their different groups.
The first plot point is about the student council of the school. The self-appointed president of the student body would just randomly pick members and the orders of the student council are absolute. The guys he picks are mostly students who are having a hard time adjusting to the school. Burdened by a personal problem they can’t shake off, the president goes out of his way to make sure they are very much welcomed into the school. Further introduction of the characters reveal just how much they changed after being in the student council.
The second plot point is about the childhood friends of the girl. They grew up together, supporting each other and making sure the other person feels cared for. The characters are mostly concerned about the dynamic of their friendship threatened by other people or the fact that the girl is in a land full of sausages *high five*. Further character introduction reveals exactly how much the friends would go to comfort their friend and it also reveals how much they care for the girl.
The third plot point involves the archery club. It’s about the strong bond formed among the first year students and their weak hearted senpai. There’s not a lot explored in this plot point expect that a friendly rivalry among the members would soon blossom into love unexpectedly. It’s really the same as the first two plot points where the girl hangs with some guys that care for her a lot.
The last plot point involves the teachers. Yeah, she was involved with them too. There are two teachers who are mostly focused on where they closed their heart after a loss of a loved one. They hate themselves, afraid to be close to anyone and they are afraid to love again. They are drawn to the girl though and she was able to comfort them in her own special way.
The characters are all a bunch of generic and bland hot dudes with just a slither of unique personality to set them apart. You can’t really expect much from an anime that doesn’t even try to develop a story to have great characters. They’re all bland, forgettable and they’re better off keeping their mouth shut. The episodes dedicated to them do give us an idea of who the characters are but it isn’t really enough. The constant fast forwarding and confusing flashbacks really just muddle the impression you have about the characters. Some of them are decently introduced though. I was shocked to discover this caring guy from the previous episode to actually be the most insecure character among the hot guys. Despite some decent surprises, the characters are all pretty weak. Some are even annoying like that inventor guy. The only time I really appreciated the characters is when they just stand still and they do not speak because their handsome features are really the only thing they have.
There is one character I find interesting though and, oddly, the only one without an introduction. I’m talking about the girl, Tsukiko Yahisa. She is the only girl in the school, she’s a go getter and she is involved in four different activities. She bland as well and pretty one dimensional but, being the only character with boobs, I’m fine with that. I do think the anime was pretty original with its presentation. Instead of focusing on the girl’s journey to discovering her harem, the anime was focused on the harem discovering her. If it was only properly executed then the anime would’ve been very awesome. Sadly, it’s not. It’s another proof that Otome anime really sucks dirt balls.
If there is one thing the anime accomplished in a very positive light, was that it was able to make me wish I was playing the game. This anime feels like a big lure to tempt you to play the visual novel. In that respect, it did a great job. I can already see the perfectionist in me trying to conquer all guys to see their route. I feel like this was the main goal of the anime: shameless visual novel lure. I’ve seen effect I’ve manga lures that made me wish I read the manga. This is the first time a visual novel lure made me wish I had the game. I’ll give points on that even though it butchered the individual stories, wasted the potential and didn’t even bother to give the audience proper fan service. You have hot guys yet you didn’t let them BE hot guys. For goddamn f*cking shame.
Sight and Sound
The character design is amazing. They are full blown bishies with their dreamy eyes, handsome facial features and slender bodies. The way the characters look in their uniform is really sexy. I’m a guy and after a few of these anime, I am no longer ashamed to say that. The anime had a lot of close up of the characters faces and you can really see just how dreamy they are. Some of them would often look the same though because of their weak personalities. I often confused the student council president with the childhood friend of the girl because they had the same hair color. There is very little to tell some characters apart but majority of them have individual looks like unique hair color and such.
The animation is dreadful. I don’t expect much from something that didn’t even have a TV release but the animation is very weak. When the characters just stands still then they are handsome but when they move, their looks doesn’t stay consistent. Their facial features often changes, some details are not consistently presented and they often move sloppily. Most of the times as well, only their mouth moves. The characters do not often blink in some scenes that demand them to blink. I think the anime put too much attention on making them look hot rather than giving smooth transitions of movements. So, the story sucks AND the animation as well. Don’t you just love that?
This anime has a strong cast of voice actors. Seriously, it managed to bag a lot of big stars like Daisuke Ono, Jun Fukuyama, and Tomozaku Sugihita among others. It’s one of the biggest draw of the anime. It had a cast of strong voice actors that knows how to do handsome voices. It still sucked though but goddamn, what a cast!!
The anime has no OP. It has two ED sequences. The first one is an instrumental version of “Starry☆Days～inst ver.～” by eba. I really like this ED sequence because the guitar riffs is really amazing. Even if I don’t know the lyrics, the amazing instrumentals are enough to make me listen to it. The vocals are actually in the second ED. The same song but now with vocals is in the second ED. It’s “Starry☆Days～Vocal ver.～” by Hikaru Midorikawa, Kenichi Suzumura, and Jun Fukuyama. It’s sung by some of the characters and it’s pretty awesome. The singers really made the song doubly awesome but I also enjoyed the theme of chasing your dreams. It’s pretty great. The ED sequence for both of them is really just pictures of the characters. They are all introduced one by one so you have an idea of who will appear in episodes to come. In the second ED, the four groups are grouped together you can piece some of the episodes together to see how they relate to each other. It’s like a guide map when you have no idea what the hell is happening in the anime.
3/10 “A weak anime about hot dudes. That’s about it, really.”
This is another otome anime that really blows. There aren’t a lot of positives to keep you watching and it had so many flaws you can’t really enjoy it, even if you try. It’ll make you want to play the VN so just play the goddamn VN. This anime is very weak with so many negative elements not even the notion of thirteen hot dudes can’t save it.