If you didn’t snort in laughter when you saw the above image, clearly you have not sense of humor.
Oh, Uta no Prince-sama. A series I have much-maligned over its second half and its rapid descent into awful. And you were so promising to begin with, what with your refusal to be wholly serious about your absurd plot! But, well, you just couldn’t keep it up: your scrunched your haremettes to one episode apiece, and just look at what happened. You couldn’t keep that steam engine a-running.
Let us look at how you turned out:
- Episode One: Introductions
- Episode Two: Annoying Red-Head (who didn’t have a problem that needed solving)
- Episode Three: Argyle Sweater has a bad relationship with his dad; Fish Eyes solves his neuroses
- Episode Four: Bill Clinton
wants to fuck Argyle Sweateralso has a problem with his dad; Fish Eyes also solves his neuroses
- Episode Five: Wannabe Punk is afraid of heights; Fish Eyes makes him feel better
- Episode Six: Psycho Glasses has a split-personality; his problem isn’t resolved, they just put his glasses back on to suppress his ass-hole half
- Episode Seven: not/Hayato-sama angsts about his career
- Episode Eight: beach episode! and the cat is a guy! and he’s hot! Fish Eyes yells desperate things at not/Hayato-sama! LSD trips all around! SHINING SAOTOME in a loincloth!
- Episode Nine: everyone wants Fish Eyes… for their graduation audition; cue Fish Eyes freak-out
- Episode Ten: don’t worry if you can’t decide, you can have them all! and some complicating factors arise, uguu~
- Episode Eleven: not/Hayato-sama makes sadface, someone has a heart-attack, everyone gets mad at him
- Episode Twelve: everybody hurts… mostly. but it gets fixed. mostly.
- Episode Thirteen: Fish Eyes flies the coop, gets her shit together… epic concert happens!!!
So it all went downhill when A-1 decided to start clubbing us over the head with angst from the least-compelling member of the cast (which is really saying something when you consider the entire cast). However, this was inevitable with A-1’s initial decision to allot one episode per haremette, as at most that soaks up seven episodes, eight if you limit the first episode purely to introducing characters and setting. Eight episodes does not a half-season make.
Of course, it also hurt the show severely to devote several episodes to sad not/Hayato-sama in the rain and then go with harem end. I would’ve been more willing to accept straight-up not/Hayato-sama has issues, Fish Eyes has issues, they have issues together for a couple episodes, although I wouldn’t’ve been thrilled by it. But to spend as much time on him as the anime did yet give an ambiguous ending was positively maddening.
But, I digress. I want to talk about making the show good, which it was for the first half.
Alright, thirteen episodes. Need a half-season’s worth. Proposal!:
- Episode One: Introductions
- Episode Two: Annoying Red-Head
- Episode Three: Argyle Sweater and Bill Clinton both have daddy issues, which in turn affect their personal drives, and relationship with each other as friends/room-mates/rivals – this problem is introduced, and Fish Eyes becomes aware of it
- Episode Four: the continuing issues of Argyle Sweater and Bill Clinton; Fish Eyes helps resolve their interpersonal conflict after some resistance from both parties, rivalry remains but they don’t hate each other
- Episode Five: Wannabe Punk is still afraid of heights; this episode just stays the same, i.e. hysterical
- Episode Six: Psycho Glasses’s split personality issue is introduced; Fish Eyes still jams his glasses back on for a temporary fix
- Episode Seven: …however, its acknowledged that this isn’t actually solving the problem; background of problem is actually explored, Psycho Glasses realizes there actually IS a problem, and Fish Eyes helps him start working toward a solution
- Episode Eight: furry pseudo-Arab prince gets a full episode! Fish Eyes still wonders if it was all just a dream, but it is a full episode and not jammed in between other storylines; lots of dumb stuff happens
- Episode Nine: Annoying Red-Head pops back in again, but this time he has an issue! his little sister/brother/mother is hospitalized, and he guilts over leaving them at home when he knew they had bad health! he loses his passion, and Fish Eyes helps him rediscover it
- Episode Ten: Trap-sensei doubts his teaching skills as he watches S Class flourish and his own mostly falter; Fish Eyes catches him in a moment of doubt, worries about it, and harem antics ensue
- Episode Eleven: moment of rest; a day in the life of SHINING SAOTOME
- Episode Twelve: not/Hayato-sama’s problems come to the fore; angst angst angst! Fish Eyes is aware of the issues, but lingers watching from afar, still too entranced with him to get involved yet; the graduation audition lingers in the background
- Episode Thirteen: not/Hayato-sama makes more uguuface, Fish Eyes makes a desperate plea for him to not give up, there’s crying, they pair up for the graduation audition, and Fish Eyes ends up with not/Hayato-sama; epilogue bit shows the cast starting off in the idol business
See? There; I fixed it!
Also, in related news, Uta no Prince-sama’s first DVD is topping the anime sales chart in Japan, having surpassed the next-best-seller by two thousand units. It’s Blu-Ray and DVD sales combined for the first week are about twenty-thousand. Don’t be shocked if we see a second season, or at the very least an OVA release.