Guys…if this concept were in reality and not just an anime, I think all my dreams would come true. To attend a school that would train you to be an idol while pairing you with someone who would write you the perfect song? And to be swimming in a sea of hot guys? God. What I wouldn’t give. I went to a performing arts college. I attended music school. Let me tell you, it did not compare to the perfection of Saotome High, the setting for Uta no Prince Sama. However, before I get into my gushing about how this concept is the best thing since Cadbury Eggs, let me tell you a little about the actual show.
Firstly, if you want to avoid inevitable spoilers for the entire series, skip past the first episode’s opening song and all the endings. Now, I don’t recommend this, simply because this is one of the greatest anime endings EVER (I know you think I say that a lot, but trust me, I don’t watch endings most of the time because they all suck, so if I mention that it’s good, then just trust me), but if you watch it where they placed it at the beginning of episode 1, it’s the most maximum level of foreshadowing you could possibly achieve.
Not to mention, it royally confused me, and I thought…
That the guys were in a boyband first and came to the school in secret to hide and get training…..spoiler. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll know why I said that.
You can all breathe now.
Anyway, so this girl with freakishly red hair and INSANE YELLOW EYES WITH NO PUPILS decides she has to take the entrance exam for this music school because she wants to write songs for her idol, HAYATO, (whose name, by the way, is almost always in all capital letters in the subtitles) because his voice saved her. However, she’s late because she had to help some little girl find her mom or something and the guards at the gate don’t want to let her in. Luckily, these two hot guys sweet talk them into letting her take the test, and when we jump to the first day of school, everybody’s in! Yellow Eyes is named Haruka, and there is nothing extraordinary about her. Seriously. She’s soft-spoken and that’s about it. Her roommate, Tomo, is a real knock out, and shockingly, no one pays much attention to her. Instead, this literal harem of boys is drawn to boring, whiny Haruka. They consist of:
- Otoya Iitoki, otherwise known as the red-haired dude. AKA the all-around nice guy. AKA the first one who gets to work with Haruka and “discovers” how great a composer she is. AKA the one who’s pretty awesome and one of two favorites.
- Masato Hijirikawa, otherwise known as the blue-haired dude. AKA the control freak. AKA the “super serious” one. AKA the one who you probably don’t want to be alone in a room with because he’s going to start talking about how totally jealous he is over you speaking to other guys and might just pull your hair and slam you against a wall.
- Ren Jinguuji, otherwise known as the blonde one with the long hair. AKA the playboy. AKA the guy all the girls want. AKA the one who thinks he created the sun and all his wishes should be granted because he’s just that awesome. AKA the one who really would push you against a wall just to get your attention.
- Natsuki Shinomiya, otherwise known as the other blonde one (but with glasses!). AKA the one who likes cute things. AKA the one who is in love with Syo….what? AKA the one who has the best image song. AKA THE ONE WHO IS FREAKING BI-POLAR AND IT IS GLORIOUS.
- Syo Kurusu, otherwise known as the other, other blonde one (but who usually wears a hat!). AKA the bad boy because he wears spiked bracelets and black nail polish. AKA the short, tiny one who gets picked on for his size. AKA the one who gets chased around a lot by his roommate….what? AKA my second favorite because, let’s be real, he’s adorable.
- Tokiya Ichinose, otherwise known as the…other blue-haired guy (or maybe it’s purple…close enough to blue that I couldn’t tell him and the other blue-haired dude apart for two episodes). AKA the one who claims to be a twin of Haruka’s HAYATO. AKA the one who doesn’t buy into her crap. AKA the “mysterious” one.
There’s also a seventh guy….but I’m not wrecking that surprise. BECAUSE IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND AND MAKE YOU WANT TO DIE AND THEN COME BACK TO LIFE AND THEN RE-LIVE IT AGAIN. You’ll see.
Anyway, Haruka’s pretty worthless. She somehow got into a music school and the composition program without knowing how to read music…and then she picks it up in a day. Literally. One day. I know that you can be a prodigy and play by ear (I know many of these super talented musicians) but not one of them has ever claimed to learn how to read and write sheet music IN ONE DAY. I wanted to poke out an eye when that happened. The first several episodes all center around one guy apiece, and they each have their own individual songs, which is pretty sweet for a typical, throw away harem anime. But the boys, they end up bringing out all this musical talent and confidence in our female protagonist, and she, therefore, brings out the passion for…music…in each one of them. I say music, because, well, people at this school are not allowed to date. We don’t know why. It’s never explained. So if you’re thinking this is going to be a pretty awesome romance, it’s not. At least until each student has to pick a buddy for the graduation audition: one singer for each composer. And if you don’t know where this is going, then you obviously need to watch more anime.
Uta no Prince Sama is a really cute show. It’s not ground-breaking or extraordinary, by any means, but the concept is pretty much what I wanted my life to be like when I went to music school, so I’m completely biased towards it. I watched the whole goddamned thing in two days. I mean…come on. It’s got a great soundtrack (apparently worthless Haruka can compose some good music after all…) and if you like music-themed anime, this is right up your alley. It actually reminds me an awful lot of one of my favorite shows, La Corda D’oro, which is pretty much the same thing but with classical music instead of idols and a female protagonist that people actually like, as opposed to want to punch in the face. If you swapped a couple things around and mashed up the two shows (and thrown in a bit of fuckery), you’d pretty much have my perfect anime. Though the plot goes nowhere, it’s four hours of your life where you’ll get a little bit of mindless enjoyment and we can all use that sometimes. Plus, the opening is pretty bad ass. I find something new each time I watch it.
You can currently watch most of the first season streaming on Crunchyroll, and there is a second season that’s currently airing. Sentai Filmworks has licensed both of them, and if they give it a shitty sub-only release like they did with La Corda D’oro heads are gonna roll. Just sayin’, Sentai. Just saying. Check it out and let me know what you thought, and maybe I’ll tell you what really happens in music school. Sadly, there was no Shining Saotome to give us a circus act at the entrance ceremony. We did, however, have an ice sculpture. Yeah…not as cool.
Image from fanpop.com