Ensemble Stars! is a series I’ve dabbled with over the years. A male-centric idol series that started off way back in 2015 as a spin off of the now defunct Ensemble Girls it became wildly popular in comparison. You are a transfer student at Yumenosaki academy to produce a group of idols to stardom. It had a ton of fun character designs and a bunch of interesting stories, but I never quite got into it the way other fans did.
Way back when the original app was for lack of a better term a point and click game. You tapped the screen and scouted for cards. It had the usual events where you rank for a pretty five-star card like all the other idol games, though it lacked a rhythm element that would make the series truly engaging to me. It got an anime in due time after being delayed for what felt like forever. As the series grew and began to release more music and merchandise, it was inevitable they would cash in on the rhythm game trend at some point in time.
Now in 2020 the game is split into two different apps- the “basic” app where you play the old game and tap on the screen, and the “music” app where you tap notes to music ala every other mobile idol game out there. Today I finally decided to download Ensemble Stars!! (with two exclamation points!! don’t forget it!) Music.
I’m no stranger to Hatsune Miku and most likely you aren’t either. Let’s get right to it- how does Project Diva Mega Mix on the switch stack up?
Released in February for Japan and May in the US of this year, Project Diva Mega Mix serves as a compilation for the series. It plays more akin to the arcade style releases (Future Tone on the PS4, the arcade game itself) with directional sliders and hold notes over the traditional handheld games with chance times and star notes. If you’ve played Future Tone on the PS4 without a doubt you’ve seen a ton of the content this game has to offer aside from the ten new songs added.
After taking a break from writing as much about anime for a bit, I’m back! Besides, being stuck inside most of the time means I should definitely catch up on a few shows on my backlog, right?
I decided to do a split- a few new shows in addition to shows I vaguely remember from years ago. That’s right. We’re going way back today including a few good and bad things about each show.
Rozen Maiden (2004) (Fantasy – 12 Episodes [first season])
Rozen Maiden centers around a boy who doesn’t leave his house named Jun who ends up with a doll that comes to life after making a hobby of ordering random, possibly paranormal junk online and returning it for a laugh. He ends up with a doll named Shinku who is tied into a fight to become the ultimate (sentient) doll in a battle against six others dubbed the Alice Game.
One of the first things that got me into anime was the medium’s ability to tell unique stories. By this point in my life I had my fill of middle-school esque dystopian stories and vampire romances. Manga itself opened me up to different adventures, fantasies, and even psychological tales that my young mind was absolutely amazed by. I didn’t understand why it was so hard to find these “backwards books” as my mom called them since they had so many stories to tell. When I couldn’t find anything new I turned to an early internet to search for series to read online and discovered many of the stories I read had anime adaptations, Rozen Maiden being one of them.
I put off watching Children of the Whales for the longest time. I even started the show twice before I could get with it. It was so pretty- the animation was soft, the pastel colors brought the entire thing to life.
Just mention a pretty, colorful show and I’m on it.
Children of the Whales follows the lives of the marked people of the Mud Whale, which pretty much means they die young but have cool powers akin to telekinesis (called Thymia). There are unmarked people who grow old, but there aren’t a ton of them so a majority of the population is made up of children. One of the unmarked is the mayor, and the rest of the unmarked form a council to make decisions for the society around them. The marked aren’t on the council since they don’t live that long, so the unmarked make choices for them having more experience. The ship they live on is called the Mud Whale which goes wherever it pleases in a sea of sand.
Now you might look at the summary and go “Wow, what a neat concept!.” Buckle up. This article includes plot spoilers, however this show is a tragedy so brace yourself.