Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 2000% – Character Rankings and Series Review
My heart is broken. This show was delightfully campy right to the very end.
Who was the best character?
The results of the character poll from last week are in! Thank you to everyone who voted. Now it’s time to reveal just who was the best character. There were some tied places, but we had an uncontested winner here.
5th Place – Jinguji Ren
I didn’t expect this guy to score so low! I mean, how could anyone dislike that sexy Junichi Suwabe voice? Also I can’t hate anyone who plays the saxophone :(
Ren was really shortchanged this season. His individual episode barely even focused on him and was more about his brother and Haruka. Most of the time, he was in the background. I was always entertained by his cheesy flirting and Engrish, so I hoped to see this guy score higher, but alas.
4th Place – Shinomiya Natsuki and Hijirikawa Masato
In my humble opinion, Natsuki’s character design is butt ugly and I still mistake Masato for Tokiya to this day. I also can’t spell either of their last names properly and have to keep looking it up on Wikipedia before I type them down. Like, seriously, Masato’s name? Heejeery-what? How do you even pronounce that???
3rd Place – Aijima Cecil and Ittoki Otoya
Cecil is one of those guys who I would love to punch in the face. But actually I don’t want to admit that he kind of grew on me as the season progressed. In the end, his trollish behaviour amused me more than it pissed me off. He is still a twat, but I just laugh and roll my eyes at him instead of getting mad.
Otoya… I kind of like Otoya. His individual episode was really good this season. He’s got that kind of “boy next door” appeal to him. Out of all the UtaPri guys, I think he would make the best potential boyfriend. Like, he’s a nice guy. Good thing he didn’t finish last in this poll, then. The myth is a lie!
2nd Place – Kurusu Syo
The first thing I noticed about Syo is that he has a nice hat. I like people with nice hats. He also plays the violin. I like people who play the violin.
But best of all, Syo has Shimono Hiro’s voice and Shimono Hiro has a godly voice… for comedy. It’s hard to see anyone swooning over that voice, but okay. Whatever turns you on.
I also think, for practical purposes, Syo was the best-written character. His hilarious tsukkomi reactions really brought out the best in every situation and he was generally very good in moving scenes along. He got a fair amount of screen time in this way, so it’s no surprise he would score so high.
Personally speaking, he was my favourite character.
And as for the winner… it was really no contest:
1st Place – Ichinose Tokiya
Far and away, Tokiya had the best individual episode this season. He also underwent the most concentrated character development in the first season. He’s the undisputed Main Guy of this series and he’s really got the looks to support that.
To be honest, Tokiya won by a landslide. Almost half the voters picked him. I’m not sure to what extent this was because a lot of viewers were still riding from the good feelings of episode 11, so I’ll have to scrutinise some other popularity polls before I make that call. Regardless, Tokiya got some really good treatment this season and his romantic chemistry with Haruka strikes me as the sweetest and most genuine out of all the guys. A real heartthrob, I can understand the mentality of the people who picked him.
Also, he had Mamoru Miyano’s voice. On that merit alone, Tokiya is above all the other guys.
Well, it’s been huge fun talking about this series and getting into the heads of the fangirls who love this anime. I never talked much about the guys in this series and how cool they were, so I hope I made up for it here. I’m also sorry that I only picked this up halfway. It turns out blogging a series is an enriching experience and I think I enjoyed this series all the more for it, so I think I’ll continue picking out underexposed anime in the blogsphere like this and attempt to give them justice. A big thank you to everyone who reads my posts and supports me!
It’s sad to say goodbye to this series, but the time has come and there’s no getting around it. I figure in my final impressions I’ll do my best to articulate just what made this series so entertaining beyond my usual incoherent fanboying.
When I was first exposed to Uta no Prince-sama, the overwhelming flamboyancy and the stereotyped characters really turned me off the whole package. I don’t blame anyone, especially male viewers, for passing this anime up and not giving it a chance. Others have come to enjoy it by mocking the ridiculousness of it, and while to some extent I’ve used that kind of humour in my writing, I think in the end I was able to enjoy Uta no Prince-sama without subversion or irony.
How was I able to do this? What changed – me or the anime? I think to a large extent it was the former. I was able to sit back, relax and drink in the unique atmosphere in this anime – a mixture of straight-faced ludicrousness and flamboyant optimism – and while I never did come to like the music, that was never the most important thing for me. This show might be remembered as nothing but female otaku pandering, but for what it’s worth, it’s very well-delivered, well-polished pandering. While the males are portrayed in a very idealised, stylistic manner, it’s never low-brow or demeaning, and the story puts some emphasis on fleshing out their personalities to stand alone in their own right. Most importantly, I think this anime has a heart.
The idea behind this anime isn’t anything complex – it’s to bring happiness to the viewer through music. And if you approach it without too much cynicism weighing your mentality down, the anime easily succeeds in its basic intention. There’s a kind of fun to be had in watching other people have fun. Never once did I get the impression that the members of STARISH didn’t enjoy making music. I also think it’s pretty clear that the staff of this anime had just as much fun creating this too. The visuals are consistently creative and the voice acting was consistently enthusiastic and full of energy. I’ve always wondered how embarrassing it must be to be one of the male voice actors working on a show like this, but the all-star cast did a great job portraying their characters and singing their character songs. Without them, I don’t think I would have had as much fun as I ended up having. Uta no Prince-sama is a show greater than the sum of its parts.
I found myself enjoying this anime progressively more as my attitude towards the fujoshi fanservice became increasingly more liberal. By the end, I can honestly say it was one of my favourites of the season. That being said, when taken on its own, I believe Maji Love 2000% was a step down from the first season. It lacked clear focus and narrative direction, for a start. It introduced new plot points (the senpai being the most egregious example) only to ignore them in favour of replicating the story structure that made the first season so successful. It was a low-risk venture. But it still managed to retain the distinctive stylistic features that define Uta no Prince-sama as a franchise and I can’t see anyone who honestly enjoyed the first season being disenchanted after this installment.
All in all, Uta no Prince-sama is a good anime and one I would heartily recommend to female anime fans. I’d even go as far to say that it’s among the best of its kind. This was a series made with love and real affection for the genre and I can’t look down on this kind of product, “pandering” or not. It’s refreshing to watch an anime like this every once in a while, as unpretentious as it is.
I hope you had as much fun watching this anime as I did in watching it and blogging it. It was a real privilege. Best of luck to STARISH, whatever new heights they pursue.
1000% LOVE HEY!!!