Aug 29, 2023
If I was just ranking the 1st long episode I'd probably have scored this 1 point higher. This isn't to say that the rest of the show is bad, but the 1st episode is just such a good self-contained story. Everything is just so well set up where even throughout the happy normal moments you feel a sense of unease until it finally comes to a head with Ai's death. This perfectly sets up the main characters and their goals and motivations for the rest of the show. The change in Aqua's personality works so well because we saw how he was before the tragic event in his life. Because we know why he's so cynical it makes it feel less "edgy" in a bad way like so many other anime. I also appreciate how a tragedy actually feels tragic and it's not just used as a sad moment in one episode just for it to have no consequences later on. Many other shows will go for these sad moments that might make for individually good episodes, but ruin the lasting impact by being goofy for the rest of it. I'm not saying there's no comedy or lightheartedness in the rest of the show, but it's done well and doesn't diminish the past. The Akane Depression Arc also similarly treats a serious topic like depression and suicide with the respect it deserves. It sets up where those feelings come from well and really does a good job of making the hate Akane receives feel like a suffocating, crushing wave that drives her to a point where she feels she has no other options. The only criticism I have is that it feels like she gets over it too quickly and obviously that Aqua being there to save her is technically "cliché," but I don't really mind it for the sake of what they end up doing with her character.

The only 2 real criticisms I have is that the introduction of the acting school or whatever feels really pointless and basically fades from existence after introducing a few characters that I can only assume do something later in the story (because they didn't do anything in this season). The 2nd thing is that the storylines of Aqua and Ruby aren't really intertwined particularly well. There's a definite part of the story which is Aqua acting trying to get information on his father with Ruby sort of just doing nothing in the background to advance her goal of becoming an idol. Aqua basically just finds her a couple members until the end where we then switch to Ruby's part of the show where she trains to be an idol and eventually perform at JIF and Aqua and his goals are basically irrelevant. While it didn't really diminish my enjoyment too much, there was a vary obvious and jarring line where one character's part of the story ended and the other's started.

Overall quite a good show with banging music especially the OP. The eyes of all the characters especially Ai and Aqua/Ruby are absolutely beautiful, I'm glad they went extra detailed and just made them look like galaxies.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8
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