Uta no Prince-sama is the only show this season that’s aware of its qualities, or lack thereof, but plays them for all they’ve got. For every instance of clichéd motives, cheesy banter, and sparkling bishounen, you get a cross-dressing teacher and a statue of Johnny Cage stealing a harp from a cherub while holding a phallic object of undetermined origin. It’s most likely a microphone, but that takes the fun out of speculation.
Our protagonist, a Village of the Damned reject named Haruka Nanami who has yellow eyes that peer into your very soul, has enrolled in Reverse Harem Tech; in this case represented by a music school meant to foster idols and composers. Before she can properly enroll though, she almost doesn’t make it. Because she was late helping a lost child, she’s stopped at the front gate before the entrance exam and only pardoned by an opportune encounter with a student who shows up in a limo.
He explains her predicament to the gatekeepers and they let her in. Alas, the entrance exam doesn’t go well and she’s forced to seek her education in a public high school… or at least that’s how I think it’d be for a nice subversion. Surprise surprise, she gets in and is surrounded on all sides by sparkling bishounen and noticeably drab girls. The headmaster’s also as flamboyant as they come, one of her teachers is an obvious cross-dresser, contrary to what Haruka’s friend says, and every male begins subtly (Running up and practically proposing to her then and there) showing interest in her.
While unpacking her belongings, she hangs a poster up of her favorite idol. Her roommate questions it, which leads to Haruka going on a long tirade about how he gave her hope through his music; she idolizes him for that, how she wants to meet him, etc. Soon after, a cat steals a handkerchief of hers and leads her outside where she meets up with somebody resembling said idol, but claims to not be him. And the episode ends on a mystery, aren’t you thrilled?
Words cannot express how unbelievably bad this show is. However, it doesn’t seem like they take it seriously at all. It completely averts the Sacred Seven problem of having stuff bordering on ridiculous, and not knowing what mood to assume. It’s because of this knowledge of possible campy situations inherent in the concept and playing them for all they’ve got that it crosses the line from Bad to So Bad It’s Good.
Words also have trouble expressing how generic the plot is. If you’ve seen any shoujo anime or read any shoujo manga, you’ll have an idea what to expect here. They don’t even bother going with a gimmick, they just take the same old reverse harem plot, refurbish it, and set it in a school for music. It has the originality of saltines drenched in wallpaper paste, and goes down the gullet about as well.
The same goes for the characters. There’s simply nothing here you haven’t seen before, done much better. You know that she’s going to end up with the guy who saved her from being kicked out of the academy preemptively, or at the very least tease toward it the most. Every other guy is going to get needless development to their already bland personalities, and it just won’t get better from there.
Animation-wise, everything’s good except THOSE EYES.
Voicing’s fine, no real standout performances. Music’s standard Japanese boy band fare, meaning that I was reaching for some death metal to counterattack by the end of the first two minutes.
Once again, what saves this series from the scrapheap is its knowledge of just how bad it is, shaking what the director gave it. It doesn’t have many assets, but it’s utilized them splendidly thus far. This is the sole reason why I didn’t drop it halfway through, and why I’ll try to see this through as much as possible. If things keep up as they are, this’ll prove to be a good enough horrible watch to balance out the deplorable horrible watches that’ve populated the season thus far.
If you’re looking for some knowingly bad fun romp through Reverse Harem Land, this is pretty much your only offering for the season, so either watch it or don’t. Either way, I won’t judge.