The anime's story will start where the third season left off, at the competition for who will open the Triple S international sporting event. Raging Entertainment's HE★VENS idol group had hijacked the competition between QUARTET NIGHT and ST☆RISH, causing chaos. However, after the QUARTET NIGHT members suggest a certain idea, the three groups aim toward a new stage, with HE★VENS swearing to get their revenge on the other two groups.
Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Legend Star is the fourth season of the long continued UtaPri anime series. When it was first announced in the end of the third season I already was scared how bad this season was going to get as the third season was the biggest disappointment for me. For my surprise I actually liked this season a lot more than the previous one.
The story starts where the third season was left off but immediately I noticed how much I enjoyed the first episode a lot more than the whole plot line of the third season. There isn't anything new, but
it felt like the corny writing from the second season was back what I had missed since the third season just felt boring and lacking in story telling.
Even though it's still having the same formula of being one boy/one episode (or in this case 2 boys while counting Heavens members in) the writing isn't bad at all for series such as this: it is not in any case even trying to be a master piece.
I'm really glad they took plot points from the games; I'm especially happy how they handled Otoya and Natsuki, but what I am still missing is the whole deal with Syo's condition from the games. I know the anime version is supposed to be a lot more light hearted than its game equivalents, but seeing how they handled the episodes with Otoya in it quite well makes me want to see all that angst from Syo's, and other character's routes, to be animated too.
Despite this I consider this season's story rather good.
I have always liked UtaPri's art style, but since season 3 I have noticed a slight drop in quality. It's not that distracting as in some other series and there is once again lots of improvement from the previous season, but in some episodes it can get quite bad. Also the cgi in the performances can take time to get used to at first. While not being the worst, the cgi modules look rather clean and are only used in shots far away, it's still quite noticeable.
There are a lot of positives too. Like mentioned, I have always liked the art style and there isn't any changes in it from season one which is a good thing. The colors and backgrounds are nice especially during the songs. The character designs still look good and I quite also like the designs of the new Heavens members. The animation is also solid, nothing spectacular but I don't really have anything to complain about it either.
As it being mostly a music based anime, the songs play a big part in the whole enjoyment. While not being my favorite season music wise, all the songs are really good and I always looked forward to them in every single episode.
The opening and ending are both really high quality and especially the ending is proven to be an earworm as its predecessors from previous seasons.
The voice acting is on point once again with all the old cast returning. I really liked the voice acting for the new Heavens characters as well.
The Starish members are all given more time to improve their own plots though some having purely filler based, but still enjoyable, respective episodes. The ones that stood out the most from the old characters were Otoya and Natsuki, them having the most development in their characters than others. The Heavens members also got nicely development in their character arcs though the show still mainly focuses on Starish.
The ones that felt lacking were Quartet Night, them leaving mainly in the background, and the so-called main character of the series Haruka Nanami. I'm hoping the future anime adaptation(s) will fix this since there is lots of depth to the Quartet Night characters that hasn't been shown yet and now that the anime series is starting to take plot points from the games I'm hoping they do the same with QN.
This season made me have hope for the future of UtaPri's anime adaptation (as in the new anime project has been announced) as it was in my opinion quite enjoyable and an improvement from the previous season.
There were still some episodes that felt dragging from others and some felt just purely rushed, but in the end it was a good season. The finale wasn't anything amazing, but it made me realize how much I actually care about this series and I am happy that it will still continue, be it another season or an ova.
As for someone who has been with this franchise since the first game I'm happy I watched this. After the third season I was actually quite reluctant to even start this season, but it surprised be in a good way and was actually one of the only series this cour that I never even considered dropping.
It's not anything great and still has lots to improve, but if you have seen all the previous seasons I'm sure you'll like this one too as it continues with the same pattern and you'll get to know the guys' backgrounds more.
I'm looking forward of seeing more UtaPri in the future.
As the fourth season of the anime, this season continues where it left off in season 3 and focuses more on the background story of each STARISH members as well as their interaction with HEAVENS. In season 3, we see STARISH cooperated with QUARTET NIGHT to make music while here, we will see STARISH cooperating with HEAVENS to make music as well. The concept might not be totally new but it's still entertaining and enjoyable.
While many people were disappointed about the minimal romance between Haruka Nanami and STARISH as compared to the previous seasons, I still enjoyed the show greatly and think that it is
actually a good switch of focus in the plot so that the audience will not be overwhelmed by the romance between Haruka and her harem. (like 7 or 18 people if you include HEAVENS and QUARTET NIGHT) Rest assure, there are still cute interactions between her and the boys, and her existence is still greatly relevant to the whole plot.
Art + Music:
Uta no Prince-sama has never once let me down in their art and music. I have seen a great improvement in animation and the effort in trying to bring in 3D animation in the part where the groups danced on the stage. Their music, including the opening, is lovely as always. Whether it's QUARTET NIGHT or HEAVENS, their music has also gotten more exciting and amazing.
I especially love STARISHs new song that they used to compete in the competition. While it sounds fresh to the ears, it also gives off the nostalgic vibe that fans and viewers can relate to from the theme songs that STARISH sang in the previous seasons. (It actually gives me chills 'cause it's really good).
I do not think this season will disappoint any uta no prince-sama fan, especially if you are looking forward to more pleasant melodies to heal your heart or more character's development and background story. So give it a shot, sit back and enjoy the show till the end. ^^
Uta no Prince-sama, Maji Love Legend Star; the fourth season in the series. One of the better seasons in my opinion. It took a different turn in the plot despite taking off from where season 3 left off. I've made a TL;TR of cons and pros at the bottom for lazy people.
As the series focuses mainly on music and hot guys in matching outfits, there ain't much "deepness" to the story, which the viewers might have realised since the previous three seasons.
Despite a few awkward quality slips, the art is still amazing. The details and shadows are spot on. Where the quality slips occour is
mostly during walking scenes where the characters have gigantic upper bodies and stickman legs that bend up and down to give the illusion of a character walking(Which is just hilarious and many great memes can be made out of it, so I can't even be mad about it) and shots where the characters are far away tend to give quality slips on the mouth movements but nothing too noticable.
Since it is an anime about music, the music is obviously tip top, the music has also been upgraded a lot since the first seasons. Additional sound-wise, there are a few times the background music almost drowns the speech which I have only experienced in the fourth season. For the voices, I'm personally a big fan of the seiyuus/voice actors, so I can not say anything negative about that.
In this season, the series goes a bit deeper compared to the first seasons. What I mean by this is that in the first season we got to know the characters by names and personalities while in this season, we were introduced to the characters backgrounds/backstories where some were somewhat deeper than others. However, what frustrates me is that they only get, what, less than one episode each to develop if they even developed at all, and since season 4 has 18 idols that all need their own screentime to shine, it has more become a big mess of characters to keep track of(However, although not all of them developed, some of them certainly did). The STARISH boys will however still be my favourites as I've had the previous 3 seasons to become attached to them.
There is a lot of humour going on in the first bit of this season(Episode 1 oh my goodness) with funny simple lines(Episode 3 *cough* banana *cough*) which makes it fun to watch, then there is the deeper stuff towards the end which makes it interesting to watch. I certainly enjoyed watching this season as much as the first season.
Now for the short pros and cons:
- Character development(For certain characters).
- Good music.
- Bonding moments between the groups.
- Still no romance(Not that I am expecting it to ever happen at this point).
- Too many characters to keep track of(18 bishounen idols y'all)
- HEAVENS is a poor copy of STARISH.
Overall I can really recommend people watching this season!
Sooo plot-wise it isn't anything deep or hard to undestand like "D.Gray-Man" for example but this is an otome game turned anime so we have to keep in mind that no Uta no Prince-sama series can dive down the proverbial 'story slash rabbit' hole because it's main purpose is and will always be to promote the games and reel in the fans with the bishies.
However for a game turned anime, I have to confess that they have done an unbelievably enjoyable creation that not only gives you a good feel of the characters without giving away too much but also managed to mesh the
characters from the different routes into very cohesive and interesting units. Which is one of the MOST important aspects to consider when tackling this particular type of an anime. If we take the anime "Amnesia" as one example, another otome game with an anime, we get the feeling that the storyline is all over the place with different scenes from the characters routes overtaking the episodes and disabling us from getting a good grasp on them. It has some merit points of course, as I have enjoyed it's high rate art style and extraordinary in my opinion opening song, which I love a lot, but for the life of me I just could not get a good understanding of the male characters no matter how hard I tried and thus the anime lost its main purpose - to make the watchers interested in the game. Somehow it was still better than the disaster that was "Diabolik Lovers", whose only redeeming point was the intriguing colour pallete for the characters that slowly turned into my favourite and the opening song. If they had incorporated more of the game plot and explained things, instead of just pushing on with the blood sucking scenes as its main 'priority', I believe it would have turned out a bit more decent than just eye candy and a treat to its hardcore game fans. I mostly gained interest in the games from their songs, wiki information and fan reviews than the anime, which had almost no purpose. I could go on with this but I rambled off topic long enough.
The Utapri series as a whole and not just this particular season have achieved their main purpose but done it in such a way that the anime has managed to stand almost next to the game, as if with its own entity. The males aren't all over the main heroine nonstop and she has a set goal that she doesn't stray from, which creates more room for development unlike with every other harem anime I've seen up till now be it a normal harem or a reverse one. It gets sickening and annoying after a while so I am very happy to announce that the romance in this series gets less and isn't overbearing at all. Cheers to the creators!! I apploud you for managing that near impossible feat! And the refreshing new concept completely seperate from the stand alone routes that is STARISH brought out a whole new prospect for development that both game fans and non game fans can enjoy without confusing the audience in any way, shape or form. The characters are fleshed out just enough to make us interested in them without giving away their route information. The voice actors are all complimenting the characters and just doing a wonderful job, they always have strong and vivid openings, whereas the endings promote the final song and every song throughout the episodes is built up on in its personal episode, making it even better. The plot is light and different from the game, avoiding the confusion caused by combining all routes and in general promotes the games leaving everybody happy.
As a side note, every season had its own set goal to reach at the end and now that everything important has been introducen or at least pointed out, there might be more focus put on the development of or between the characters, while dishing out equally great song that cater moslty to the set pop criteria of the series. After all, the three groups have been fully introduced, along with the academy and the master course so now there is a lot of room for development. The first season will always remain the best plot-wise as it brought out the main aspects of the anime along with just being the first season of a great series but I believe that each season has its own set goal at the finish line and has achieved the point it wanted to get across - such as introducing the aformentioned groups and main aspects, whilst still being a great season on its own. Of course the heroine is bland for the most part but again for the thousand time this is an anime from a game so she HAS to be like that. It's a set standart for these types of animes simply so that every male character can somehow fit with her. I honestly have no complaints on any season so far.
On a personal note, skip it if you wish, this series has been able to pull me out of my depression a couple times and it was what brought Miyano Mamoru to light for me. His songs as Ichinose Tokiya left me wanting more songs with his voice and now I have a decently packed playlist saved on Youtube, which is getting deleted all the time to my heartfelt rage. And if by some miracle the creators of the Uta no Prince-sama games are actually reading my review then heed my plea and translate at least one of your games in english already. It's been years and Diabolik Lovers came out after your games if I am not mistaken but they have two of their games already translated (and I am set on buying the first one to finally understand the plot as it interests me and the anime was a near complete zero). I'm not alone in this either. Many wish to buy them if they ever get an english release. Unfortunately Japanese is not taught at schools on a general principle, very few do so and everybody has their own wall preventing them from being able to start learning the language.
I give my thank you to anyone who read this long ass review but I needed to get it off my chest ^.^'