Raki Kiseki is a second-year middle school student who transfers to Star Harmony Academy to become an idol. However, when she uses an Aikatsu Pass she received from her big sister (an Aikatsu engineer), something mysterious happens. Lots of doors appeared before her, and when she opens them, she meets Aikatsu idols she never knew before, such as Yume Nijino (Aikatsu Stars!). Raki vows to design her own premium dress and perform in it on stage.
#1: "Idol Katsudou! on Parade ver. (アイドル活動！オンパレード！ver.)" by Raki Kiseki (Rin Aira), Aine Yuuki (Akane Matsunaga), Mio Minato (Ibuki Kido) from BEST FRIENDS & Waka, Ruka, Sena (eps 1, 3-) #2: "So Beautiful Story" by Ruka and Sena (ep 2)
Oh, AiParade. I had such high hopes for you! (NOTE: This is an early review. If I don't drop it, which seems pretty likely, I'll update it later.)
STORY : 6
To be honest, I didn't expect much of a story from what is essentially a drawn-out All Stars series. What you see in the trailer is well and truly exactly what it ends up being. It's fine - just not particularly unique or engaging. I wish they'd used Wakaba,who needs a Friend, or had Raki/Lucky search for a Friend, but once again they're ignoring the lore of the series.
Sigh. They've literally taken songs from
previous series/seasons and had other characters/actors re-do them - or just repeated the literal original and pretended nobody would notice. Some re-dos go down better than others. I wish they'd actually remixed the songs to suit their new singers, and created a few brand-new songs, because if there's 50 episodes of re-living old favourites, I honestly don't see the point in watching when I can buy the CD or watch them in clips on youtube.
There's some gorgeous new dresses, Raki/Lucky is well designed, and the CGI had definitely improved. Unfortunately, there's been quite a few random mistakes in the 2D animation, like when Yume's hair was suddenly her S1 Stars style for no apparent reason. Still, they've done a good job of combining the different styles of each season, without it looking weird.
I mean, I can't say anything about the AllStars girls I haven't said already in other reviews, so I'll stick with exclusives and choices for now.
The lack of M4 is a sad, sad choice, along with a number of other wonderful background characters that have yet to appear (and seemingly won't.) Were the actors/actresses too busy for just one line? Could they not have re-used clips from previous seasons, like they have with the songs? It's just a bit disappointing - but then again, we're only fairly early in the season, so maybe they'll join in eventually.
The new character, Raki/Lucky is...excessively annoying. She's prone to literally repeating back what other characters said, to an extent even Aine can't compete with, and often says her 'lucky' catch phrase repeatedly. She's compulsive and brainless in a way that's less cute airhead, more intentionally ignorant. I'm not a fan.