Studio: A-1 Pictures
Premiere Date: 7/2
Review Date: 7/7
Genre: Reverse Harem
Adapted From: Video Game
Available via NicoNico.com
First Impression: I did not hate this as much as I thought I would.
In this reverse harem series, a girl named Haruka desperately wants to attend Saotome Academy so that she can become a composer for her favorite pop idols. When she’s late to the entrance exam, she almost never gets her chance until two beautiful bishounen appear and come to her rescue. After becoming a full student, Saotome and her best friend Shibuya begin to meet the very beautiful pop idol wannabes that begin to make up her world including the angsty Masato, the fun loving Otoya and someone who looks an awful lot like her favorite idol.
Let me say off the bat that I am usually the worst person to watch these types of series. While there are always exceptions, the reverse harem genre is generally anime kryptonite to me. So let that carry some weight with you when I say that this was not a terrible first episode. I’d even go so far as to say that I enjoyed it.
It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. On the artistic side, the females in this series all pale in comparison to their male counterparts. On one side, Haruka has shining golden eyes which look like they belong on a bug while Shibuya has a braid in her hair that looks like it’s just wrapped in a hair net and pinned back to nothing. Neither design are overly appealing but it’s nothing compared to the technical problem of watching this series on NicoNico.com. This was the slowest player that I’ve had to deal with in a very long time. It took a good few minutes for it to load the entire episode and you HAVE to load the entire episode or the buffering will absolutely kill whatever viewing experience you’re having.
Once you get past these issues however, Uta no Prince Sama is a fun series that isn’t afraid to make the audience laugh along the way. While the animation isn’t as sharp as I would prefer, the characters introduced go a long way towards keeping this series enjoyable. Every character introduced (and there are a lot of them this episode) has their own distinct personality which can generate a laugh in their own way. From the playful ones to the brooding ones, everyone is able to get a laugh even if it’s by favorably comparing Haruka to their family dog.
Just like with other harem series though, it’s impossible to watch this one and not pick out your favorites. As I watched this episode, I could feel myself comparing each of the new harem members as they appeared trying to sort out which ones I liked best and which ones I wanted to die in a fire. Luckily for them, everyone has made the cut so far.
As you’d expect from a series about music, there is an excessive amount of good background music playing throughout the episode. From very generic pop song opening to nice backgrounds, this is a good series to listen to for its music. The series creates a nice atmosphere with music that sounds like it could all easily be in an otome game.
With its off the wall sense of humor and attention grabbing characters, Uta no Prince sama is a surprising win in its premiere episode. A fun series that makes for good viewing, this is a first episode that even those who aren’t a fan of the genre can laugh at along the way.