First Look: High School Star Musical

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Alternative titles: Star-Mu, STARMYU
Anime Original by C-Station
Streaming on Funimation

Premise

At Ayana Academy, a school focusing primarily on music, five new students are accepted into the Star Frame class. This class is taught directly by the members of a group called the Hanasakura-kai, which is made up of the most elite students of the musical department.

Artemis’ verdict: Not Sure If Laughably Silly, Or Just Painfully So

This has got to be the closest thing to an actual musical that I’ve ever seen from an anime. It’s also the most ridiculous anime title I’ve seen this season – and that’s including the opening episode of Young Black Jack, which should probably tell you just how overdramatic and silly High School Star Musical is. Also like Young Black Jack, I’m probably not supposed to treat the show as a comedy but ended up laughing all through the first episode anyway. The writing is so poor as to be pretty entertaining in its own right, the music itself is hilariously bad, and the lyrics are even more so. Upon making their grand entrance, the Hanasakura-kai literally burst into song and dance, while everyone else looks on in a mixture of awe and fangirlish adoration. Meanwhile, most of the new students not only take themselves ridiculously seriously but are also equipped with absurdly huge superiority complexes, which apparently render them completely incapable of civil conversation. We’ll forgive them of course, because Reasons. Probably angsty ones. In all honesty though, it’s difficult for me to imagine even the most dedicated bishounen fan being able to get through this without snickering. I don’t think I can quite bring myself to watch a second episode, but anyone looking for some easy laughs should at least watch the first – so long as they’re prepared to do a fair bit of wincing as well.

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Jel’s verdict: Needs More Sparkles

The easiest, laziest comparison I can make for this show is Love Live for the crowd that prefers pretty dudes over cute young girls. The characters are bland, indistinguishable from each other, and terrible singers. Then we have the plot which is just an arbitrary backdrop for them to occasionally break out in song and dance. Instead of being super gay though, they are all horrible people… OK and probably also super gay. That’s all well and good but I was kind of disappointed it wasn’t even more ridiculous than it already was. Spontaneous musical numbers aside, everything is played as straightforward as it says in the description, just boys singing and dancing at singing and dancing school. I would have liked to see some humor or self awareness injected into the proceedings, or make the premise absolutely bonkers like they are in space and the fate of humanity depends on their idol skillz. Instead, we only get pretty boys singing and dancing so if that’s what you want, enjoy.

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