Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions
by Rebecca Silverman,
With not too many episodes left in this candy-colored reverse harem, it's time for UtaPri to actually get back to that pesky main plot – the upcoming Triple S. With Starish still not approved for entry (I give that about one more episode before either Saotome gives in or the guys launch some sort of plan), Haruka is sent on a retreat with Quartet Night so that she and the four handsome young men can come up with a Triple S winning song. Meanwhile, Starish's popularity is skyrocketing, and the opening scene suggests that this is making Quartet Night a little bit nervous. Starish, on the other hand, seems more upset that their little laser-eyed love is spending too much time with Quartet Night; presumably they're worried that the other group is going to steal their composer away along with more personal, warmer feelings.
But who cares about that? Let's just fill this episode with rotating shots of Quartet Night's faces (with the occasional glimpse of Haruka making her typical “stunned” face) while the guys take turns randomly appearing on the porch where Haruka is working before saying something deep (for this show) and sauntering off down the same path. UtaPri has rarely felt so much like a game adaptation than in this episode, particularly in the porch scene, which is as artificial as it gets. We can buy that Haruka has some sort of preternatural composing talent and even that multiple hot guys are crazy about her because those are fairly common genre conventions, not just in reverse harems or otome games, but in romance in general. But the regular flow of guys on the porch, all of whom do basically the exact same thing, is a little harder to swallow. I suppose what's really going on here is that UtaPri reached a bit of a breaking point this week, relying solely on gameplay to drive the episode rather than focusing on any one character or even as much on the challenge before Quartet Night and Haruka as they could have. Had this episode followed a pattern more similar to Masato and Tokiya trying to work together, it might have been more interesting.
That aside, if you prefer Quartet Night to Starish, this is definitely going to be your episode, plot notwithstanding. While Starish does make an appearance early on, the primary focus of the episode is Quartet Night's guys acting like themselves: Camus is snooty and suave, Reiji is perky and kind, Ai-chan is robotic, and Kurosaki just wants to do his rocker thing. If you formed an attachment to any of these personalities during their episodes, this is your chance to revisit them. It does feel like there's a bit more of a focus on Reiji than the other three, although that could simply be the result of Haruka appearing to be a little more comfortable with him than with the others. There's a also a bit less that can be done with the others' personalities in a group setting, as none of them are really team players.
UtaPri really reminds us of its roots as an otome game this week, and while that's not strictly a bad thing, it also doesn't make for a particularly exciting episode. If you're just watching for the song (decent) and to look at the guys, you'll have a much better time than if you're looking for the plot to be interesting. But if you've gotten spoiled by the previous episodes' attempts to work with the characters' personalities, this one is likely to be a bit of a let-down. Hopefully Saotome will do something outrageous next week or Starish will launch an amazing campaign to be allowed to join the Triple S competition. At least the odds of one of those things are good, given that time is definitely running out for this show to find a conclusion.
Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Rebecca Silverman is ANN's senior manga critic.
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