Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions
by Rebecca Silverman,
Haruka has (apparently) outdone herself – the song she wrote for Quartet Night is, according the musical standards of her world, amazing. Now Quartet Night is threatening to steal the creepy-eyed composer for themselves. This throws Starish, already upset because they haven't gotten the okay to try out for Triple S, into a bona fide panic, made worse by the fact that Haruka stayed behind at the retreat and Reiji won't tell them why! Cue over half an episode of the boys thinking about how much they adore Haruka before they go charging off to win her back – with a song!
This show was so much easier to watch when it had Nico Nico comments.
If we put aside for a moment the fact that Haruka's compositions are only good in-world, this is actually a decent episode that really drives home how much Starish cares for her. She didn't just launch their careers, she brought them together in the first place, and she's been there with them every step of the way. Even if they didn't all have romantic feelings for her (which, when you think about it, must be kind of awkward if they ever acknowledge it), she's been a steadfast support from day one, and in some ways is as much a part of the group as any one of the boys. In that sense, the idea of Quartet Night stealing her away must be pretty upsetting, if not downright scary. Of course, really only Reiji seems to want to actually steal her; the other guys just appear to be going along with him, but that doesn't mean that they won't use these last couple of episodes to try.
Most of this episode is focused on Starish fretting over Haruka's absence, although the beginning spends a fair amount of time on how apparently amazing the song she wrote for Quartet Night is. (Am I missing something there...?) If the facial expressions of those who read the sheet music for her Starish song at the end are anything to go by, that song must be even more astounding, and since I would put money on it being the ending theme, at this point we viewers can decide for ourselves which piece is better. (Tell us in the forum!) And it is clear that Starish really labors over the lyrics for it, with one of the cutest scenes being at the end when Ringo walking in on all of them slumped over asleep after a hard night of composing. All of them except Cecil, who sleeps curled up like a cat, are going to have some stiff backs, but there's something sweet and a little charming about how hard they've been working. It's a vulnerability that we haven't seen in a while, and to a degree that's also present in their worry about getting Haruka back.
Less wonderful is the fact that the characters are consistently off-model (check out Syo's hips in the screencap) and that what feels like a lot of the dialogue is just everyone repeating the same word or sound one after another – there are almost two straight minutes of Starish gasping in turn while they run. Shining Saotome steals the show with his loud breathing (although some nostril-flaring would have been a good touch) and laser-shooting sunglasses, but otherwise this is not the most interesting episode in dialogue or visuals.
UtaPri is chugging towards its finale, and hopefully the final episode(s) will bring a bit more to the table than this one. But no one can say that even in this fairly lackluster offering the show doesn't deliver: Haruka has her harem of beautiful young men who would go to the ends of the earth to find her and sing to her, plus two bands fighting for her favor. And since most of us aren't watching this for the exquisitely crafted plot, it feels safe to say that the show is still delivering what it promised.
Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Rebecca Silverman is ANN's senior manga critic.
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