Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions
by Rebecca Silverman,
Not only has UtaPri gone back to its root plot of figuring out who is going to perform at the amazing Super S festival (which seems an odd word choice for what is clearly meant to represent the Olympic Games), but it's also gone back to saying the world “revolution” a lot, both in English and in Japanese (kakumei). By my count, there are 18 utterances of this season's key word, fourteen of them within the first seven minutes. You can do the math, but that's enough repetition to make a writing teacher weep. (I'm not, of course. I have allergies.) All of this is, naturally, central to Shining Saotome's plan to...um...revolutionize both Starish and Quartet Night? Get a group from his agency to perform in a prestigious venue? Exploit Haruka's talent? Come to think of it, he hasn't been all that clear on why he's so keen on revolutions, although we can make the guess that until the guys (and Haruka) stand up to him, they'll never fully come into their own.
While that may not entirely happen here, we certainly do see both groups working harder than they have before. This is especially true of Quartet Night – at one point Reiji remarks to Camus that he's never seen him practice so hard as to actually break a sweat before. That, combined with the fact that they leave the dorms, really speaks to the drive that Quartet Night has to beat Starish and snag the nomination. In all honesty it can't have been easy for them to know that they had been chosen by Saotome to audition but have people clamoring for Starish to do it instead, both on social media and in the streets. They were proud of the song Haruka wrote for them, and when they realize that the one she wrote for Starish might be better, they throw themselves into working on perfecting their own number, even having some of the music rearranged. These established idols absolutely see Starish as a threat, and despite only really liking one of the members, I find myself hoping that Quartet Night at least gets to share the chance to perform with Starish.
Unlike the majority of the episodes this season, we do see an actual performance this week: Quartet Night's newly arranged song. This is back in good old UtaPri style, with flashing lights and non-CG dancing. While the choreography isn't terribly exciting or innovative, parts of it are really nicely animated, particularly their hands. The choreography also looks feasible for someone who is both singing and dancing at once, which earns it points in my book. The song itself still is kind of bad, but given what passes for “amazing” in this show, I can forgive them.
The episode ends before we get to see Starish's performance, which will presumably be the regular ending theme, but the tension is building. At one point this week we see Quartet Night and Starish pass each other in the hallway, and I really expected to hear samurai drama music or for all of them to fall over dead, slashed by a blade to fast to see. This made Quartet Night's smiles for Haruka before their performance both a relief and somewhat touching; the same can be said, albeit in a different context, for seeing the kids from the daycare Otoya worked at during the second season in the audience.
UtaPri's third season is almost over. Which gorgeous group of guys will sing and dance their way into performing at the fake Olympics? I think it's a credit to this episode that I'm hoping for a tie.
Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Rebecca Silverman is ANN's senior manga critic.
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