Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions
by Rebecca Silverman,
Going into this final episode, I already knew that there would be a fourth season. What I did not expect was that this season would fail to actually wrap up its plot of who gets to sing at the Triple S. Granted, this is due to a last-minute revelation (which is assuredly not a revolution), but for UtaPri to end on a cliffhanger is pretty unprecedented. Does it speak to a fourth season that will involve more actual plot for our beautiful boy singers? We can only hope.
This, sadly, is not the strongest episode pre-plot twist. After re-hashing the Quartet Night song, by which I mean replaying it with bonus audience footage, Starish analyzes the fact that their upperclassmen are singing about evolving rather than revolting, giving us a conversation that sounds lifted from a high school English class. The merits of “evolution” versus “revolution” thus debated, there's an obligatory meeting before Starish goes on stage and performs the series ending theme. Whether you love the song or are vaguely embarrassed by it, this is absolutely the best rendition of “Maji Love Revolutions,” not only giving us the lyrics, but also using the full screen and showing the entire thing. When the dancing isn't done in CG, it is a return to the old standards that helped this franchise stand out in the first place, with fluid movements drawn to show that everyone moves at a slightly different tempo. This makes it even more disappointing to see the group choreography done in clunky computer graphics, and I hope that doesn't rear its head in the promised fourth season.
All of that said, it is difficult to argue that UtaPri doesn't deliver the rest of what it promises. Everyone in each band gets to speak at least one line with the camera focused solely on them, the songs are catchy, and the show is cheesy enough to make the world's best macaroni and cheese. This episode features what feels like bonus commentary from Shining Saotome as he stands (inexplicably, but the guy really beggars explanation) on top of a tower with lightening randomly shooting off around him. Both this and the fact that judges are literally blown over by the surprise twist help to add a little conscious absurdity to the proceedings, which it really needs to cut the cheese factor. It also gives a tantalizing hint that this franchise has a sense of humor about itself, which, if it acted on it a bit, could be a lot of fun.
While the ending isn't exactly conclusive, it is at least different from the previous ones in that Starish does not secure an immediate victory. This gives the franchise an organic way to introduce more suitors for Haruka while also providing a viable way for everyone to compete for her heart. Frustrating as this ending is, there's still something to be said for all of that.
But if the next season has “evolution” in the title, I'm gonna scream.
Revolution Count: 23
Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Rebecca Silverman is ANN's senior manga critic.
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