Tomoaki MaenoRyotaro OkiayuYuma UchidaKengo Takanashi
High School Star Musical: Season 2
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2017: H
Also known as: Star-Myu: Season 2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Director: Shunsuke Tada
Writer: Sayaka Harada
Actor: Arthur Lounsbery, Daisuke Hirakawa, Junichi Suwabe, Kazuyuki Okitsu, Kengo Takanashi, Kenn, Kensho Ono, Kousuke Toriumi, Natsuki Hanae, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Ryotaro Okiayu, Showtaro Morikubo, Shunsuke Takeuchi, Soichiro Hoshi, Takehito Koyasu, Tomoaki Maeno, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Wataru Hatano, Yoshimasa Hosoya, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Yuichiro Umehara, Yuma Uchida
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Season Two: 12 episodes
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 10 October 2018
It's okay. I enjoyed Season 1 more, although I'm sure I'd have enjoyed this more if I'd watched the seasons back-to-back. Waiting two years makes you forget a lot of who's who and what had been going on. You're forcing the season to play "catch up" in a way that's not entirely fair to it.
That said, though, even after finishing these twelve episodes, I don't think I was really that bothered about the storyline. I wasn't paying attention for all of ep.11, for instance. I'd been picking at a bit of toenail. The episode was fine, but it's just a bunch of actors at drama school and it never convinced me that anything here really mattered. Mind you, the show improves a lot when it's focusing on likeable characters (Hoshitani, Nayuki) rather than obnoxious swell-heads (most of the others). I wouldn't want to work with half of these people.
It also doesn't help that the cast's so big that it's a challenge to remember who everyone is and so the show's given some of them catchphrases. Tengenji keeps calling everyone a boor, while Kitahara can't stop calling people "guilty" or "innocent". That could get annoying, although in fairness I quite enjoyed the taciturn twin sister's speech pattern. (Everything she says is "noun + desu".)
Oh, and the finale is unintentionally hilarious. The students are performing to the public in a packed theatre and one of them gets injured. That's too bad, but fortunately there's an understudy. Do they send out this understudy? No, they send out a different classmate who's never done that role before. "He's learning the lines and the dance now." WHAT THE HELL? No, sorry. Stop it. That's just... no. If I'd been in that production, I'd have been saying, "Don't be stupid." You've got a packed house and you've taken their ticket money. That's not a forgivable decision and it broke the episode for me. From that point, I was laughing at the show. If you're here for the gay romance, though, you're in luck. No prizes for guessing this show's target audience. "I want to do it with you now. I can't wait." (That conversation is really about performing on stage together, but the relationship between those two characters had been very nearly romantic already.) They'd already had a love confession scene in Season 1, only slightly shaded by the ambiguity in the Japanese word "desu". Older Boy tells Younger Boy that "you stole my heart" when he saw him dance, then they go on stage for their final scene: a mutual love declaration. (It's a good song, too.)
In the end, it's a decent drama school anime. There's nothing too surprising here, but it does what you'd expect and manages to be sort of watchable. (Given the genre's proximity to idol anime, that shouldn't be taken for granted.) Hoshitani episodes will be good. Him getting more focus in ep.3 made me feel that the show had relaxed into life and become more enjoyable. Since he's the main character, that's a plus. I got through the show without needing willpower or anything, but I'm not sure if I'll be watching Season 3 when/if it comes in 2019, whereas I'd been looking forward to this season after watching the first one in 2015. If you like this genre, definitely go for it... but I'd suggest going back to 2015 and marathoning it all from there.