English Dub Review: Ensemble Stars “Starlight Festival”

 

Overview (Spoilers Below)

Eichi dreams he’s dying in the hospital, but that Wataru comes to his window-side near Christmas time. He dreams that Wataru takes him flying among the stars, and the idea of being able to fly makes him want to live. He wakes up in his office and reflects on how last year, he really did spend Christmas alone in a hospital bed.

Tori pitches the “Starlight Festival” to him. It’s a Christmas themed, winter S1. Trickstar and Knights get excited to compete, while Tori cries because he wanted to pitch fine’s proposal performance in order to get back at Trickstar for beating them. However, since Trickstar plans on transferring academies, Eichi rejects the idea, not wanting to take the spotlight away from Trickstar.

After a heated conversation with Wataru, Hokuto tells Eichi that he and Trickstar won’t be this year’s SS representatives, and will only do so if they win the Starlight Festival fairly (so as to not recreate the cycle of hierarchy they worked to originally defeat.) Knights and Valkyrie perform (after Nazuna joins Valkyrie from Ra*bits.) Ra*bits, Switch, 2wink, RYUSEITAI, UNDEAD, and all the other units compete — alongside Trickstar.

After Trickstar arrives late to the results after oversleeping, every unit is waiting to congratulate them onstage — they were elected the winners, and Yumenosaki Academy’s new representatives, fair and square. Eichi and the rest of fine accept this and look on with pride.

Our Take

Eichi really is a good character. He dances the line between complex and sympathetic all the time — his growth has really shone through this episode. If someone were to compare Eichi from the first few episodes of Ensemble Stars to the Eichi he is now, there would be a clear cut difference. The beginning with his dream sequence was really beautiful, and he connects the feeling of flying to watching Trickstar perform after their win. However, there’s a growing worry about his state of health. It seems like he’s gotten worse, but…this show wouldn’t kill anyone off…would they? It would seem…tonally inappropriate, considering all the lovey dovey-ness that’s constantly projected throughout the series. Nothing ever seems to go that wrong. It’s more #FirstWorldProblems than anything.

The greatest part about this episode was watching Trickstar prove that they haven’t gotten toffee nosed about their growing fame. All the units coming together was pretty special to see. They really got back to their roots as a team when they refused to just be the representatives — they wanted to prove they could earn that spot fairly, and not just because they were popular. The fact that they were able to still be voted in truly proves that they’re objectively the best unit at Yumenosaki Academy — in the fair and just way they’ve always worked to create.

Watching fine pass the torch onto Trickstar really seems like the season has reached its potential — completing its original arc. This was an ending that was well deserved and earned through steady progress throughout the season. We got good storytelling for Christmas! Thanks, Trickstar!

Kayla Gleeson

Kayla Gleeson is an entertainment writer and media player, with work involved in shows such as Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" and Chicken Soup for the Soul's "Hidden Heroes." In addition to her work on BubbleBlabber, she also has dozens upon dozens of published articles for RockYou Media. Aside from immersing her life in cartoons, she loves to write and read poetry, be outdoors, go to conventions, and indulge in Alan Resnick stylings of comedy.

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