My return to Revue Starlight: Prelude

So here it is, Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight. The show that all the cool kids were watching back in 2018. If you weren’t a fan of the Maya x Claudine pairing, or the Nana x Junna pairing, then you weren’t considered cool enough. I like to boast about my own tastes in shows, but would it shock you when I say that I have not actually completed this show? I ended up dropping it in the third episode, after I began to feel really frustrated in how the show presented the characters, the character design itself (especially the two main protagonists of Karen and Hikari), and…well…a lot of other petty little things.

Oh, do I remember when I picked this show for my Otaku Theater column. I ended up developing some kind of inexplicable rage as I watched the first episodes, and that inexplicable rage that I couldn’t talk about to anyone (for fear of not understanding what I meant) was what angered me more. I had a lot of high hopes for this coming in the Summer 2018 season when this was airing, and to see them tumble down for me like this was very upsetting. They are perhaps better explained here, in this Otaku Theater post, where I compared this rage to another show that frustrated the heck out of me (Flip Flappers).

Maybe if you’re reading this, you might be thinking “Oh, but it’s okay to not like some shows…“, well yeah, I know it is. The amount of shows I really really dislike with a passion could be something I could talk about for hours. And I know a lot of other anime fans and weebs would be thinking the same thing too; why they don’t like this anime, or that anime. But there are a lot of reasons why I wanted to come back to this, and I’ll highlight them here.

I did not want to leave this show just hanging.
I gave up at the third episode, feeling a lot of anger that I couldn’t explain then, and can’t quite explain now. But even with all of that, I just don’t really like leaving shows unfinished. With all the loyal fans I see on my Twitter feed, I have a pretty good impression on what the end-story is, what with all the spoiling, gossip, and fan-pics of their favorite pairings doing…stuff.

I want to be able to understand why I initially disliked the show so much.
I really do want to dive into Revue Starlight this second time around with a more open mind. Maybe it was just that I had so many expectations and ideas in what it was going to be like, and how the show was going to present itself. I had read about how the show revolved around some underground and secretive theater fight club, and how there was going to be yuri overflowing. And so when it started to take a far more surreal turn, I probably did not know what to think. I mean the only surreal yuri fighting show I know is Revolutionary Girl Utena, which I absolutely love. Could it be that, because I was actually expecting Utena to be as surreal and metaphorical as it was, and didn’t expect Revue Starlight to go down that road too, that I developed such different opinions on the two shows?

That sounds kind of logical to me, and so perhaps going back in with an open mind will help.

Can I really warm to all of these characters?
At first watch, I saw Karen as a real air-head; an extremely annoying air-head, and I saw Hikari as the ice queen, emotionless, uncaring, and to be honest, pretty pissed off that Karen is so clingy to her in the first place. And at the third episode, all of the other characters hadn’t really had that much time to develop, and so I couldn’t really form an opinion on them, although I remember disliking Junna the least, purely because I admired her passion for theater, and her desire to be Top Girl no matter the cost.

Maybe second time lucky can get me to like the other girls more, especially the disaster lesbian Mahiru.

Why did people love it so much?
In the Summer 2018 season, I was watching Harukana Receive, Hanebado! and Asobi Asobase. I had different views of all three of those shows, but Harukana Receive ended up in my top 5 of the year. While all of that was going on, this show that I had dropped was that one show everyone was talking about. All the cool kids were watching Revue Starlight, and all the stereotypical weebs were re-watching their favorite big franchises for the umpteenth time.

*that was my jab at the big franchises I’ve never liked anyway*

I haven’t really had any feedback from the people who enjoyed Revue Starlight, and so any comments in this post would be welcome, and would help me answer this question on why I missed out on this cool and hip show of 2018.

Those are the reasons that get me the most. I sincerely do hope that watching Revue Starlight in full for a second time, with a more open mind, will get me to understand the hype that surrounded it. It doesn’t concern me whether, by the end of the show, I like it or not. I just want this crazy case, this inexplicable rage, to be over and done.

There’ll be future posts incoming about me reviewing this, and whether it still frustrates me like it did back then. I know that, in these difficult times, we sure do have a lot of spare time and a lot of anime available for us to watch. Since this blog has been reinvigorated, I figured that I do something like this…a review project for a past show that I had a big issue with.

Wish me luck…

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