I’m a fair bit into Revue Starlight now. (Ba)karen has stormed into the fight club causing all kinds of ripples, but she’s the idiot main protagonist, so we can kind of forgive her for that. She’s the airhead of the class, has trouble with stretches and singing scales practice, and she seems undeterred with any rules, just as long as her beloved is nearby. And so the more I watch this show, the more I wonder why the giraffe still saw potential in her, and let her be a part of the Revue auditions.
As early on as episode 2, we understand that each participant in the auditions have other reasons to be there, and something to strive towards, large or small. Revue Starlight may put a fair amount of attention on visuals and art direction, but I’m just as keen to touch on the character design in the show. Each episode will bring out the better in (Ba)karen, but I’m just as curious about everyone else too.
(Oh, and I just couldn’t resist Electric Boogaloo; I really suck at making post titles, don’t I?)
(NB: This post will contain spoilers for Revue Starlight…obviously)
I’ll go back on what I think about these girls’ devotion and commitment to passing these Revue auditions, and start with one girl I’ve barely touched on: Hikari herself. Her ice cold persona starts to crumble as each episode goes by. We discover that she initially took part in the Revue auditions while she was in England, but because she didn’t pass them, she moved back to Japan with the hope of another shot. Also, as I was doing research into Revue Starlight lore, I discovered that Hikari’s weapon, a rope dagger, was originally a sword that she used for the Revue auditions in England. When it comes to yuri shows, I shouldn’t really take every anime character from first impressions; this is a lesson I should have learned when we all met Homura Akemi for the first time. What I mean by that is that while she comes across as distant and mature, she would rather keep Karen out of the auditions altogether, perhaps thinking that that is something she should not be a part of. But nonetheless, Karen keeps progressing in the auditions, first fending off Junna and some more girls later on.
But the scene in episode 3 with Hikari hitting the elevator with a crowbar to gain entry and get to Karen before she did something (more) stupid was pretty telling, and shows us how much she genuinely does care for Karen and want to keep her pure and innocent. This, however, turned out to be the audition where Karen had her ass handed to her by Maya-sama.
Another two characters of interest are ones I haven’t even talked about at all: Futaba and Kaoruko. These two weren’t really touched on as much in the first few episodes, so in my original watch, I didn’t really get to catch up to them. When episode 4 comes around though, we get to see a lot more of how these two work together. We can all see from a mile away that these two are destined to be each other, but I’ll be going into all the yuribait in the show in another post; there’s just so much for me to merely touch on here and there. Anyway…
Kaoruko was brought up in a privileged household, where she learned Japanese dance from her grandmother. Her frustration in living in such a stuffy and contained household has meant she has had to rely on Futaba a lot, making her lazy and a little overconfident and full of herself. Futaba has a sharp tongue and is the borderline-tsundere girl in the show, but we see that she clearly does not mind being relied on by Kaoruko. And while the rest of the cast all interact with each other regularly, we notice that Futaba and Kaoruko often keep to themselves at the academy.
It’s only when episode 6 swings around when we see their relationship tested. When Kaoruko discovers that Futaba has secretly been practicing tap dancing with Claudine, she explodes in a fit of jealousy. Kaoruko is already annoyed at the fact that she has not been selected for any of the lead roles for the school’s Starlight production. She becomes under the impression that all the Japanese dance she learned as a child has amounted to nothing here at Seisho Music Academy. With her considering moving back to Kyoto, Futaba faces off against her in a Revue audition, where Kaoruko sees how much Futaba has progressed after being at the academy. Bear in mind that not only did Kaoruko force her to come to the academy with her, but she has the least experience on the stage than any of the girls.
This just goes to show that anything can be possible if you put your mind to it. This is certainly one of many mantras that another girl, Junna, has followed. Just like Futaba, she is also not as experienced on the stage as the others, which in part motivates her to work even harder – harder than everyone else. She has good judgement, but is also a harsh critic and can sometimes take things too seriously. One scene in episode 2 shows this in particular. After being beaten in an audition by an uninvited Karen in the beginning episode, she’s the first to raise her hand calling her participation invalid. But we see that it isn’t just Karen that she is critical of. In one practice session where the class swoon over Maya and Claudine acing a dance move, she scolds all of them, telling them that if they don’t have the motivation to be as good as Maya and Claudine, then they should just leave.
Already frustrated at the fact that Karen barged into the Revue auditions unannounced and uninvited, her emotions end up clouding her judgement when her rematch comes around. Working hard to be an honor student and earning a place in the Revue auditions isn’t enough, and so being on par with the likes of Maya and Claudine is all Junna can think about, and so it’s only when we see her lose in a fair fight where she sees that her strictness and harsh demeanor is what is holding her back from greatness.
Indeed, why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up again.
I’m having a lot more fun watching Revue Starlight and writing these posts now. It’s almost like my opinion has done a complete 180, now that I’ve gone into it with a far more open mind. As I keep on saying, Junna remains my favorite girl, but whilst before I got totally frustrated at the two leads, Karen and Hikari, I just don’t think that way anymore. Almost like I’m not the same person who raged at the screen for no reason two years ago. Is this really what age and maturity has done to an anime follower like me?
Alrighty then, back on the Revue Starlight train. And instead of just emptying my head and organizing the gooey mess into sentences, I’ve legitimately planned ahead. Heck, I even have working titles for future posts; all of which are extremely dumb, and will probably end up becoming their final titles. So i’ll see you next week, where you’ll see another retarded post title.
Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight is available now on HIDIVE and home video.