Every week I say I’ll think of a decent title for my Revue Starlight posts, and every week they never happen. So now we’re at the last one, I just give up. As an aniblogger, I can literally incapable of making a decent title for my posts.
We’ve had arcs dedicated to Mahiru, Futaba x Kaoruko, and now Junna x Nana, which finally got its happy ending. And so now comes the time for the final one…the two big bosses Karen and Hikari have to face to reach the end of the game: Maya and Claudine.
This post will see this little post project of mine come to an end. I thought that giving my two cents on their pairing was something I considered more important to discuss than what happened at the end of the show. More on that later though, but right now…
…Il est temps de parler de notre couple préféré.
(NB: Cet article contient des spoilers pour les derniers épisodes de Revue Starlight)
In these last episodes, we notice that both Maya and Claudine really do love the sound of their own voices. They’d make great Sailor Moon baddies.
These two have curiously acted very much on the backbench so far, despite making their presence very well noticed. Most of the class already seems content in knowing that both of them will end up playing Flora and Claire in the Starlight play anyway. Some examples of this are little things I’ve talked about in past posts, like Claudine giving Futaba secret tap dancing lessons, or Maya making her point known about Nana’s decision to repeat the 99th Starlight over and over again. Aside from that, though, we have only ever known these two as top-of-the-class material and bitter rivals; anything else has been a bit of a mystery…until now.
The two of them haven’t been very subtle in their rivalry. Maya has lived up to her name as the head of the production, and one in the lead to beat, with Claudine playing second fiddle for pretty much the entire of the show. There have been moments where these two interact, for instance the moment where the two of them practice a dance move, and Maya lets her know how she can get wild at the thought of someone else being on her level; if that isn’t a poke at Claudine, then I don’t know what is. But in finally see in episode 10 how much the two of them are alike, how they respect each other (even if they refuse to admit it), and how much they really do care about each other.
Thanks to Karen diving in the auditions unannounced way back in episode 1…or Hikari transferring to the academy from London…the routine has had to be altered; where there was originally 8 fighting to the top, there is now 9. So a duet audition is put together, with Karen and Hikari facing off against Maya and Claudine. The show already loves to remind us in every episode how Karen and Hikari are the two closest girls in the whole wide world, so instead my focus ended up turning to Maya and Claudine here.
In this Revue duet, Maya and Claudine fight as one unit, just as much as Karen and Hikari do…something that surprises the audience watching – the audience being all the other girls who didn’t make top 4. They had all expected the two of them to be at each others’ throats here, considering this was a winner-takes-all audition. And so when the two of them end up losing with Maya being the one losing her pin, Claudine doesn’t take it well, ripping off her own pin. We see she doesn’t just do this out of anger due to not liking the result, but she does this because she wanted to be the one to face Maya in the final battle…she wanted to be with her Maya. But Maya tells her (in French) that she hasn’t really lost, because she can continue to fly higher on the stage, Revue auditions or otherwise, because she’ll be with her to do it.
We’ve had some really touching moments where these 9 girls have had seen their imperfections and become better people. Junna sees that her inferiority complex is in fact suffocating her, Mahiru sees that she doesn’t need to cling onto others to shine on stage, both Futaba and Kaoruko see that hard work really pays off, and Nana realizes that change is a good thing, and that the past should not be relived again and again. But this moment with Maya and Claudine has turned out to get to me the most. Throughout the whole show, Claudine has grown bitter at how much she can’t keep up with Maya, the one person that turned out to understand her more than anyone else. Maybe all of these Revue auditions have made these girls blind to how they really feel towards the people they care about the most, and what they really want in life. Take a look at the 5 girls who sat in the audience watching the top 4 face off in a duet battle; they knew they didn’t make it, but have all since accepted that the auditions aren’t the be-all and end-all, despite them promising so. I initially didn’t really understand the Maya x Claudine pairing, largely because in my first watch, I hadn’t reached that far in the show. But even with Karen and Hikari being the two main protagonists, and even with Junna remaining my favorite girl, Maya and Claudine have turned out to be the pairing I respected and understood the most. Their relationship didn’t spring from some childhood promise, like Karen x Hikari, or some past friendship, like Futaba x Kaoruko; the two met at Seisho Music Academy, and had grown a closeted level of respect for the other, in a far more mature manner.
I won’t be joining the rabid clan who worship this pairing and make fan art/fan fiction of them though; I’m far too old for that.
Like I have said, this Revue Starlight post project was not meant to operate in any kind of chronological order, nor was it meant for me to cover everything, which is why I have chosen not to talk so much about the ending, which I have some mixed feelings of. I wasn’t really all for the idea of Hikari deliberately choosing to lose everything in order for Karen’s glimmer to shine on, and imprisoning her in the underground theater…thereby making Karen face off against her to make her see sense. To be honest, I was hoping for a finale that was a little more…off-beat, considering the kind of show this has been – nothing too surreal like what Revolutionary Girl Utena has, but at least something to make us wide-eyed in wonder. Or am I alone in feeling this, and you guys are fine enough with the ending we got?
Saying all of this however, Revue Starlight is a show that has the capability to last forever in the fan community…or at least for a very long time. I, on the other hand, do not want this show to go on forever. but I am very glad that I was able to form a genuine, logical and decent opinion on a show that, initially, I hated so much. Looking back now, I looked like someone who was just so bitter and childish; that’s all something that I totally take back. I really enjoyed watching Revue Starlight in its entirety, and I really understand why it has built such a loyal fandom. It’s a fandom that I won’t be joining though, and there’s even the chance that I might not even watch this show again.
I have been a follower of seasonal anime for a long time now; whenever new shows come out, I tend to jump to them more than look at what was. I also no longer stick to one show or one franchise, and worship that show/franchise until the end of time. That’s…just not me anymore. I’m in my mid-30s now, and I’m not the child weeb I once was. Why do you think I’ve given up on going to anime conventions in my own country? Because I’m tired of how much they refuse to change. But anyway, going back to Revue Starlight…
…when I originally thought that this was a bit of a niche show, I can say that I was so wrong, and that Revue Starlight is far more of an accessible show than I thought. Sure enough it tackles a lot of human problems, emotions, and desires, most of them that your regular teenager goes through as they grow up. One could even describe this as a bit of a coming-of-age show, with all of these girls going on some kind of journey, both in the Revue auditions and in the classrooms, to discover who they really are deep inside.
Okay then, even with all that, Karen remains a complete idiot. And this meme below is something that describes Revue Starlight in a nutshell…if only I could find out who actually drew this 😦
Alright then, back to it. Bring on another show for me to talk trash about…
Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight is available now on HIDIVE and home video.