Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000% Episode 1
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000% is a weekly television anime series started in July 2011, based on a female-targeted video game from 2010. Haruka Nanami has always dreamed of becoming a musical composer for her favorite idol singer, and takes one step closer to realizing her dream by entering the prestigious Saotome Academy, which is chock-a-block full of dreamy budding idols and those who want to create songs for them.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:
ep. tl;dr review: Deer-in-the-headlights Haruka goes to Idol School; A perfect example of a show that is “So bad it’s good.”
Episode Summary: Haruka Nanami arrives late to take the entrance exam for Saotome Academy, and is denied entrance. But two kind students help convince the guards to let her in, and a few months later she is part of the incoming class. Incredibly opulent and upper-crust, the academy is for the best-of-the-best students who wish to become pop idols, as well as those who wish to compose songs for them. On her first day in class, Haruka is re-introduced to the always-cheerful Idol A, and the aloof rich boy Idol B, and well as several other guys such as the idiotic Idol C (who mistakes Haruka for his pet dog) and aloof rich boy Idol D (rival to Idol B). Haruka also meets her roommate, Tomochika, as well as the “It’s a Trap!” homeroom teacher Ringo. That night under the moonlight, Haruka unexpectedly meets the idol singer that inspired her…but he immediately dismisses her and disowns that he is that idol.
My Impressions: Have you ever heard the phrase, So Bad It’s Good? It can often be an over-used phrase, because so many shows are often tagged under this classification — often incorrectly. Most shows that are “bad” are, in my opinion, just plain bad, and should be left at that. But every once in a while, an otherwise terrible show comes along that is so ridiculously campy/unintentionally funny that it is entertaining despite itself. (Hell, there was an entire long-running television series that was based just on that concept.) Uta no Prince-sama falls into that category.
It is most definitely not a show that is aimed at someone like myself. First, it is based on a romance video game that was aimed at Forever Alone Japanese women, and is centered around a Reverse Harem concept, where a young girl is surrounded by all sorts of studly men vying for her attention. The show is filled with wall-to-wall bishounen pretty-boys, so many that I don’t care to sort out their names and just refer to them as “Idol A”, “Idol B”, “Idol C”, and so on.
Yet I knew the moment when the headmaster comes flying out on wires, in a grand entrance ceremony-slash-razzle-dazzle-explosion, that this could be…interesting. Saotome Academy itself is such a incredulous concept: a huge palatial estate built on the proceeds of millions of CDs by the former-idol-singer headmaster, designed entirely to produce a new generation of Justin Biebers *shudder*, or rather the Japanese equivalent. And then when the cross-dressing teacher, Ringo, sporting a massive poof of cotton-candy hair pranced into the classroom, that clinched it.
This could be some fun, as long as you don’t take any of it seriously. At all. It certainly helps that the main character, Haruka, is about as smart as a box of hammers (well…smart hammers, at least) with these massive, limpid, vacuous eyes, and she is always walking around with this deer-in-the-headlights look. Live your dreams, Haruka, live your dreams!
PS – Yes, the music is just as laughably godawful as you might expect. Hey, it’s poppy-pop J-pop idol pop, what did you want?
- Preview trailer on Youtube
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, Wikipedia.
- If you like this, you might also like: Starry Sky or Kiniro no Corda.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “This was…. Way better than I expected actually. In fact, it was great. By ‘great’, I don’t mean that the storyline was amazing (okay, well it was pretty decent) or that the characters were the most creative things ever, but that it was great because I spent pretty much the entire episode laughing.” – Metanorn
- “It’s campy, cheesy, ridiculous, unrealistic, and utterly retarded on so many levels, but at the same time it’s amusing as hell. Every once and a while, it’s nice to just sit back and watch something dumb and mindless, and Uta no Prince-sama is nonstop lulz from start to finish with it’s excessive cheese and over-the-top presentation.” – Sekijitsu
- “With its off the wall sense of humor and attention grabbing characters, Uta no Prince sama is a surprising win in its premiere episode. A fun series that makes for good viewing, this is a first episode that even those who aren’t a fan of the genre can laugh at along the way. ” – Otaku Review
- “Personally, I’ve never been a fan of reverse Harems because of one important thing: The female lead is always a wussy/naive/goody two shoes girl that I can’t stand. Uta No Prince-Sama is not the exception. While some of the aspects of the show managed to appeal to me (such as the pretty boys and the headmaster´s silly antics) everything else about the show just screamed “bland” at me.” – Anime Evo
- “In order words, I am disappointed at how bad the story is. Not to mention that aside from the character, the animation and arts are definitely below the usual par that A-1 Pictures set for his anime. It’s like this show has the lowest budget in all of their anime. Well, can’t blame them really. I won’t spend so much on shit like this too. Grade: 6/10.” – Conspicuous Klux
- “I still have lingering doubts that Uta no Prince-sama can be a cohesive work, but as pure entertainment it looks like it will carry the load. Grade: 15/25.” – AniMaybe
- “And now for something completely different! I haven’t laughed so much at something that isn’t a comedy since that hilarious Gundam 00 movie! Everything about this show is camp as hell and then racked up a few more notches just for the craic…….and I loved every second of it.” – Caraniel’s Ramblings
- “This. Was camp. Heck, if you took four body-builders and made then play bagpipes while playing monopoly they still wouldn’t be as camp as this. I’m not sure how the creators did it, but they somehow succeeded in getting every single scene in this episode to not make any sense whatsoever. Potential: 20%” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “I would likely never recommend this to any heterosexual male. However, the show does have its good points…for everyone else, I would only recommend if they’re able to sit through just episodes and episodes of nothing more than fanservicey bishounen voiced by popular male voice actors set in (again) clichéd situations.” – Moar Powah
ROUND ONE RESULTS FOR SUMMER 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round One: Busou Shinki: Moon Angel, Blood-C, Mawaru Penguindrum, Kamisama Dolls, No. 6, Dantalian no Shoka, Uta no Prince-sama
Thumbs-down for Round One: Double J, Morita-san wa Mukuchi, Mayo Chiki, Nyanpire the Animation, Carnival Phantasm, Copihan, Yuruyuri
Coming up next: Sacred Seven, The Idolmaster, Manyuu Hikenchou, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Kamisama no Memochou, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, Nurarihyon no Mago Second Season, Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi, Twin Angel Twinkle Paradise, Baby Princess 3-D, Natsume Yuujinchou-san, Usagi Drop, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Second Season, Rou Kyuu Bu, R-15