What happens when you mix five boys and a music audition? A whole lot of singing, dancing, and heart! This is Starmyu, a slice of life musical anime that follows five high schoolers on their audition process for their school’s illustrious musical department. Along the way our five students will laugh, cry, sing, and dance, all in the hopes of being victorious.
Starmyu follows the story of five students going through the rigorous audition process for the musical department at their school, Ayanagi Academy. The main protagonist – Yuta Hoshitani – has very little formal training, but holds his own with the best of them. Together, he and his teammates – Toru Nayuki, Kaito Tsukigami, Kakeru Tengenji, and Shu Kuga – must compete to outperform their competitors. This all must be done while they reconcile their own differences in skill level and personality.
The five students are lucky to be selected to pass their auditions well enough to end up on a coveted star team. A star team is coached by a member of the Kao Council, which is comprised of the top students of the musical department. Their team is led by Itsuki Otori, the black sheep of the Kao Council. With Otori’s help, the group of boys finds the song in their hearts and are able to harmonize together to proceed through the competition.
Although this is classified as a comedy, Starmyu has its fill of drama. Hoshitani’s optimism and nonchalance initially rubs Kabuki prodigy Tengenji the wrong way. However, when Hoshitani spends all night looking for Tengenji’s missing cat, Tavian, Tengenji realizes Hoshitani is driven and hard-working. This allows the two boys to form a fast friendship.
While the group of boys grows closer together, there is a fracture occurring in the Kao Council. Council member Kyoji Akatsuki cannot tolerate anything that disgraces Ayanagi traditions or their council leader, Tsubasa Hiragi. The continuing disregard for the status quo done by Otori pushes Akatsuki over the edge. He convinces Hiragi and fellow council members Lion Christian Yuzuriha and Sakuya Sazanami that the school and council would be better off without Otori or his star team. When Hiragi tells Otori he will be cutting Otori’s team from the competition, Otori volunteers to step down instead so the boys can continue to compete. Now, the group must take everything Otori taught them and put on the best performance of their lives to advance through the audition.
The style of Starmyu is pretty typical to other anime on the market right now. Nothing really jumped out as unique or original. However, the way the music scenes are styled is phenomenal. Each episode has a musical number, and the style fits the aesthetic of the character’s personality type. For example, Tengenji’s musical routine has a very traditional Japanese stage style, complete, whereas Otori’s is much more romantic and soft. It was an extremely interesting way to add details to the characters.
What Starmyu lacks in animation originality, it makes up for with its’ soundtrack. The music for this anime is fantastic. It felt very reminiscent of songs I would dance to while playing Dance Dance Revolution, and I was bouncing in my seat while watching it. The songs are catchy and convey a wide range of styles from upbeat to mellow, fast to slow. I still find myself humming songs from the show.
The characters all fit those classic high-school anime archetypes too well. There’s the brooding snob with a heart of gold, the character that has problems with their older sibling, the “Mom” friend. There’s even a troubled family friendship that resurfaces between two characters. All in all, it’s been done before so it’s hard for me to really have an opinion on it.
The only things worth re-watching are the dance and musical scenes, and that’s about it. While there is a plot, there are no real “wow” moments that happen that would require a second watch to take in. I did enjoy watching it, but there wasn’t anything memorable that happened to make me feel any further watches are necessary.
Packaging and Bonus Features
The DVD/Blu-ray combo set for season one comes in a single case with a reversible cover. All discs are etched with characters on the front and are pretty detailed. It’s pretty lackluster, but I feel like the music videos make up for it.
Both DVD and Blu-ray versions contain the same bonus features! This includes textless versions appear for opening song “Dreamer”, and both closing songs “Seishun Countdown” and “Ein Stage”. The extras section also includes trailers for Shonen Hollywood, Attack on Titan Jr. High, and Show By Rock.
This is a really cute anime series that I definitely would have loved if I were a teenager. It’s wholesome, is full of interesting characters, and has a great soundtrack. Unfortunately, the conflict and resolution via optimism and a dance montage is a little overplayed for my tastes. I recommend this for younger anime fans, or for people looking for a light-hearted and simple watch.