Uta no Prince-sama Eps02-03

I can't believe I'm still watching this anime. It gets harder to do so with every passing week. I'll trudge on, though! I need the satisfaction of her ending up with Tokiya. (It's so obvious that that's what'll happen... I hope.)

Touching to share confidence.

The anime has turned into a reverse harem where the males get almost no real character development and are instantly in love with the lead. I didn't see that coming. Each episode is dedicated to a different male, although that's a strong word to be using since they generally just show up at the end of the episode to internally declare their love. Ep02 was about Otoya and Haruka getting paired together for an assignment, with him singing his feelings in the insert song at the end. Ep03 was about Haruka being unable to play due to having the jitters and Masato showing up at the end to help her work through it (and then singing the insert song to reminisce about his feelings for her). Even down to the random cameos of the grumbling Tokiya, it's become quite predictable. The only surprising thing was that the first episode actually swapped the OP and the ED, startling me when it was in its original order starting from ep02. Sneaky~

With his extensive security network, he probably sees everything too.

Ep02 picked up where ep01 left off, although it was told in kind of a flashback after Haruka returned to her dorm room and spoke to Tomo about what had happened. She apparently asserted to Tokiya that he was Hayato (nice...), and then the principal showed up (coincidentally), revealing that this was Hayato's younger twin brother. How hard did I call that, anyway? I wonder which twist this story will decide to take. Will Hayato not be a part of the story directly? Instead, at some point, Haruka's desires will shift and she will fall madly in love with Tokiya, Hayato being a distant memory. That seems a little strange, so maybe it'll turn out that the one that Haruka heard sing was actually Tokiya, somehow or the other, leading to it being okay for her to ruthlessly forget Hayato. Of course, with twin brothers, the story could quickly take the route that Hayato will show up in the storyline, falling for Haruka just as Haruka falls for Tokiya, causing a triangle scenario to form that not only drives the brothers further apart but also inevitably closer. Despite my dislike of this kind of shoujo, just why do I know so much about storylines?!

So happy to be nubs.

In the classroom, Tsukimiya-sensei (and the teacher of the S Class, whoever he is) announced that students would be paired off at the end of the first semester, and that no romance was allowed. Beyond the typical movement, Tsukimiya-sensei also announced that their first project was to create a song, with the idol candidates writing the lyrics and the composer candidates the music. With Otoya and and Haruka "randomly" paired up, Tsukimiya-sensei called Haruka up to play the music that had been the best of the last year, and it turned out that Haruka had no idea how to read music. I suppose I was supposed to feel bad for her, especially when the class began their non-whisper whispers about how they wondered how she even got in, but I didn't. In fact, I seriously wondered how she got in. Really. You're going to an elite school for composing and your dream is to one day write a song for an idol. I would have understood if this was a beginner's school, but it clearly isn't. Why wasn't the exam full of music-writing? How was she not even tested properly? I'm so disillusioned with this anime's schooling system.

How come Otoya gets more room beside the table?

Anyway, it turned out that Otoya had also never written lyrics before (although that's considerably easier than composing music without knowing the notes; the only way that the two would have been in the same boat would be if Otoya didn't know the written language), and he asked his roommate, a guy called Tokiya, for advice. How did these two turn out to be roommates? For that matter, actually, why are all of the 6 guys roommates, excluding the rest of the campus population? Otoya and Tokiya, Natsuki and Sho, Ren and Masato - it's all a nice little package with an S Class student paired with an A Class student. Wait, for that matter, why are Ren and Masato put together? I'd think that if they were really from such powerful corporations, being the heirs, someone would have done something.

As if the Otoya-Tokiya room wasn't extravagant enough...

Otoya also turned out to know the other 5 males, even the ones that were not in his class, despite a lack of formal introduction or even some kind of plausible story. Seriously, how do you just happen to know these random students on what I assume is your second day? I would have understood if he went to ask his fellow A Class students, but he clearly went looking for Ren and coincidentally found Masato. Anyway, they all had difficult and flowery concepts of how to write lyrics, none of which helped Otoya in any way. That was to be expected. The entire scene, I was more focused on the intricacies of the rooms. That's just more evidence that this is an elite school and there is no way the exam wouldn't have tested properly, begging the question of how Haruka got in.

Just go back to the comforts of studying in your room already!

The scene cut to Haruka's hardcore studying. Of course, I seriously question why she needed to be in so many scenic places. When Tomo asked later on, it turned out that Haruka had taught herself to read music, but was stumped on the composition. (As Tomo put it, "In one day?!" She's obviously some kind of genius, which the principal knew, so he rigged the tests in order to give her one that she would definitely pass. That's the only explanation.) After Haruka fell asleep, full of angst over not being able to compose, the cat from the previous episode came in to lick her tears and give her sweet dreams. (Once again, seriously. A wild cat licking me close to my eyes will probably cause all sorts of diseases.) Haruka remembered that she had composed a song for her grandmother a long, long time ago, and so headed out to the lake to think about Otoya and compose a song for him. Wouldn't you know it, but Otoya followed her out and her spontaneous humming gave him the lyrics he needed.

That's like a precursor to spending the night together.

The moment that Otoya said such a line, I knew it, but it still came as a surprise that he was already in love with Haruka. After being told by Tsukimiya-sensei that any students dating would be expelled without warning, I'm surprised that he was so happy about his feelings; I would be terrified. Anyway, after a montage of bonding scenes between the two (I'm sure we just skipped over a large chapter in the PSP game), Otoya apparently did a good job with his song (which he wrote to express his feelings for Haruka, too...). Proving that Tokiya is the main lead, he was shown at the very end watching Otoya sing and grumpily walking out of the building to dark black clouds. Pathetic fallacy, where would story-telling be without you?

He probably would learn better if you didn't use random English.

Ep03 began with Haruka finding out that she (along with the rest of the main characters) had passed the recent assignment (with an 87%, I assume). She was extremely happy, along with the rest of the main characters - save for the increasingly-emo Tokiya. After the OP, he confronted his teacher (now named as Hyuga-sensei) about his dissatisfaction with the low assessment. He contended that he had sang perfectly, and then Hyuga-sensei revealed that he lacked heart, which made even his brother Hayato's new song much better. (So, I guess Hayato is actually a bad singer but good performer?) It was weird to hear Hyuga-sensei also announce that, at the rate he was going, Tokiya's placement in the S Class was in jeopardy. Doesn't that mean that he's actually doing ridiculously badly? Or that he's the worst of his entire class? I fail to see why he thinks he's so great if he's not even near the top. Conversely, if he's near the top, then I fail to see why his placement is in jeopardy. Ah, plotholes.

You can't silence the truth!

After another encounter with Tokiya (right after he confronted his teacher, too), Haruka headed to class only to find the childish writing on the wall - I mean, chalkboard. It's not that I don't believe that people still do that, but I'd have assumed that people going to a vocational school to be idols and composers would be more mature than that. But, I guess if they're not even good enough to get more than a generic character design - or even strangely-coloured hair! - then they're probably just scrubs brought in to round out the roster. I do question how Haruka got into the class though, still. I hope they answer it, even if it turns out that the Principal did pull strings and such.

Silly Otoya. All the main characters know each other.

Haruka ran out of the classroom after failing to play the piano again. I won't question why Tsukimiya-sensei keeps asking her; it's obviously to help her get the last word, since her hands are tied otherwise. (And, on that note, I completely agree that people need to know how to bounce back in life on their own, especially in a tough occupation, but it's still hard to see with people close to me.) She met the cat again in the field where she went to wallow, and decided to name it "Kuppuru", from "kuroi" (meaning "black", as in its fur) and "purupuru" (meaning "soft", as in its fur). I hate portmanteaus with a passion after seeing it overused and abused in anime. When she went to the market to pick up some food for the cat, she ran into Masato...and then the two went to the lake to talk. Masato attempted to comfort her, despite not changing his facial expression the entire time, and Haruka became emotional in realizing that she was behind in terms of effort, running off but unable to find the cat thereafter.

Some of these things would probably get in the way of the baking process.

After being unable to practice even on her own due to strange paralysis of her hands, the scene shifted to Otoya getting ready to bake a cake with Natsuki for Haruka, with Sho being forced to tag along. It was a little bit of comedic relief in an otherwise heavy episode. It ended in failure, because not only was Natsuki not good at baking cakes at all, but his hobby also included some strange ingredients. (That sounds much more pornographic than it actually was...) The underlying tone of BL in this anime is quite heavy, which is quite unnecessary and perhaps slightly off-putting in shoujo. I mean, they usually show a deep bond between males in shoujo stories (such as with Shota and Ryuu in Kimi ni Todoke), but this was pretty much deep in the shounen-ai territory. Natsuki's constant touching of Sho? Ren watching Masato from far away, as if he can't take his eyes off? Really, now.

The bonding moments are always the guy just staring...

The "climax" of the episode came when Masato dropped by the room where Haruka was attempting to practice, and announced that he sympathized. I get it, he had a hard childhood, but it was pretty hilarious to see the way he worded it. "I couldn't eat in front of my father." How terrible. But, anyway, it turned out that he had a butler that he bonded with and who taught him to play the piano. However, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, when he saw Haruka playing with some children in a park one day, singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" with them. In one fell swoop, he not only mustered up the courage and drive to live life, but also fell in love with Haruka. I do like the fact that this was explained, since Otoya's feelings came out of nowhere (story-wise), but it's not really a good explanation. He's the heir of a major corporation, so I'm pretty sure he can't just pick his wife, and I'm pretty sure he can't actually become an idol.

What's wrong with the size and shape of his eyes...?

Just like with Otoya, the insert song was coupled with lots and lots of images that I assume were longer in the actual game. The episode ended with Masato and Haruka overlooking the waters while he thought about how much he loved her (without actually using the words). Ren stumbled on them and secretly watched in a very creepy way. Seriously, I wouldn't mind if Ren and Masato ended up getting together; Ren's uber-playboy style is obviously a cover for something. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that he's next in terms of getting bonding scenes with Haruka, unless this drama will be drawn out for longer with a focus on someone else next week. I am slightly curious to know why he's so obsessed with Masato, but I feel as though the explanation will only disappoint me.

Forceful, just like in BL...

This anime is so bad that it's a little amusing to watch, just for laughs. I had no idea that it would be a reverse harem, despite the fact that there were 5 boys being talked about in the synopsis (it's funny how the actual main male lead isn't one of those five). Ouran, for example, had one female and many males, and it wasn't like this at all. I probably would be enjoying this anime a lot more if it didn't seem so rushed. There's obviously a lot of content in the game, and I do wish they had ported more of those over to the anime instead of creating long and drawn-out scenes with Haruka and her cat-friend. This just makes me even warier of shoujo.