What is Aikatsu Stars?
Aikatsu Stars is the fourth season of Aikatsu series. This season is completely different from previous seasons and there is no character from previous seasons. This article provides some main concepts of Aikatsu Stars.
Summary of episode 1
After seeing the concert of the idol group S4, an ordinary dreaming girl Yume Nijino decides to enter Yotsuboshi (Quadruple Stars) Academy with her friend Koharu Nanakura. Yume admires S4, especially Hime Shiratori - the No.1 singer in Yotsuboshi. When Yume gave a performance in the new student’s reception, she showed superpower that a new student would not have. After the concert, she faints and she does not remember the concert. When she is in the infirmary, Hime comes by the bed, and Yume cries.
Terms & features
Yotsuboshi Academy is an idol academy which has girl’s school and boy’s school separately. In addition to homeroom class, it has 4 lesson classes (kumi / 組) - Hana no Uta-gumi, Tori no Geki-gumi, Kaze no Mai-gumi, and Tsuki no Utsukushi-gumi. the names of these classes derive from ka-cho-fu-getsu(花鳥風月) - the Japanese word which means the beauty of nature. In those classes, they major singing, dramas, dancing, models respectively.
S4 is the group of 4 top students in the lesson classes. Only one student from each lesson class can be S4. S4 members are also the leaders of the student council. Other 2 top students (Kanbu / 幹部) in each lesson classes help S4’s work including the work of student council. S4 wear red uniforms that are completely different from the normal uniform. Kanbu students wear violet jacket on the normal uniform. By the way, three of S4 member are played by Aikatsu voice actors.
S4 members: Top idols and the leaders of student council
Hime Shiratori: Cute type / Uta-gumi
Tsubasa Kisaragi: Cool type / Geki-gumi
Yuzu Nikaido: Pop type / Mai-gumi
Yozora Kasumi: Sexy type / Utsukushi-gumi
Kanbu students: Assistants of S4
Yuri Ashida: Uta-gumi
Miki Katsura: Mai-gumi
Saya Akashi: Mai-gumi
M4 is the male counterpart of S4. Boy’s school is separated from girl’s school, so M4 is seen outside of school and when they work together with girls mainly.
Asahi Kasumi (younger brother of Yozora)
Different from Aikatsu, students design and remake their dresses for themselves, using Dress Make device. However, they are not allowed to make dresses freely. If they would like to grade up their dresses, they must use Glitters, the item they get after the stage. Unlike Aikatsu, only S4 are allowed to make Premium Dresses. Therefore, idols do not have relationship with designers. In Aikatsu, designers were the best partners of idols. On the other hand, in Stars, instructors and senpai(senior) idols replace them.
Idol types are related to the types of stage and dress. There are four types of idol: cute, cool, sexy, and pop. Idol types are different from lesson classes and they are not related. Cute type does not mean she is in Uta-gumi, and Geki-gumi does not mean that she is a cool idol. Also, Utsukushi-gumi students may dance and Mai-gumi student can do a fashion show. They just study hard about their majors, and do idol activities related to their majors mainly.
More stories for mature children
Success and defeat
Story is much more serious than Aikatsu. While Aikatsu idols are always praising friends, Stars idols are aware that if they become S4, their friends will not be S4*1. Their success will cost the success of their friends. In fact, 4 of 5 main characters are in the same lesson classes. Two students are in Uta-gumi and other two are in Utsukushi-gumi. They must contend for S4.
Yume Nijino: Cute type / Uta-gumi
Rola Sakuraba: Cool type / Uta-gumi
Ako Saotome: Pop type / Geki-gumi
Mahiru Kasumi: Sexy type / Utsukushi-gumi (younger sister of Yozora and Asahi)
Koharu Nanakura: Sexy type / Utsukushi-gumi
Also, Stars deals with love. Ako is a big fan of Subaru, and see Yume as rival. Yume did not even know that Subaru is a top idol. When Subaru pointed out that she did not know that Yotsuboshi had boy’s school and regarded Subaru as a intruder, her face turned red. Since then, Subaru has called her the boiled octopus*2, and Yume always turns red. In Aikatsu, such a romantic comedy was not depicted. This is also a big difference in Aikatsu Stars.
Hostility is described clearly. As written above, Ako has hostility against Yume. In addition, Mahiru has hostility against her elder sister Yozora*3. She glares at Yozora, and sometimes threaten her sister with her karate technique. This sentiment itself comes from some misunderstandings, but it is clear that this anime depicts hostility.
Superpower (“That Power”)
The superpower Yume showed is a dangerous thing. It may rob her of her voice and her vocation of idol. The principal Moroboshi struggles to stop her using the power, while Hime sees it as an attack against Yume. As written in my summary, this power exhausts her body. However, more serious problem is that this power damages her voice. This power is difficult to control and performed only in limited situation. Effect of this power is one of the big issues in this anime.
*1:Students in the same lesson class cannot become S4 together.
*2:It means as red as a lobster, in English.
*3:Mahiru means noon and Yozora means night sky. They seem to be opposite.