How Sports Anime Stars Align Set Itself Up for Failure Despite Its Quality
Kazuki Akane is the creator of the original anime series Stars Align. The characters in the series, namely Maki Katsuragi and Toma Shinjo, are soft tennis club members with aspirations to play competitive tennis.
The series incorporates the value of collaboration and the development of friendships via athletics, much like other sports anime series like Haikyuu!! The protagonists go through rigorous training to become top athletes, showing the most spectacular displays of mental toughness and teamwork. Stars Align, on the other hand, elevates drama and character growth to a new level, making the anime compelling for all the wrong reasons.
Stars Align Characters Have Tragic Backstories
Each character has a troubled past that they must learn to cope with and get through in addition to juggling sports and school life. The viewer is introduced to Toma Shinjo, who lives in the shadow of his brother Ryoma, and Maki Katsuragi, who is physically beaten by his father, in the first episode. Maki and Toma utilise soft tennis as an outlet from their sad home life throughout the series.
The main characters in conventional sports anime series can handle their problems and overcome them with the help of others. This isn’t the case in Stars Align, however. Characters like Maki and Toma go through painful experiences that are beyond of their control and limit their development as young people. So, even if they are not conscious of their mental health concerns or the events at home, soft tennis is a coping technique for them to cope with or escape stress. They also receive comfort and support from their team mates. Stars Align positions itself as a dramatic coming-of-age tale conveyed via a sports narrative that is different from other series by establishing a theatrical environment.
The individuals’ diverse and distinctive backstories did provide complexity and the opportunity for character growth, but since they are so unbelievable, it is hard for viewers to empathise with them. Fans may identify with Shoyo Hinata’s perseverance and faith in Haikyuu!! Despite this, since the Stars Align characters have suffered trauma, it might be difficult for viewers to identify with them. With these events being shown in every episode, viewers can feel overstimulated.
Additionally, there is an expectation that each character would find closure at the conclusion of the series, which is another issue with giving backstories to all of its characters. Unfortunately, none of the characters in the conclusion had a satisfying conclusion. After finding out that his father looked for money in his flat, Maki goes over to murder his father. Fans are left wondering what happened to Maki and his father since the series finished on a cliffhanger.
Production Woes Resulted In a Cliffhanger Ending
Neither Kazuki Akane nor the production company Eight Bit are to blame for the weak way the plot was handled. Stars Align was scheduled to have 24 episodes, but owing to unforeseen scheduling conflicts in the spring, the show was only able to screen 12. The animators were unable to alter the plot since the animation studio had already made a significant investment in the series. Stars Align’s cliffhanger conclusion is not the series’ “real finale.” There was a hope that the tales of Maki and his pals would continue.
Finding a firm to finance and create the second half of Stars Align was not very successful. Kazuki Akane nonetheless wishes for a sequel so that Maki and the other characters might have satisfying endings. Fans of Stars Align did have reason for optimism when a special fan film that takes place two years after the events of the series was published.
The fact that the series was adversely affected by an unforeseen production change does not prevent it from having a problem with character development. This sports anime distinguishes itself from other sports programmes by highlighting troubling adolescent realities including parental separation and child abuse. Potential admirers, however, could feel uneasy if each character has a nasty history. Additionally, the cliffhanger and hurried pace left viewers with a number of unresolved issues and no sense of closure. Here’s hope that the finale of Stars Align, if it has a sequel, will be a happy one for all of its characters.
- Reference Sites: