I am so excited because this month is Uta no Prince-sama’s 7th Stage Live concert! After all the waiting, cancellation, and postponement caused by COVID, I finally have the chance to be able to go to their 7th Stage!!! I am crying tears of joy right now!
It was very hard to get these tickets! Since Japan tends to give away their tickets using a lottery system, waiting to know if I won these tickets, was horrible. I even thought I would never win a ticket to this event. If you are curious and want to know what I’m talking about, I wrote a post about Japan’s lottery system some time ago. You can click to take a look.
It was worth going through the process, though. I have waited for years (since 2010 or 2011) to be able to go to one of these concerts, so you don’t know how ecstatic I was when I opened my emails and find that I won tickets to the concert. So now, with advanced seat tickets in hand, I’m currently in a UtaPri mood and will be watching and listening UtaPri for a good while. Hence, why I’m writing a post about them.
Uta no Prince-sama: The Princes of Songs!
Uta no Prince-sama, or UtaPri for short, is a multimedia project by Broccoli. It was first created as an Otome visual novel game for the PSP before being adapted into several manga and anime. Now, the franchise has several games, manga, anime, stage plays, concerts, an app game, and CDs (and I mean tons of music CDs). It has also won the award for the “Best Consumer Game” in Dengeki Girls’ Style Otome Game 2011.
In the UtaPri games, you play the part of the heroine of the game whose dream is to become a composer and compose a song for your favorite idol. The default name for the heroine is Haruka Nanami which is used in other projects of the franchise, but you can change the name in the game to whoever you want to be called during the game.
In the game, you signed up for a prestigious academy called Saotome Academy, which is known to produce idols and music producers. In the academy, there is a competition where students must form a student-idol pair and the winner of this competition will be able to sign up into its affiliated agency called Shining Agency. The catch is that romance is prohibited.
In the 1st season of the anime, it follows a similar setting as the game up to a certain point. The heroine Haruka Nanami (they used the default name) signed up for Saotome Academy for the same reasons as the game. Through the 1st season, you got introduced to the 6 (technically 7, but the 7th one only made a short appearance) main characters and supporting characters. From there, the competition starts and Haruka has to choose one of her fellow classmate idols to form a pair. The difference in the game is that instead of choosing one she ended up doing something completely different and ended up having to produce a group of idols instead. I was like okay, but it honestly works out since, in the end, we got a group of idols that fans know and love: STARISH.
I wasn’t able to play all of the UtaPri games since I didn’t have the money nor the chance to play them (will be playing them soon), but it seems like most of the games were set during the academy while the anime expands from that. So, I can only give you some of my thoughts about the anime rather than the games. To be honest, compared to the first and second seasons of the anime, I feel like the story needs more work on the third season and so on. I am honestly glad they expanded to more than just the Academy though. It even introduces more characters like the idols of Quartet Night and HEAVENS.
It’s an Idol anime/game
UtaPri is part of the idol/music franchise. I think it’s one of the handfuls of idol anime/games that appeared before or at the start of the growing idol genre trend. Since it’s an idol anime/game franchise, of course, the stars are the idols of UtaPri and the company has produced several pieces of music for the franchise over the years.
The idols first started out with just seven idols (well six plus one secret character), but as the franchise grew, more idols were introduced. Now, there are a total of eighteen idols in the UtaPri franchise. Who are these idols?
A seven-unit idol group and they are affiliated with Shining Entertainment. They first started out as six idols until the appearance of a secret character in the early games and since then became a seven-unit idol group. They are the main characters of the UtaPri franchise and most of the games and anime always focus on them. The members are: Otoya Ittoki, Tokiya Ichinose, Masato Hijirikawa, Ren Jinguji, Natsuki Shinomiya, Syo Kusuru, and Cecil Ajima.
A four-unit idol group also affiliated with Shining Agency. This group was first introduced in UtaPri Debut and the second season of the anime. They became STARISH mentors when they enter the master course. They were also potential love interests in UtaPri AllStars. The members consist of: Reiji Kotobuki, Ranmaru Kurosaki, Ai Mikaze, and Camus.
A seven-unit idol group and they are affiliated with Raging Entertainment (a rival of Shining Entertainment?). Unlike STARISH and QUARTET NIGHT, this group actually first appeared in the latter half of the second season of the anime. It was first a three-unit idol group until the 4th season where they added four more members making it a seven-unit idol group. They are STARISH counterparts. The members of this group are: Eiichi Otori, Kira Sumeragi, Nagi Mikado, Eiji Otori, Van Kiryuin, Yamato Hyuga, Shion Amakusa.
If you ask me which of this group or members is my favorite, I would have a difficult time deciding. Of course, I do have preferences, but that is mostly due to the type of music I listen to. I really love all of them! Did you know that each of the members has their own colors? Their official penlight got sold out, so I had no choice but to buy one that has over 18 colors.
Did I mention the music? I didn’t become a fan of the franchise just because of the characters, also because of the music! Each group and even the members of these groups have their own unique style of music when they sing. They not only have group songs, but their own individual character songs, and even songs when they collaborate with other groups too. There are so many songs that it’s really too many to count them all and more are still being made even now. I know that I would probably need a new shelf for their CDs since I seem to be buying their CDs ever since I moved to Japan. It’s fine though, at least I’m supporting them, especially since it was hard to get access to their music back when I was living in the states.
Let’s not forget about the concerts! The concerts! The UtaPri franchise have live concerts since probably the beginning. I am not sure what they were called before the anime, but I have always known their live concerts as UtaPri ____ Stage (the blank space for whatever number or title they put’ ex: UtaPri 7th Stage). During these stages, their voice actors will be singing (and dancing depending on the character) to the songs their characters sing. They are just not any voice actors too. They are famous and veteran voice actors that were singing on stage(*cough*Miyano Mamoru*cough**cough*). The way they decorated the stage is amazing too! They always pull out all the stops. I even remember they brought a car to one of their concerts once for a song. I didn’t really expect that when I watched the videos of their concerts. I also think the call and response were cool too! Too bad we can’t do that anymore due to COVID unless they change the rules, but I don’t think they will. This will be my first live UtaPri concert, so I’m still excited nevertheless. I’ll just clap as hard as I can and swing pen lights around or something.
On a side note
UtaPri is an idol anime/game franchise. If you are interested or a big fan of the idol genre or the Otome/reverse harem genres, then you should check this out. If you have access to the games, I recommend playing those as well! Watch the anime or play the games and come to the dark side…..