Hi I'm Dranzerstorm
You may remember me as a regular contestant on the caption battle contest.
Welcome to Retro Retrospective, my world dedicated to the old guard of the Otaku world; expect some reviews of the old & obscure, and in-depth geeky knowledge with the occasional top ten and I now have a logo.

Little info about me
Well I'm British and I'm in to all things animated and nostalgia.
I've grown up with every cartoon going and have watched hundreds of anime.
Oh and to answer a question I was asked once, no I don't wear glasses in real life, I would wear Loke's sunglasses though.

Aikatsu Friends Review

Another trip to Aikatsu for us today.

Aine is in the regular class at Star Harmony academy until a meeting with best friend Mio opens up a path into the idol class opening up a path to become Diamond Friends, the highest rank.
Not really much has changed only the focus is now on pairings and how they interact and perform in the Aikatsu world. While the songs have a serious upgrade along with the Idol business being greatly expanded, it still possesses much of the same problems as the original, it's fine in small doses and the characters aren't that memorable but it's saddled with a couple of extra problems that is unique to this series, the first being the lack of an exciting support cast, the other being too formulaic as everytime it focuses on a different pairing they tend to go through the same plot. The Honey Cat pairing have had arguments in every episode they led while a number of episodes see Aine try too hard only to backfire but get better after, the original doesn't have this problem.
It's still an enjoyable series at it's core and the serious music upgrade is welcomed in this genre.
Obviously no dub, it would be wasted otherwise.
Final Verdict: For the music upgrade alone it's worth continuing Aikatsu but you will be missing a few features from the original.

Aikatsu Review

Now for a series that I should hate.

Aikatsu has a very basic plot that runs throughout the whole franchise, Starlight Academy is a training ground for aspiring new idols who participate in numerous auditions showcasing singing, drama and fashion; fashion especially as the title system Aikatsu, is a digitised system allowing the girls to transform into pop idols and enter virtual live stages for their performances powered by collectible cards that coordinate fashion to match the performance or to a character's personal taste such as goth lolita or sugar pink pop princess, the level of detail maintained in all the various costumes is incredible mostly because each performance relys on CGI taken from it's video game source material making it one of the most accurate adaptations of any video game ever and the fact it's been going since 2012 means it's not leaving anytime soon but one thing that's going to create questions, why do I like this idol show, but hate the others?
I think it's because at the heart of it all, it knows what elements it wants to sell, it is not ashamed to admit that it's based on a game and runs with it by putting emphasis on it's set pieces, the performances themselves, it also helps if the music is catchy. This makes the most tedious parts all the more bearable as the actual idol industry itself is really tiring to sit through, Aikatsu fixes this by promising a performance at least once per episode to breakup the interactions the girls have to deal with such as communicating with the designers; it doesn't weigh itself down by shoehorning in a corrupt music producer conflict (Jem and Eriko) or go through the notion of having to do this to save the school (Love Live) or having to make a preteen become 16 years old so she can live out her dreams with childhood naivety in check (pretty much all 80s shoujo) nor does it go through an entire process of the industry looked through the eyes of a faceless ring master ([email protected]) it's just a cornucopia of fantastic rainbow kawaiiness that just makes you smile.
If Aikatsu has any problems, it's the fact that the characters feel so forgettable that I never even bothered to name them, now it does work in a weird way because it represents any character that can be designed by a player playing one of their games and each character represents a style path anyone can follow but it also makes it very difficult to judge them by their own merits since the girls only follow one personality setting, even Love Live remembered to add some depth to their characters even if they were lazy about it. This comes to my only conclusion about Aikatsu, watch in small doses, to marathon the series would piss you off and it's set pieces leave less of an impact the more frequently seen, mostly because the characters can't offer anymore to their one dimensional blueprint so basically it's like watching a music video on VH1 with a special on how it was made, the difference is you learn nothing about the performers.
Being a shojo of this calibur, of course there's no dub but I do believe it would wipeout trends in the toy industry faster than the IPHONE if it did come stateside.
Final Verdict: It's cute, colourful fun with enough ideas to last a lifetime just don't go into this expecting anything deep or meaningful.