Will They Be Disbanded?
It seems appropriate and yet a bit jarring that they remind us now that the student council are trying to disband the club. While that was certainly a catalyst for action it kind of slipped out of sight behind all the other problems the boys have and so the blatant visit by the student council to the boy’s training right before the tournament makes perfect narrative sense but also seems to come out of nowhere as the student council had all but been forgotten and if it wasn’t for their dancing efforts in the ED each week I might have even forgotten who the student council president was.
The boys are already one pair down with the broken arm situation, which seems to be dealt with way too neatly given how he got said broken arm, but before we get to the tournament there are plenty of other examples of terrible parenting and emotionally draining home lives for the boys to deal with. As always, each moment would be fine and actually pretty interesting except that this anime is constantly trying to one up each scene and emotionally testing moment with the next one and the end result is largely that I’m starting to feel indifferent even to moments that really should have an impact.
However, all that aside, the boys are finally at the tournament where they just need to win one match. Stars Align once again takes the interesting approach of rapidly moving through the games and while those who watch sport anime for the sports might be displeased with the still images and rapid way we get from the beginning to the end of a game, for me they give us enough tennis to show us the improvements the boys have made and their current style without actually making me feel like someone made me watch a tennis match and I kind of appreciate the approach.
The opponents remain undeveloped and largely uninteresting with one or two getting introduced by name and playing style before we fly through the match and everyone moves on which really doesn’t help get invested in the games. However, watching the boys play and seeing their genuine effort and will power here and seeing how far they’ve come from the team who didn’t care at all just ten episodes ago was actually pretty satisfying. The outcomes are all pretty inevitable so there’s not a lot of surprise in the conclusions, but the journey to get there has been entertaining enough.
By and large, the biggest obstacle now is that there is only one episode left. Even if the tournament is wrapped up and maybe one or two other plot points, there’s just no chance of this story resolving everything it has dumped onto the table. I definitely feel this anime needed a second cour with just the sheer amount of content it has tried to tackle and then maybe it could have slowed things down and really addressed some of the ideas it wanted to explore. Still, I guess I’ll see what the final episode of the season brings us.
Reviewing all the drama in Stars Align.
Images from: Hoshiai no Sora. Dir. K Akane. 8Bit. 2019.