The first practice match against a champion school may be a cliche move for a sports anime but Stars Align at least knows how to put its best foot forward for the characters we've followed so far and how to keep the pace moving. It still ends on a cliff-hanger that was most definitely inevitable.
The stars nearly did align this week as the episode began fairly solidly. However, by the final trope dropped in the post credits scene a lot of the strength of the episode had dissipated. Still, it is nice to see that episode 5 was trying.
This week Hoshiai no Sora continues to develop the players in the club as they pair them up differently and let their strengths work together. As usual, underlying that we get some snapshots of the student council, the coaches, and the kid's home lives. The mix continues to work for Stars Align.
Hoshiai no Sora continues to nicely balance the standard underdog sports club story with the personal dramas sitting behind each of the members. It makes for an interesting viewing experience even if it is business as usual in terms of plot.
Alright, I think I'm sold on Stars Align. Not a lot is happening with this episode focusing on Maki's first two training sessions with the team but there's enough personality to this anime that it is winning me over anyway.
The Ones Within or Nakanohito Genome [Jikkyouchuu] is one of those anime that is better experienced than described. While it is certainly a flaw riddled viewing experience, not the least because it is incomplete, there's still plenty of reasons to give this one a shot. Particularly if you are in the mood for something a bit strange.
Domestic Girlfriend is melodrama from start to finish yet somehow it is a train wreck of a romance story that managed to keep me watching even while I wanted to bang the heads of all of the main characters together. I know this review is late but here are my whole series thoughts of Domestic Girlfriend.
Another sports anime potentially on the watch list this season though this one seems to be going for a more dramatic turn if the final scene of this episode is anything to go by. I guess we'll see how this goes once they actually start playing tennis.
We resolve the issue of the lost companion and then have two final games, but as the anime ends with the story incomplete and it seems unlikely we'll get another season, it all feels just a little bit pointless. Unless you happen to like the child forms of the characters and the various flowers sprouting on their heads in episode 11.
The One's Within seemed to step back up after last week's apparent drop in quality. I think what works here is the unexpected but logical steps the characters and the story takes as the group try to recover their lost companion.