The importance of UtaPri
This was a post that I actually had planned on making before the finale of the last season when I thought, as did everyone else at the time, that Uta no Prince-Sama was going to end but an event happened recently that made me really stop and really think about it more in depth and I’m going to talk about it now.
So today is July 8th, 2015 and its been about 10 days now since the finale MLR. Yesterday on July 7th I got to do something pretty interesting…for the first time ever I just sat and watched a live stage show with no subs so the only idea of anything that I had of what was going on was watching the expressions of the actors on the stage and that, in a way made it more enjoyable, because what I DID get was pretty damn hysterical when you really sit and think about it. It also helps that two of the Actors in the show I knew of but that brings me back to the point of this post/article
Think about before you started watching Uta no Prince-Sama alright? How many of you honestly knew the names of the Seiyuus before you watched it? You might have if you went on MAL and looked up the characters and the Seiyuus ahead of time but let’s say you didn’t. You only knew the names Cecil Aijima, Syo Kurusu, Ren Jinguji and on and on and on. Your attachment for the characters might still be there but is it as deep as say if you KNEW the names of the people behind them?
Full Disclosure time: When I started watched S1 of UtaPri I didn’t know who Mamoru Miyano, Kenichi Suzumura, Kishou Taniyama or ANY of the Seiyuus were. I just knew the characters because those were the names that were ingrained in my memory and over, at the time, 13 episodes the characters left an impression on me that made me realize I had to go and continue the journey with them. We have to keep in mind now as we continue this that I am not the target audience for the Anime or the games. They know the audience they want and they get it! The first volumes of the Blu-Rays and DVDs for this season are already #1 for the week so that tells you something right there and they attract who they want. I just happen to be the 34 year old male that stumbled on a tumblr post, got his interest piqued and blogged season 1 for y’all…I didn’t know how important it was going to become at that time!
When I got to Season 2 is when I started really paying attention and not just to the characters but the music and the people performing it. The connections that the characters make not just with the other members of the cast but the audience because of their various backgrounds tells you that the writers knew what they were doing. They knew in their head “Okay we got people that can’t play the games because of ‘x’ reason so we will introduce their stories in Season 1 and build on Season 2 with them and intro new characters as well” and they did and I think it helps to grow the base especially out of the country of origin but also when you hear the music and you want to find out the people that perform the songs like an Aoi Shouta or Tomoaki Maeno you got your “gateway” because of it
If the music and the characters don’t engage you then you don’t care about them and for some this isn’t just about learning about the Seiyuus BUT there is the off chance for some this might be their intro into Anime or even J-Pop. Do we get this yet?
When I started watching the series I admit i had NO IDEA about any of the people that I mentioned and after the fact I started to do some research on the characters and the people that played them and I found out that Kenichi plays Lavi in D.Gray-Man which I am doing next month and I know that Mamoru is in the series as well. Kosuke was in Aldnoah Zero and Shonen Hollywood and Suwabe has been in KuroBas, BroCon and this series.
See where I’m going?
UtaPri just celebrated its 5th Anniversary and its going to have its 5th Stage in January which is clearly popular enough that they had to add another day you know?
We have reached an interesting point because yes there is turnover in the family and that is expected…virtually no one remains a fan of a show forever and if you do then that is true devotion and you should be applauded. The thing of it is that we got new people that are discovering this show NOW and falling in love with it. Now maybe they like it for a different reason than I and that’s to be expected. I fell in love with the characters and the music that was performed and over time I went and researched the people behind the characters as i mentioned. The other thing though is something that I watched today that really spurred his post
When I watched AD LIVE today and it was Mamoru and Kenichi I realized that they both had a very unique way of presenting their characters and that was really cool. We’re so used to seeing Mamoru as a bit of a stoic in UtaPri that when he goes and does an over the top character like a Martian or whatever the hell he was in the second that it was a shock…a pleasant one but a shock nonetheless.
Mamoru is what I call a “Human Cartoon” and I mean that in the highest compliment possible. His virtually nonstop expressions can kind of give you an idea where the story is going and they can be funny as hell to watch. Kenichi being his “straight man” just enhances it and makes his “animations” we’ll call them pop even more because in the second one he (MM) was acting almost like a Live Action version of Tamaki Suoh who he voiced in Ouran. It was such a pleasure to watch someone like him command the stage and the audience in his own way that I was asking myself this question:
Would I have wanted to see this had it NOT been for the “Princes of Song”?
Answer: Probably not!
UtaPri is an important franchise and the Anime is a big part of that. The family will continue to grow/replace the older members that fall out of it because that’s what happens. Anyone that believes I’m overstating its importance I would like to remind you that in 1997 when I was in High School I encountered Sailor Moon after the original series ended in Japan. Had it not been for that series I wouldn’t have fallen in love with Anime for damn near 20 years!
I’m not saying this to try and overemphasize the importance of UtaPri but I am trying to make you understand how important a series like this can be for someone just starting out. Does it have its flaws? Yes but no series is perfect right?
Uta no Prince-Sama in many ways if you break it down could have started for some an “Evolution” as it were and there are now 14 Princes waiting to greet you at the Entrance to a world that I never dreamed over a year ago I would be calling home and now waiting as patiently as I can for the next season with everyone else
This to me is the importance of UtaPri and if you disagree you have that right but for people like me and the people that might be starting out…its a very special series and its one that is NOT gonna be forgotten for a long time coming!