The story revolves around an overly annoying girl named Ichigo Hoshimiya, and her friends, Aoi and Ran. The three of them enter Starlight Academy, a school for idols. They participate in Aikatsu (“Idol Activities”), and learn about the idol world. Nothing about this show’s episodes are very interesting or original. It’s very obvious from the start that the show is meant for little kids, and to sell a product. Turns out “Aikatsu Cards” are a thing in Japan, and this show is designed to promote them. Aikatsu Cards are trading cards, each with a part of an outfit on them (dress, shoes, accessory, etc.) that, in the show, is scanned into a special machine creates those items that can then be worn. Each episode normally consists of one of the main characters, and sometimes side characters, hearing about an idol job they want to apply for, training for it in an unrealistic way, putting their outfits on magical-girl-style, getting the job (95% of the time), and learning some little life lesson. Normally this includes a singing/dancing sequence that shows off the cards/outfits.
Obviously, nothing groundbreaking here; plenty of magical girl/idol shows are very similar. The difference is shows like Pretty Cure are more charming and better made, and shows like AKB and IdolM@aster are dramatically better idol shows. If you’re looking for a cute girly show, go somewhere else!
All the main characters follow generic stereotypes; the bubbly and annoying blond, the smart best friend, and the calm/cool type. They could be worse (except, the main girl who is barely tolerable!) but they’re certainly not interesting. One of the best things the show is good at is the designs of background/extremely minor characters (like classmates). Even though some of the hairstyles are a bit ridiculous, they’re more interesting than generic background characters.
The absolute worst part of the show is the girls’ outfits!! The Aikatsu cards looked like they were designed by 5-year-olds, and most of the outfits are laughable.
Normally bright, cute, and average, but when the idols start to dance, the show takes a horrible turn for the worst. All dance sequences are done in horrible repetitive CG; it’s really sad-looking. (Although I've noticed that the CG gets better much better in the second season)