Stars Align

Alt title: Hoshiai no Sora

TV (12 eps)
Fall 2019
4.225 out of 5 from 1,834 votes
Rank #677

Toma Shinjou has a dilemma: he wants to save his school’s soft tennis club before it’s shut down! He seeks the help of Maki Katsuragi, a reluctant student with natural talent and other priorities. It’s going to be their last summer together as a team unless they all find a way to work together to save the club!

Source: Funimation

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      This anime is such an amazing one and is much more than just a couple of boys playing soft tennis.      As far as the story and character development goes, the creators did a great job layering the story and making it much more than just the sport of soft tennis and a club. They went into depth of the lives of each tennis club member and they humanized them in the sense that they all went through their own person issues just like someone in the real world would. It's almost as is all the boys were going through a form of hardship but yet they continued to push and stay on the team because soft tennis is what brought them happinesses.       Throughout the story, a major theme that the anime tends to always fall back on is the idea of LGBT+. Usually you don't find shows talking about this topic, almost as if it's a taboo but the fact that the creators brought this topic up to the surface and reminded the viewers that it's okay to be part of this community and accept those part of it is highly appreciated in my opinion.      Due to how nicely layered this story is, you can never really tell in which direction will go next because once you think something will happen, the opposite occurs which is nice if you like surprises in a way. It's like you keep peeling the onion but you can never get to the core because there's so much more to look foward to.     This anime definitely needs a season 2 and I'm look forward to it since it cannot end where it is now. Stars Align is definitely one of my favorite animes. 


This anime is so much more than what meets the eye. I have never seen anything that portrays the issues and topics within the series with such grace and maturity. Domestic abuse isn't some edgy side note in a character's backstory, and LGBT+ characters aren't for kicks and giggles. They handle the topics so well, and the characters feel truly alive. This isn't some sports anime where friendship overcomes all, it's a series that explores the topics that would normally be brushed under the rug. They explore gender indentity with positivity, it's not some foreign concept and wierd looks, they show that it is okay to question these things, even normal to do so. I commend the writers for giving each character a different home situation, each presenting problems almost everyone had growing up. They show how each character stuggles and copes, but nothing is resolved yet. Be warned; the cliff hanger at the end of Stars Align is pretty heavy. They intentionally left everything in a cliff hanger so people would come back for the second season. I feel like I'm going to explode waiting, so if you are not patient, I would wait for the second season to come out before picking up this series. But please pick it up, you won't regret it. Spoiler Warning But I wanted to mention this: As someone who identifies as non-binary, I literally cried when Yuta talked about being unsure of thier identity. I never was able to really relate to characters in anime, sure I love many of them, but I never could feel a personal bond or understanding of one. I was able to connect to Yuta right away. They are the first non-binary character I've seen not potrayed as some flamboyant gay stereotype. I hope Stars Align sets an example for the anime industry, and begins the represent the LGBT+ community in a more normal and positive light.

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