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!
I really enjoyed the start of this anime, i found it intersting and even amusing at times. I enjoyed most of the tennis and grew to quickly like the majority of the characters. However, the more episodes i watched, the less i wanted to keep watching. It very quickly turned from a sports anime into an overdramatic family issues with occasional sports anime. It seemed like every episode features one of the team having a concerning family problem, from abusive parents to overbearing parents to bullying to adoption. The fact that basically every member of the team was dealing with some kind of serious family issue was just too much of a stretch for me. Also the episode would present the problem but not really deal with it or have a resolution. For me this anime became an overdramatic cliche and i couldnt wait for it to be over.
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.
I'm sure this is not the popular opinion, but this anime is bad. It looks and sounds nice, but the story is terrible. They captivate you with the beautiful animation and great sound, then you have to scrounge around for the story. It is like rummaging through your clean clothes to find the dirty sock. The show is a coming-of-age story with elements on idealology, morality, devotion, teamwork, friendship, trauma, responsibility, and sexual representation. The idea behind the show is average for a sports anime. An important part of the genre in most sports shows is psycological or physical trauma. However, in "Stars Align" there is no limit nor resolution to most of the trauma. Resolution of trauma is one of the strengths in sport anime. The characters are stagnant throughout the show. The characters often become polar opposites to their emotions. That is, the characters will go from a terrified stress disorders to perfectly cheerful (not pretending) in the next frame. The majority of important characters or plot points were abandoned. If you're looking for catchy music and broadway dancing, you came to the right place. If you're looking for a gem, look elsewhere.
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