Stella of the Theater: World Dai Star

Alt title: World Dai Star

TV (12 eps)
3.494 out of 5 from 201 votes
Rank #6,343

The best actors are known as "Dai Star", creating a worldwide popularity boom for theater. Kokona Otori, a sixteen-year-old girl, aims to become a "World Dai Star" by auditioning for Sirius, a theater company that she admires greatly. She follows her dreams and a story of passion and aspiration unfolds as the cultivation of Kokona's unique "sense" for the stage results propels her forward.

Source: Crunchyroll

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Reviews

Nekus
8

Visual metaphors in many anime are a core part in making what would realistically be visually mundane into something so visually stimulating that can rival the emotional connection the show wants the audience to feel. It’s the reason so many sport shows don’t just show one dude hitting a ball, but hitting a ball so hard they cause the extinction of the dinosaurs. And that’s what I was sure I was watching in the first few episodes of this cute Slice of Life show about cute girls wanting to be actresses. Oh, they’re talking about special powers they all possess as actresses that they developed in order to stand out from the crowd? Well that’s a cute way to portray talents…. Wait, what do you mean one of the girls can read minds? And… the other one can affect people’s memories? Another one creates an entire mass hallucination on the entire audience? And… one can create an entire human being that can interact with the world with just the power of her… acting? This somewhat mind blowing world building aspect is then rendered even more perplexing by the fact that society, and all the characters in the story, don’t really seem that affected by these facts and just treat it very matter of factly. Only stage actresses seem to have magic powers and everyone is just okay with it and nobody truly questions it, even when some of the powers propose some truly existentially dreadful questions. Aside from this confusing set up, the rest of the show is what most would expect after having any of the other countless cute girls doing activity shows. There some light character drama, lots of talks of dreams and friendship and a bunch of idol link songs here and there.  In the production aspect everything goes from average to surprisingly well made, and I especially enjoyed the use of color and the appealing character designs that were rendered justice in every scene that featured the stage performances of the girls. In the last mini arc of the story especially the story started to get a lot more in depth on the acting side of things and showed us how all the characters we came to know in the story would portray the same character in very different ways, not only because of their special talents but because how they personally interpret the role. It was fascinating. Unfortunately, this is all in the middle of a show with wild mood swings from seriousness to the same trite jokes that are beyond cliché of the genre and the show could have gained a lot of points if it tried a little bit harder to stray away from conventions. A stand out example is how they kept having one character sing idol-ish Jpop songs, even if they were just in the middle of a very serious emotionally driven period drama. It just didn’t fit. For the characters as well, I have to say that while by the end they managed to make me care about many of them, there's hardly more to say about each one other that the very recognizable and overused template they fill. The genki protagonist, the tsundere, the nerdy one, the child progidy, etcetera etcetera.  In the end, the interesting if confusing set up, the strong visuals and the surprisingly strong final arc that genuinely got emotional managed to turn this fundamentally formulaic genre piece into a well enjoyable little production. 

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