Thursday, January 01, 2015

Peter Shillito's 2014 Aikatsu Awards

Following on from my earlier anime rewards posts, time for the 2014 Aikatsu! Awards!

As many of you may know, I'm kinda, sorta obsessed with Aikatsu! so it makes sense to have entirely separate awards for Aikatsu!

Without further ado~

The 'My How They've Grown' Award for Best Character Development

With the 3rd season now well underway, the characters we've known and loved have now been around for a 2 years in the real world, 3 years in the show world (there was a year timeskip between season 1 and 2 if you didn't know). This led to characters we know from the first series now being 3 years older than when we first met them, along with new characters introduced along the way. One of the most notable changes is Raichi, Ichigo's brother, who has noticably grown taller (there is a height comparison to Aoi at one point both in the original series and the second).
Akari is the obvious choice for this award. Starting off as essentially an "Ichigo wannabe", copying her hairstyle and mannerisms and trying to be her, Akari didn't seem like a character I could really like at all. However, even though she is still technically the Ichigo replacement for the 3rd season onwards in terms of "leader of the main trio", Akari has progressed into her own unique character. From a striking visual change when she cut her own hair (no longer a clone of Ichigo's), to developing her own personality and mannerisms (Akari's thing where she kisses the cards she's about to use is the most adorable thing).

Akari wins The 'My How They've Grown' Award for Best Character Development

Honourable mention goes to Aoi Kiriya and Ran Shibuki as, in late season 3, they have started acting as producers for Ichigo completely on their own, without needing to join a course like those available in Dream Academy. Aoi has also continued her role as the lead character in the Naughty Detective police drama. Essentially, she's standing on her own two feet, in contrast with many others.

The 'Who?' Award for Character Lost in the Gap Between Seasons

RIP Dream Academy. The third season has completely forgotten about the Dream Academy characters it would seem, save for a few mentions of characters where relevant in the plot, but they're otherwise absent. Kii is mentioned in the episode where Akari became the new Pon Pon Crepe image girl, while Seira appeared in a flashback and an in-anime photo. I also have a feeling that she may appear in the Great Ichigo Starmiya Festival due to the appearance of certain cards in the background of some shots. However, everyone else has vanished entirely. I don't even think they've appeared in flashbacks.

Literally everyone from Dream Academy gets The 'Who?' Award for Characters Lost in the Gap Between Seasons

Honourable mention goes to Hikari Minowa who got an entire episode in season 1, even going on-stage, then only ever seen in cameos since. However, she is the mascot for the real world Aikatsu! Style shops to the point where you could get a CD of her singing short versions of various Aikatsu! songs from said shops, but only there. You could argue that she's more forgotten than the Dream Academy characters, however her character wasn't really developed enough for me to care after that one episode in season 1.

The 'Kanzaki Mizuki' Award for Worst Character Other than Mizuki

Okay, so naming the award after Mizuki might be a bit unfair, but I really can't stand Mizuki. Everyone in the show seems to hold her in some kind of crazy-high regard. She's just arbitrarily assigned as "top idol" and has never left the top spot despite her not actually doing anything in ages. So she's default worst character.
This award actually goes to Otome Arisugawa. I've hated her since season 1 and the fact that she became Starlight Queen (essentially the most popular idol in the school) while Ichigo was in the USA was ridiculous. Visually, I dislike the "Happy Rainbow" brand of clothing, her voice is incredibly grating especially when yelling her "love you" catch phrase and everyone seems to like her despite her only activities seemingly being eating sweets and walking places. I'm very pleased she's not in season 3 much, but then the characters I do like from older seasons are also not in season 3 much. It's like they give with one hand and take with the other.

Otome Arisugawa wins The 'Kanzaki Mizuki' Award for Worst Character Other than Mizuki

Honourable mention goes to Maria Himesato from Dream Academy who even the anime admits only got popular due to a photo in a magazine. They never really expanded on her character much. However, she was introduced mid-series and, like all other Dream Academy students, she's pretty much forgotten completely now.

The 'It Sucks to be a Fat Male Foreigner in a Little Japanese Girl World' Award for Aikatsu! Merchandise I'll Never Be Able To Obtain and/or Use

So it was announced recently that a line of Aikatsu!-themed glasses frames were to be released, along with images of said glasses. I've looked them up online, and I can confirm that they look amazing and they also won't fit my giant head. I really appreciate the images with measurement dimensions on for the glasses, as I know for sure that they won't fit me and, thus, shouldn't waste my money on them. I've got nowhere to put glasses on display, so if they won't fit on my head, I shouldn't get them. Another problem I had is that most opticians don't like fitting lenses to frames that aren't theirs due to fears of breaking them, so I wouldn't be able to use them anyway (I wear prescription lenses).

Aikatsu! glasses frames win The 'It Sucks to be a Fat Male Foreigner in a Little Japanese Girl World' Award for Aikatsu! Merchandise I'll Never Be Able To Obtain and/or Use

Honourable mention to all other apparel, such as t-shirts, available to buy at Aikatsu! Style.

The 'Mai Waifu' Award for Best Aikatsu! Character

I don't think there's much point in having this award listed. You all know that Yurika Toudou is my favourite character in Aikatsu! Her ability to remain in her vampire character almost 24/7 is amazing and she's so much fun because of it. She's really cute as well, especially in those rare moments when she's in non-vampire mode with her hair down and wearing glasses (glasses are a major plus for any character in anything ever and I won't have anyone say otherwise). Her clothing brand of Loli Gothic is fantastic, and really suits Yurika, along with the incredible music used (Eien no Tomoshibi is the best song in Aikatsu!). It's a shame she's not appearing much in season 3, but with one of the new trio using Loli Gothic as her main brand of clothing, I'm hoping she'll appear a bit more later in the season.

Yurika Toudou wins The 'Mai Waifu' Award for Best Aikatsu! Character

Honourable mention to Aoi Kiriya, my second favourite character in Aikatsu! Her role as the Idol Professor in the series is pretty fun, and Futuring Girl is a fantastic clothing brand that I actually prefer over Loli Gothic and, indeed, all other brands.

Did you read all that? Huh. Wasn't expecting that. It's just me gushing over Aikatsu!, only in more detail. Why would you want to read that? Oh well. Here's to another year of Aikatsu! - maybe I'll get to see the film at some point~~~

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