All the Right Moves – Stars Align Episode 2 Review

This is a review of Hoshiai no Sora, or Stars Align episode two. Let’s count this as Day 20: Personal Demons, Part II.

Check out my first impression of this series here!

I’m still not sure if I’ll be doing a full series review on this, but I should at least review episode two – right?

Oh, this show is adorable. The episode was so warm and bubbly. Sure, there was a bit of bullying going on – I totally forgot how cruel school children can be sometimes to one another.

Then of course, the twist of the episode is Maki insulting his team members and calling them nothing but clowns and losers. All I could do was laugh, because this soft tennis team is essentially a joke. They had forgotten the basics, had terrible stamina, no conditioning, and such low motivation to even try and compete seriously.

The secondhand embarrassment really kicked in when the rest of the middle school sports teams were watching the tennis boys. They were truly shocked the team was actually doing something. I felt so bad for them but at the same time, I wonder if they’ll make other teams angry once they (hopefully) start winning. Because then, they wouldn’t be the bottom rung anymore.

Also they’d have a snazzy locker room once they clean it up, and would (hopefully) retain privileges to use it since no one else wanted it for so long.

The animation was really nice this episode, especially in the race sequence between Maki and Toma. Is it bad that I wondered if Maki is that fast because he imagines he is running away from his abusive father?

Maki’s mom didn’t seem to realize their savings were gone. She does work a lot, so I’m going to cut her some slack. Maki didn’t seem to tell her, which isn’t uprising – it had to have been embarrassing for him. The boy probably cleaned the apartment and continued on cooking like nothing had happened, bottling it all up inside. Then replaced the taken money with his extortion money from Toma.

Poor kid.

We met the rest of the team this week, along with a boy who was being bullied for his sexuality. I’m very glad that Yuta isn’t being othered because of his preference. Or rather, I don’t know if everyone on the team knows yet. Hopefully there won’t be a huge blowout over it, especially since Yuta is now their manager and some of the boys seem like jerks. 

But again, they are just kids.

Toma seems to have quite the reputation. I wonder if Yuta has a crush on him because he is strong and stands up for the perceived weak. I’m also wondering what it is about his personality that even scares his own mother. He does appear to have those sort of…qualities…one would expect from an unpredictable individual. Mainly his manner of speech, his intense stare, the polite voice…it could be unnerving to some. I still don’t know his backstory yet though, so it wouldn’t be best to assume the worst when the kid’s actions could just be misconstrued.

I hope the boys, or at least Maki, start hanging out with Mitsue again. She is also being bullied, and seems to escape at night through her popularity as an online artist. I want to say she’s probably using Pixiv, but I am not completely sure.

That platform has wonderful artists. I remember years ago I would spend hours clicking on profiles, looking through galleries, and clicking through the favorite gallery of an artist I enjoyed. It literally led me down a rabbit hole, but I can still see those images today in my mind. They stayed with me, as any art that truly touches you should.

I’m glad Mitsue has some sort of outlet. Hopefully she is able to find a friend group at school in addition to her online friends. It can get pretty lonely if you only have one and not the other. Unless she’s happy that way – which is fine. But it doesn’t seem like she is.

All it takes is one poorly received online post to hit her self-worth particularly hard after a rough day at school. With real life friends, it balances out more.

I wish Mitsue hurled that retort she said under her breath to those girl’s faces. It would have been priceless.

Wow, these characters have grown on me. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I don’t know if I’ll continue reviewing this series weekly. I will keep watching through. The soft tennis team is completely hopeless at this point, but I’m rooting for them.

I will root, hope, and wish for them to succeed.

And, I want to see them succeed. Even if they are fictional characters.

Kanako Mitsue and I are currently kindred spirits. I am literally sitting in the dark making that face while hunched over my laptop.
Kanako Mitsue and I are currently kindred spirits. I am literally sitting in the dark making that face while hunched over my laptop.

Are you still watching Hoshiai no Sora? What do you think Katsuragi and Shinjo’s relationship truly is? Would Shinjo return Asuka’s feelings? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more fall anime reviews!

次のエピソード:  Grumpy Kids from Wounded Homes

☆ In Asian Spaces

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

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