Grumpy Kids from Wounded Homes – Stars Align Ep 3 Review

This is a review of Hoshiai no Sora, or Stars Align episode three.

Check out my episode two review here!

Woah, I thought I was watching an episode of Higurashi for a second. We even had what looked like a Shaft head tilt, despite the camera simply being skewed. It was meant to denote instability, but I immediately thought of every single psychopathic anime I’ve ever watched.

You know, those shows where you go into it thinking it will be one way, and it turns out to be another. Shows that disarm you with sweet moments and normal slice of life tropes. Just for a character to snap, shocking you along with those on-screen bystanders of the actual event.

Ameno Itsuki straight up cracking his tennis racket over that bully’s head made me gasp. I had to rewind that part more than once, just to make sure I had seen correctly. The deafening crack and his satisfied smile made me pause the episode and just sit here for a moment.

Like, this middle schooler really cracked a bully over the head with a tennis racket. He dissociated, stopped taking in his surroundings and just snapped and hit him. Those rackets are hard too, and as Maki pointed out – expensive.

I keep forgetting that there is still stigma surrounding divorce in Japan. I don’t know if it’s sad, or that it’s just so common place here in America that I thought nothing of it at first. Same with Maki, I didn’t automatically consider his feelings regarding his parental situation. His mom seems to work a lot, but loves him. It’s just his dad that is the problem.

With Itsuki, it’s the exact opposite. He and his older sister Namie live with their father, as their mother seemed to have some mental issues. It is unclear whether or not those issues have been resolved, or if the mom is even allowed to see the kids after almost killing Itsuki as an infant. But the one good thing in Itsuki’s situation is that he has his sister, and friends that understand him. That is so important.

I am happy that for a change, the club teacher in an anime wasn’t afraid to get involved. He actually talked to Itsuki and Rintaro, pointed out what both parties did wrong, and then offered them candy. The entire conversation was productive and healthy. Itsuki wasn’t berated by the teacher, or his sister.

Rintaro respected his friend’s space when he saw the siblings needed to talk, and the two walked home together happily. They spoke of cooking dinner, so I guess Namie and Itsuki might take turns because the dad isn’t around much due to work.

I am a child of divorce, and sadly I can’t relate much to either boy’s situation in regards to feelings of isolation, or loneliness. Or shame. My dad was a truck driver when I was a kid, so despite my parents being married he was never around much to begin with. Even when he was, it wasn’t pleasant so I was happy when he was kicked out for good.

Can’t miss someone you barely know. Even to this day, unfortunately.

I’m also an only child, so it was just always me dealing with things. I never had an older sibling to rely on, or a younger one to protect. Despite always wanting that, to not be alone. Maybe that’s why I am so happy the Ameno siblings have each other, and that Maki has the soft tennis club. Or that Mitsue is friends with the boys.

Even if it’s hard to talk about, none of them are alone. They can rely on each other, even if it’s only indirectly.

But on a positive note, I always find humor in Maki’s bluntness. He calls his teammates trash, who to be quite honest I was prepared to rip on before the second half of the episode. I was especially going to talk about Itsuki, and how he should work on fixing his awful bowl cut and step it up instead of trying to tear his teammate down.

Things change. I know more about his situation and can feel sympathetic. Maki admitting that he is in a similar situation made Itsuki realize that his teammate wasn’t arrogant at all. That he no longer had to be threatened by his very existence on the team, even if it will take him a while to fully accept this new status quo.

That’s good character development, and I really like this show for it.

I think I’m going to end it here, and watch another episode so I have it to upload for tomorrow.

So as for the questions…let’s see.

The tennis racket heard 'round the world...Stars Align episode 3.
The tennis racket heard ’round the world…Stars Align episode 3

Why do you think Shinjo’s mother hates him? I’m glad that he has his brother, or otherwise he’d be even more of a loose canon. What is Shinjo going to do when Ryouma moves out? Why do I like addressing Shinjo more by his family name than his first?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Stars Align episode reviews! I’m watching this show weekly and enjoy talking about it, I might as well shoot for a full series review. Also please don’t think badly of me if I’m a little late uploading these episode reviews. I’m trying to do a lot of other things at once, on top of maintaining this website.

I may be a little slow at it sometimes, but I promise I will upload the reviews and finish this series out! ☺

次のエピソード: A Team of Grasshoppers

☆ 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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