A Team of Grasshoppers – Stars Align Ep 4 Review

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

Check out my episode three review here!

Oh I knew it. The writers almost had me, I’m not going to lie.

Here I was bracing myself for the second half of the episode to drop off like it does, and it decided to inject the bitterness after the credits. Then had the nerve to end with an adorable endcard of Rintaro and his fat cat.


Can we do something about Maki’s dad? Like seriously, what can be done with him? I’ve watched an abundance of depressing Jdrama based on real events where the authorities do nothing. I know this is an anime, but often these animated shows have realism in the underlying plots. Just from the shows I’ve seen alone in regards to bullying and terrible parents, no one ever seems to get involved. And when they do, there is a lot of bowing for “causing trouble”.

Again I make this point a lot, but Japan has its own rules and social problems. Just like any other country. I’m not familiar enough with their laws and even if I were, I would still apply an outsider’s context to things.

For instance, if I saw an older man huddled over a kid with a tennis racket in his hand intimidating him, I would call the cops. Then I would stand there and wait until they arrived so nothing happened to the kid, I don’t care the circumstances that lead to it. Or if the kid did something bad. There is no reason for all of that negativity and abuse. I’m sure a lot of people would do the same as me, and a crowd of onlookers would form until the authorities arrived.

Now when they do arrive, that would be a different story. The kid could run upstairs and lock the doors, and the adult would probably make an excuse about disciplining their child and how it is their right. The cops hands would be tied, and hopefully the abusive scumbag would go home for the night.

I think Maki should tell his mom what has been going on. He’s trying to shoulder it alone, but it’s only going to get worse until the point where he can’t hide it anymore. Especially since his racket is broken, he’s going to have to spend the extortion money to get a new one. Unless he borrows someone else’s until he can afford it himself. But without replacing the household stash money, his mom would finally get hip to what’s going on.

It’s a lose-lose situation either way, but his mom should be cognizant of this.

Damn it, man. Here I was pumped for the boys finally finding their groove and rooting for them despite the school council plotting their downfall. Especially the round-faced girl from the student council. I don’t remember her name, but I call her little pudge in my head. I know that’s mean, and childish, but gosh that sociopathic Darwinist speech she gave kind of pissed me off.

At least they’re trying. They are finally motivated. Why would you take that away from someone? Like Sakurai-sensei said, kids need something to believe in. Even if this world is cruel, they can at least have these memories and the comradery that comes along with being a part of a team.

But even though this episode’s happiness was short lived, we might have other troubles brewing at the surface. Troubles named Rintarou and Mitsue.

I don’t know what’s up with this gloomy, pessimistic girl but she drew a comic in class depicting Maki getting eaten by an oversized cat. Blood flowing from its mouth and all. I know it is Maki because he’s the only player who wears a girl’s visor. Is she getting jealous? Does she like Maki? Do they like each other? He’s always telling her to go home, but I think he likes having her around. She was his first friend, after all.

Then there’s gentle Rintaro. Rintaro is gentle. I know I’ve said this twice, but I don’t trust him because he is gentle. You always have to watch the nice ones, because they could really hurt you and you’d never expect it. I think the team dynamic before heavily relied on him, but now the admiration has shifted to Maki. He seems depressed over it. Hopefully he can resolve those feelings, and Maki might have to tone it down a bit like he did during the doubles practice matches.

Maki has natural talent, and people will always be jealous of that, unfortunately. They could take it wrong, even though he isn’t doing anything wrong. I hate to say that, but sometimes if you are able to do things others can’t even fathom, that rarely invokes awe.

The world we live in can be cruel and tragic, but there’s also lots of beauty. ☺

So, questions.

Have I mentioned that Maki's dad is utter trash? Stars Align episode 4
Have I mentioned that Maki’s dad is utter trash? Stars Align episode 4

Realistically, what could be done with an abusive person such as Maki’s dad in Japan? In this current time? Should Maki let his mother know what’s been going on? What do you think would have happened if his friends were around?

If the dad has been watching the house, he probably chose that day to harass Maki because he knew he would be alone. Thus, no resistance for his abuse. But what do you think?

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.

次のエピソード: Why Can’t We Be Friends?

☆ 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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