Check out my episode ten review here!
So, I have a confession to make.
And it pains me to say this, but I was bitter watching this episode.
So much so, that I actually delayed watching because I didn’t know if it would upset me or not.
Unfortunately, it did.
I got really invested in these characters. I loved their stories, even if it seemed a bit exposit-heavy at times. Like the exposition dump we got on the boy’s backstories. I’m not sure where the final episode in just days will take us, but this series could have benefited from twenty-four or even twenty-six episodes.
I would have loved to see the backstories spaced out more. Not that it wasn’t done nicely, but as we are winding down it seems like plotlines are suddenly being remembered and the jump in character importance doesn’t make sense.
For example: Rintarou.
We learned Rintarou is adopted, and he experiences feelings of inadequacy because his birth mom gave him up. This is despite the fact that his parents love him dearly and he dwells in a peaceful home life each day.
Rintarou has a central role on the soft tennis team, and felt threatened when Maki joined and kind of took over for a while.
Until the positions of power were adjusted, based on his presented backstory we as the audience can ascertain why he felt that way. Because we know what he is dealing with, it is easy to read between the lines and understand what has not been explicitly stated.
I’m fine with this type of storytelling, and prefer it rather than being spoon-fed every single plot point like a child. I’d rather be shown, instead of told. I want to discover my own meaning. I want to follow the trail of the writer, director, even costume designer, etc.
I enjoy discovering these little things, and piecing them together to understand the bigger picture. That type of storytelling is fun to me.
So Nao randomly deciding now, after losing the match, would be the best time for him to ignore his mother and find his own way – was annoying to me. It is in line with his character, but I just wish he would have done that sooner.
Rintarou suddenly deciding he wants to meet his mom after she randomly texts him when his parents were setting up a meeting and the camera cut away and we never saw the final conversation? That was slightly annoying to me.
Am I supposed to give a damn about Rintarou’s parental issues when the final deciding game is on the horizon? With ONE episode left? Really?
Maki and Shinjo having to shoulder the entire burden of the team? Shinjo wanting to break out of his brother’s shadow? Ryouma apparently having a conversation with a mystery woman he refers to as ‘mom’ and declaring to protect his two little brothers with one episode left in the series?
A secret brother, introduced in the final episode of the series? Annoying to me.
There are ways to leave mysteries and lingering questions for a series, but you have to plant the seeds before harvest time.
Does this take away from the show’s greatness? No. These are simply my own personal annoyances while watching this episode. I look forward to seeing the culmination of Makimaki and Shinjo taking on the creepy twins Sora and Riku in the final match.
Maybe we’ll get an OVA or something if a season 2 isn’t announced.
But, what do you think?
Do you think this series needed more time to fully flesh out the characters in the manner the story is taking them? What are your feelings on Tsukinose Nao? How do you think Stars Align will handle all of these loose ends?
(Is Maki’s dad just gone forever? Really making that last paycheck last?)
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.
☆ In Asian Spaces