Ensemble Stars!

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Ensemble Stars!
Ensemble Stars promotional art.jpg
Promotional image for the anime
あんさんぶるスターズ!
(Ansanburu Sutāzu!)
GenreSchool life[1]
Game
DeveloperCacalia Studio
PublisherHappy Elements K.K.
Genre
Platform
Released
  • JP: April 28, 2015 (Android)
    May 1, 2015 (iOS)
Manga
Written bySayo Ichi
Published byKodansha
MagazineAria
DemographicShōjo
Original runAugust 28, 2015December 28, 2016
Volumes4
Anime television series
Directed byYasufumi Soejima
Mazakazu Hishida
Written byShinichi Inotsume
Akira
Music byTatsuya Kato
StudioDavid Production
Licensed by
Original networkTokyo MX, SUN, KBS, TVA, BS11
Original run July 7, 2019 December 22, 2019
Episodes24 (List of episodes)
Anime film
Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!
Directed byAsami Nakatani (chief)
Mazakazu Hishida
Written bySeitarō Kino
Music byTatsuya Kato
StudioDavid Production
ReleasedMarch 4, 2022 (2022-03-04)
Runtime72 minutes

Ensemble Stars! (あんさんぶるスターズ!, Ansanburu Sutāzu!) is a Japanese game franchise developed by Cacalia Studio and published by Happy Elements K.K., the Japanese division of the Chinese company Happy Elements. It is a spin-off of the 2012 game Ensemble Girls! It was first released as a life simulation and gacha game on Google Play on April 28, 2015, and on the App Store on May 1, 2015.

On March 9, 2020, Ensemble Stars! was rebranded and relaunched under the title Ensemble Stars!! (あんさんぶるスターズ!!, Ansanburu Sutāzu!!, with two exclamation marks), with the original app split into two games catering to different gameplay styles: Ensemble Stars!! Basic, the original game; and Ensemble Stars!! Music, a rhythm game.

The success of the game led to several stage plays and manga adaptations. An anime television series by David Production aired from July 7 to December 22, 2019.[2] A theatrical anime premiered on March 4, 2022.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Trickstar[edit]

Subaru Akehoshi (明星 スバル, Akehoshi Subaru)
Voiced by: Tetsuya Kakihara (Japanese); Garret Storms (English)[3]
Hokuto Hidaka (氷鷹 北斗, Hidaka Hokuto)
Voiced by: Yoshimasa Hosoya (2015-2017),[4] Tomoaki Maeno (2017-present) (Japanese); Adam Gibbs (English)[3]
Makoto Yuuki (遊木 真, Yūki Makoto)
Voiced by: Showtaro Morikubo (Japanese); Jerry Jewell (English)[3]
Mao Isara (衣更 真緒, Isara Mao)
Voiced by: Yuki Kaji (Japanese); David Matranga (English)[3]
Anzu (あんず, Anzu)
Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto (Japanese); Felecia Angelle (English)[3]
The point-of-view character throughout the Ensemble Stars! main story.

Yumenosaki Private Academy[edit]

Fine[edit]

Eichi Tenshouin (天祥院 英智, Tenshōin Eichi)
Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (Japanese); Aaron Dismuke (English)[3]
Tori Himemiya (姫宮 桃李, Himemiya Tori)
Voiced by: Ayumu Murase (Japanese); Mikaela Krantz (English)[3]
Yuzuru Fushimi (伏見 弓弦, Fushimi Yuzuru)
Voiced by: Kotaro Hashimoto (Japanese); Evin Wood (simulcast), Chris Burnett (home video) (English)[3][5]
Wataru Hibiki (日々樹 渉, Hibiki Wataru)
Voiced by: Takuya Eguchi (Japanese); Aaron Roberts (English)[3]

Undead[edit]

Rei Sakuma (朔間 零, Sakuma Rei)
Voiced by: Toshiki Masuda (Japanese); Anthony Bowling (English)[3]
Adonis Otogari (乙狩アドニス, Otogari Adonisu)
Voiced by: Wataru Hatano (Japanese); Taylor Harris (English)[3]
Koga Ogami (大神晃牙, Ōgami Koga)
Voiced by: Yūki Ono (Japanese); Ricco Fajardo (English)[3]
Kaoru Hakaze (羽風 薫, Hakaze Kaoru)
Voiced by: Kei Hosogai (Japanese); Josh Grelle (English)[3]

Valkyrie[edit]

Mika Kagehira ((影片みか, Kagehira Mika)
Voiced by: Jun Osuka (Japanese); Clifford Chapin (English)[3]
Shu Itsuki (斎宮宗, Itsuki Shū)
Voiced by: Hiroki Takahashi (Japanese); Shawn Gann (English)[3]

Knights[edit]

Tsukasa Suou (朱桜司, Suō Tsukasa)
Voiced by: Reio Tsuchida (Japanese); Kyle Phillips (English)[3]
Arashi Narukami (鳴上嵐, Narukami Arashi)
Voiced by: Sōsuke Sōma (2015),[6] Ryo Kitamura (2015-present)[7] (Japanese); Matt Shipman (English)[3]
Arashi is a member of Knights and is described as an onee character, and speaks using feminine speech.[8][6]
Ritsu Sakuma (朔間凛月, Sakuma Ritsu)
Voiced by: Daiki Yamashita (Japanese); Zach Bolton (English)[3]
Izumi Sena (瀬名泉, Sena Izumi)
Voiced by: Masami Ito (Japanese); Austin Tindle (English)[3]
Leo Tsukinaga (月永レオ, Tsukinaga Leo)
Voiced by: Shintarō Asanuma (Japanese); Jordan Dash Cruz (English)[3]

Ryuseitai[edit]

Tetora Nagumo (南雲鉄虎, Nagumo Tetora)
Voiced by: Yoshiki Nakajima (Japanese); Kyle Igneczi (English)[3]
Shinobu Sengoku (仙石忍, Sengoku Shinobu)
Voiced by: Anju Nitta (Japanese); Christopher Llewyn Ramirez (English)[3]
Midori Takamine (高峯翠, Takamine Midori)
Voiced by: Takumi Watanabe (Japanese); Jason Librecht (English)[3]
Chiaki Morisawa (守沢千秋, Morisawa Chiaki)
Voiced by: Yuichi Jose (Japanese); Aaron Campbell (English)[3]
Kanata Shinkai (深海奏汰, Shinkai Kanata)
Voiced by: Kōtarō Nishiyama (Japanese); Brandon McInnis (English)[3]

Ra*bits[edit]

Nazuna Nito (仁兎なずな, Nito Nazuna)
Voiced by: Yuki Yonai (Japanese); Stephen Sanders (English)[3]
Hajime Shino (紫之創, Shinō Hajime)
Voiced by: Tomoya Kosaka (Japanese); Brittney Karbowski (English)[3]
Tomoya Mashiro (真白友也, Mashiro Tomoya)
Voiced by: Shunya Hiruma (Japanese); Blake McNamara (English)[3]
Mitsuru Tenma (天満光, Tenma Mitsuru)
Voiced by: Junya Ikeda (Japanese); Derek Whitener (English)[3]

2wink[edit]

Yuta Aoi (葵ゆうた, Aoi Yūta) and Hinata Aoi (葵ひなた, Aoi Hinata)
Voiced by: Soma Saito (Japanese); Justin Duncan (English)[3]

Akatsuki[edit]

Soma Kanzaki (神崎颯馬, Kanzaki Sōma)
Voiced by: Keisuke Kaminaga (Japanese); Patrick McAlister (English)[3]
Keito Hasumi (蓮巳敬人, Hasumi Keito)
Voiced by: Yūichirō Umehara (Japanese); Daman Mills (English)[3]
Kuro Kiryu (鬼龍紅郎, Kiryu Kuro)
Voiced by: Shinichiro Kamio (Japanese); Jarrod Greene (English)[3]

MaM[edit]

Madara Mikejima (三毛縞斑, Mikejima Madara)
Voiced by: Kōsuke Toriumi (Japanese); Tyson Rineheart (English)[3]

Switch[edit]

Natsume Sakasaki (逆先夏目, Sakasaki Natsume)
Voiced by: Kenji Nojima (Japanese); Derick Snow (English)[3]
Sora Harukawa (春川宙, Harukawa Sora)
Voiced by: Kazutomi Yamamoto (Japanese); Emily Fajardo (English)[3]
Tsumugi Aoba (青葉つむぎ, Aoba Tsumugi)
Voiced by: Kaito Ishikawa (Japanese); Justin Briner (English)[3]

Shuuetsu Academy[edit]

Adam[edit]

Nagisa Ran (乱凪砂, Ran Nagisa)
Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe
Ibara Saegusa (七種茨, Saegusa Ibara)
Voiced by: Ryōta Ōsaka

Reimei Academy[edit]

Eve[edit]

Hiyori Tomoe (巴日和, Tomoe Hiyori)
Voiced by: Natsuki Hanae (Japanese); Dallas Reid (English)[3]
Jun Sazanami (漣 ジュン, Sazanami Jun)
Voiced by: Yuma Uchida (Japanese); Orion Pitts (English)[3]

Ensemble Square[edit]

Alkaloid[edit]

Hiiro Amagi (天城一彩, Amagi Hiiro)
Voiced by: Gakuto Kajiwara
Aira Shiratori (白鳥藍良, Shiratori Aira)
Voiced by: Kōhei Amasaki
Mayoi Ayase (礼瀬 マヨイ, Ayase Mayoi)
Voiced by: Chiharu Shigematsu
Tatsumi Kazehaya (風早巽, Kazehaya Tatsumi)
Voiced by: Masatomo Nakazawa

Crazy:B[edit]

Rinne Amagi (天城燐音, Amagi Rinne)
Voiced by: Yōhei Azakami
HiMERU (ひめる, Himeru)
Voiced by: Jun Kasama
Niki Shiina (椎名 ニキ, Shiina Niki)
Voiced by: Tomohiro Yamaguchi
Kohaku Oukawa (桜河 こはく, Oukawa Kohaku)
Voiced by: Tasuku Kaito

Supporting characters[edit]

Jin Sagami (佐賀美陣, Sagami Jin)
Voiced by: Tomoyasu Hishiba (Japanese); Mike McFarland (English)[3]
Akiomi Kunugi (椚章臣, Kunugi Akiomi)
Voiced by: Wataru Komada (Japanese); Brandon Potter (English)[5]
Gatekeeper (ゲートキーパー, Gatekeeper)
Voiced by: Shunsuke Takeuchi

Media[edit]

Game[edit]

Ensemble Stars! was released for the Android on April 28, 2015, and iOS on May 1, 2015. Shortly after the game's release, in 2015, Sousuke Sōma, who provided the voice for Arashi Narukami, was replaced by Ryo Kitamura, with all voice clips replaced on July 18, 2015;[9] Kitamura would later go on to portray the character in the stage play adaptations. In April 2017, Yoshimasa Hosoya left the franchise due to a medical hiatus, and Happy Elements announced that he would be replaced by Tomoaki Maeno in the role of Hokuto Hidaka, with all his voice clips replaced beginning on May 31, 2017.[4]

On November 9, 2019, Happy Elements announced at the Animate Girls Festival that they would be adding two new groups, Alkaloid and Crazy B.[10] On March 15, 2020, Ensemble Stars! was relaunched and was split into two separate games: Basic, the original game; and Music, a brand new rhythm game; both games offered different gameplay but contained the same events, storylines, and items.[11]

In March 2016, Ensemble Stars! was planned to launch in China in Q2 2016 through Tencent.[12] In February 2018, Ensemble Stars! was launched in South Korea through Kakao Games.[13] On December 24, 2021, an English version of Ensemble Stars!! Music opened pre-registrations for users in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.[14]

Manga[edit]

A manga adaptation written and illustrated by Ichi Sayo was launched in Kodansha's Shōjo manga magazine Aria on August 28, 2015[15] and ended on December 28, 2016.[16]

Ensembukubu Stars!, a 4-panel gag parody drawn by Bkub Okawa, is serialized on Ensemble Stars! official Twitter account and Dengeki Online since 2017.[17]

Anime[edit]

An anime television series adaptation was announced in December 2015.[18] It was planned to premiere in 2017, but the staff announced they had postponed it in February 2017.[19] The series was produced by David Production aired from July 7 to December 22, 2019, on Tokyo MX, SUN, KBS, TVA, and BS11.[20] Masakazu Hishida was the director under the pseudonym Junpaku Yagurashita.[21] Yasufumi Soejima was the series director, with Shinichi Inotsume as chief writer, and Haruko Iizuka, Tomoyuki Shitaya, and Eri Nagata as character designers.[22] Akira was the scriptwriter, and Tatsuya Kato composed the series' music.[23] Funimation has acquired the series for streaming in North America; the simuldub premiered on August 4, 2019.[24] The anime uses the CACANi 2D animation & in-between software tool.

On September 10, 2022, a new anime project titled Ensemble Stars!! Recollection Selection: Element (あんさんぶるスターズ!!追憶セレクション「エレメント」, Ansanburu Sutazu!! Tsuioku Serekushon "Eremento") was announced.

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"New Wind"
July 7, 2019 (2019-07-07)
2"Howl"
July 14, 2019 (2019-07-14)
3"Resolve"
July 21, 2019 (2019-07-21)
4"Blooming"
July 28, 2019 (2019-07-28)
While Akatsuki performs, Keito realizes that Rei had his group compete against them in order to steal their votes from the audience and allow Trickstar to gain an advantage. In addition, Ra*bits secretly distributes pamphlets outlining how to vote to students outside of the venue, and 2wink intentionally stops performing halfway to let Trickstar win. After Trickstar performs "Rebellion Star", they elect Anzu to be the leader of the group. Once the audience and general votes are added, Trickstar wins the S1. Following the S1, Eichi suddenly returns to school.
5"Marionette (Part 1)"
August 4, 2019 (2019-08-04)
In a flashback, Nazuna recalls the previous school year, when he was a member of the group Valkyrie with Shu and Mika, which had been the top idol group at Yumenosaki Academy at the time. Shu, the leader and a member of the Five Eccentrics, controlled Valkyrie's art direction and treated Nazuna like a doll. When Nazuna begins to change, he becomes pressured to maintain the image of his group. However, he realizes how much Shu and Mika value him when he receives birthday gifts from them. The three sell their next concert tickets together.
6"Marionette (Part 2)"
August 11, 2019 (2019-08-11)
Six months later, the Dream Idol Festival has dominated the popularity of each idol group at Yumenosaki Academy. To restore Valkyrie's original status, Shu decides to have them enter the next Dream Idol Festival. During their performance, the electricity is suddenly shut off. However, Mika continues singing, prompting them to join in and saving their performance. As Fine, led by Eichi, go to perform, the stage returns to normal, causing Valkyrie to realize that they had been sabotaged. Shu goes into a mental breakdown and Valkyrie goes on a permanent hiatus. During the next school year, Wataru, another member of the Five Eccentrics, advises Nazuna to form Ra*bits with other freshmen who had been rejected from other idol groups. In present time, Nazuna warns Subaru and Anzu about how dangerous Eichi is.
7"Emperor"
August 18, 2019 (2019-08-18)
In present time, Trickstar gains popularity following Akatsuki's defeat at the S1. Eichi proposes that Trickstar should disband at the height of their fame in order to have their members explore their full potential in other groups, with Subaru and Hokuto assigned to join Fine, Mao to Akatsuki, and Makoto to Knights. Despite initial resistance, Mao suggests they do so as they watch Fine perform. At the end of the performance, Eichi invites all of Yumenosaki Academy's idol groups to participate in the next Dream Idol Festival against idols from other schools.
8"Rift"
August 25, 2019 (2019-08-25)
The members of Trickstar must decide on whether to fully disband in preparation of the Dream Idol Festival. Subaru is scouted to join Ryuseitai, but he decides he wants to continue with Trickstar. With Ryuseitai's support, Anzu helps by acting as a stand-in member to help Trickstar qualify for the Dream Idol Festival. As the event begins, Subaru and Anzu are scheduled to battle Knights. Upon noticing Izumi and Makoto are not present, Subaru goes to look for them.
9"Counterattack"
September 1, 2019 (2019-09-01)
Izumi locks Makoto in the practice room, and when Subaru confronts him, Makoto tricks Izumi into opening the door by pretending to bruise his face. Meanwhile, Keito advises Mao to do what he believes to be the right choice. Once Subaru returns with Makoto, they find that Mao has rejoined Trickstar and defeated Knights with Anzu's help.
10"Element (Part 1)"
September 8, 2019 (2019-09-08)
11"Element (Part 2)"
September 15, 2019 (2019-09-15)
12"Decision"
September 22, 2019 (2019-09-22)
13"Supernova"
October 9, 2019 (2019-10-09)
14"Tanbata (Part 1)"
October 13, 2019 (2019-10-13)
15"Tanbata (Part 2)"
October 20, 2019 (2019-10-20)
16"Summer Concert (Part 1)"
October 27, 2019 (2019-10-27)
17"Summer Concert (Part 2)"
November 3, 2019 (2019-11-03)
18"Judgement"
November 10, 2019 (2019-11-10)
19"Autumn Live (Part 1)"
November 17, 2019 (2019-11-17)
20"Autumn Live (Part 2)"
November 24, 2019 (2019-11-24)
21"Halloween Party"
December 1, 2019 (2019-12-01)
22"Starlight Festival"
December 8, 2019 (2019-12-08)
23"Effort"
December 15, 2019 (2019-12-15)
24"Miracle"
December 22, 2019 (2019-12-22)

Film[edit]

The series received a compilation film titled Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!, which premiered on March 4, 2022. It featured 10 idol characters already featured in the game (Mao Isara, Makoto Yuuki, Aira Shiratori, Mayoi Ayase, Nagisa Ran, Hinata Aoi, Kohaku Oukawa, Rei Sakuma, Izumi Sena, Ritsu Sakuma) as well as the player character Anzu.[25] It also featured Mitsunari Samejima, a new character specific to the film.[26] Masakazu Hishida directed the film at David Production, with Asami Nakatani serving as chief director, Seitarō Kino writing the scripts, Haruko Iizuka designing the characters and serving as chief animation director, and Tatsuya Katō composing the film's music.[25] In addition, BukuSuta The World, a series of animated shorts based on Bkub Okawa's parody manga Ensembukubu Stars!, were screened in theaters with Road to Show!![17]

Reception[edit]

By March 2016, over 1,500,000 users downloaded the game.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Summer 2019 Anime Preview Guide". Anime News Network. 2019-07-08.
  2. ^ "「あんスタ」 5周年&アニメ化記念、2020年春にメットライフドームでライブ" (in Japanese). Natalie. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an Funimation. "[Master Thread] Ensemble Stars (English dub)". www.funimation.com. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  4. ^ a b Hodgkins, Crystalyn (2017-04-24). "Yoshimasa Hosoya Replaced in Ensemble Stars Franchise, Not Replaced in Starmyu, Strike the Blood Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  5. ^ a b Ensemble Stars Collection One (Blu-ray). Funimation. August 18, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "気さくで明るいオネェキャラ!? 草摩そうすけさん演じる『あんさんぶるスターズ!』鳴上 嵐を紹介!【第13回】". Animate (in Japanese). 2015-04-23. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  7. ^ "声優・北村諒さん、『あんさんぶるスターズ!』『舞台 刀剣乱舞』『あんさんぶるスターズ!オン・ステージ』『舞台 青の祓魔師』『舞台 弱虫ペダル』など代表作に選ばれたのは? − アニメ&舞台キャラクター代表作まとめ". Animate (in Japanese). 2020-01-25. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  8. ^ "4月4日はオカマの日!みんなが思い浮かべるオネェキャラや男の娘キャラは?". Nijimen (in Japanese). 2018-04-04. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  9. ^ "スマホアプリ「あんさんぶるスターズ!」で急遽キャスト変更。北村諒のツイートがプチ炎上". GMO Internet (in Japanese). 2015-07-19. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  10. ^ "『あんさんぶるスターズ!!』新ユニット≪ALKALOID & Crazy:B≫のユニットソングCD&イベント情報が解禁!". Animate (in Japanese). 2020-12-13. Retrieved 2021-09-26.
  11. ^ "【配信開始】『あんさんぶるスターズ!!Basic/Music』リリース! 記念キャンペーンも開催". B's Log (in Japanese). Kadokawa Corporation. 2020-03-16. Retrieved 2021-09-26.
  12. ^ a b "「あんさんぶるスターズ!」の中国語版が今夏にTencent Holdingsで独占配信". 4gamer (in Japanese). 2016-03-28. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  13. ^ "Happy Elements、『あんさんぶるスターズ』韓国語版をKakao Gamesを通じてリリース App Storeセールスランキングでは早くもTOP20入り". GameBiz (in Japanese). 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  14. ^ "Ensemble Stars!!Music Begins the Pre-registration for English version". CGMagazine. 2021-12-24. Retrieved 2021-12-29.
  15. ^ 「あんさんぶるスターズ!」マンガ版開幕、TrickstarらがARIAでキラめく. Natalie (in Japanese). August 28, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
  16. ^ マンガ版「あんさんぶるスターズ!」フィナーレ!ARIAで車谷晴子の新連載も. Natalie (in Japanese). December 28, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Hodgkins, Crystalyn (2022-02-05). "Ensemble Stars! Spoof Manga Ensembukubu Stars! Gets Anime as Film Bonuses". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2022-07-16.
  18. ^ Ressler, Karen (2015-12-04). "Ensemble Stars! TV Anime, Stage Play Confirmed". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  19. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (2017-02-17). "Genco Postpones Ensemble Stars! TV Anime Series". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  20. ^ "Ensemble Stars! TV Anime's 1st Promo Video Reveals July Premiere". Anime News Network. January 13, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  21. ^ "King of Prism's Masakazu Hishida Revealed as Ensemble Stars! Anime's Director (Updated)". Anime News Network. June 18, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  22. ^ "Ensemble Stars! TV Anime Unveils Directors, Designers, July 7 Premiere, Character Visuals". Anime News Network. April 7, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  23. ^ "Ensemble Stars TV Anime Reveals Staff, 2019 Premiere". Anime News Network. May 5, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  24. ^ "Funimation Turns Up the Heat with Their Summer 2019 Lineup!". Funimation. June 14, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  25. ^ a b "Ensemble Stars!! Franchise Gets All-New Theatrical Anime on March 4, 2022". Anime News Network. November 21, 2021. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  26. ^ Shoaff, Brandon (2022-02-24). "Ensemble Stars!! Road To Show!! Release Date, Characters, And Plot - What We Know So Far". Looper.com. Retrieved 2022-05-12.

External links[edit]