Promotional art for the anime
(Hoshiai no Sora)
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kazuki Akane|
|Written by||Kazuki Akane|
|Original network||TBS, BS-TBS|
|Original run||October 10, 2019 – present|
Stars Align (星合の空 Hoshiai no Sora, transl. "Star-Crossing Skies") is a Japanese original anime television series written and directed by Kazuki Akane at studio Eight Bit. It premiered on October 10, 2019.
- Maki Katsuragi (桂木 眞己 Katsuragi Maki)
- Voiced by: Natsuki Hanae (Japanese); Justin Briner (English)
- The main protagonist, a transfer student who becomes the best player in the soft tennis club despite being a beginner. He lives with his mother after his parents got divorced and spends his time doing household chores.
- Toma Shinjo (新城 柊真 Shinjō Tōma)
- Voiced by: Tasuku Hatanaka (Japanese); Josh Grelle (English)
- The captain of the soft tennis club. He is the only player on the team who took the sport seriously prior to recruiting Maki.
- Itsuki Ameno (雨野 樹 Ameno Itsuki)
- Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Japanese); Derick Snow (English)
- A member of the soft tennis club. He has a burn scar as a result of his mother pouring boiling water on him when he was an infant.
- Rintaro Futsu (布津 凜太朗 Futsu Rintarō)
- Voiced by: Gen Sato (Japanese); Garret Storms (English)
- The vice president of the boys soft tennis club. He is an illegitimate child that resulted from a teen pregnancy who was put up for adoption. While he is loved by his adopted parents, when he learns about the truth regarding his birth he began to doubt himself. His academic skills are the best among the boys in the club.
- Tsubasa Soga (曽我 翅翼 Soga Tsubasa)
- Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Japanese); Ricco Fajardo (English)
- Shingo Takenouchi (竹ノ内 晋吾 Takenouchi Shingo)
- Voiced by: Keisuke Sato (Japanese); Adam Gibbs (English)
- Nao Tsukinose (月ノ瀬 直央 Tsukinose Nao)
- Voiced by: Yusuke Kobayashi (Japanese); Matt Shipman (English)
- Taiyo Ishigami (石上 太洋 Ishigami Taiyō)
- Voiced by: Kohei Amasaki (Japanese); Dallas Reid (English)
- Yuta Asuka (飛鳥 悠汰 Asuka Yūta)
- Voiced by: Yoshitaka Yamaya (Japanese); Brandon McInnis (English)
- The manager of the soft tennis club.
- Kanako Mitsue (御杖 夏南子 Mitsue Kanako)
- Voiced by: Mayu Mineda (Japanese); Rachel Glass (English)
- Maki's neighbor and a classmate. She is often seen watching the boys soft tennis club practice.
- Kei Takada (高田 希唯 Takada Kei)
- Voiced by: Satsumi Matsuda (Japanese); Madeleine Morris (English)
- Namie Ameno (雨野 奈美恵 Ameno Namie)
- Voiced by: Shiina Natsukawa (Japanese); Kate Bristol (English)
- Kinuyo Kasuga (春日 絹代 Kasuga Kinuyo)
- Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto (Japanese); Tia Ballard (English)
- The student council president. She is very strict and results-oriented. Her philosophy leads her to issuing an ultimatum to the boys soft tennis club to field a competitive team or be dissolved.
- Takuto Murakami (村上 拓人 Murakami Takuto)
- Voiced by: Makoto Furukawa (Japanese); John Wesley Go (English)
- Takayuki Sakurai (桜井 隆幸 Sakurai Takayuki)
- Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese); Aaron Roberts (English)
- Sakura Muroi (室生 さくら Muroi Sakura)
- Voiced by: Yuko Kaida (Japanese); Morgan Garrett (English)
- Aya Katsuragi (桂木 あや Katsuragi Aya)
- Voiced by: Kaori Nazuka (Japanese); Mikaela Krantz (English)
- Maki's mother. She got a divorce when Maki was very young and has been working long hours to support him.
- Kenji Kyobate (京終 健二 Kyōbate Kenji)
- Voiced by: Kazuya Nakai (Japanese); Brandon Potter (English)
- Maki's father and Aya's ex-husband. He is unemployed and abusive towards Maki.
- Ryoma Shinjo (新城 涼真 Shinjō Ryōma)
- Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze (Japanese); Chris Wehkamp (English)
- Toma's mother (柊真の母)
- Voiced by: Ryoka Yuzuki (Japanese); Kristin Sutton (English)
Production and release
On April 5, 2018, studio Eight Bit announced via Twitter that it was collaborating with Kazuki Akane to produce a new original anime. Akane is writing and directing the series, and Itsuka is providing the original character designs. Yūichi Takahashi is serving as the series' animation director as well as adapting Itsuka's designs for animation. Additionally, Miki Takeshita is in charge of scene setting, Shiori Shiwa is serving as art director, and Jin Aketagawa is serving as sound director at Magic Capsule. FlyingDog is producing the series' music. Instrumental band jizue is composing the series' music. The series is listed for 12 episodes. Megumi Nakajima performed the series' opening theme song "Suisō", while AIKI from bless4 performed the series' ending theme song "Kago no Naka no Bokura wa".
In October 2019, two dancers accused the show of plagiarizing their choreography for the ending sequence, and their posts went viral on Twitter. In response, TBS Entertainment issued an apology to the both of them and on their official Twitter account.
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Episode 1"||October 10, 2019|
|The boys soft tennis club faces dissolution due to the lack of results and skill. Desperate for new members with athletic ability, Toma Shinjo leads a recruitment drive and come up empty. He approaches the transfer student Maki Katsuragi, but Maki declines not wanting to join any clubs. Toma follows Maki around not giving up on recruiting him and Maki agrees under the condition that he gets paid. That night, Maki's father Kenji Kyotabe arrives at his home and abuses him while taking his wages from the part-time jobs Maki has been working at.|
|2||"Episode 2"||October 17, 2019|
|Maki comes to his first soft tennis practice and is teased, as the other members do not believe he had the ability to play well. Touma then suggests that they all run 20 laps, which was how Maki proved his endurance. Later, while practicing their swings, Maki notices how Yuta Asuka had been watching. He asks him if he had any interest in soft tennis, and convinces him to become the team manager.|
|3||"Episode 3"||October 24, 2019|
|The soft tennis club begins playing practice matches with Maki and Toma paired up. Despite being a beginner, Maki outplays everybody, but struggles with shots aimed at him. This leads to tension between club members causing a frustrated Toma to quit the team. The next day, fellow player Itsuki Ameno is bullied by two students when they talk about his family situation leading him to hitting one of the guys with his racket. Itsuki tells his teammates that his mother poured boiling water on him while he was a toddler. Maki calls Toma reminding him that he needs to get paid and Toma rejoins the club the next day.|
|4||"Episode 4"||October 31, 2019|
|Maki changes up the pairings for the club opting to balance the teams from top to bottom, and after some heavy initial criticism, the club members see a great improvement in their performances. After school, Maki invites his friends over for dinner at his home and they are impressed with his cooking. The next day, club advisor Takayuki Sakurai announces to the team that they will be playing a practice match against an elite team. While the team sees this as just a match they have no chance at winning, Maki views this as an opportunity to practice with the best. That night on his way home from the grocery store, Maki meets up with Kenji again and Kenji breaks his racket.|
|5||"Episode 5"||November 7, 2019|
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (April 5, 2018). "Escaflowne Director Kazuki Akane, Studio 8-Bit Reveal New Original Project". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
- Loo, Egan (August 18, 2018). "Escaflowne's Kazuki Akane Directs 8-Bit's Hoshiai no Sora Tennis TV Anime for 2019". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
- Funimation. "[Master Thread] Stars Align (Dubbed)". www.funimation.com. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
- Pineda, Rafael Antonio (May 10, 2019). "Hoshiai no Sora Anime Adds Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Gen Sato to Cast". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (June 10, 2019). "Keisuke Satō, Toshiyuki Toyonaga Join Cast of Hoshiai no Sora Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- Pineda, Rafael Antonio (June 20, 2019). "Hoshiai no Sora Tennis Anime Casts Yūsuke Kobayashi, Kōhei Amasaki". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (July 7, 2019). "Stars Align Anime Reveals 12 More Cast Members". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
- Ressler, Karen (December 28, 2018). "Escaflowne Director Kazuki Akane's Hoshiai no Sora Anime Reveals Promo Video, Visual". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- Pineda, Rafael Antonio (July 4, 2019). "Stars Align Tennis Anime Has 12 Episodes". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
- Sherman, Jennifer (June 5, 2019). "Megumi Nakajima Performs Hoshiai no Sora Anime's Opening Song". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- Sherman, Jennifer (August 5, 2019). "AIKI from bless4 Performs Stars Align Anime's Ending Song". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (March 26, 2019). "Hoshiai no Sora Anime Reveals New Visual, October Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (September 1, 2019). "Stars Align Anime Reveals Visual, October 10 Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
- "Funimation to Stream Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle, Stars Align Anime". Anime News Network. September 20, 2019. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
- "Funimation's Fall 2019 Lineup Ramps Up the Action!". Funimation. September 18, 2019. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
- "アニメ『星合の空』踊り手動画のトレース疑惑 「事実関係を確認中」". Kai-You (in Japanese). 2019-10-24. Retrieved 2019-10-24.