Uta no Prince-sama

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Uta no Prince-sama
Uta no Prince-sama PSP cover.jpg
Cover of the first Uta no Prince-sama game, released in 2010 for the PlayStation Portable
Created byBroccoli
Original workUta no Prince-sama
Print publications
ComicsSee below
Films and television
Film(s)Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Kingdom
Television seriesSee below
Theatrical presentations
Musical(s)Gekidan Shining
Games
Video game(s)See below
Audio
Original musicUta no Prince-sama discography

Uta no Prince-sama (Japanese: うたの☆プリンスさまっ♪, Hepburn: Uta no☆Purinsu-sama♪, lit. "Princes of Song") is a Japanese visual novel game franchise published by Broccoli. The original game was first released on the PlayStation Portable on June 24, 2010, and since its release, the game has spawned multiple sequels and rhythm game spin-offs. The series has also been adapted into several manga series.

An anime adaptation by A-1 Pictures began airing in 2011, titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000% (うたの☆プリンスさまっ♪ マジLOVE1000%), which was then followed by three sequels and a 2019 animated film titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Kingdom.

The franchise has been well-received in Japan, with thousands of music CDs sold and charting on mainstream music charts. The games have been awarded "Best Consumer Game" in Dengeki Girls' Style Otome Game Awards 2011.

Gameplay[edit]

Uta no Prince-sama is a comedy and romance visual novel in which the player assumes the character of Haruka Nanami. Uta no Prince-sama follows a branching plot line with multiple endings; depending on the decisions that the player makes during the game, the plot will progress in a specific direction.

There are seven main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, three which are initially available (four in All Star). Throughout gameplay, the player is given multiple options to choose from, and text progression pauses at these points until a choice is made. To view all plot lines in their entirety, the player must replay the game multiple times and make different choices to change the plot progression. The player must also complete various minigames, which affect the different endings.

Plot[edit]

With dreams of becoming a composer and someday writing a song for her favorite idol, Haruka Nanami enters the Saotome Academy, a prestigious performing arts school made up of students who are either vying to become an idol or a music producer. Haruka becomes acquainted with six of her classmates, who are all competing to become idols. For her project, she must team up with another student as an idol-producer team, and if they are successful, they will join Shining Agency after graduation. In addition, romance is strictly prohibited at their school.

Media[edit]

Games[edit]

Main games[edit]

Spin-off games[edit]

  • Uta no Prince-sama Music was released on November 24, 2011 and is a music rhythm game spin-off of the main series. The theme song is "Welcome to UtaPri World!!" and was performed by Takuma Terashima, Kenichi Suzumura, Kisho Taniyama, Mamoru Miyano, Junichi Suwabe, and Hiro Shimono as STARISH.
  • Uta no Prince-sama Music 2 is the sequel to the first rhythm game spin-off and was released on September 5, 2013. The theme song is "Color Full Music."
  • Uta no Prince-sama Music 3 was released on January 28, 2015 for the PlayStation Vita.
  • Uta no Prince-sama Shining Live is a rhythm gacha game released on August 27, 2017 worldwide for the iOS and Android systems. It was co-developed by Broccoli and KLab and saw releases in both Japanese and English.[4]

Music[edit]

Uta no Prince-sama has seen the release of multiple CD releases, with Broccoli handling the music for the games and King Records handling the music for the anime. All songs in the franchise are produced by Elements Garden.

"Fly to the Future" by Quartet Night and "Ultra Blast" by STARISH sold over 11,000 physical copies within its first week and were both some of the top-selling anime singles of 2018.[5] "Fly to the Future", "Ultra Blast", and "God's S.T.A.R." were certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.[6]

Anime[edit]

The March 2011 issue of Newtype magazine announced that an anime television adaptation franchise would air during the summer. Titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%, the series was produced by A-1 Pictures, with Yuu Kou directing the series, Tomoko Konparu supervising the scripts, and Mitsue Mori adapting the game's original character designs.[7] The anime series began its broadcast run on Tokyo MX, Gunma TV, and Tochigi TV on July 2, 2011 (July 3, 2011 at 12:00 AM). The video streaming service Niconico simulcasted the series to audiences in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.[8]

The second season premiered on April 4, 2013, under the title Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 2000% (うたの☆プリンスさまっ♪マジLOVE2000%) on TV Aichi. The first season was released on January 7, 2014, on DVD/Blu-ray subtitled-only format.[9]

A third season began airing on April 4, 2015, under the title "Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE Revolutions (うたの☆プリンスさまっ♪マジLOVEレボリューションズ).[10] On June 27, 2015, following the broadcast of the last episode of the third season, the ending message revealed that a fourth season had been confirmed.[11][12]

The fourth season, titled Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE Legend Star, began airing on October 2, 2016.[13][14] Sentai Filmworks has licensed the first and second seasons for a release in 2014,[15][16] and has also licensed the third and fourth seasons.[17][18]

Stage plays[edit]

Uta no Prince-sama has also inspired a series of stage plays, with the characters playing roles in a stage production and select characters appearing in certain plays. Music of the stage productions were later released onto CD. The first series, titled Gekidan Shining (劇団シャイニング), featured the stage plays Masquerade Mirage,[19], Tenka Muteki no Shinobu Michi,[20] and Joker Trap[21][22][23] from 2013 to 2014.[24]

The second series, titled Theatre Shining (シアターシャイニング), featured the stage plays Bloody Shadows,[25] Pirates of the Frontier,[26] and Everybuddy![27]

The third series, titled Shining Masterpiece Show, was screened at Gallery AaMo in Tokyo from February 23 to April 15, 2018, with each of the three stage plays rotating every month.[28] The plays featured were Lost Alice,[29] Trois: Ken to Kizuna no Monogatari,[30] and Lycoris no Mori.[31]

Film[edit]

During the Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Live 6th Stage event, the staff announced that an anime film titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Kingdom has been green-lit.[32][33] Uta no Prince-Sama: Maji Love Kingdom is produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tomoka Nagaoka, with Takeshi Furuta serving as chief director. The rest of the main staff and cast from the anime series are returning to reprise their roles. The film was released in theaters on June 14, 2019.[34] The film grossed ¥1.72 billion at box office upon its release.[35] An English subtitled version was screened at Anime Expo 2019.

Manga[edit]

Uta no Prince-sama was adapted into several manga series. The first two manga adaptations, Uta no Prince-sama and Uta no Prince-sama Debut, were illustrated by Utako Yukihiro and serialized in Sylph. The gag comic, Uta no Prince-sama PP was illustrated by Kotoko Ichi and serialized in Comic B's Log. Alongside of that, several manga anthologies were also released with contributing fan artists.

No.TitleRelease date ISBN
1Uta no Prince-samaDecember 22, 2010[36]ISBN 978-4048701501
2Uta no Prince-sama DebutDecember 22, 2010[37]ISBN 978-4048911856
3Uta no Prince-sama PPOctober 1, 2012[38]ISBN 978-4047283886

Reception[edit]

Uta no Prince-sama was the 13th top selling franchise in Japan in 2017, with a total of ¥1,667,975,801 in estimated sales.[39] Part of its wide appeal comes from Twitter accounts run by the characters, where fans are able to be updated on the characters' music and merchandise activities, and are in turn treated like real-life celebrities.[40]

Games[edit]

Uta no Prince-sama Repeat was awarded the Best Consumer Game by Dengeki Girl's Style for the Otome Game Awards 2011, while Uta no Prince-sama: Sweet Serenade was ranked #7 in the same category. Syo Kurusu won Best Character, while Tokiya Ichinose ranked #3 and Masato Hijirikawa as #9 in the same category.[41]

Over 1 million users downloaded Uta no Prince-sama Shining Live upon the first week of its release.[42]

Anime[edit]

Rebecca Silverman from Anime News Network praised Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%, the anime's first season, for its music and fluid animation, while citing its weaknesses in the "ridiculous" plot points, poor choice in color, Haruka's character design, and that the characters never "evolve beyond their types."[43] Bamboo Dong from Anime News Network called the series "entertaining", but felt the character designs made the characters look more like adults instead of high school students and that adapting from the original video game resulted in the "archetypal" characters having "jerky" character development.[44] The voice actors for STARISH won the award for Best Musical Performance at the 6th Seiyu Awards, while Mamoru Miyano won the award for Best Actor in Supporting Roles.[45]

Regarding the series' fourth season, Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Legend Star, Silverman praised the music and character development, but felt that the show became oversaturated with "too many characters", as well as the plot and animation going "downhill."[46] Uta no Prince-sama has also been linked to the Odagiri effect, as seen in the later anime series where Haruka's role has been increasingly diminished in favor of the relationships between the male characters.[47]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work/Recipient Result
2011 Dengeki Girl's Style Otome Game Awards 2011 Best Consumer Game Uta no Prince-sama Repeat Won[41]
Uta no Prince-sama: Sweet Serenade Nominated[41]
Best Character Syo Kurusu Won[41]
Tokiya Ichinose Nominated[41]
Masato Hijirikawa Nominated[41]
2012 6th Seiyu Awards Best Musical Performance STARISH (Takuma Terashima, Mamoru Miyano, Junichi Suwabe, Kenichi Suzumura, Kisho Taniyama, and Hiro Shimono) Won[45]
Best Actor in Supporting Roles Mamoru Miyano
(also for Chihayafuru and Steins;Gate)
Won[45]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]