They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Tsukipro The Animation 2, Tsukipro The Animation, number24, and more!
3: Tsukipro The Animation 2
Japanese: TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION 2
MAL Score: 6.12
For the members of SolidS, Growth, SOARA, and QUELL, the Tsukino Talent Productions’ Live 2021 Summer Carnival is coming soon. The two-day event will culminate with a joint live performance featuring all four units. Due to the size and setup of the stage, each unit will need to create new songs and choreographies to accompany them in the riveting second season of Tsukipro The Animation.
If my first review was Tsukiuta, my second had to be Tsukipro, of course. 7 episodes aired so far but I don’t think anything will change so here we go.
First of all, if you are thinking about starting the first season (please read the conclusion too if it’s the case), my suggestion is, do it only if you want to get into the whole series. I think it’s a good starting point, to know the characters a bit and listen to some songs. If you are planning to just watch the anime and move on, it’ll probably not be worth it.
Now, if you watched the first season and are wondering whether to watch this season or not: this is just more of the same but around 4 years later, so if you liked the first season, you will like this one.
Now to the actual review…
As I said, there’s no actual plot. Except, well, some long flashbacks which are basically content from drama CDs (so far episode 2 and 3). It’s episodic, the 4 units taking turns. The last episode will be a concert. I would say the purpose of the anime is to introduce the units, the dynamics of their characters, and specially, their music, so it does its job well.
The opening MVs are really good, there’s one for each unit and there should be another one in the last episode. But besides that, it’s your typical low budget animation. At least the character designs are pretty good and unique, and they are well drawn when it’s important.
I can’t give a 10 because I don’t pay attention to the background soundtrack. But the OPs, EDs and the insert songs are really good, and so are the voice actors, all 17 having unique voices. Random fact that still surprises me, the twins are quite hard to differentiate when singing even though they have different VAs.
17 main characters + episodic anime. So you can’t expect much from each character individually, the only character development is how they grew up since the first season. But the units as a whole have good dynamics. Like QUELL, Eichi and Shu are basically the mum and dad for the twins, I love them. 🥺
I just enjoy looking forward to the new song each ending. And I’m liking the flashbacks to the drama CDs story, not new content, but it’s nice seeing it animated. Let’s see if they do more of it in the remaining episodes. There’s also the episodes 5, 6 and 7, which aren’t about music at all. They are some kind of Yokai alternate universe, I think? They were a nice change of pace. So far I’m liking it more than the first season.
Conclusion: probably an average idol anime, but a good starting point to the series which is really good. If you want to know more, there’s the drama CDs, they have an actual plot, unlike the anime. The first ones are basically how the units were formed. There’s even a live action movie about SOARA and a 2nd one coming soon.
Music wise, it’s personally my favourite idol series. Growth and QUELL have really unique styles, SOARA and SolidS are great too. (The 4 openings show very well the style of each unit.)
Let me just say before leaving, in my opinion, there was a big gap in quality in the music in 2016, just in case someone starts with the 2015 songs and thinks I’m lying when I said the music is great. 👉👈
Thanks for reading! And I hope it caught someone’s attention. I think Tsukipro is really underrated, at least outside of Japan. 😔
2: Tsukipro The Animation
Japanese: TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION
MAL Score: 6.71
At the Budokan, an annual event known as the Tsukino Concert puts Tsukino Entertainment Production’s best and brightest idol units on the stage. The leaders of idol groups SolidS, SOARA, QUELL, and Growth must compose four unique and distinctive songs for their respective units, which they will perform on the second day of the festival.
Composing four new songs proves to be a difficult task for SolidS’s leader, Shiki Takamura, as he struggles to find inspiration. Sora Oohara must learn to overcome past mistakes while propelling his unit, SOARA, to the top. Wanting to escape his past stardom, Shuu Izumi is determined to push his unit, QUELL, up to the level of popularity that his previous one had. Growth finds themselves working together with a rival group, ZIX, prior to their debut—something that leader Kouki Etou is reluctant to do.
Tsukipro The Animation tells the stories of these four units simultaneously as they go through their daily lives while preparing for the Tsukino Concert.
The characters are easily likable as the story is kept simple. Although character development is sacrificed this way, the anime tries to give glimpses of the TsukiPro characters’ personalities, “daily lives” and their past. Each episode tackles different problems and challenges to make them grow as an idol and as a member of their team. For instance, the meaning of friendship and what is music for them.
Moreover, the anime’s main selling point is the music itself. It concentrated more on main songs/opening songs for the four bands. Thus, the animation’s quality is uneven. But the animation for the main songs/opening songs is remarkably well done. I have to admit that I preferred TsukiPro’s more than Tsukiuta especially the last episode’s last song of TsukiPro. But I also wish that the production decided to keep the quality going rather than focusing only on the main songs/opening songs itself.
I shall emphasise again that the anime’s music is focal point. Aside from the main songs/opening songs, the anime also featured the TsukiPro’s past songs and new songs as ending songs. It perfectly displayed each groups’ unique quality and distinct music styles from one another; in which it gives a diverse collection of music rather than focusing on one genre. As the characters describe their music in their own words, the anime did not fail to showcase it. Moreover, the anime also shows how each group creates their music. There will always be a member who is the composer of each group. By presenting the process, the unique attributes of each group is even more emphasized and recognized. Thus, TsukiPro groups are distinct from one another.
Moreover, the anime also did not leave out the significance of music in each people’s lives. As the characters’ explained and displayed it in each episode, music could paint beautiful and radiant colors in our everyday lives. Hence, the anime shows the value of music.
This is the music’s description of each TsukiPro groups:
SOARA – “Like the blue sky.”
Growth – “Like flowers blooming in the field.”
QUELL – “Like clean, clear water.”
SolidS – “Like glittering, intense flames”
Hope you give this anime a chance and be a new fan of the groups’ music!
The plot is kept simple – daily interactions and gimmicks between the characters who usually don’t get to spend much time together in a normal setting. For a fan, it’s truly a joy to see your favorites come to life animated and to get to know them even better, but someone who wants to watch a consistent show with a fleshed out storyline won’t like it as much. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who barely has any interest in bands, music or idols as it would be like watching something in an unknown language. Despite those flaws, to me, a person who has been into the series for years, it was something which brought simple happiness.
The art style is just decent because it doesn’t take into account the individual art styles usually used for different groups. The animation was alright too – nothing astounding, but nothing bad either. So why an 8? To me, the main treat are the ending cards. Each drawn by an artist corresponding to a certain group, they are real eye candy.
Tsukipro is known for its dedication for music and masterfully crafted melodies. The anime didn’t disappoint in that aspect either – Akira Takizawa, the main composer, yet again surprised us with multi-layered orchestral instrumentals in Mahou no Kizuna, a fresh, youthful tune in ALIEL, a more mature, hyper sound in Burny!! and a little more ambient and harmonious Because you are. Just the four distinctive openings are enough to tell that indeed, all the other songs are equally as amazing. Ranging from a traditional Japanese music and rock mashup, trough magical, folk-like melodies to electronica and joyful, full of energy teen-band like performance – it’s got it all. I think everyone will find something suited to their taste, really. The music here is to die for.
Yeah, I know. The characters don’t get much development and they seem flat for someone who doesn’t know anything about Tsukipro. However, the point of the show being targetted at fans is also valid in this aspect. All the development, deeper conversations, and meaningful points are shown in the dramas, so there is no way to deny that there’s way more to them than shown. But it was sacrificed for the sake of showing them in different settings and situations, which once again, isn’t something a random passerby can enjoy. After all, what’s the point of showing so many characters if you can’t see more of them? My rating here is based on a personal bias, and if I could I’d give the characters a 10, but then again – the anime didn’t completely do them justice.
The characters and music I love together – what’s there not to enjoy? Definitely satisfied my fan needs and left me with a pleasant aftertaste. The only thing left to say is that I hope they will tweak the second season when it comes out, so it could be a little friendlier to all the new fans!
Just to sum everything up:
– catered towards fans, needs more context;
– this being said, a real treat for the series veterans;
– wonderful music;
– ok-ish visuals, great ending cards;
– extremely enjoyable with prior knowledge, turns a person who doesn’t know anything into a lost lamb.
Thank you for reading!
Why I’m mentioning that? Because that’s what getting into Tsukipro franchise through anime would be like- starting from the middle.
Tsukipro is a multimedia franchise that started in 2012 with Tsukiuta project (you can find the anime of it in related category, and the above disclaimer applies to that anime as well) drama CD series, that then moved onto 2.5d (aka the stageplays), and then, in 2015, added three new groups to the roster – Soara, Growth and Solids- under two new projects, named ALIVE and SQ. A year later, Quell joined as Solids counterpart, thus making SQ a two-band project, and SQALIVE projects an officially four-element ensemble.
Now, what did I even give you that briefing for? Well, it’s pretty important, since most characteristic trait of any unit produces in Tsukipro is that they “live” real-time. You get to know what they did, if not through the official drama cds, then through the short stories respective accounts post on Twitter and other soc meds, and recently, also through the two new stageprojects. And that means, the events of the anime, aired in 2017, are just excerpts of their lives, cut out and packed nicely into animated format. That means, if you’re joining the franchise through the anime, you’re entering through the middle of the book.
Now, you might be a person like, me, who isn’t bothered AT ALL by the mess the lack of plot, or the timeline that starts in the middle of some unexplained event causes (there’s a reason why I enjoyed Haruhi Suzumiya and Hetalia), but, I just find that the franchise (or at least, its’ western promotion management group) does a VERY poor job of highlighting the ‘real-time’ aspect of that anime. It stands to a reason normal people don’t reminisce every other day about how they’ve met, or what caused them to be in a position they are in now, or why their relation with that person is this or that. And that’s the MAJOR lacking point of the Proani. You didn’t hear the first drama? You will have no idea how dramatic the flashbacks of ep 11 are for Quell. Didn’t heard another album? It will remain a mystery why two characters of the units that in general get along pretty well pick on each other constantly, and why their teammates insist they’re similar (I have doubts about that, but ok).
Okay, so, after this longass introduction, let me go for dismantling the anime, The story is slice of life, as I mentioned, with a slice taken out and set on a separate plate so that we don’t see rest of the cake, and can’t figure out the decorations on top of it. That doesn’t mean it’s not tasty, and if you enjoy schematic male idol groups’ tropes, you will enjoy this one quite easily. We have the hot and sexy type, the kindergarten type, the princely, cool and definitely gay (okay, that’s my opinion, but, everybody simp for that leader), and finally the family-like one that literally has children being adopted by their older unitmates and you probably won’t convince anybody that’s into the franchise otherwise. All in all, the tropes are easy to see, the characters are build on certain matrix that you’ve most certainly has seen somewhere in the other franchises, but still are fresh enough to enjoy them (plus, let’s be real, those seiyuus are dope, and practically carry the series on their backs). In short, if you’re looking for new oshi, you will find it here (and if you’re looking for a shipping material, well. As I’ve previously said, there is an unit with a 100% traditional family household dynamic, and all those units are all-male, so…)
Since I’ve mentioned seiyuus, let me mention music: that’s the only part I can unabashedly recommend to anyone, whether you’re a fan of the franchise or not. The music is adjusted to the band or unit’s characteristic trait, so you have experimental rock-pop-rap-everything that can sound cool mashup for Solids, electronica pop and lots of feels for Quell, male k-on ‘it’s all about youth!’ pop feel for Soara, and the ‘I don’t even know if this is even pop anymore, it sounds so otherwordly’ harmonies of Growth. I swear, I don’t think there’s a person who’s heard all of the openings and endings and said ‘nope, I don’t like any of them’. It’s just this good. Hama Takeshi and Takizawa Akira (aka John Zeroness) did an amazing job. I just want to say, a music in an idol’s show is one of the two pillars that can make or break a franchise, and with the first one being characters, that are likeable even without previous knowledge of their backgrounds (or without knowledge of their seiyuus), the music is what makes this series.
Art…okay, when they wanted to highlight something, the artists could go all out, I haven’t seen this gorgeous backgrounds in an idol anime in a looong while. Characters are eye-candies so what else can I say (bonus points for making twins recognizable by the different clothes they wear), and if there’s a question where the budget of a certain episode went, there’s always that one scene that you can point to and say ‘there. All money went there’.
Because of that, the animation is inconsistent, unfortunately, and I don’t mean the 3d CGI that is used for final performance and openings. Those are actually highlights of the correct uses of motion capture to portray your characters (plus, the backgrounds. Don’t start me on the backgrounds, and camerawork, because it’s actually amazing, and I’m saying that in the year of 2020, when Hoseki no Kuni and Beastars are already out). With motion capture at work, you can see the character’s traits in their movement, thanks to which you don’t feel like the movements were copy-pasted from one model onto the other (which, considering the cast including twins, would be a solution some other franchises would implement). However, the animation throughout the episode is usually inconsistent, jumping between quite decent and ‘only still picture could be worse’.
In short, there are better places to start your journey with this franchise (like the ton of slideshows that fans compiled on all characters, making you much more invested in their lives), but, just as the premise of the show says- you can open this glittering box of treasures, you just need to be prepared not to know where the heck those treasures came from.
Japanese: number24 ナンバー トゥーフォー
MAL Score: 6.73
Natsuza Yuzuki has been playing rugby as a left-winger ever since he was a child. After enrolling in Doushisha University, he quickly becomes a rising star in the Kansai University League.
His dreams are shattered, however, when a nasty motorbike accident leaves him with a spinal hernia—making him unable to be able to play rugby ever again. With no role available other than the position of manager, he accepts his new post and hopes his squad can obtain a league title.
Yuzuki’s team is an unlikely group, including his stoic best friend and full-back Seiichirou Jingyouji; hot-headed first-year Yasunari Tsuru, who harbors a strong dislike for Natsuza, filling his senior’s old position as left wing; and Yuu Mashiro, who is struggling to hold his ground as a scrum half.
Despite Natsuza putting his all into training his team for a league title, their squad still feels incomplete. A year ago, Ibuki Ueka, the genius fly-half that was once Doushisha’s ace, suddenly quit rugby—and now Natsuza is determined to get him back.
Being someone who is harsh on all aspects, I was surprised to find out that veteran script/series composer Rika Nanase is on this, and despite the no-name 3rd-rate production staff team onboard of this show, she definitely stands out as the main source of enjoyment, considering the “cult following” success of this show (for the 3 of you who watched this). Bleach, Eyeshield 21, Higurashi, Junjou Romantica, you name it, she has done all and shown her prowess at taking a genre and subconsciously subverting it to make up for the enjoyment experience, and it has certainly done in good spots.
What number24 is all about is not rugby, but the bishie sportsboys of Doushisha themselves. What the team comprises are of dreams of former players that don’t belong and/or have given up in rugby, only to find themselves in the sport that’s mostly persistent through the bonds and friendship of the bishounens involved.
Take the main team’s quintuple for example: Natsusa Yuzuki, Yuu Mashiro, Yasunari Tsuru, Seiichirou Jingyouji and Ibuki Ueoka. These 5 have weaved the same red thread of fate for themselves in the path to find their true stance towards one another:
Natsusa, being taken out of the team and imposed the Manager status (due to circumstances that rendered him unplayable on the field);
Ibuki, who has lost his heart towards playing rugby and has no desire to take up the sport once again (but only does because of Natsusa’s persistent teasing);
Yasunari, in spite of being Natsusa’s junior, has certain disagreements to how he’d function around the sport and leading his own private life;
Yuu, in spite of his small size and although being barely fit to play, made him the Zhuge Liang team strategist and following under Natsusa’s imposed leadership;
Last but not least, Seiichirou, more than being the tropey childhood friend, is constantly being roped in by Natsusa due to his monotonous life and needing someone to lead his life.
Add in the seniors and juniors who only got less screentime and act as second fiddle alongside them, the characters overall are brutal for what they do, but it’s also the same actions that teach them the meaning and spirit of camaraderie despite the different plays of all of them. Not to mention the light-hearted comedy that stems from Natsusa’s improvised childishness to tease the characters so much it gives off a good chuckle. And that gets a very good sense of debunking the heart of this show, which starts off slow but gives a nice reward at the finish line.
Rightaway, the art/animation itself I really didn’t have high hopes for and think much of since it’s PRA (a studio mainly relying on outsource help), but to my genuine surprise that everything is clean and distilled, a better effort and not the far cry from Gonzo and Seven’s efforts to produce Try Knights (like they have a very limited budget). Yes, everything is far from perfect (some PowerPoint-like recycled visuals), but it never really came off as something that’s left to be desired. And for the longest time, breaking out of their shell to have a majority production stake is a good thing for the uninitiated. A fine job, really TBH, I’m impressed.
On the sound side, it’s all fair, no complaints here. OP is good, and the numerous EDs are worth the ear-listening treatment from the bishie boys. A good job to the all-male VA team.
I’d think that for future sports shows like this going forward, constructing good character-driven stories is what keeps this genre flourishing, and also getting the right people to handle their job scopes (a.k.a Rika Nanase) is the first sign of relief that this isn’t the low-tier that we’ve come to expect from shitty shows (a.k.a Try Knights, Cinderella Nine etc.). If only the anime industry have learned their lessons well…
Nevertheless, for sports fans, a good enticement of drama and play is essentialal, and I kid you not, this show delivers. Even as a guy who generally doesn’t have a taste for bishie boys, this was a good treat to rest to, following the characters and living out their desired dreams and working together to achieve their goals. This is the fine gem amongst the rare in the rugby sports genre, in a fairly good way.
the art was a solid 7, i love how the characters look and the obscure hairstyles for certain characters but the brightness (?) or colour scheme (yall im ngl i cant explain this part well idk the correct terms) was a tad bit off putting at first, it just seemed a little too bright. That aside it was quite nice and i liked it.
sound: Very good and fitting, never felt out of place. 8/10
character: easily a 9, Hands down one of my favourite main characters is now natsusa. He reminds me of a combo of saiki and tsukkishima but also has aspects that are so different and unique from any character i have seen. Aside from the main character, i was shocked by how well certain side characters were developed in such a short period of time. Of course some side characters felt like the classic background character with no purpose other than to shine light on the mains however considering the amount of characters and the length of the series this was a given. The characters have a very special place in my heart already.
Enjoyment: 8/10, it at times was annoying for me to understand what was going on during actual games, sometimes it was difficult to see the scores to be honest but aside from that it was extremely enjoyable.
overall: 8/10. I cannot in good faith give it a 9 or a 10, the flaws the show has whilst far from deal breaking are there nonetheless, however the lustre and appeal this show has is quite unique if despite certain imminent flaws the enjoyment across the board is still so high. I hope these flaws can be corrected a little in season 2 and this same character complex is continued.
At first sight it´s look that this series is a spokon, but it´s not, rugby world is the scenario for a soft comedy/drama (for woman’s) about an injured player named Yuzuki Natsusa, their love for this sport and his new interaction with his team and friends as a “normal person” since he cannot play anymore. Our protagonist, Natsusa-kun, is honest and decided. He has a really strong attitude, he does not like look back. “number24” has a simple story but also has a solid narration, just as expected from a work of series composition and script by Nakase Rika (script: “Princess Tutu”, “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni”, “Genshiken”).
I have a personal curious case with this series… During the emission, I was diagnosed with a disease that doesn’t let me do what I love. It is still possible for me to recover, but it will take a long time and still I don’t know if I can able to pay for the operation. When I found out was so frusting to me. I wanted to cry. I wanted hurt myself. I wanted to curse healthy people, but suddenly, I remembered Natsusa-kun smile´s and that slap me.
I do not want to cry, be depressed or curse anybody; I want to be strong, I want to be like Natsusa-kun. I do not know if I am going to recover, but I will try with a smile. In the way, I am pretty sure I going to fall, but then, Natsusa-kun is going to be there for me. To the end, if I can’t recover, I going to find another way to stay close. This is not a 2D delirium; this is what an anime can do for you.
And well, that it is 🙂
Characters are cute, maybe they are much people without deployment but they have they own mini-group than make then cute only by exist (Cap&ViceCap)(KotorixYayaoi)(ZenForce:Ling-Tsuugen-Pongsaklek- Seiichirou)(Yankkes,otakus). The main friendship between Natsusa-kun and his childhood friends Seiichirou and Ibuki is to soft and honest, I thought I was going to melt from so much tenderness.
Animation it’s enough good, remember rugby is not the focus itself, but at least brief plays are enough understandable to understand the rhythm of the game (last match has a few well done tackles). The comedy is well played. Colors are cotton candy. First ED “Kimi to Iru nara” is soooo lovely and sweet, I totally fall in love. Coming ED´s are candy bars too. PRA studio did a good job with this proyect.
“number24″ is special to me, brought me color, enjoy and light to the grayest days of my life. I can’t be more thankful. I recommend “number24” has a casual anime if you like BL or cute-boys stuffs, but I especially recommend “number24” if you need something to help you to rise your head.
Story: 7 / Art: 7 / Sound: 7 / Character: 8 / Enjoyment (10) + Thankful feeling (1) : 11
Thank you for read.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
2. Tsukipro The Animation
3. Tsukipro The Animation 2