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Category:    Home > Reviews > Anime > Animation > Comedy > Romance > Sex > Music > Drama > Girl Bands > Girl Groups > Idols > Magic Girls > Ao-chan Can't Study (2019)/BanG Dream!: 2nd Season (2018)/Revue Starlight (2018/all Sentai Complete Collection Blu-rays)

Ao-chan Can't Study (2019)/BanG Dream!: 2nd Season (2018)/Revue Starlight (2018/all Sentai Complete Collection Blu-rays)

Picture: B+/A-/A- Sound: B+ Extras: C/C/C* Episodes: B+

Here's a new group of anime series for you to know about...

Ao is a girl who want to live a normal life, but all that is ruined by her famous writer father who writes erotic novels. No thanks to him, Ao-chan thinks that everyone thinks that she is also loose girl with loose morals. She thinks that all men are pigs (which she isn't wrong). But most of all she is afraid Takumi Kijima (the boy she likes), he is handsome, nice and well mannered but to Ao he is the wolf in sheep's clothing and wants to do ecchi things with her in Ao-chan Can't Study (2019).

Ao is also high school girl, but because upbringing by her father she has been desensitize to erotica and porn. Everything to her sounds like a double entendre. Especially Kijima-kun, everything he does seems to send Ao into high school girl fantasy mode. And while her father does care for her and he may have a pearl of wisdom from time to time, 95% of the time he just trying to get her lose her panties (and her virginity).

This is a mini series, each episode is only 15 minutes long each. It is comedy about high school drama with over imaginative students and carnal desires. It is about a girl, the more she tries to avoid boys the more she becomes bothered by them. A girl who worries too much about something sometimes ends up becoming the very thing she is trying to avoid. Extras include clean opening and closing animations and trailers.

Episodes include:

Ao-chan Can't Enjoy Her Youth - Ao watches out for Kajima-kun who makes her think he is just like all the other boys.

Ao-chan Can't Easily Decline - Ao is frustrated when Kajima accidentally get her book which is really one of father's dirty books.

Ao-chan Can't Protect Her Lower Half - Ao goes on a school training camp but she is afraid it will turn into an orgy.

Miyabi-Chan Can't Be Beaten - Ao has a rival in love, Miyabi ...and she has no problems with using her wiles.

Ao-chan Can't Lead Virgins - Ao confronts Kijima about his and Miyabi's relationship and she find out Kijima is still a virgin.

Kijima-kun Can't Wait Any Longer - Ao goes to a meat festival and Kijima-kun mistakes Yabe (Ao's father's editor) as Ao's boyfriend.

Ao-chan Can Handle the Beach - Ao and her classmates go the beach to study, but can they really study or want to have fun?

Kijima-kun Lacks Stamina - After the beach fiasco, Ao's tells Kijima to stop trying so hard and to stop confessing to her.

Ao-Chan Needs More Than Fantasies - Kijima starts avoiding Ao and she begins to realize she misses him and they make up with each other.

Dad Can't Offer Support - It's the school sports festival and nothing can go wrong ...can it?

Ao-chan Can't Wear Silky Panties - Ao buys her first silk panties and has a study night with Kijima-kun, but does she want to study with him ...or seduce him?

and Ao-chan Can't Study - Ao and Kijima share their first kiss and now they can't stop with just a kiss.

It's a new school year and as Kasumi, Arisa, Saya, Tae and Rimi are doing more than just moving up a grade but also moving up their band Poppin' Party to the next level and Kasumi announces to the entire school that they are planning to have their own live concert this year. However, they are not the only ones, along with other rival pop idol girl bands they all plan to debut on to the stage in BanG Dream!: 2nd Season (2018).

The latest trend for girls is to play in bands. Poppin' Party, Hello Happy World, Pastel Palette , Afterglow and Roselia are the hottest girl bands,but to become the next all girl band pop idols is not as easy as they think, the friendships, drama and rivalry, there is practice, rehearsals, fittings, modeling, advertisements and many more things to become a star. The but through all the difficulties, challenges they remember why they sing and why they came together. They inspire each other and others to dream and follow their hearts and their music. However, when a mysterious producer CHU2 introduces a new band, a dark horse, Layer and will do ANYTHING win, including tear apart the other bands from the inside. Can the girls pull together and survive ...or will they fall apart? In the end all the girls have to face the same question, which is more important to them ...fame or friendship?

This is an anime series about girls dreaming to become idols, what is unique is there are multiple girl bands, each with a different style, look and music. It was like watching a Japanese version of the cartoon series Jem and the Holograms. In the end corporations and producers are parasites in the entertainment business and a negative influence on actors, artists and musicians when they care more about profit, fame and influence than the music. Extras include clean opening and closing animations and trailers.

Episodes include:

Happy Party! - It's a new semester and right off the bat Poppin' Party announces this year they will have their own live concert this year.

Black Shout - Roselia also announces they will go independent and is the favored band to win. Roselia's lead singer tells Poppin' Party that they are not ready to go independent.

Sing Girls - Karen meets Rokka a fan of Poppin' Party and they remember why they play music, for the fans who love them.

Magnificent! Dynamic! A Wiiide World! - Kokoro from Hello Happy World band puts together a crazy show for Poppin' Party while they sing and jump from a hot air balloon (with a parachute).

Rainy Ring-Dong-Dance - The Pastel Palettes works out their differences when Chisato feels that her singing isn't good enough, but Aya still believes in Chisato and want to sing a duet with her.

You Only Live Once - Afterglow and Poppin' Party is to play for an outdoor street market, but when it gets rained out it doesn't stop the girls.

I Won't Cry, I Won't Cry - The girls play for their cultural festival at their school. Tae however is being scouted by her childhood friend for another band, Layer.

You're Not Alone - Tae decides to try and be a temporary back up guitarist for Layer, but little does she know she is being manipulated to tear apart Poppin' Party.

School Festival Symphony - It's the school festival, Layer forces Tae to play for them and making her late for the school festival ...forcing Poppin' Party to drop out at the school festival.

R-I-O-T - Tae feels that she has betrayed Poppin' Party and tell Layer she doesn't want to play for them anymore. However CHU2 of Layer continues to cause Poppin' Party problems by making them to doubt Tae by saying she is still coming over to their side.

Star Tears - Tae returns to Poppin' Party but CHU2 continues try to create doubt between Poppin' Party band members. However, Tae writes a new song to prove that is loyal member of Poppin' Party.

Returns - Poppin' Party and the other girl bands decide they rather play together than against each other and Poppin' Party plays their new song for the other girl bands.

and Kizuna Music - Poppin' Party and the 4 other bands come together to play at their usual club house Galaxy and prove all they really need is each other and their music to inspire each other.

Karen is part of Class 99 of Seisho Music Academy for aspiring actresses to become the future Top Stars. She is reunited with her childhood friend Hikari and along with all the girls in their class they strive to play lead roles in their annual play "Starlight". However, at night the girls are taken down in a mysterious elevator in their school ...in where the girls are transformed in magical girls and they sing, fight and dance with real weapons to decide who will become Top Star. But can Karen keep her promise to Hikari that they will both become Top Stars?

In Revue Starlight (2018), Karen Aijo is student at Seisho Music Academy where they teach singing, dancing, acting, and music for young aspiring actresses to take center stage, 'Position Zero'. Every girl must prove she her salt and she is the best in order to become the next Top Star and take the lead role, however there can be only ONE lead role. Karen is different, she made a promise with Hikari that they would both become Top Stars, to her, her classmate are not rivals but friends, but can she keep her promise with that kind of naivety? She discovers every night all the girls have been disappearing every night to sing, dance and fight deep underground with a talking giraffe deciding who will become the next Top Star. Can Karen keep her promise to Hikari when there can be only one Top Star?

This anime series seemed at first like another idol series with a group of girls dreaming to become pop stars but with a slight twist, they sing, dance ...and they fight. The series symbolizes how female actresses must fight, sweat blood and tears in order to achieve stardom, that girls are not friends but bitter rivals and back stabbing divas. It is a world where last woman standing wins. Actresses are tempted and tricked by the promise of stardom by the shadowy directors with their questionable goals. *Extras include clean opening and closing animations, commentaries, shorts and trailers, though a Premium box set (as pictured above in this review) adds a ton of additional extras and would be the set fans will want to get instead.

Episodes include...

Stage Girls - A new girl joins the girls of Seisho Music Academy class of 99, Karen is reunited with her childhood friend Hikari ...can this be fate?

The Stage of Fate - Karen tries to learn more about the secret fights and discover how her class representative Junna is involved and fights her.

Top Star - Hikari tries to lock Karen in the shed to keep her from fighting. However when Karen loses and Hikari is angry at Karen for not listening and not knowing what happens after she loses.

Promise Tower - Karen chases after Hikari and ends up playing hooky with her for a day away from school and they remember their promises to each other.

Is "Shine" Even Possible? - Miharu gets jealous of Hikari for stealing Karen affections and she fights for Karen with insane jealousy. If she can't have Karen ...then no one will, but can Karen save her?

Stage Left for Two - Futaba reminisces how she and Kaoruko grew up together, how Kaoruko was given everything in her life while she has had to earn it.

Nana Daiba - Junna and Banna look back over the years and remember all the girls who didn't make the cut and were forced to drop out.

Toward the Light - Hikari recalls her London Theater classes and her past with Karen and how she now returned to Japan to compete for Top Star.

On the Night of the Star Festival - As the annual 'Starlight' performance draws near, the girls begin to worry who will win ...and who will be cut from performance.

The Show Must Go On - Karen and Hikari teams up and wins Top Star, but just as about they are about collect their prize Hikari knocks Karen off of center stage.

We are - Hikari disappears for the next 6 months and Karen searches for her and wonders where is she and what happened to her after winning Top Star and learns Hikari has been a prisoner, a slave to Top Star.

and Revue Starlight - Karen learns that being a Top Star means sacrificing yourself to the stage and that Hikari wanted to spare Karen from the loneliness, but Karen fights to bring Hikari home and to her classmates, to tell her that she isn't alone and to break her free from curse of being Top Star.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on all three sets look fine, colorful, sharp and have nice warmth and even depth, though style (et al) on Study holds it back a bit. All could possibly look impressive in 4K too. All three also have solid audio by way of Japanese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes, with Pro Logic like surrounds at times, so experiment with settings on your system if you have one. Study and Starlight have English dubs in DTS-MA 2.0 Stereo lossless, but they are not as good as the Japanese originals.

- Ricky Chiang


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