「星祭りの夜に」 (Hoshi Matsurinoyoru Ni)
“On the Night of the Star Festival”
Perhaps the producers of Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight were afraid that they made Nana just too darn sympathetic last episode. Well, to hammer home the fact that she’s supposed to be the antagonist to Karen and Hikari they’ve made sure to imbue her with a definite villain quality: monologuing. The stoic Daiba Nana now really wants everybody to know her motivations and will launch into emotional soliloquys at the drop of a dime — or whenever the script demands.
Somehow, I’m not exactly satisfied with the end product. It wasn’t a bad episode, per se, but it didn’t have quite the impact for me as I think it should have. It doesn’t help that it’s so overshadowed by the past two weeks of Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight. Visually, those two were some of the most stunning episodes that Revue Starlight has managed, and hard to top with just Karen and Nana crossing blades. Narratively, the clash between Hikari and Nana was simply more climactic; Hikari made for an fitting foil for Nana and the stakes were suitably high, with it being a battle for Hikari’s very soul. In fact, why is the clash between Nana and Karen framed as being more important between her and Hikari at all? Nana considers Karen the larger the anomaly and the one who ultimately ruined her time loop, but since Karen wouldn’t have moved without Hikari isn’t it the transfer student’s fault anyway? In fact, I was hoping Karen and Nana would find some common ground instead of just the usual combat. After all, didn’t the two enter the revues for the same reason? Nana wanted to protect her friends, and Karen impulsively jumped into the ring only to help Hikari. The two are really not so different.
And considering that the protagonist and the antagonist are the same side of two different coins, I’m also to really satisfied with how Nana is so easily dismissed by the narrative as the one in the ‘wrong’. Sure, Juuna quotes a bunch of famous people in her prosecution, but I’m not usually convinced by appeals to authority. Rather, it makes me feel that Nana was set up as the strawman, and was unfairly beaten up. Sure, there are equally as many stories and quotes about what gets trampled in the name of progress? Even within Revue Starlight, we know that there is a price to pay to enter the revue, and that there can be only one Top Star. That would have been a compelling argument for Nana, no?
…Or does she not know?
Well, it probably won’t matter in the end. If the Starlight play-within-the-play is supposed to be an analogy for Revue Starlight (something of an Icarus fable, apparently), and they’re apparently writing a new script for each production, why not mix things up a bit? Write a different ending if you want. Tragedy is so very overrated.
Full-length images: 26.