Aikatsu! is an anime adapted from an arcade game by Bandai. One of sunrise’s animation studio is doing it. The game is aimed towards little girls and is about making your character the best idol there is, using collectibles cards representing clothes to customize her. The game is quite recent; it was launched this October, right before the anime’s start. I was really interested when hearing about it as it reminded me of Pretty Rhythm. I’m pretty sure Bandai is trying to rival Takara Tomy with their own idol arcade game and ride on Pretty Rhythm’s success.
About the anime, it’s typically the kind of show most people will call crap without even watching it. Now doesn’t this remind you of anything? The comparisons with Pretty Rhythm doesn’t stop here as the first episode is pretty much a copy paste of Pretty Rhythm’s initial plot. We have our heroine called Ichigo who is helping her parents run a bento store. In Pretty Rhythm, Aira helps her parents with their bakery. The basic plot is the same. The clueless heroine who becomes an idol and has some hidden talent. Both shows also uses CG for the dance scenes. The CGs scenes in Pretty Rhythm are rather well done and fits in (then again I’m a huge fan of it so my judgement is biased) while I have to admit the ones in Aikatsu! just look weird. Unlike Pretty Rhythm, the choreography isn’t interesting, and the girls’ CG rendition is too different from how she looks outside CG scenes. They become way too skinny, among other things.
I’ll probably keep watching Aikatsu! because I want to know how it will turn out. I consider Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream the best show I’ve seen in 2011 & 2012, not only because it exceeded my expectations, but also because it was genuinely awesome. I mean, I don’t only like it because it was better than what I imagined, the show IS great. It would be great if Aikatsu! manages to transcend being an anime directed toward little girls and incorporates great and touching story elements like Rizumu’s issues with her mom in Pretty Rhythm.