Art by @eelkingdom
Were you watching Polka’s stream just now where she talked about Aikatsu for two hours, sang many of the songs acapella, and instated a livewatch of it on Bandai’s youtube channel? Or maybe you remember that in her debut, that the very first anime listed among her favorites was Aikatsu? Do you not know what Aikatsu is? Well here’s where you can find all of it, subbed.
Aikatsu is a little girls demographic anime that has found huge success among adults for it’s charming characters, mature writing, and amazing music, among everything else it does with eloquence and grace. Today Polka spoke mostly about the first season with Ichigo, Aoi, Ran, and their friends, which lasted 50 episodes. You can find a link to their download here, although it’s also available on private trackers. If you were inspired by the passion with which Polka talked about it and sang, why not give it a try yourself?
That small bud is carefully raised, and then passed on
I was not expecting both of the last episodes to be released on the same day, but I suppose that was likely due to earlier delays in the schedule. Essentially we got one full episode, but both halves were quite intensive to do, so it took a bit of extra time. But that’s exactly why we’re releasing them together, just as they aired.
What a fantastic addition to Aikatsu, adding this extra story about Noelle and inviting her to be the protagonist of her own mini-series. Truly, this used the experience of every series of Aikatsu to elevate an unmistakably OG-style story. But the strength of it lies not simply in calling back directly to one of the most emotional moments in Aikatsu’s history, but adding to it with new color and metaphor, and writing a song that both reinforced that theme and connected it with every single idol academy. You can see it directly in the title of the song as well.
I won’t go crazy like I usually do for finales, since everything I said at the end of Parade still stands. The new announcement date for information on the next Aikatsu project has been moved to August 10th. Usually we don’t put that information on the site directly, although that’s probably because I put it at the end of the normal weekly release… which there won’t be. We’ll see what happens then, I’m not sure what we’ll do for it.
Episode 05: Torrent | Magnet
Episode 06: Torrent | Magnet
She can’t hear you through the screen, you know
This was a story about the big picture, about each of the five idol schools, but it was also a story about the little picture, and how significant a relationship between two people can be. How one touching and meaningful realization can change how you think about the world. Even if you’re from different times and places, you can still join hands and make a change. The next episode will be airing July 11.
Episode 04: Torrent | Magnet
A new reporter out of nowhere?!
And with this, the Dream School Grand Prix begins! Even with the compressed time available, Noelle’s development is masterfully written with both overt and subtle references to past themes and episodes, all with great pacing. There was one interesting art error (a certain Neo of the Venus Ark was missing), but that was more than made up for with the reveal of some amazing designs. Next episode isn’t until May 30th, so try and hang in there until then.
Episode 03: Torrent | Magnet
Is it already hopeless?
And now for the second half of Noelle’s episode. Other than, you know, being called part 1 and 2, it’s clear that the plot of this follows the previous one directly. Is common sense finally coming to Aikatsu? Or is it about to be broken beyond repair in the face of a new star? Either way, never look down, and never stop moving.
The next episode will air on May 2nd.
Episode 02: Torrent | Magnet
Noelle’s passionate Idol Activities, Aikatsu, is about to start!
That’s right! We’re already back in business, with the incredibly exciting season that I know some people were dying to see, Noelle and Dream Academy as the protagonist! Immediately we get an extremely Aikatsu episode, showing that just because this is a web anime, the quality is exactly as high as it always has been. There is nothing about this that indicates it will be any less than before. However, there are a few key points to mention that you should be aware of going forward.
- The episodes are half length, clocking twelve and a half minutes with no OP or ED
- The naming scheme appears to indicate that every two episodes put together will comprise one “whole” episode, although that is yet to be proven
- The web series airs once every two weeks, which for this one means that the first one was on last Saturday March 28th, and the next is April 11th
- Even though it “airs” on Saturday (Japan time), the high quality raws we use do not come out until Monday, so don’t expect a weekend release. This is a good thing, because the original in 480p was extremely ugly
Now this is just my speculation, but I expect that given the plot of the season and the pacing of this episode, this will continue for a full six months, probably for a total of 12-14 episodes. But I could be wrong, so don’t take that at face value.
Oh, and about how we’re naming the releases. You may have heard this series called “Dream Story”, but in actuality, that’s only the name of the DCD release, not the anime. According to the official Aikatsu website, this is simply called “Aikatsu on Parade Web Series”, and the official numbering starts from episode 1. That’s why we’re using this.
Episode 01: Torrent | Magnet
The baton will always be passed on
I had a lot to say here, to the finale of Aikatsu on Parade. But after getting it all out there through my final watch before release, which you can find in the usual place, I really don’t have anything to add. I said it before, but Aikatsu isn’t just another anime—it’s special. It shows what can happen, what you can accomplish, when you take to heart what those before you have to teach and give you, and then pass that on to those who will one day walk in your footsteps. It’s not just about being an idol; these are lessons and reminders of how to live your life best. When I first watched this episode, I fell into a light depression, the emptiness inside of me growing with the loss of On Parade; but with the release of our subs, another cycle has been completed, and that means I can start anew once again. It will never end, even far into the future. I’ve walked with Aikatsu for a full quarter of my life, and now Aikatsu will forever walk with me.
Dream Story will be worked on and out before Friday night, but I need a break. I’ve been working on BNA over at Asenshi, and I recommend it if you want more of Ichigo’s voice. Things will be different for a little while, but come autumn we will be reborn. In the meantime, keep on living your life and chasing your dreams—I believe in you.
Episode 025: Torrent | Magnet
Look at how perfect all these pairs are
What a fun look to the past and future this was. On top of all the Aikatsu feeling good, I felt a deep connection with a certain part of the episode, similar to an experience I’ve had that changed my life and my dream. You can feel that everyone involved with making this is still looking far ahead. Next week, it seems like there will be both the regular episode and the new web series—I’m still not sure exactly how it will work, but as always, both will be released on time. See you there.
Oh, and I’m safely back in America. Fun times ahead. Don’t forget about Aikatsu.
Episode 024: Torrent | Magnet
Even so, will you believe?
It’s Stars on Parade! Like last week, this episode deeply exemplifies the heart and soul of Aikatsu Stars, and gives Raki a place within it. Let’s look back together on the lessons we’ve learned and how far we’ve come since then.
Episode 023: Torrent | Magnet
That which is passed down
I can feel it, the spirit and soul of Aikatsu flowing through my blood. Even now, Raki is still growing and learning as an idol, maturing as a person. We’re at the climax, and it looks like we’re going out with a bang.
Episode 022: Torrent | Magnet
I’m not going to make a separate post about the important announcements, I’m just going to put the most important things here. You can view the videos yourself on AiTube or aikatsu.net.
- Starting Saturday March 28, a new season of Aikatsu on Parade will begin with a web broadcast. If you’re reading this now, it means you probably won’t notice any difference with the sub releases or where to watch.
- The Aikatsu DCD (arcade game) is starting a new set to match it.
- A new Aikatsu project is starting autumn of this year. We know that there will be new Aikatsu machines to match it, and we know there will be a TV broadcast for it. More information is coming in June. Anything more is speculation.