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Ever since she first heard him sing, high school freshman Haruka Nanami has dreamt of writing a song for Hayato, a famous pop idol. To make her dream a reality, she enrolls into Saotome Academy, an elite private school designed to teach idol hopefuls and the composers that work with them the Ins and Outs of the business. While there, she gains the attention and friendship of a colorful cast of male idol hopefuls, including the cold and aloof Tokiya Ichinose, who claims to be the identical twin brother of Hayato.Oh, did we mention that the principal is voiced by Norio Wakamoto and that romance is absolutely forbidden in the school, and grounds for immediate expulsion?Uta no Prince-sama (うたの☆プリンスさまっ♪ Uta no Purinsu-sama, lit. "Princes of Song") is an otomeVisual Novel released by Broccoli for the PlayStation Portable. Originally a rather low-budget title which mostly relied on its light-hearted (although with its shares of drama) atmosphere, as well as featuring some of the voice actors with best singing voices out there, the game became popular quickly, expawning a whole franchise of its own:
Uta no Prince-sama: The original game, released in 2010. A visual novel with a few rhythm minigames.
Uta no Prince-sama -Amazing Aria-: A 2010 fandisc, featuring the boys from A Class, the Secret Character and a new character who introduces himself as the director's relative.
Uta no Prince-sama Repeat: A 2011 remake of the original game, released almost at the same time as the anime adaptation. Mainly fixed the graphics and added a few more new scenarios.
Uta no Prince-sama -Sweet Serenade-: A 2011 fandisc, featuring the boys from S Class and the teachers.
Uta no Prince-sama -Debut-: The 2012 sequel, set one year after the beginning of the first game. It features Haruka and the boys working as professional artists under the supervision of four seniors.
Uta no Prince-sama -All Star-: The 2013 sequel, set a year and a half after the beginning of the first game. Introduces unique routes for the seniors, as well as sequels to the teachers' routes in Sweet Serenade and the Rainbow Route, which includes all the main boys.
Uta no Prince-sama -All Star After Secret-: A 2015 fandisc to All Star, featuring epilogues to the seniors' routes.
Uta no Prince-sama MUSIC: A series of games that focus only on the Rhythm Game minigames of the series.
UtaPri Island: A Mobile Phone Game for iOS and Android systems consisting of minigames using the main characters.
An untitled new installment, which will suppose the franchise's transition to PS Vita.
An anime adaptation by A-1 Pictures called Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji LOVE 1000% aired on the Summer 2011 Anime season, and the anime was renewed for a second season that aired on the Spring 2013 Anime season subtitled Maji LOVE 2000%. There's also a manga adaptation for the first game and Debut, and an additional OVA for the second season that was released in December 2013. A third season of the anime with the name of Maji LOVE Revolutions will air on April 2015.The page for the character sheet is here.
Uta no Prince-sama provides examples of:
Adaptation Distillation: The first season greatly condenses elements from Tokiya, Otoya, Masato and Natsuki's routes, while ignoring Sho, Ren and Cecil's routes altogether, introducing new conflicts for them instead of the ones shown in the game. The second season's only relationships with Debut is the introduction of the senpais and Cecil to the main cast.
And the other way around: Tokiya has an inferiority complex about Otoya. They end up as friends and also rivals, although Otoya still thinks he's got a lot to learn to catch up with Tokiya, and never hesitates to talk at length about how much he respects him. For Tokiya's part, as much as he grouses about Otoya, in the end he wants to sing together with him.
Ascended Extra: The teachers (both got routes on the Sweet Serenade fandisc and All Star) and the seniors (who got routes in All Star)
Bishōnen: It is an otome game, what did you expect?
Black Sheep: Debut is considered the worst game of the franchise by some fans, since it focuses more on the senpai and the boys' character development instead of their romance with the heroine, and it's generally more angsty than the previous games. This is also why it's the only main game with no fandisc, and why All Star focuses on the seniors' routes instead.
The Cameo: The seniors in the last episode of the first season.
Canon Foreigner: HE★VENS, the rival band that appears in the anime's second season. They've been added to the games' character lineup, so it's to be expected they'll appear in future games.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Haruka to Tokiya and Masato's Ice Kings, more notably in the game but also present in the anime.
Early Installment Weirdness: The first game used CGs and sprites of lower quality than the promotional art (the promotional art and the character designs were done by Chinatsu Kurahana, the same artist that drew the art for Nitro+ Chiral's works such as DRAMAtical Murder, while the art in the game used a more anime-ish style). This was fixed in Repeat, the remake of the first game, but the two fandiscs still feature the old sprites.
Engrish: The catchphrases during the transition screens in the games. Some examples are "Music more beautiful than kiss" and "You will... kiss on him." Additionally, Shining Saotome speaks fluent Super Engrish while Chewing the Scenery... that is, every time he opens his mouth.
Fake Twin Gambit: Tokiya does this when entering the Academy in order to try and break away from his Hayato persona, and debut as himself.
Fanservice: The second season's opening concert has the boys stroking each others' chests, shaking their derrieres at the camera, and pelvic-thrusting.
Friend to All Children: As seen in episode 3, Haruka. Also Tokiya, as seen in episode 8; and Otoya in the second season episode 5.
Gender Bender: Done in-universe with Music Princess Magical Ichiko in which the six guys have to play girls, with Tokiya getting the brunt of the embarrassment as Magical Girl Ichiko. As Masato tells Syo in an aside: "That right there is a real professional... a real man."
In the first game, the punishment for the loser class in the volleyball game is crossdressing. In All Star, in Ranmaru's route, he, Masato and Ren pull a play where Masato crossdresses as a woman.
Gratuitous English: Many of the songs include English words and phrases in the lyrics, as par the course for the musical genre.
SING YOUR SONG
ARE YOU READY?
Principal Saotome BURIIZUSU this trope to such MARUBEROOZU EKKUSUTENTOH, that knowing Japanese is not nearly enough to understand him when he speaks, one also needs to be fluent in deciphering his thick, hammyINGURISSHHAH.
Hot for Student: Ryuuya and Ringo are playable characters in Sweet Serenade and All Star.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode is named after the insert song featured in it after the word Op. Exceptions are episodes 9 and 10 in the first season and episode 9 of the second.
Idol Singer: Tomochika and the guys' main goal is to become one. Anime season 2 focuses on the non-singing aspects of idolhood: Masato and Syō show off their talents as actors, Ren and Natsuki get to model.
Image Song: Each episode centered on a guy has a song sung by him. Haruka and the seniors also have their own songs (although the seniors' solo songs are only featured in All Star and its fandisc)
Implausible Deniability: In the game, Haruka's ability to believe that Hayato and Tokiya are different people is astounding.
In-Series Nickname: Tomochika is called "Tomo" by Haruka and some classmates and Masato is called "Masa" by Otoya and "Masayan" by Tomochika. Ren has nicknames for almost the whole cast: surname derivations "Ikki", "Icchi" and "Shinomii" for Otoya, Tokiya and Natsuki respectively, "Ochibi-chan" (something along the lines of "Lil' Cutie") for Syo, and "Ceci" for Cecil. In the anime he calls Haruka "Kohitsuji-chan" ("Little Lamb") while in the game he uses either "Lady" or "Honey" further along in his route.
Insert Song: Once every episode, if not more. Yes, even if the episode is all about Ren's family issues and a modeling gig.
Limited Wardrobe: The HE★VENS members are seen with only one outfit through the series. They don't change clothes for their performance either.
Lucky Charms Title: Uta no☆Prince-sama♪, with the anime title being Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 1000%. It's arguably even worse in Japanese, where a っ is randomly thrown in at the end. No wonder the series is generally just referred to as UtaPri.
ST★RISH and HE★VENS, the two boy bands of the anime. Explained in ST★RISH's case, as it turns out the star was just a place holder for Cecil's A.
MST: The first season of the anime was simulcasted on the English version of Nico Nico Douga, which displays the video's comments while it is playing. Guess what most of the viewers decided to do.
Magical Realism: The series follows a rather faithful description of the idol business... if you don't count the whole magic issues with Cecil and the reactions to ST★RISH's performances in the anime.
Multiple Endings: Depending on who the player pairs Haruka with, and their level of affection at the end.
Names to Know in Anime: The series makes use of some of the seiyuus with best singing voices. It's a game centered around music, after all.
Rank Inflation: With the classes, even! While the boys are from S and A classes, it's repeatedly mentioned that S class is special and only for the highest achievers. Note that the students who even attend the school are the top 0.5%. of EVERYONE who applied. Just run that math a little bit. And to top it off, the S-class students get to flaunt it on their uniform with little stars peppered everywhere. The lapels of their shirts, an extra one on the patches, etc. etc.
Rhythm Game: Present in all of the games. There're also two stand-alone rhythm games Uta no Prince-sama MUSIC and MUSIC 2, which feature the songs from the games and the anime.
Secret Character: Cecil, who is unlocked in the original game after finishing the routes for the other boys. He still makes a cameo in all of them, though.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Everyone in the main cast has super colourful hair, except for Shining Saotome, Ryuuya Hyuuga, the HE★VENS' members, Camus, Reiji and Cecil. After them, Natsuki and Syo's bright yellows are the most natural.