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YMMV / Act-age

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  • Adorkable: Despite her "cool beauty" appearance, Kei is quite naive, easily impressed, socially clumsy, and prone to spew out weird things out of nowhere, all of which give her a quirky and cute side you wouldn't suspect at first glance.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Despite managing Yonagi in a different agency and wanting to create a masterpiece that might change the entertainment industry, Sumiji is rather open with Yonagi's progress and sometimes acts under Arisa during their discussions. As much as he looks down on the entertainment industry and jokes around Arisa, he would rather work within Arisa's guidelines due to both the power she wields and the fact that she is willing to provide the space for him to keep working with her.
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  • Crossover Ship: True to her Launcher of a Thousand Ships reputation, Yonagi is even shipped with fellow WSJ protagonists Denji and Yuuji Itadori (as they were often positioned next to each other in Jump covers and illustrations), forming some kind of Love Triangle between the three.
  • Designated Villain: Amachi, despite many people including his boss Arisa seeing him as shady, is this during the Double Cast arc, as after roping in Ogami, Chiyoko and Yonagi for his next project, he does nothing directly harmful towards either teams after that. In fact, he actually helps Team A by not streaming their shaky 1st day performance to save Ogami's reputation and even the odds of them winning, much to the displeasure of Sumiji.
  • Growing the Beard: During the Death Island arc, the artist and author improved their art and narrative style note  respectively and found a niche for the manga to survive past its initially rocky start. Then the series' popularity really shot up with the Night on the Galactic Railroad arc, which introduced a more fleshed out supporting cast to bounce off Kei. This sadly didn't last, as the manga got cancelled over a Role-Ending Misdemeanor.
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  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In one of the author's notes sections, writer Tatsuya Matsuki writes, "I just need a bicycle I can socially distance on and all my hobby needs will be met." While initially taken as a lighthearted reference to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it took on a much darker light after Matsuki was arrested for groping middle school girls that August, with him having used a bicycle to quickly approach them and run off.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • One of the series Running Gags was of Kei's mentor, Sumiji, being Mistaken for Pedophile, which takes on a much darker reevaluation upon the writer's arrest.
    • The very last panel of the final published chapter is that of a woman standing in front of a grave. Considering how heart-wrenching it was for the artist Usazaki Shiro to have to cancel the series, the panel is probably a good indication of her state of mind at that moment.
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  • Informed Wrongness: For the Death Island arc audition, everybody (including Kei herself) sees it as a negative when Kei utterly loses control when playing her role and throwing her co-actors in chaos. While they are right to an extent with Kei improving on that aspect, the director noted that without her the group wouldn't be chosen in the first place and it is Akane who ended up destroying the scene when Akane's anger got the better of her while the scene was still rolling.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Kei is quite popular in-universe, to say the least − Chiyoko, Akira, Araya and Riku have all shown hints of attraction towards her, and she's had one-to-one interactions with all of them. The author and artist definitely had a field day with it in their illustrations.
  • Memetic Bystander: The little girl in the audience of the Princess Iron Fan play became very popular with the readers because of her adorableness and genuine reactions to Yonagi's performance, so much so that she kept appearing all along the play until the end and even got an official name (Ayumi Arishima) and character bio in Volume 10.
  • Memetic Loser: Akira, who was already considered In-Universe a decent but unremarkable actor, constantly overshadowed by the other characters before being Put on a Bus (for training purposes), is jokingly even more disrespected by the fans who often act like they didn't notice or even remember him (even before he went Out of Focus). Despite this he's a rather popular character, scoring fourth overall on the official poll (long after his absence) and the second most popular guy after Araya.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Due to Kei being a Launcher of a Thousand Ships, many joked that the manga is part of the Harem Genre.
    • Inspired by how different Act-Age is compared to its fellow WSJ series, fans started to attribute joke Power Levels to the characters as if it was a traditional battle shōnen, Gratuitous Spanish names included.note 
      - S Rank: Yonagi (la Furiosa)
    • Yonagi is a pro.Explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: During the Double Cast arc Hanako crosses this when she reveals to Kei that she was with Kei's father during the funeral of Kei's mother just to heighten Kei's emotions before the play started. Every person in the room is as horrified and shocked as the readers due to how unexpected and cruel it is.
  • Older Than They Think: This isn't the first shounen manga to cover the acting industry. Further back, Shōnen Magazine's The Star also had this as a plot, but focused on a male actor instead of a female actor.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: If you weren't following the series during its run, you'd best know it for the fact that writer Tatsuya Matsuki was arrested in August 2020 for groping two middle school girls, leading the series to be immediately cancelled, scrubbed off of Weekly Shonen Jump's records, and banished to Keep Circulating the Tapes purgatory.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • Chapter 35, a chapter ago when Iwao reveals to Yonagi that he has pancreatic cancer and he will be dead after 3 months, some viewers assume he is acting to make Yonagi empathize with Campella's situation. He is not, and his remaining time is way shorter than he assumed.
    • Chapter 63, it's hard for viewers to expect that after the School Club arc, Chiyoko & Araya are back again and join Amachi's proposal for another stage play, roping Yonagi into the Double Cast arc despite the initial focus on film acting.
    • Chapter 66, Kuromaya entering the fray... against Kei's team.
    • Chapter 82, after Kei has decided to rely on The Power of Hate against her estranged father to play Princess Iron Fan, the play's director Hanako decides to give her an extra push by revealing that she was her father's lover and that she was with him during the funeral of Kei's mother. Kei looks downright ready to tear Hanako apart and burn the pieces at that moment.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Glass Mask − while both manga deal with the acting theme, the mental treatment towards the actors are dealt differently. Whereas Glass Mask uses Training from Hell regularly regardless of the mental state of the main characters, Act-age at least tries to maintain the mental state of the actors during training because setting out a nasty one will create serious repercussions.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The biggest reason as to why Arisa initially doesn't think Kei should be an actress is that Kei's method and mentality will eventually destroy Kei in the acting world, and Arisa is speaking from her own experience which led to her retirement from acting. Yuki also agrees with the statement when Kei retains her feelings long after her performance as "an extra who sees a child murdered in front of her eyes", and warns Sumiji from doing something similar that will affect her mental state.
    • Another point Arisa makes is that when seeing Kei's talent, the directors in the industry will disregard Kei in order to perfect their project. The major arcs showcase the extents to which they can go:
      • Death Island: With the permission of Kei and Chiyoko, Tezuka decides to disregard the producers' suggestion to cut a climatic scene (that is optional in the source material), and instead decides to shoot Kei & Chiyoko during a typhoon in order to complete his story and finish before their deadline hits.
      • Night on the Galactic Railroad: Even when Iwao finds out his pancreatic cancer is worse than he realizes, he's still willing to hide it from everybody in order to make his last play a success, even using himself as an example to make Kei empathize with Campanella. His extreme tactics end up causing discord for everybody when the play started as he finally succumbs to his illness.
      • Double Cast: In order to have Kei fully utilize the Power Of Hate, Hanako tells her that she was with Kei's father during the funeral of Kei's mother. This one in particular stands out due to Hanako directly pushing Yonagi's specific buttons to get said response rather than just using generic-yet-effective empathy tricks. What's more, her trick falters midway through the climax; Yonagi gets so wrapped up in her rage that she forgets the trajectory the play's supposed to take. In the end, the first day of their play is considered to be inconsistent, since her co-stars had to react against Kei's performance on the spot and save Kei over playing along with Hanako's vision.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: During the Death Island auditions for Kei's group, Tezuka noted that when Kei lost control in playing her role and forced her co-stars to react, Masaki showed promise with his smarts and ability to adapt & control the scene. However, during Death Island's production, the focus on Kei & Chiyoko causes everybody else's acting progress to be ignored, with only Akane able to show her skills to the readers.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The first-day performance of Team B in the Double Cast arc. Granted, Team A's first-day performance had been quite long, but the cutting of some major snippets (such as Araya's performance of the Monkey King impersonating the Ox King, the two other co-stars, and Tenkyu's fate) makes their victory against Team A hard to swallow for some viewers.
    • Asano and Yuki were fellow classmates taught under Sumiji in the prequel. They have no interaction during the Double Cast arc due to being in different teams until the end of the arc.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Little Girls?: The female protagonist and the focus on acting and emotional range/stability don't sound too out of place for a shoujo manga, which is why it draws so many comparisons to the aforementioned Glass Mask and Skip Beat!. But to many's surprise, it became quite notable in Shonen Jump instead.

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