|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Shounen Hollywood - Holly Stage for 49
Shonen Hollywood explores the rise of a group of teenage boys becoming a successful idol group, whose original members disbanded years earlier. Exploring the rise of pop idols in anime is nothing new and is not a subject that interests me too greatly, though this series does do a solid job at exploring the backgrounds of each of the boys that make up the band and the challenges that all five go through in preparing for their major debut as an idol group. The boys each come from different walks of life and Shonen Hollywood does quite well with balancing out focus between the issues facing each of our leads in both their musical and personal lives. Only major sore spot with the anime is the rather subpar artwork as the character designs look a bit rough and animation shortcuts are a frequent occurrence throughout its run. While anime focused on pop idols is nothing new for me with anime, Shonen Hollywood is still a decent title in its own right thanks to the solid balance it offers up with exploring the lives of the boys making up the idol group and the challenges they undergo to become a success.
Last updated Sunday, July 31 2016. Created Sunday, July 31 2016.
Shounen Hollywood - Holly Stage for 49
(Eight episodes watched):|
Some shows can give a very good first impression, yet won't do much with the potential they display. That's the conclusion I draw from Shounen Hollywood. The first episode turned out to be a pleasant surprise. These guys have a little soul, and, since they are underdogs, you can root for them. They aren't just beefcake being paraded for female viewers, no, they have some brains and depth to them. The non-dialogue, music-only scenes near the end of what they do in their free time helped develop them, which is something most anime sorely neglect. The characters think and feel and realize things, unlike many anime. In fact, I bet it would be relatively easy to categorize all anime into those with thinking characters with developing personalities and those in which the characters just employ the personality that they were issued at the beginning. The story is sort of interesting and the dialogue is fairly sophisticated, at least in comparison to most anime. The premise is plausible and believable. They are supposed to act as a revival of a once-famous group which they know little more than anybody about. Surely this detail wouldn't have been inserted if something isn't going to come of it. So, while it was too soon to be certain, I felt that this is actually a pretty neat show. This has to be going somewhere--or maybe the journey itself will be what matters, rather than the destination.
Episode three, which dealt with one of the original members of the group having a connection to one of the new ones, was less impressive. I didn't really grasp any major significance to the link, it didn't 'move' me, and the episode didn't seem to expand the character involved all that much. I recalled the previous episodes being better than this. In spite of all the enthusiasm they inspired previously, I couldn't help feeling that maybe the characters had already 'developed' about as much as they ever would, and this show wouldn't be nearly as deep and interesting as I had first thought. The episode about the sort of stuck-up member, who considers himself better than the others since he has a career in entertainment and wasn't just selected off the street, was also kind of mediocre. At the end the guy seems to have an epiphany and turns himself around in the blink of an eye, which anybody knows is extremely unlikely in real life and therefore unconvincing. Episode five, about the play which the manager has ordered the guys to perform as a means of training, was kind of odd and I don't know exactly what to make of it. At least it wasn't another blah episode.
While this is more than just a fanservice for girls show, it isn't all that exciting after all. The guys take turns learning a lesson and soldiering on to (literally) get their act together, but the lessons are kind of shallow and dull. Something truly remarkable needed to happen. The series was well underway yet little progress had been made towards the group assembling a performance. Somehow, for all the talking and acting they do, not much character seems to accumulate and cling to these guys. Other than the child star, the color of their hair was still about the only thing enabling me to tell the group members apart. Their personal stories didn't thrill me enough to remember much about them. On the other hand, the episode in which they just start singing their thoughts was kind of amusing and inspiring. But it wasn't enough to turn things around all by itself. I was already growing tired of Shounen Hollywood, and would much have rathered that this be a twelve than a 24 episode series. This wasn't a terrible show by any means, and I was reluctant to quit since it still seemed possible that the series might turn around later. It might have even deserved a 'Watch' rating. But I haven't got the time for 'Watch' shows anymore.
Last updated Friday, February 27 2015. Created Wednesday, July 09 2014.
|Official Anime Website (Japanese) at StarChild||http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/shonen-hollywood-anime/|