Utano Princesama Legend Star is the fourth season of the Utano Prince series. After four seasons, you’d think there’d be little room left for the main protagonists to grow. That’s where you’d be wrong.
Note: This article contains major spoilers for Utano Princesama Legend Star.
In Utano Princesama Legend Star, the three idol groups ST☆RISH, QUARTET NIGHT, and HE★VENS are competing to be the opening artists for a major international event. With the idol fan community focused on their upcoming showdown, the agencies of ST☆RISH and HE★VENS take the opportunity to ride the wave of the attention by having the individual members of their groups collaborate in a duet project.
By working together with other idols who they both view as rivals and admire as artists, the members of ST☆RISH explore untapped areas of themselves to grow as artists. Perhaps the most interesting growth is found in the character Natsuki Shinomiya.
A primary character since the first season, Natsuki’s most notable characteristic is that he possesses two personalities. His normal personality is as Natsuki, where he is kind, gentle, and adores cute things. However, when Natsuki removes his glasses, his alternate personality, Satsuki, emerges. The polar opposite of Natsuki, Satsuki is loud, aggressive, and extremely violent.
Throughout the series, it has been established that Natsuki is completely oblivious to Satsuki’s existence. Natsuki retains no memory of what has happened or what he has done while Satsuki is dominant.
However, in episode seven of Utano Princesama Legend Star, Satsuki, through his interactions with the HE★VENS member, Nagi Mikado, is forced to step back as Natsuki’s shadow guardian and allow Natsuki to face his demons on his own. Through the events of the episode, Natsuki realizes he has a literal alternate self hiding within.
By making peace with himself, Natsuki is able to let go of the mental crutch he had made for himself and says goodbye to Satsuki, erasing his second personality–psychiatry be damned.
The obvious mental dangers of literally erasing part of one’s own psyche aside, this is something completely unheard of with an anime like this. The Utano Princesama series is based on a video game series of the same name. The game is a dating sim in which players play the part of a female protagonist surrounded by handsome and eligible boys. Each of the boys has their archetypal characteristics to appeal to different player tastes. Throughout their story arcs in the games, the characters may grow and change somewhat, but the fundamental establishing characteristics don’t change.
The removal of the character/personality of Satsuki is a game changer in every sense of the word. It’s literally removing a key element that makes the character who he is. It also risks angering devoted fans of the character, which is pretty ballsy of a series that has released ten games and four seasons of an anime.
The season is still ongoing with three episodes left to air at the moment, so the change in the character could still be reversed. Personally, I hope Natsuki is allowed to stay changed and remain the evolved character he’s become.