Compose your perfect anime love story: Uta no Prince-sama (UtaPri)

Hey, Haruka! There you are. We’ve been waiting for you to read this blog.

…you are Haruka, right? Haruka Nanami? The one all the singing princes go crazy over?

Oh, you’re not. Okay. Guess we’d better explain what’s going on.

Off the screen and into our hearts

Uta no Prince-sama (UtaPri for short, what a cute nickname) started off as a ‘visual novel’ game for the PSP. Visual novels are Japan’s take on ‘choose your own adventure’. This adventure’s about graduating from composer school and finding your musical true love.

You play as Haruka, a teen girl who wants to write songs for her idol oshi. It’s an awesome plan, except she meets 6-7 other idol-level babes at composer school, with different personalities and secrets.

Romance with any of these bishies is strictly banned at musical academy, oh no! Cue opening credits.

It’s tough projecting yourself on a character that’s already fleshed out. Especially one with such a unique look. The games let you change your character name, but there’s no fixing that bright red hair.

The games – yep, of course they made more, for the PSP and PS Vita – have different endings, based on in-game choices you make. How well you play the minigames also affects endings. A kick in the pants to clumsy players like us.

You can’t have singing princes without a backing track, and every idol’s got a theme song. Almost all of UtaPri’s music is by Elements Garden – a name BanDori fans also know well.

The show must go on, for 3 more seasons

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. Every cool non-anime thing that gets popular in Japan becomes anime in the end. It happened to Sanrio Boys. It happened to Pop Team Epic. The chances of Uta no Prince-sama not ending up anime-fied were always zero.

Maji Love 1000% (2011), Maji Love 2000% (2013), Maji Love Revolutions (2015), and Maji Love Legend Star (2016) kept us hooked. By series 4, Haruka had something like 11 guys to juggle. Must be tough trying to study with that going on. We don’t have that kind of energy…

If you watched every episode and know the storylines already… how? How does anyone keep track of so many character relationships?

Looks like enough people did. UtaPri was in the top 25 for best-selling anime DVDs and music in 2017. Before you point out that’s not even close to top 10 – it beat Pokemon.

Every UtaPri anime series is out on DVD and Blu-ray. Check the region lock and language options before ordering! Idols look cool in every language, but you’ll wanna understand all those awkward love confessions.

Shining off the shelves and into our hearts

The next leap, after the one from games to TV shows, was into anime goods shops. The Uta no Prince-sama ‘Shining Store’ stocked real merch, inspired by these lyrical 2D heart-throbs.

Yep, we used past tense there. The real-life and online branches were open for a limited time in 2017 – typical Japan, huh. When we wrote this post, all of them were closed. No princes for you? As if you’d give up that easy.

To find UtaPri goods online now, check out resellers and other official shops. We always say look at Yahoo! Auctions Japan first for listings with low starting bids. Search results on Rakuten and Amazon Japan start higher – that’s insane popularity for you. If you’re keen enough to fork out for your idols, fair enough.

We’ve seen stuff like: lollipop candy pens in member colours, can badges, bag charms, cosplay kits and accessories, USB cables, charm bracelets, and makeup storage cases. Princes in your life everywhere you look.

And if you really wanna live the UtaPri life, get yourself a Haruka wig. Hey, for total character immersion it’s the only way.

Create the idol romance of your dreams

Your prince could be in Japan right now! Hunt down and collect shining Uta no Prince-samas on DEJAPAN.

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