First Look: Stardust Telepath

First Glance: Stardust Telepath

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Premise

Despite her communication difficulties, Konohoshi Umika longs to make friends, ideally with people from distant planets. It’s fortunate that one has telepathy and is in her class.

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Peter’s verdict: The boss is gonna regret letting me join GLORIO

So, let’s get to it. I think the many anime adaptations of the majority of the Manga Time Kirara manga, including Yuyushiki, Machikado Mazoku, Kiniro Mosaic, Hidamari Sketch, are fairly good. They all share a particular aesthetic that I really adore, the humor generally ticks all the appropriate comedy-of-error boxes for me, and they all tend to be very gay as well, if rarely in-text and preferring to lean toward a “will they won’t they” for most relationships, whether they be gay or not. Unfortunately, I haven’t kept up with current series like Magic of Stella, Comic Girls, or most recently Bocchi the Rock! (although I’ll be honest—I simply forgot to watch it at the time with that one). Now that I think about it, I really should check out the newest K-On! Shuffle manga. On the anime front, company Gokumi is responsible for animating many of the aforementioned episodes. However, I should note that Kaori, a member of the company, is also the series’ director and writer. The studio is one I trust to handle adaptations like this well because Kaori also helmed the anime original series Endro!, which I’m now rewatching.

Anyway, Stardust Telepath, which has been serialized in Manga Time Kirara since 2019, shows up and once again checks all of my criteria. The main character of the story is Konohoshi Umika, who is quite bashful and barely manages to introduce herself at the beginning of class (based on my limited knowledge of Japanese, “hoshi” means star and “umi” means sea, so I presume sea of stars). Komi Can’t Communicate is not completely accurate, but it is close.

Also she has gradient pink/purple/blue hair, I guess makes you think of space but also just looks sick as hell. Umika daydreams about one day meeting aliens and making friends with them.

[a few moments later]

Akeuchi Yuu, who claims to be an alien, arrives late. Everyone thinks this is a joke, and Umika, who was initially upbeat, starts to accept the possibility that she won’t be an extraterrestrial. But what happens when Yuu places her forehead against Umika’s and somehow reads her thoughts? She might actually be an alien or a talented mentalist.

The two become closer as the program goes on, Umika is able to form a few coherent sentences, they repeatedly touch foreheads, cuddle, and become Very Close Friends(tm). We learn that Yuu allegedly lost her memories after crashing to Earth and waking up in a dilapidated lighthouse on the outskirts of the city. The episode ends with a new individual walking toward the lighthouse.

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I’ll be the first to confess that this show probably won’t have a compelling plot. It will be a really laid-back experience that also looks adorable and is only somewhat entertaining. Everyone seems to have relatively plain hair, with the exception of the primary two characters, which is an odd choice. Umika has wonderful gradient hair, Yuu has brilliant pink hair, and everyone else is black, brown, or possibly blonde (ooh, scandal! ), leading me to believe that Umika may also be from another planet. Why stop at just the first two primary characters when (based on the promotional art) there are two more to follow if the hair colors aren’t diagnostic?

I can admit that this show’s yuri parts felt a lot more direct, especially with the aforementioned forehead telepathy as well as a lot of embraces and hand holding. While the previous shows I described weren’t necessarily so, at least not at first, I’ve noticed that this one is specifically referred to as a “yuri” series in news reports and official Tweets, etc. Although it isn’t on the same level as I’m in Love with the Villainess or Sakura Trick, episode 1 is off to a good start. We’ll just have to wait and watch how the ever-present “subtext to text” slider handles it.

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