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Ensemble Stars!! Road To Show!! Release Date, Characters, And Plot - What We Know So Far

"Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!" is an upcoming, feature-length anime movie inspired by a popular video game franchise. Combining music, simulation, and loot boxes, the source material for "Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!" has spawned two video games, stage adaptations, a manga, and an anime series thus far, so a movie was simply next in line. 

According to Anime News Network, "Ensemble Stars!" was originally released by Happy Elements K.K. in 2015, with a starting story written by novelist Akira. In 2019, the original phone app game was split into two different versions: the original, called "Basic," and "Music," which is a new type of rhythm-keeping game.

The anime version of "Ensemble Stars!!" ran for 24 episodes in 2019, with several two-part episodes (via AniDB). Due to the popularity of the franchise, a movie was seemingly inevitable and quickly approved. But what exactly do we know about the future film "Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!"?

Does Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!! have a release date?

Luckily for us, we have a definitive date for the upcoming release of "Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!". According to Crunchyroll, the movie will be released in Japan on March 4, 2022, but there is not an official date as of yet for when a dubbed or subtitled version will be released to English speaking audiences. We can, however, make an educated guess as to when we might be seeing "Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!" based on averages of past releases.

Typically, official versions of anime movies generally take between five to 11 months to come out on video (per Anime News Network). There can be some longer turnaround times though, with one of the "Bleach" movies released in Japanese theaters in December 2006, and then in United States theaters in June 2008 (per Anime News Network). Hopefully it doesn't take that long, and fans can see "Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!" sooner rather than later.

Who are the characters in Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!?

"Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!" sports a colorful cast of entertainers, singers, and musicians. One of the main characters of the franchise is Anzu (Maaya Sakamoto), who is supposed to represent the player character from the video game source. She is characterized as being quiet, although exceptionally dedicated and hard working. The movie's Japanese cast includes Mitsunari Samejima (Kenjiro Tsuda), a new character for the film, Mao Isara (Yūki Kaji), Makoto Yuuki (Shōtaro Morikubo), Aira Shiratori (Kōhei Amasaki), Mayoi Ayase (Chiharu Shigematsu), Nagisa Ran (Junichi Suwabe), Hinata Aoi (Sōma Saitō), Kohaku Ōkawa (Tasuku Kaito), Rei Sakuma (Toshiki Masuda), Izumi Sena (Masami Ito), and Ritsu Sakuma (Daiki Yamashita), per Anime News Network.  

Both Anzu and her comrades are part of the musical group Trickstar, which is but one group among several. Each group usually has at least two characters, and some of the groups are Crazy:B, Alkaloid, Switch, MaM, Ra*bits, and Valkyrie, just to name a few. Each group is the product of an academy, so the cast of "Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!" is absolutely massive, with varying personalities. Hinata is a care-free rapscallion with a warm demeanor, and he and his twin bother, Yuta (also voiced by Saitō), are close to Anzu. Mao is smooth-talking and highly sociable, Rei conjures a strong vampire motif and enjoys philosophy, and Izumi is tightly wound and very serious. There are so many characters in the "Ensemble Stars!" franchise, that fans may not see every single character in the movie, and there is always a chance for somebody new to show up.

What is the plot of Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!?

The general plot of the "Ensemble Stars!" franchise is about a series of special schools that focus on training students to become world-class idols, movie stars, and musicians, much in the spirit of current reality television music shows. Anzu is special in this regard, because she is the only student in the producer program, and she helps guide her fellow classmates' careers. 

The story of "Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!" picks up in New York City and acts as a direct sequel to the anime, where the main characters have gathered for an awards ceremony because three of the movies they have created have been nominated. Considering that they are in the Big Apple, the idols decide to visit different locations in the city, but things are not exactly what they seem, and it's up to the protagonists to figure out what sinister force may be hiding behind the curtains.

The trailer for "Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!" (as seen on YouTube) shows off the intrepid band of performers converging on New York City, while seeing signs for Broadway. It seems that we will get a fair amount of Aira and Hinata interactions in the movie, and it is always interesting when members from different groups share the screen. The trailer also features some parkour, music, and ominous raising of eye glasses, so it looks like we are in for a treat when "Ensemble Stars!! Road to Show!!" finally becomes available.