So, we all know how Oshi No Ko has upped the ante for most things in anime. From having a movie length premiere episode for the anime, to a weird goth inspired idol theme song, it’s just been doing so many things differently. However, the true thing that caught most people’s eyes (Pardon the pun!) is the Star Eyes that are characteristic of its main protagonists. I mean, the animation for the eyes alone is so alluring, that you can’t look away.
But of course, it isn’t the only anime to do different eye stylizations, but it does a lot of expressive work. In Oshi No Ko, the only people that have a double set of Star Eyes is Ai Hoshino, and then her children. This ties their fates to each other, instead of just being for aesthetics sake. If you’ve read the manga, you know that the Star Eyes symbolize more than just uniqueness. It’s a sign of changing emotions, as evidenced by the darkening or lightening of the Star Eyes hue.
Oshi No Ko is certainly placing a lot of emphasis on the Star Eyes. I mean, it’s a part of the main logo for the anime after all. But as stated before, it’s more than just a pretty thing to look at. Often anime take tiny little symbols and pepper them through the series, as an Easter egg for fans to find. But sometimes, those little symbols could be the key to unravel huge plot points in the storyline. Or at least, help gauge certain situations.
And the Star Eyes in Oshi No Ko are no different. Not only do they tie the characters to each other, but also explain how that ‘Star Power’ that is so coveted in the entertainment industry could lead to a path that is much, much more dim. So today, let’s discuss how symbology works in anime, and how the Star Eyes of Oshi No Ko predetermine the path it’s twin protagonists will end up taking.
Star Eyes: Oshi No Ko’s Signature Design Choice
Let’s be honest, a lot of first time viewers of Oshi No Ko tuned in because of the stellar animation work that the series did with Ai’s eyes. Like, the swirling, sparkly eyes with the giant stars are so distinct from anyone else in the series.
And we do mean everyone. In the beginning, there is no other character that shares the same Star Eyes as Ai Hoshino. And this works well for her, considering she is the center of an idol group, after all. So, she needs to stand out, even amongst her B-Komachi bandmates. It’s the life in her eyes that gains Ai so many passionate fans, like Dr Gojou Amemiya and Sarina. I mean, can you blame them? Those Star Eyes are striking, representing the liveliness that Ai feels when she is performing on stage.
But as we’ve all figured out by now, Oshi No Ko isn’t some feel good idol journey. It’s warped, webbed with deception. And so is Ai. Because if they say the eyes are the windows to the soul, then that phrase takes up a whole new meaning over here. Ai’s eyes represent how she is lying, near constantly, white performing. The truth is, she’s a better actor than she leads on.
All That Glitters Isn’t A Star:
Ai Hoshino didn’t want to be an idol. After her tragic upbringing as an orphan, raised in a children’s home, she was pretty aimless. When you don’t have anyone tethering you, love is a hard concept to understand. So, when Ichigo Saitou approaches her to become an idol trainee in his company, Strawberry Productions, she is bewildered.
To her, idols have always been so forward about ‘loving’ their fans, doing special things for them and generally just being intensely positive. These are things that Ai feels are unrelatable for her. They are simply foreign concepts that she can’t ever pull off. How can a girl, who has never even had a family member to call their own, claim to love multiple strangers? That would mean lying on her part.
But Ichigo assures her that’s okay. That everyone showcases their love differently, and this could be Ai’s way. Even if she’s lying everytime she claims to love her fans, it’s still her putting in the effort. And that automatically means she loves them, right? Okay, as convoluted as that sounds, it does end up working. And Ai’s Star Eyes shine brighter than ever. She lies her way through, performing as the best idol she can be. And so, she gained many admirers over her career.
Of course, some fans take that parasocial relationship too seriously. As is on par with show business, the other side of everything is pretty ominous. And it’s this deception that ends up costing Ai her life. So, when we see her dying, her pretty Star Eyes swirling with emotion over her two children, we understand that this is probably the first time she’s been honest with her emotions. She proclaims her love for her children sincerely, and soon the Stars in her eyes die out.
Why The Hoshino Twins Only Have Single Star Each:
Now, let’s talk about Ai’s legacy. Aquamarine and Ruby Hoshino are Ai’s children and are directly affected by everything that happens from the very beginning. They also happen to be reincarnated souls of the previously mentioned Dr Gojou, who was Ai’s OGBYN during her pregnancy, and Sarina, a terminally ill patient who had passed away shortly before the series started.
Both Aquamarine and Ruby share more than just looks in common. Their fates aretied together, both in their old lives and in their new ones too. And the star they share in opposing eyes signifies the trait they truly inherited from their mother, which is a life based on a lie. Because Aquamarine Hoshino isn’t some regular teenager. He is a grown man who is acting his way through life to figure out who was responsible for his mother’s murder. Ruby, on the other hand, wants to forget her past life of sickness, and embrace this new one by following in her mother’s footsteps.
And that’s what their singular Star Eyes reflect. Both live a life that is deceptive, forever tied to Ai. But what isn’t being considered is how their eyes change hues, from bright to dark, depending on their emotions. And where have we seen a dark Star Eyes set? With their father, Hikaru Kamiki. Aka the man responsible for Ai’s death.
Hikaru is a sadistic individual, a serial killer that preys on his romantic partners. But like Ai, he has this air of immense charisma, the attraction reflected in his own Star Eyes. However, where Ai’s pair were bright and colorful, Hikaru’s are dull and subdued, likely hinting at his sinister intentions.
And you see that change reflected in their children. Especially in recent chapters with Ruby, who has finally discovered the secret of Dr Gojou’s demise and has restarted her brother’s revenge plan. However, because it’s a path that leads to darkness, Ruby’s gorgeous pink Star has become dulled and darkened. Much like her brother’s, when he was being consumed by his obsession over his mother’s killer.
The lore behind Oshi No Ko is riveting once you get down to it. And the Star Eyes are at the center of it. Despite the eyes never being truly referenced by any character in the series, it is simultaneously the most underrated yet telling characteristic of the series. The symbology behind them is what leads to the mysteries unraveling, after all.
It truly goes to show that under all that glitter, there might be some extremely murky depths underneath.