The underrated dystopian musical animated series masterpiece waiting for you to watch: Alien Stage


Suppose you’ve ever watched late-night reality TV. In that case, you might have seen programs such as The Voice or American Idol, which conceptualize the reality TV tradition of choosing the brightest talents amongst the pool of auditioners or singers and then slowly picking or pitting them against each other until only one is left standing.

Now, imagine crossing that concept of a one-on-one singing competition with The Hunger Games brutality, only-one-can-win/surviver stakes, and instead of an overly malicious crowd of rich humans forcing kids into an arena, it’s overlord aliens—who have taken over the Earth—who are controlling and raising children like pets for their cruel entertainment.

Sweet Dream | Alien Stage Opening Song

Mixed with a few elements of tragic love, unrequited love, and hopeless pinning—both from respective love interests and a desire for freedom from an oppressive system that enslaves and kills humans without care.

Get ready hopeless romantics, musical nerds, and dystopian lovers alike because that’s the central premise behind the extraordinarily well-done and underrated animated series, Alien Stage.

Alien Stage is an ongoing series made in music videos/animations by the gifted South Koren animator and Youtuber, VIVINOS, and licensed by STUDIO LICO. 

The episodes are primarily done in Korean, however, they have both English and Japanese subtitles available for those who are interested in watching.

R O U N D 1 | Alien Stage “MY CLEMATIS”

The first music video in the series was released online on Youtube on Sept. 7, 2022, titledR O U N D  1 | Alien Stage. In the video, we are introduced to two out of six of the main cast within the series, Mizi, and Sua. 

In the beginning, we see flashes of their younger selves together in what seems to be a digitally-made containment/training area for kids chosen to participate in the competition.

We get incredibly wholesome scenes of the two together, as we see them laugh, play, and sing together as partners. Through these scenes and the lyrics of the song, they show how important they are to each other—how deep and emotionally-connected their relationship is.

However, their beauty is quickly turned bittersweet as nearing the end of the video, we see a screen displaying photos of both of the girls with a VS sign between them and a horde of aliens watching their every move.

Foreshadowing the horrific tragedy and heart-breaking conclusion which makes you realize an awful realization of what these girls must face at the end of the song and how they desperately tried to avoid it. 

If you listen hard enough, you can even hear this despairing longing and procrastinating intention within the song, “MY CLEMATIS,” sung by artists Rubyeye and C!naH.

To me, it is also a story about putting meaning and emotion into everything you do, in the time you are given.

For example, when the endearing phrase “Oh my, Clematis” is sung within the video, it is followed by the wishful remark, “Hope bloomed from the abyss” or  “Always be by my side.” 

Or near the end, when their awful reality has unfortunately caught up to them befalling their tragedy, the phrase is changed to, “Oh, my Clematis, hope withered in the abyss” and “Oh, my Clematis, please stay by my side.”

Note that the phrase change is only sung by one of the voices in the song, even though most of it is sung in duet form; vocally acknowledging their partner has departed them to sing alone, and never to return.

The other episodes—titled respectively “R O U N D 2,” “R O U N D 3,” and “R O U N D 5”—follow similar patterns of tragedy; however, it would be criminal to reduce them or associate them to performing the same copy-paste formula when they are far beyond that.

Each one is individually unique in its content and I highly recommend watching every one of them as they are astounding works, both from an animation and musical point of view.

Seriously, “Unknown(Till the End)” or “Ruler of My Heart” are absolute 10/10 banger songs that deserve so much more attention than they receive and each song differs in its genre. 

For example, “Unknown(Till the End” is a fast-moving pop-rock song with a heavy focus on guitar vocals versus “Black Sorrow” which is a slow solo melody with drums. 

R O U N D 2 | Alien Stage “Unknown(Till the End)

Even the characters themselves are extremely well-written and their personalities are expertly portrayed considering the median they are based.

You have to realize besides a small anecdote from Mizi in the first video, none of the characters thus far have talked.

However, through a mixture of body language—including facial expression, eyes, specialized gestures, and fluid movement—color schemes, and symbolism the creator has perfectly executed informing us through subtle clues how each character thinks, reacts, and differs from the other.

R O U N D 3 | Alien Stage “Black Sorrow”

And in masterful ways, a lot of the characteristics of Alien Stage—like the vivid color, over-the-top performances, chic dressing, and beautified appearances of characters—mirror a lot of aspects of the real-life acting world.

For example, Mizi in multiple photos and flashbacks appears to need glasses, however, for some reason, she doesn’t wear them in rounds 1 or 5 when she is performing. Now look at Hollywood, where actors are discouraged from wearing glasses because they can mess with cameras because of their reflective nature. 

R O U N D 5 | Alien Stage “Ruler of My Heart”

Honestly, there is no way I can explain all of what I love about this series in only one review, after all, there are so many aspects I’ve left out just to make sure this review doesn’t turn into a full-fledged thirty-page essay; I haven’t gone into length about what I love in the other 3 episodes or opening, for Heaven’s sake!

However, what I can say in the time I have left is that the Alien Stage series is such a talented and tragic series that is littered with creative musical variety in its songs and storytelling animations.

Everyone who has participated thus far in the project has been insanely talented and its production has only improved with each new release.

ALIEN STAGE PLAYLIST Spotify by rationalrash

While I agree that Alien Stage is a story framed around the cruelty of reality and unfair circumstances life can throw at you, the loss of a loved one, unrequited love, and the mocking of grief or something dear to you.

To me, it is also a story about putting meaning and emotion into everything you do, in the time you are given.

Who knows, you could die tomorrow or you could die 60 years from now, if everyone is going to someday die what can you look back on a be proud of; or rather, what did you put into the world that brings you joy and pride, even if it was only for a moment.

So please, if only for the amazing music, the outstanding animation, or pity on me for writing this monster and making my peers edited it, please give this series a try. I guarantee you will not regret it.