The thesis that Stars is the most unusual of the eyecutses and Friends kind of split the difference between the old serieses and Stars's more dramatic and plop-heavy approach feels as true as ever after a rewatch of only Stars.
The first year of Stars already gets up to some real shenanigans with the Eyecuts disease plopline, and then SMELLZA FARTE shows up and is just a gigantic stinky jerk who continually does nothing but ignore the basic teachings of eyecuts, like some kind of VILLAIN. Just a truly foul scoundrel, and it never seems to catch up with her, until the very final arc, where dramatic irony remembers it exists and she really starts doubling and tripling and octupling down on her villainous badguyness and starts sowing so many seeds of her own doom so fast there's no way that wouldn't catch up with her, and fast. Just truly no one else in the franchise who is remotely like that.
I was notably more down on the whole situation when watching live, but on a rewatch... I really love to hate Smellza.
Of course, Roller kind of got the ball rolling by being unusually blunt for eyecuts right from the get-go, so credit where credit is due, but Smellza really manages to feel like entirely her own kind of critter for Eyecuts, and the whole season follows.
It goes maybe too far into its own direction, with there being two months or more of basically just the endgame when watching live, so the tension is a bit too much for what you want out of an Eyecuts, but watching at my own pace, that all felt just about fantastic. A stronger flavor than expected all around. A double-edged flavor, perhaps. But what an flavors.
And whatever some wise anoninous furson once said about a series just having a whole cast full of the most powerful shipping potential.
Stars good cartoon. Glad to have been hurled into a world with Stars in it.
I'd also add Lilienne is easily the most powerful gothcuts, but Friends followed up with the Double Moon. And I fear the wrath of the vampires.