The style of idol anime is normally outlined by catchy songs and stereotypical however enjoyable personalities, and shiny colours. Apart from a couple of wonderful titles like Zombieland Saga, character growth in idol anime is mostly superficial, following acquainted formulation corresponding to folks chasing their musical desires, or performing for the love of followers. Idolish7 is without doubt one of the uncommon idol collection that goes past the superficial to inform a character-focused drama that truly feels grounded, whereas additionally retaining the enjoyable and constructive tone of a typical idol collection.
Idolish7 observe the story of the newly shaped male idol group Idolish7 and its seven members’ journey into Japan’s cutthroat idol business. Every member has his personal private causes for changing into an idol: some are tragic, whereas others are extra aspirational. Because the narrative progresses and extra backstories are revealed, we get a greater understanding of every characters’ personalities and motivations.
Whereas Idolish7 seems like a typical idol collection on the floor with numerous glitter and foolish enjoyable, it is way over that. Regardless of the shortage of feminine characters (which is one in all its weaknesses), this isn’t a reverse-harem anime — romance is generally a subplot used to boost the narrative. On the heart of Idolish7 is its well-rounded solid of characters and their very emotional, even melodramatic private tales.
Although to name Idolish7 melodramatic may even be an understatement, there are such a lot of situations of cleaning soap opera-ish plots that contain lacking siblings, lacking companions, lacking legendary idols, and intense conflicts with households, teammates, different celebrities, and different expertise companies and so on. The collection is rarely bashful about its full embrace of overly dramatic parts, which makes the drama much more partaking to look at.
For instance, one of many Idolish7 members, Yotsuba Tamaki, grew to become an idol so his lacking sister can know the place he’s and discover him. Yotsuba and his sister grew up at an orphanage as a result of their father was an abuser who was partially answerable for their mom’s dying. He agreed to be on a TV program that promised to search out his long-lost sister, however this system stunned him along with his father as a substitute. Tamaki fully loses his mood and hits his father, so your complete group has to cease him and apologize for his actions.
Whereas the entire state of affairs of a TV program tricking Tamaki performs out melodramatically, the precise subject of home abuse is extremely critical. Idolish7 takes the issue severely by displaying the nervousness and the ache such a state of affairs may cause. Tamaki’s response is completely comprehensible, particularly given his blunt persona. However the collection additionally doesn’t overlook to indicate how Tamaki’s lack of professionalism has triggered his teammates quite a lot of bother and even doubtlessly jeopardizes their future within the business. The mixture of intense private drama and real looking stakes heightens the emotional influence of Idolish7 to a stage not many idol anime attain.
One other facet that Idolish7 does exceptionally effectively is at displaying precise character development. The aforementioned Tamaki incident in the end resulted in him studying to regulate his feelings and be extra thoughtful of different folks’s emotions, and his development by no means feels pressured or unrealistic. The opposite characters bear related development, typically by constructive modes of communication like opening up about their issues and confronting their very own shortcomings, whether or not it is a insecurity, jealousy, or one thing much more private. There are nonetheless screaming matches and monologuing so as to add spice to the drama, however the best way issues are resolved is usually refreshingly mature, even instructional at factors.
Idolish7 achieves extra nuanced storytelling by portraying its characters like actual folks slightly than simply caricatures. That is why their reactions to unusual or unbelievable conditions can nonetheless really feel grounded and relatable. It’s simple to know the place every character is coming from as a result of their actions are pushed by well-established traits, not simply by what the plot requires them to do.
Even the antagonists are given the care and a focus they deserve. The whole first a part of Season 3 (which simply concluded) is devoted to introducing the rival idol group Zool. Although their backstories will not be but revealed, it’s already clear their causes for concentrating on the protagonists are private, and they aren’t simply being evil backstabbers for enjoyable. The refined stress constructing all through the season makes Zool’s official introduction on the finish of Episode 13 one of the vital anticipated moments of the season, and it doesn’t disappoint.
The enterprise angle of Idolish7 is one other facet that units it aside. The advertising methods proven within the final episode alone — such because the pop-up model stay efficiency and the usage of QR codes on posters to advertise track downloads — are intelligent techniques that real-life artists additionally use. The incorporation of different critical enterprise subjects such because the manipulation of gossip and scandal, social media developments, the supportive and the poisonous fan cultures, even unionization all add to a fantastic sense of immersion.
Based on Japan’s Oricon ranking which measures media gross sales, Idolish7 is one in all Japan’s hottest media franchises. Its albums and singles typically high the charts on their week of launch. Upon listening to the songs, it’s simple to know why — most of them are extremely catchy whereas the lyrics are typically associated to the plot or characters’ feelings.
Although the animation is just not groundbreaking by any stretch, the choreography and animation reveals sufficient care from the anime workers; for instance, newer efficiency sequences even take a web page from Idolish7’s stay concert events, making an attempt to recreate the voice actors’ actions and expressions within the animation.
All in all, Idolish7 is a really distinctive collection that even folks who don’t look after idol anime can take pleasure in. At its core, it’s a critical character drama that takes place in a really aggressive enterprise setting. The stakes are surprisingly excessive and the struggles are outrageously intense, and there are some nice songs as well. So earlier than the second a part of Season 3 returns in 2022, now’s the proper time get on the emotional roller-coaster that’s Idolish7.