Wake Up Girls! Episode 6
Gee, what a glum episode. While I do appreciate the dose of reality revolving around the idol industry, at this point this show is becoming more and more depressing. However I do hope for some sunshine in next week’s episode since it is entitled, “Wonderful Friends”. This could potentially end up being a parallel constrasting Mayu’s experience at I-1 Club. The group is very close, thanks to Twinkles’ advice they are slowly opening up to each other a bit more. While doing so it is strengthening their bonds, so hearing that Hayasaka q wants to cut Airi from the group hurts them. But when he puts their career on the line, it puts them all in a situation where they are forced to make a choice. Either they ignore his threat, or they agree to cut Airi. While I did say they are growing closer as a group, I am expecting to see at least one or two girls choose their career over friendship. But there was definitely foreshadowing in this episode with Yoppi reading Shiho’s interview about leading her group. Perhaps this particular event will trigger her to embrace her role as the captain properly and do everything in her power to prevent Airi from being cut from the group.
Speaking of I-1 Club, I can’t seem to express enough of how much I despise that agency. The head is ruthless. He did not consider their concert in Sendai a success- even though it was a sold out show! He is considering it a failure all because three people did not show up. What’s worse, just when Tange was telling Hayasaka hat she wants to avoid picking a fight with I-1 Club, that said club ends up targeting them! The head wants to make sure his group destroys them, he considers them a threat in the future.
Hayasaka Tasuku is a music producer. He worked with the I-1 Club for a long time, but he claims that they aren’t inspiring him anymore, so now he wants to try working with Wake Up Girls. While he is willing to do it for free and invest in them without asking anything in return, he has three conditions. Every Saturday the girls have lessons. Every second and fourth Friday they will perform three concerts. And last but not least, for a period of time he has the right to be in power for a while.
Despite his ruthless training schedule, there are a few things that I do agree with him and it will definitely benefit the girls. The key factor is the day when they do three concerts. He is making them do concerts to gain experience, which they desperately need since it will most definitely help them organize themselves and learn each others patterns so they don’t run into each other. But the main thing I disagree with is his harsh criticism. Unfortunately this tactic does not work for everyone. While for some it will boost their determination, striving to become stronger, others buckle under and gets crushed in the process.
Yet, as harsh as this sounds- I agree about Airi being cut. Not permanently, but she needed a wake up call. Throughout the entire episode (even before Hayasaka had that talk with her), Airi never considered herself to be at the same level as the other girls. Even when she talks to her family about it, she never talking like she is truly a member. Instead she says, “Yes I am a fan”. So when Hayasaka asked her the tough questions: Why does you want to be an idol? How do you feel now that you are doing it? Why are you having fun? Which one are you?
These questions are meant to be direct and while they are cold, I believe Airi needs to hear them. The other girls are all striving to be in the industry not just because it is “fun” and “dazzling” (etc…) but because that is their dream and they want to succeed. I think what Airi needs to do right now is decide who she wants to be and not down-grade herself. I get the feeling that subconsciously, she doesn’t consider herself a member, and it’s that which is pulling her down into this pit. In order to climb out, she needs to accept that she has a place on stage come up with a resolve as an Idol. Unfortunately it is going to be extremely difficult since Hayasaka ruthlessly told her that he doesn’t think she has any talent. That is going to be a difficult scar to overcome. Everyone handles it differently, so we will see how she fares. So far, the results haven’t been doing.
But it isn’t just Airi who is being wounded by Hayasaka’s harsh criticism. All of the girls are getting bruised and are quickly getting sick of it. Like I said, everyone has a different way of handling this kind of pressure, and for most part it appears it’s crushing the girls more than developing them abilities as idols. While I did interpret Yoppi’s magazine scene as potential foreshadowing, we were also shown amongst many of the girls that they are second-guessing their decision of being an idol. In the end, it really all comes down to psychological endurance.