Wake Up Girls! Episode 7: Test of Friendship
It turns out Hayasaka was merely testing the girls’ loyalty to each other as a group. In the end, it isn’t that much of a surprise really as he simply can’t stand how the groups function together in the I-1 Club. He hates seeing fake friendships, so it was important to him to test just how strong the girls’ bonds were with each other, and whether they were willing to throw their comrade under the bus for the sake of survival. But most importantly, it forced them to spill their bottled up feelings and communicate (just as Twinkle had encouraged them to do). While they were making their decision to keep Airi or not, the girls were getting stressed out and began to fight with one another other as they only had ten minutes to make their decision. Hisami went as far as saying she will quit because she wanted to go to Hikarizuka in the first place, revealing that she was just doing this idol job to improve her skills until then. While the girls were for most part unfazed by it, they were also irritated, but now that Airi is back in the group they will most likely just shrug it off.
As expected, Yoppi finally snapped when she felt too overwhelmed by the how much the group relies on her making final decisions. She was able to get that out there and open up to the others, especially to Mayu. This was a crucial turning point because it allowed to let Airi know that she too has her struggles. Another important factor is that Airi had to made the resolve whether she would return or not. Unfortunately I felt they missed the opportunity to make a bigger impact on her decision to return, so it ended up being quite underwhelming. While Airi is like the rope that keeps the group tied together, and was the one responsible for re-inspiring Mayu to return to the idol industry, she really needs to work on her confidence and her resolve. I trust that she will since Hayasaka told her, it isn’t him who she needs to prove her abilities it to, but the audience (which is true).
I really liked the fact that Hayasaka challenged the girls to see just how far they were willing to go. It is refreshing to see them stick together like glue despite the unfavorable circumstances because at times like this, you expect them just to fall apart. Instead they keep being strong and united as one, making sure that nobody falls behind. Unlike I-1 Club, they actually care about each other, they respect each other, they have a good relationship which makes them stronger a group. As I mentioned earlier, had it been I-1 Club in the same circumstance, there is no doubt in my mind that they would throw the weakest link under the bus without a second thought.
While a lot of tears were shed, this was probably the most uplifting episode yet. However I felt it could have been stronger, especially on Airi’s side of the story. I want to see her figure out what kind of idol she wants to be, but I suppose that will take some time to develop on her part. I don’t know about you, but while Airi’s character is a sweetheart, it feels like she is lacking an important quality to make me actually care about her. I should be sad that she was feeling down, but as cold as this will sound, I probably wouldn’t care that much if she had been officially cut from the group. In fact, this is actually a problem for a lot (if not all) of the characters in this show. I don’t feel attached to them, I don’t have my heart feel like it is getting ripped out my chest when they struggle, I simply don’t feel anything. It’s a real pity because the storyline is good, but the characters are lacking emotional delivery. There is still five episodes so left so I am crossing my fingers that they can improve on that aspect of the show.
The girls will now be participating in an Idol Festival thanks to Hayasaka who signed them up for it. With next week entitled “Commotion”, I do wonder whether the I-1 Club has anything to do with it since they are now targeting Wake Up Girls!