IDOLiSH7 Episode 1 & 2 [First Impression]
I am so glad this didn’t air in the fall because I would’ve had to choose between Idolm@ster SideM and this. Back in November IDOLiSH7 had a pre-screening event with back-to-back episode 01 & 02. The 45 minutes special enabled IDOLiSH7 to have an excellent and impactful premiere. If anything, the first two episodes showed us there is a whole lot to look forward to this series, and is brimming with great potential. The pacing and execution of the character introductions were incredibly well done. We were able to learn a lot about them just through the group’s dynamics and the way they interact with each other. The group is filled with a variety of personalities and age, and they were very entertaining to watch.
I am especially excited for the future when we finally start diving into the character’s backstories and motives. I have to give a lot of credit to how they dropped the bomb of Yamato willing to quit on the behalf of the others because he said only doing this for revenge. That caught me completely off-guard, but boy did it reel me in like a fish on the line. I am now super excited to finding out who he wants revenge on, and why! It will also be interesting how he will handle his role as leader (being the eldest member of the group) with such drive in mind.
Among the other characters that stood out to me, -well to be fair they all did thanks to their individual charms, but i digress, was Riku, who caught my attention with how short of breath he was while playing basketball.
The first thing that crossed my mind is perhaps this kid has a health issue of a sort, and that may be one of the main reasons why despite his incredible vocals, he hasn’t been picked up yet. He mentioned of a brother, so I can’t tell if he too is an idol (perhaps the idol who vanished at their prime, Zero) or maybe he’s dead- yes I have the tendency to have an extreme way of interpreting things. I also had a moment where I considered he and Ten being brothers, but seeing the two have different last names, I have my doubts.
Iori was another one of the few I quickly became interested in. His tsundere and ruthlessly blunt nature greatly amuses me, especially when he interacts with Riku. I imagine these two will be butting heads more often than not. I was quite surprised though how he and Mitsuki are in fact brothers, which adds an interesting dynamic of its own. Mitsuki’s situation of having attended multiple auditions in the past, but failed them all until now is quite a big deal. But what’s an even bigger deal in my mind it appears he is regarded in his evaluation as the weakest link of the bunch. We heard he is not particularly good at singing or dancing, but works hard to keep up with the others. This is quite a big contrast when we heard Iori’s review, who is despite only being in high school, is said to be good at singing and dancing. Although the Izumi brothers seem close right now, it wouldn’t surprise me in the future if we see a temporary rift form between them when Mitsuki feels like he is lagging behind.
Despite his calm and kind demeanour, Sogo immediately stood out to me as a soft character. Or at least I hope it is as soft as he appears, that pastel purple does him wonders. He as Tsumugi said is likely to serve as the most grounded member of the group. He is quite rational and steps in when he hears others stepping out of line. He is also quite mature, so I suspect he and Yamato are close in age.
Although the boys had their first performance today, they won’t be debuting anytime soon. First they must gain popularity by having mini concerts and public appearances, because putting together an album is quite costly, and Takanashi Productions is not a wealthy agency.
Then we have our newest addition to Takanashi Productions, our dear Manager, Takanashi Tsumugi, daughter of the president himself. It pleased me to no ends to know she is a mature character and not a teenager or student. She was immediately assigned to be the boys new manager, and what better way to start off your first day of work than being played by the president to cut four of the seven boys from the lineup. I absolutely adore her. She was like, bitch please, “Seven Samurai are cooler than three little pigs”. This girl is fantastic! However her enthusiasm got the better of her when she made an ambitious decision for the boys first promotional concert (one of several they will be doing prior to debut) at an outdoor stadium that holds 3000 people. I knew right off the bat that a stadium that large was going to be very difficult to fill up for a brand new group coming out of nowhere like IDOLiSH7. Furthermore while the website and how many flyers (which the boys helped hand out) were distributed looked promising on the surface, they weren’t able to advertise enough, nor even prep tickets in advance, leaving its distribution for the day of the performance. The president told Tsumugi her efforts were too quiet, and to survive this business she must be louder in order for the crowd to hear them. Better yet, Tsumugi took full responsibility of her errors and I look forward to seeing her grow as a manager in the future, especially since Trigger has indicated it will be an uphill battle where they will not only have to endure the climb, but dodge the attacks of those who try to squash them.
Luckily for her, the boys were realistic about how many people were going to show up and set the bar on the floor. They are thankful for the effort she had put into preparing for this performance and appreciate the nine people who showed up to their performance. Instead they have an excellent outlook of the next time they perform there, they hope to be at a point they could fill up the stadium.
It was quickly established how TRIGGER was going to be their rival group. The trio unit came out hot, soaring their way to winning New Idol of the Year in last year’s JIMA (Japan Idol Music Awards) within their first year of debut. However their public faces are most certain different when they are off-stage. In fact the trio seems to be a bit rough in terms of tension amongst each other (with perhaps the exception of Ryu who seems to be the softy of the group). But most importantly, they know it won’t be long before their president attempt to crush them before they can flourish. It looks like they aren’t too happy knowing the way he handle things, especially when they recognize their talent/potential. When that fight starts, man I bet it’s going to get ugly.
As for the animation quality, it’s looking great. Despite their razor sharp chins, the boys’ character designs are all super hot. Their performance animation however is something I am curious to see how it will improve in the future. There is a mix of the traditional 2D animation with the CGI, which I will admit blended in quite well. However the thing that stood out to me the most about the CGI animation was how stiff their dancing looked. Although it would be quite a creative approach to make it intentional as in to highlight how the boys will grow over the course of the series, but I have my doubts they were doing such thing. On the bright side, their voices are good!
Overall this show I feel like this will be a very promising show. With seventeen episodes to work with, a strange number nonetheless to go with, hopefully they will be able to deliver an amazing story. We have a unique set of characters and hell of a journey ahead of them!
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed! What better way to start of the Winter 2018 Season than picking up yet another Idol show?