IDOLiSH7 Episode 16 & 17 [FINAL]
IDOLiSH7 Episode 16
After two months, Idolish7 get their shit together and are finally thankful and excited to have been nominated for JIMA’s New Artist Award. (See what I did there?)
The first half of the finale (episode 16) was primarily devoted to clearing up the air. Everyone from Idolish7 and even Trigger all went to the Zero Arena to take time to reflect on either why they weren’t happy with themselves and what they have achieved, or how to proceed from here on out. It was kind of funny to see both members of the groups interacting with each other, the most surprising duo being Ryuunosuke and Tamaki, an unexpected pair that I would certainly like to see interact some more. But the highlight of the episode was seeing Riku and Tenn forged a new bond. Riku explained to Tenn his dream was to be able to make him smile the same way he for him did for when they were little. Being unable to run around outside, Tenn used to perform for him, and that brought him joy to his life. Now Riku is ready to move on. While he lost his star, he gained something even more incredible, a rival to brag about to the world. Gone are the days as siblings… now they have officially acknowledged each other as rivals. It is a bit sad how they both agreed to cast aside their blood-relations, but their rivalry is merely a new chapter to their newfound relationship. It is a friendship I look forward to seeing blossom further.
Seeing Idolish7 and Trigger officially recognizing each other as rivals was the moment we were all waiting for. Gaku always believed the group had potential, and is happy to see that they are the real deal. Tenn being on good terms with Riku, and better yet being proud of him warmed my heart.
However despite the good things that happened in this episode, the critic in me couldn’t help but perceive Episode 16 as one of the weakest episodes to date. There were a couple of things that irked me. For starters, the way they opened up the episode was incredibly overwhelming. I found it to be incredibly difficult to process each of the characters moments of self-reflection. It wasn’t just Idolish7 members, but Trigger as well, bring a total of ten characters, all within the first 6 – 7 minutes of the episode.
Then there was the matter of how they dealt with Sousuke. I thought we were in store to see one last attempt to squash Idolish7 and even Tsumugi was said to be a target, but before he even had the chance to make his final attempt, Gaku, Tenn and Ryuuonosuke collectively agreed they have had it with the way he does things, and set things straight and have a confrontation with him.
Now this particular event was a mixed bag for me. On one hand, as a fan and viewer, I was ecstatic and thoroughly entertained with the way Trigger handled it. They were prepared to go into a fist-fight with him, taking measures of barricading his office, cutting his phone lines and sending the employees out on a dinner so they can’t be interfered with. But the one that really hammered the message home was Ryuunosuke, who brought out his thug side, scaring the ever little crap out of Sousuke in glorious fashion, thus settling the matter for once and for all. It was also the first time we see the group work together in such a way. However the flip side, I felt like it was executed out of connivence, so they could make it a drama free finale. While TRIGGER had every reason to react the time they did, the timing of their confrontation made it feel terribly anti-climatic.
And as much as I hate to say it, this was also a problem when Nagi confessed he was the one who has been secretly delivering their songs. I don’t know what it was, either the timing missed the mark or it it just felt rushed, but I certainly wasn’t expecting him to open up the way he did. He is not the one who made them, but rather they were composed by his friend Sakura Haruki, who was responsible for composing Zero’s songs. The two of them were friends, and when Haruki got sick, Nagi went out to Japan to fulfill his promise of bringing the songs to Takanashi Productions, but before he could, he was scouted, and since the opportunity was presented to him, he decided to roll with it.
But either way, this scene still made me love Nagi even more. He is a dark-horse type of character, who of all the members of the group has the most genuine heart. And it’s funny how he is the one who ended up providing them the songs, making him contribute to the group in a very unique and meaningful way. Without those songs, there is no telling whether or not Idolish7 would be where they are today, overcoming the challenges they had to face, and and win the JIMA New Artist Award.
The group was also gifted a pot of expensive flowers from an anonymous sender, so the group decides they to leave it up to their imaginations of who they would like it to be from. I am going to guess Nagi and Mitsuki are properly the closet to the truth, either being from Haruki or Zero himself, otherwise if not them, I wonder who did send it (unless it was Sousuke as a form of apology…Kekeke). But there was nothing sweeter than seeing all of our boys being happy again. Another one of my favourite scenes was the Iori-Group-Hug, where everyone throws themselves onto Iori to cheer him up, as he is still feeling guilty for his blunder on stage. Tamaki wasn’t entirely wrong when he said, Iori wouldn’t last if he worried about every one of his mistakes. Hahaha!
IDOLiSH7 Episode 17
Having won JIMA’s New Artist Award, Idolish7 have been given the opportunity to perform at Black & White, Music Fantasia, where there they will finally be able to compete against Trigger. It is the matchup everyone has been waiting for, and what better time to do it than when the two groups have established friendly rivalry interaction between them. Both groups performed a new song, Trigger’s Leopard Eyes’ lyrics killed me, and then Idolish7 comes out with their pure and heartfelt song that told the stories of their journey. To be honest, I wasn’t into the song, mainly because I found the second half much better than the first. But Trigger is the ultimate bias wrecker, so naturally my vote goes with them. In fact, for the duration of the two months I have been waiting for the show to return, I found myself listening to more of Trigger’s songs than Idolish7’s. (Yes I know, I need to get around to Idolish7 Vibrato, but when is Episode 2 going to air anyways? Maybe I will just do a double-post on it since it is only 14 minutes long…)
Better yet, since Idolish7 was able to win JIMA New Arist Award, and beat them in the Black & White national broadcast, Tenn will be upholding his promise to tell Riku why he left the family in the first place. Unfortunately for us (who aren’t able to, or aren’t able to play the game), until we look up spoilers, we will never know for ourselves.
But if there is one thing I would like to acknowledge, that would be the growth of Riku’s character. In these two episodes, seeing the boy overflowing with confidence, and boldly setting the challenge line, I felt like he acted the the group’s leader more than Yamato had in the entire series. It is a side of Riku that made him climb up my bias ranking, and one I would be delighted to see more of in the future.
This episode was simply pure bliss, simultaneously making laugh and cry from start to finish. I was dying with how Iori and Tamaki couldn’t recognize or didn’t ever let Douglas Rootbank, (some american rock-pop music who wanted them to perform an opener to his concert), introduce himself, and mistaken him as the screen installer. It was even better when Mitsuki, Riku and Sogo lost themselves because they were huge fans. I litterally could not contain myself, the whole scene was freaking hilarious. Heck even Trigger was envious of them (especially Ryuunosuke being a fan of the guy himself).
When we talk about growth, we focus a lot on Idolish7’s, but we can’t forget how far each member of trigger has grown themselves. Tenn who has always had the mindset of working as “business partners” than being open and close as he would be with friends softened up, and became more friendly with his team-mates. It was so cute when he suggested them to high-five before they performed, Gaku was all for it, but didn’t want to admit it right away. It just makes all warm and fuzzy inside seeing the three be able to be open and more feel more free around each other, than strictly behaving as professional business partners. And since Idolish7 is now on equal footing with Trigger, while they enjoy good competition, Tenn in particular doesn’t care about the results, it is more important to him to make an unforgettable performance.
In the end, Idolish7 emerged as the new champions of Black & White Music Fantasia. It was a bittersweet moment for Trigger, Tenn was proud of Idolish7’s
(and Riku) success, Gaku was shocked they had lost, he lost his face momentarily, but was able to smile again for their fans who continued to offer their support. Ryuunosuke is happy that they had lost to them, because he respects them as his opponents.
Black & White Music Fantasia has proven to be a major breakthrough for Idolish7, accomplishing many goals in one night. One of the most important ones being Tamaki’s sister, catching sight of her brother performing. It helps that she knows where he is now, and nothing would make me happier than to see the two reunite.
It wouldn’t be Idolish7 if they didn’t have me crying during the last ten minutes of the episode. It has been one heck of an emotional roller-coaster, and undoubtedly the best idol show I have ever watched. It was everything I ever wanted from shows like Utapri, Idolm@ster Side:M, and we finally got it in the best form possible. The forces that drove the series were the plot, the characters and their journey of becoming the stars, and of course, the music! It has been a tough road, but together they were able to overcome it together. All of this was able to blossom into a beautiful flower thanks to incredible writing. It is a show I will always come back to watch again, as I am wholly invested in the characters and their stories.
Although there are many loose ends (as there are some stories that are still in-progress in the game) and there was no announcements of a second season, I am hopeful we will see the show return to wrap up the remaining loose ends, and deliver the stories that have yet to be told!
It is a shame that we had to wait two months for the finale. I believe that really interfered with the momentum the series had, but at least those of you who have yet to watch this will be in for a treat! Although the finale wasn’t squeaky clean, it was still a pleasure to watch. I sincerely hope Idolish7 will return for a second season. The story and characters and music still have so much to offer, it would be a waste not to see more. I certainly want to know more about this man named Kujo, who we must remember, Tenn has picked up the name of. It seems he has been out of the country for a while now… I wonder if he’s Zero or something. Either way, PLEASE GIVE US A SECOND SEASON SO WE CAN SEE HIS FACE AND LEARN MORE ABOUT HIM?! I NEED A SECOND SEASON!
Overall Score: 9/10
N’uff said, you should be watching this!