Hey, remember those monsters that were in the first episode? They’re finally relevant again! They seem to be targeting the popular bands in MidiCity – attacking them mid-concert and causing serious injury. This time, they’ve gone after the Tsurezurenaru band from the last episode, however just when Cyan thinks she has to save them, they manage to fend it off themselves. Their leader Darudayuu has taken the worst damage, now being too injured to perform.
Meanwhile, Cyan and Retoree have a little bonding time as research these ‘dark monsters’ together, as Retoree has collected quite a lot of information about them. Afterwards, Cyan’s talking guitar Strawberry Heart decides to start finally giving plot details to her, telling her that its her job to defeat these ‘dark monsters’ and that in order to do so she needs to raise her musical ability. Chuchu overhears the conversation and freaks out at seeing Cyan’s guitar talk, but refrains from interfering.
Plasmagica scores another gig with a show that features up and coming artists, along with the aquatic-themed Shizuku Secret Mind. These girls tell them about the rumours they have heard concerning band members of certain bands disappearing for seemingly no reason. With everyone already on edge, the dark monsters show up and start attacking a simultaneous concert of a popular band held elsewhere, and Cyan is given no choice but to rush to their aid and miss her own concert. Things are luckily taken care of before she gets to the monsters, yet returns to find the concert over and the rest of Plasmagica demanding explanations.
Definitely the highlight of this episode was the scenes with Retoree and Cyan together, because Retoree’s incredibly non-subtle crush on Cyan is adorable to me. Seeing them both having so much fun together as friends and getting closer and closer made the end of the episode all the more painful, though. The other Plasmagica girls all have different reactions to hearing the truth about Cyan (and can I just say I’m glad this is coming out now instead of right towards the end or something, which would have been annoying) – Chuchu is stern and just wants explanations, Moa seems like she found a kindred spirit who is also from another world, but poor Retoree is only devastated about Cyan eventually having to go back to her own world, something she takes as a given. Dammit, Sanrio, don’t make me emotionally invested in this dog-girl to the extent that I get upset over a cheesy anime like this.
Regarding the ‘plot’ (you know, those monsters who havent appeared since episode one), it does feel kind of jarring to suddenly have it come back like this, but it was about time. Like I said before, I’m finding the characters relationships more interesting and dramatic than these monsters and whatever threat they pose at this point. (ie I reacted a lot more to ‘RETOREE IS SAD’ than ‘dark monsters attacking a bunch of bands dun dun dun’) But I was also glad to see that Cyan kind of does that annoying anime thing where they start explaining something and then for whatever reason either cant explain it properly or are interrupted and everyone misunderstands (ie in a different show, Plasmagica might have started accusing Cyan of running away from them for no reason because she was unable to tell them about her ‘mission’ and its inexplicable secrecy), but she spilled the beans after she came back pretty quickly.
I haven’t actually mentioned it in a review yet but every now and then we get to see whom I am going to assume is the Big Bad and his cryptic conversations with ‘Grateful King’, some kind of famous musical myuumon whom the Big Bad seems to be trying to get to perform a song of his. It’s somehow connected to the dark monsters, who are also connected to the manager of CritiCrista. Their cryptic, typical Big Bad conversations are incredibly hard to take seriously though because of Grateful King’s ridiculous silhouette and the fact that CritiCrista’s manager has a Moai statue for a head.
This has been the first episode to end in a cliffhanger, although… it’s hard to feel any suspense when the next episode preview has everyone goofing around on the beach and in the hot springs.
It’s time for A Beach Episode, but one with a purpose! After Cyan’s reveal in the last episode, Strawberry Heart decides he can’t take all the typical anime not-telling-the-whole-story-to-invite-misunderstandings business and tells everybody everything he knows. The one who bought Cyan here was actually the big bad himself – the president of Unicorn Virtual Music, Dagger Morse. He has the ridiculous plot of taking over Music World with his own dream-team of musicians while using the dark monsters to get rid of any rival bands, entirely for money. Despite being powerful enough to have scouted Cyan from another world, he wasn’t able to stop Strawberry Heart interfering by intercepting her on her way there. Maple (AKA the annoying talking egg) has actually been in on this the entire time, and now that everybody (everybody being ShinganCrimsonz and Plasmagica minus Retoree, who ran away in tears before) knows the truth they can begin honing their musical powers for a counterattack.
Cue the beach ‘training camp’ – also for the upcoming Grateful Rock Fest. However, much of the camp is dedicated to Cyan and Retoree’s reconciliation. Moa also tells her bandmates the truth that she’d been hiding from them, and Plasmagica grows ever more closer.
Well, I didnt have high hopes for what looked like a generic beach episode in the preview but I have to say this was probably the best beach episode of an anime I’ve seen in a while. The fanservice was there – but minimal and relatively tasteful – as if to send up the fact that the last episode’s preview kind of ruined any suspense, the episode actually starts with the bikini’d girls playing volleyball and having fun before flashing back to all the events that would lead up to that moment of everyone being Best Friends again.
There was a lot going on in this one which means that plotwise it was a little hectic. First there’s all the major reveals in the beginning concerning the wider plot (which I was pretty glad for – thanks Strawberry Heart for spitting all that out, even if it did take you until the show was nearly half over) and what that means for both Plasmagica and ShinganCrimsonz. They do, for the record, make fun of the fact that it would have been a thousand times more practical for Maple to have told everyone this from the beginning – and recognizing that doesnt make the trope of ‘I had to keep you in the dark because uh…anime’ that much less dumb, but it’s nice to see that acknowledged. After that, Plasmagica get to go to a fancy beach resort while ShinganCrimsonz have a camping trip on the mountains – I initially thought this was the shows way of getting rid of the boys for the episode, which made me a little sad…until I realized they actually did get plenty of focus due to the ridiculous things that happened during their ‘training’. (Rom transforming into his businessman form is still making me laugh, and now I can’t decide which of these idiots I like the best again) But the bulk of the episode is about the girls awkwardly trying to reconcile – mostly Cyan and Retoree, who is still upset about Cyan’s reveal.
I really, really like the way this show is handling Retoree and Cyan’s friendship (or, potentially more than that?), because in the beginning I just suspected Retoree’s obviously-not-platonic feelings for Cyan were a throwaway gag. I am in no way expect any canon pairing to form out of this but it was really nice to have Retoree’s pain and frustration treated with gravitas and not as childish overreacting. Plus, the entire night-time scene with all the girls in the lovely island dresses singing was really beautiful. Yes, it’s cheesy, but the entire theme of the show so far has been the Power of Music, so it makes sense that they would reconcile in such a way. It was one of my favourite moments of the show so far, though, and the change in scenery from MidiCity to the beachscape made it stand out a lot.
Moa was also great in this episode, although her spaceship appearing made the night scene end little ridiculously. I did laugh at how the others initially failed to take her claim of being an alien seriously as they thought she was just trying to make Cyan feel better for coming from another world, or that she was trying to hard to have a ‘gimmick’ of her own. But now that both Cyan and Moa have revealed their secrets…shouldnt it be Chuchu’s turn? If she has anything to reveal, anyway. I feel like we know the least about her.