Nice of them to drop the pretense and straight up tell us which boys you’re meant to ship I guess, if nothing else.

There are two competing idol groups with really good names, ‘Six Gravity’ and ‘Procellarum’, all populated with a bunch of otome dating sim templates. A Generic Fangirl of Six Gravity is  currently distraught that she is too sick to attend a handshaking event to meet her favourite husbando Kakeru, but she wants the exclusive merch at the event so badly that she sends her little brother to get it for her. Her little brother ‘Syunpei’ (which should really be ‘Shunpei’ but if that’s how they’re gonna romanise it then whatever) is incredibly oblivious about Six Gravity and how the event works, and somehow ends up in the staff restricted area after not knowing where to go. Three of the boys – including Kakeru – find him and he mistakes them for staff. Since he – for some unknown reason – is incapable of recognizing the band as the band, they all hang out with him to pass the time before the event actually starts.

This was kinda cute, but still dumb.

So it’s basically been established that ‘cute boy idols doing cute boy idol things’ has become the new ‘cute girls go to school and are in A Club’ staple for each anime season. On one hand, this is an interesting phenomenon and it’s proof positive of how much the anime market is changing to recognise that women are currently the ones pouring the most money into it. On the other hand, they’re equally dull to me. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I really appreciate how much more level the playing field has gotten in recent years when it comes to ‘stuff very obviously made for women only’ and there’s a certain novelty to seeing the ‘act more like confused kittens than humans’ trope applied to male characters rather than female ones. It’s just that for every genuinely good series like Freethere are like fifty blandly benign shows like this.

If I had to choose between being angry at a show and just being bored, I’d probably choose the latter…yet the former certainly gives you a lot more to talk about. But these boy idol shows are just so paint-by-numbers, catatonically dull to me. And I really can’t figure out why. Although I hate the entire institution of the real-life idol industry in Japan, I really like the concept of it in fiction. Singing and dancing is fun, and watching cute characters do it is also fun. My favourite character of anything is Kaito, and he is essentially a singing dancing (robot) male idol. Yet I have yet to see a single anime about boy idols that didn’t almost induce a coma in me. The characters don’t interest me, I cant even remember how any of the songs actually went, and instead of finding the sight of them singing and dancing fun, it’s somehow just embarrassing. I’ll be very interested to find out if there is ever a boy-idol anime that can bridge this strange gap for me because damn, I’d like to like one.

This one at least looks better than the last one I reviewed (High School Star Musical), but the characters are all the same templates and the same boring, one dimensional characters. Having a lot of the episode from the fangirl’s brother’s point of view was kind of a novel idea, and it could have been done well were it not for the fact that it didn’t really make all that much sense. Why did Shunpei not recognise Kakeru, when his sister’s wall is slathered with posters of him? He was literally in this room at the start of the episode when she asked him to go, and somehow he is incapable of actually recognising the guy unless he’swearing an idoly outfit. Even though nothing above the neck changes at all. I mean geez, at least have him wear glasses when he’s not on stage.

Something I was confused about though: The only reason I was vaguely interested in this is because the boys are – according to the anime chart I looked at and the information I found online – all meant to be gijinka of different months. This is literally the only thing that’s vaguely different or interesting about the show at all – and given that I specialise in laughing at some of the weirder attempts at personification that occurs in Japanese media, it’s the reason I chose it for First Impressions. But this is completely unrelated to anything that happens in this episode. It isn’t even mentioned, and for all I know isn’t even actually canon for the anime. So it’s just a generic boy idol thing instead.

One thing that made me laugh though is that when the fangirl is explaining to her younger brother everything about all the boys in Six Gravity, she takes special care to add which two pair well together, for literally no reason other than to give the audience the go-ahead for shipping them. When you literally have to have a character tell you which characters to ship instead of just showing their chemistry itself, you know it’s a lazy cash-grab.

Yaaay time for more uncanny valley motion-captured dancing!

Out of 5,