Anime, Shows

An Anime about Japanese Pop Idols and Their Superfans

Anime Review:

If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die Season 1

Rating: 6.5 out of 10 stars

Overview

Pros

  • Offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of a hyper-dedicated fan
  • It’s kind of nice to see idol-fan relationships that are not toxic
  • Maki and Yumeri are super cute together
  • It was often funny
  • Interesting characters

Cons

  • Eripiyo has an unhealthy lifestyle that is treated positively
  • A bit slow at times
  • The ending was expected, but not wholly satisfying

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Review and Reflection

The lives of celebrities have never been of much interest to me. I’ve never paid any attention to celebrity news, with its frequent marriages, divorces, and deaths. I’ve never had a celebrity crush.

The main character of this anime, Eripiyo, is the exact opposite. Ever since she first encountered the pop idol group ChamJam, she has been obsessed with Maina Ichii. Maina is consistently the least popular in the group, with Eripiyo and later one other girl being her only obvious fans. As a result, Eripyo tries to offer as much support to Maina as possible by buying huge stacks of her singles and always going to see her at the end of a show.

It was interesting to see how the fans were able to interact so much with the idols. At the end of each show, fans could purchase the chance to speak to their idol individually in a timed session. During this session, the fan and the idol hold hands. It all seems very personable and builds the fan-idol relationship. After their new year’s concert, they even let their fans record them saying whatever is requested, as long as it is not creepy or inappropriate. That also seems much more personal than what most celebrities are willing to do.

I appreciated the humor of the show. Each idol has a color that represents her, and Maina’s color is salmon–so in one publicity venture, she is shown holding a salmon. It’s really goofy and shows how poor Maina’s public image is. Also, Eripiyo posts on Maina’s blog with various aliases, making eighty comments. My favorite bit of humor was when the pop idols are playing tug of war, and someone comments that the side with the highest weight would have a clear advantage. Both sides immediately attempt to lose.

Eripiyo works herself to the bone to support Maina. She spends all of her money on concerts and merch, so she is very poor despite working multiple jobs. She only owns a single track suit, which she wears all of the time. Because she works so hard, she frequently gets sick or injured. I believe that the lifestyle shown for her is depicted positively for the most part. In my opinion, glorifying her unhealthy habits under the banner of devotion is not a good choice for an anime.

While both Maina and Eripiyo seem to be in love with each other, they keep strictly to a fan-idol relationship. I guess it is for the best, since Eripiyo really needs to work on herself before she is ready for a romantic relationship. Eripiyo even dresses as Maina’s “type” to be more appealing to her. She is constantly looking at the pictures Maina posts online to check if Maina has a partner, even zooming in on her eyes to see if there is a reflection of someone. Maina is dependent on Eripyo’s support, and is seriously concerned if she does not see Eripiyo at a performance.

The two idols Maki and Yumeri are a cute couple, even though they are never acknowledged as such in the actual anime. They are constantly close and push each other to succeed. Maki even bought Yumeri’s singles to make her ranking go up. I love them, but I wish their relationship was not just suggested.

I learned the word “wota” from this anime, which is a fan of Japanese idol singers. I love learning new words.

I won’t spoil the ending, but it was neither surprising nor completely satisfying. I would say it was acceptable.

I would recommend this anime for people who enjoy slice of life and comedy anime.

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Anime, Shows

Adachi and Shimamura: The LGBTQ+ Romance Anime That Disappoints

Anime Review (with spoilers!!):

Adachi and Shimamura Season 1

Rating: 4 out of 10 stars

Overview:

Pros

  • Beautiful animation
  • Attractive intro and outro
  • LGBTQ+ representation

Cons

  • Anti-climatic ending
  • One-sided love story
  • Shimamura is obnoxiously oblivious
  • I came to hate Shimamura as a character
  • Random stuff that was there for no apparent reason
  • Boring at times

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Review

Adachi and Shimamura Season 1 was released in 2020 and falls into the category of Yuri, a type of anime focusing on intimate relationships between girls or women.

I’ll start by looking on the bright side and explain what was good about this anime first. I like the intro and the music included in it. The outro was also pretty even though I liked the intro better.

Intro of Adachi and Shimamura

Even from the brief clip above you can see the difference in Shimamura and Adachi’s way of looking at each other. Shimamura thinks she is just having a good time with a friend, and the way Adachi is looking at her is with pure awe and love.

I started watching this anime because it was labeled Romance and featured two girls as main characters. I thought maybe this would be an anime with good LGBTQ+ representation. My expectations were high, but the anime was disappointing.

The way Shimamura sees Adachi

A major problem with this being labeled as a romance is how Shimamura continually views Adachi–alternatively as just a friend, as a clingy puppy, and as a little sister. I don’t know how the heck she manages to be so oblivious. Yeah, they are just holding hands like friends. They are just cuddling on numerous occasions as friends. They are spending Christmas together, sleeping side by side, and exchanging chocolate on Valentine’s Day AS FRIENDS.

Adachi repeatedly shows discomfort at being called a little sister, and I don’t blame her. They are the same age, and there are few things more uncomfortable and scalding then having your crush say you are just like a sibling.

The sad thing is that Adachi guesses Shimamura sees her like a puppy and she is right. It’s just so frustrating. This may be a slow-burn romance, but even after 12 episodes it still seems entirely one-sided.

Adachi dreams of kissing Shimamura but doesn’t have the guts to. She almost kisses Shimamura while she is sleeping but decides that would be wrong, which I think is a testament to how she is a good person who is willing to respect boundaries.

Also, when Adachi hugs Shimamura suddenly, Shimamura’s reaction is always along the lines of “What are you doing? That’s weird. What is that about?” I mean if my friend suddenly hugged me I would be flattered but also concerned to make sure she or he was okay. Not just weirded out.

And after spending most of a year together being inseparable, Adachi disappears abruptly. Does Shimamura check in on her?

Nope. She figures some friendships aren’t made to last. This partially seems like psychological realism for Shimamura–she has always had trouble with lack of attachment and commitment, and almost seems to be depressed sometimes. But that reasoning doesn’t stop her from being hard to like.

The ending was basically Shimamura believing that Adachi sees her as a big sister figure while Adachi remains unable to confess her love. I expected more from the finale.

Honestly, Adachi deserves better.

Also, some stuff was there that just didn’t make sense–random stuff. A thirty second clip of a pedophile staring hungrily at a group of children at a pool. Shimamura shudders and moves on. Why was that necessary?

And then there is Yashiro, who is a 680-year-old alien girl who tends to dress as an astronaut and who is looking for a companion of hers. She becomes fast friends with Shimamura’s younger sister. At first it seems like she might be a kid with a wild imagination, but then she is shown to be capable of flight. Plus, her hair literally glows. Why does she even exist? This season offers no answers.

This anime is slow-paced and mundane, a slice of life with almost no conflict, real romance, or appeal. I would not recommend it to anybody. If you are looking for decent LGBTQ+ representation, try Arcane: League of Legends, RWBY, or best of all She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

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