Anzu is 17?! My whole life has been a lie.
…I think they may or may not have mentioned it in one of the early episodes, but it sure came as a shock to me this week. I knew she was older than she looked, but being the same age as happy-happy Kirari is kind of amazing – especially Kirari, when you consider that Anzu is anything but happy-happy in light of her tired, bitter world view. I guess her age is why she wasn’t picked for Totokira Academy at first. I think I’m slowly warming to her these days, now that we get to see all the idols actually out and about beyond that one room they all meet up in – I was actually impressed by how energetic she was during the show.
As for Kanako and Chieri, it’s pretty much the exact opposite – they’re losing confidence in themselves and are worried about not being able to do well, which I think is something to do with the pressure of making Cinderella’s Ball a success. I’d completely forgotten about Chieri and her lack of self-confidence until I remembered the ‘frog’ thing – that charm she used to help get herself through that first TV appearance. She’s still using it, and now it’s backfiring – it’s like how New Generations pump themselves up before a performance by yelling ‘fried chicken’. Except Chieri isn’t using it as extra motivation, but instead as something she’s heavily reliant on – and when both her and Kanako are constantly thinking of failure, it all adds to the pressure. It’s a crutch, as P-kun said.
All that stuff about finding a four-leaf clover reminded me a lot of an episode of Aria the Origination, my favourite anime ever – where Akira recounts the story of how, when she was still in training, a field of normal clovers left her realizing that she had no natural talent of her own. A young Aika approaches her, taking a rose petal shaped like a heart and adding it to a three-leaf clover, telling her that if it’s not there, she just has to make one herself – that if she puts her heart into it, she can develop her own talent through hard work. It’s essentially the same message as what Sachiko or Producer was trying to tell them – and I’m sure it’s what Kirari and Anzu would have said if they’d been consulted instead. It’s important to be happy-happy, after all.