I honestly wasn’t expecting to be talking about Idolish7. However, with the incoming second season, I was given the reigns to the Vibrato shorts by Eva since she’s got her hands full with a bunch of other things. It’s an honor to be able to talk about this series because holy crap am I just stuck in Idolish7 purgatory. Like, I’m not even joking. I’ve bought all of the fanbooks so far and paid nearly $200 for their first live on bluray. I’M IN TOO DEEP AND I’M EXCITED TO TALK ABOUT IDOLISH7.
In any case, Vibrato acts as a buffer between the first and second season. There are eight episodes and an individual episode is roughly 15 min long. And two episodes of this basically equals a normal length episode. Or I guess a few minutes longer than a typical episode, but that is besides the point. I found it pretty interesting that these were youtube exclusive episodes and you’ll need youtube premium to watch beyond episode 2. While filler episodes are normally annoying, these episodes definitely helped me appreciate a couple underappreciated characters. Namely Ryunosuke and Mitsuki. Both of them shined differently during these specials and have definitely jumped higher in my personal rankings.
Speaking of Ryu, IF YOU DON’T THINK HE’S BEST BOY AFTER VIBRATO DON’T TALK TO ME. I’m joking… mostly. The first couple of episodes focus on the formation of Trigger and how the three of them became the trio that we all know and love. However, we get the pleasure of having the episode focused heavily on Ryu’s point of view. This was especially nice since I felt like the poor guy didn’t get enough appreciation in the first season and was constantly outshone by Tenn and Gaku with their respective plotlines. So out of the three, Ryu had very little backstory and development. (My friend even called him whiny and I was offended) So I’m glad that the was the focus because holy crap he has solidified his place as best boy in Trigger from these shorts. Not only do we get to see more of Ryu, but we get to learn more about his motivations for becoming an idol. He became an idol not for the fame and glory, but he wanted to help pay off his blood-related dad’s debt. HE’S SUCH A GOOD FREAKING BOY.
It’s honestly really adorable seeing the three come together for the first time… even if Tenn is his usual sassy twerp self and Gaku being hotheaded as per usual. The team building was pretty solid, especially when they just randomly danced on stage together for the first time. Speaking of which, it was really nice to see a completely 2D, full body dance routine. Not to mention how freaking suggestive their inner thoughts were, sheesh lol. Except Ryu. He’s the only pure one. Though I thought it funny when Tenn wondered how to get drunk off of apple juice. Tenn, if Reigen can get drunk without alcohol, I’m sure you can find a way lol.
I also think meeting up with both Tenn and Gaku to form Trigger was able to help Ryu in the long run adjust to city life and being an idol. At the start, he was so uncertain and anxious about whether he could pull off being an idol. However, after his little dance party with them, he seems much more at ease and refreshed. It was as if he had found a place to belong in the idol business.
Speaking of inner thoughts, I thought it was interesting that they utilized inner monologues more in these episodes. As opposed to the main series where there was very little. The only part I can remember hearing their thoughts was when Iori was overthinking things at Music Festa and when Yamato was trying to think of what number Tsumugi had during King’s Game. However, I think it’s nice to hear Ryu’s thoughts as we’re able to get to know him more on a personal basis that way. Especially since he doesn’t really speak all that much. Also can we just appreciate the fact that he talks with his Okinawan accent in his head?
I also really loved getting to see cameos of the i7 members before their group was formed just walking around doing their own thing as Trigger becomes more prominent in the world of idols. Even from just those cameos, you can see a little bit of their motivations and personality. Mitsuki is awestruck seeing Trigger while Iori is curiously looking at what his brother is staring at. Basically showing how much Mitsuki wants to be an idol and Iori following after him. Riku is looking up at Trigger with a melancholic expression, showing how he looks up to Tenn, but he’s basically out of reach on many different levels. I also think one of the most telling ones is Yamato having his back completely facing towards Trigger’s mv. I won’t go into detail about the significance of it since it’s a spoiler so I’ll leave it at that.
Despite the tight synchronization in their dancing in the previous episode, the three still weren’t mentally/emotionally in sync yet. Portrayed very well in the shot where they’re all shown in three separate mirrors and looking in different directions. Each one has a very different view of being an idol and are all entitled to their own opinions. None of them are necessarily wrong in their outlooks, but it’s easy to tell that it’s creating a rift between the three since they don’t really TALK about their views and instead just argue. They’re still a new group and haven’t quite gotten used to each other yet. Not to mention that Tenn and Gaku just cannot accept the other’s views. Children please…
Poor Ryu is just constantly stuck in the middle of their bickering. However, while Ryu is just trying to keep the peace in the group, he never really settles the dispute. Instead, it feels like he’s just ripping two quarreling children apart and leaving it at that. I feel like it hit everyone pretty hard when Tenn comments on how the only things he hears Ryu say are “calm down” and “stop.” Being the oldest brother in his family, this probably came very naturally to Ryu. However, Tenn and Gaku aren’t his brothers. Rather, they most likely want to hear his opinion rather than him just yelling at them to stop.
Things get even more rocky between the three when President Yaotome has plans to do a charity live for a burned down school. All three are obviously apprehensive about using a tragedy to put their name out there. However, things come to a boil when Tenn and Gaku have two VERY opposing thoughts on how to handle the matter. With Gaku wanting to just drop the whole thing and would rather quit than follow through with it and Tenn reluctantly willing to do it as it is their job to make the fans happy no matter what. I felt really bad for Ryu in this scene, especially since because of his indecision, he ended up hurting both Tenn and Gaku by just telling them to stop and saying nothing else.
It’s true that Ryu does have a lot to say, but he tends to keep them to himself rather than expressing them in words, which is what Tenn and Gaku want. In a way, they look up to him as the oldest and want his input. The last thing Ryu wanted to do was hurt them like that and he definitely took it to heart when he realized his mistake. Giving him the determination to face President Yaotome against doing the charity live, which ultimately brought the group together to stand their ground. Though it just ended up being a miscommunication on President Yaotome’s side as he wanted to do something special for his old school. Which honestly felt very unlike him, especially what transpired with him in the first season. I guess it was a way to try and humanize him? Though I do admit it’s hard to see him as nothing but a complete jerk after how he treats people.
I know I’m a broken record, but Ryu is SUCH A GOOD BOY. He’s the glue that keeps this group together. Not just because Gaku and Tenn would constantly be at each others’ throats, but when both of them get stuck somewhere, Ryu will be the one to pull them out. I also found it interesting that Ryu points out because of how flashy and overwhelming both Gaku and Tenn are, he felt as if he didn’t fit in. Which I find ironic since that basically how viewers of the first season felt. Gaku and Tenn stand out A LOT, while Ryu is kind of just in the background most of the time, save for a few choice moments. He lacked presence in the first season so much that I didn’t see very many people talk or favor Ryu compared to the other two. So I’m glad that he finally got the recognition he deserved in this first vibrato arc. Because Ryu is the best Trigger boy and no one can convince me otherwise. Especially when he declares that Trigger is his second family. UGH HE’S SUCH A SWEETIE.
It was nice to finally meet Re:vale since they were only mentioned throughout the first season and when they did appear in person, they didn’t have any speaking lines. My first impression of them is that they seem really chill and supportive. People probably thought they would end up corrupt or something since they were going along with President Yaotome’s charity live plans. Thankfully, that was the case as they knew the real reason behind it and were more than happy to shed light on what was actually happening. Though it is interesting how they can get away with teasing him without any repercussions. And after reading into Part two of the story, I can safely say that they make a fine addition to the Idolish7 cast. So look forward to them in Season 2!
I’m so glad to see Trigger be friendly with i7. Even if they’re rivals, they’ve become friendly rivals and are able to get along with each other. Which is a whole lot better than being hostile, like what happened in utapri. You used to be cool Quartet Night! Anyways, it’s nice to see them interact on a friendly basis without any funny business. I love how Sogo is still in such awe of them. Such a precious fanboy he is~ Though it’s sad that Tenn doesn’t seem to want to be around Riku at this moment. BE NICE TO YOUR BROTHER, TENN. GOSH. But man, that one shot of them being separated by the street and street lights felt overwhelmingly foreboding and sad. The freaking divide between the two is so real, it hurts. But I suppose Tenn is also telling Riku to follow his own path and not chase after him anymore. Which is understandable, especially since Riku tends to go into “little brother” mode when around him.
This was a really sweet Trigger centered couple of episodes and I just loved seeing the bond between the group. Especially since it showed just how much each member treasures being part of Trigger. Also, I know you love Trigger, Tenn, but please spare some of that love for your brother. For his sake.