We’ve come to the final mini arc within the Vibrato series and what better way to end the series with Let’s Summer drama! I honestly wasn’t expecting them to address this again… Okay I lied, I knew full well that this would be addressed at least one more time considering there is an artwork with Idolish7 and Trigger singing together and I’ve heard NATSU☆Shiyouze sung by the two groups together. So this plot line was bound to happen. However, I didn’t expect it to come up in Vibrato. However, it may have been best since it’s not really plot driven. I’m glad they finally addressed it though.
I actually went ahead and read Part 2 of the game for Idolish7 because I’m an impatient heathen and this little extra story arc was actually placed at the end of Part 2 surprisingly. So it’s a bit of a shock to see this before the second season. But I guess this doesn’t really have much plot going on and just kind of a one off story line. Though it was nice to see what had become of this plot-line that gets referenced to every once in a while through out the second half of the first season.
Funny story, before I got into Idolish7, I would randomly just listen to their songs because, why not, they sounded good. Though I was confused why both i7 and trigger sang the same song. I kind of just shrugged it off and actually preferred listening to Trigger’s version of the song. Little did I know that there were PLOT REASONS. And after finding out what the reasons were after watching the anime, I could not bring myself to listen to Trigger’s version any longer and will only listen to i7’s version or the version they sing it all together.
Anyways, it’s actually pretty sad how attached the i7 members and the other staff got to this song with Banri actually playing their PV while he worked. But it makes sense, this would have been their debut song and they spent so much time and energy making their PV so of course they’d feel very attached to this song. Especially Nagi as this was written by his dear friend, Haruki. However, when the group gets invited to perform at the first Natsunoshima Music Festival aka Summer Island Fest. And due to the event being summer themed, of course the group is going to think about their lost song even more so than they already had been after walking in on Banri listening to their song.
Now, I didn’t expect this plot to steer into the direction of LET’S MAKE ALL THE TRIGGER MEMBERS SAD. First Riku unknowingly made Gaku sad, who continues the
overused joke of pretending to be a mere soba delivery man, by lying about how they just recorded themselves doing karaoke to Trigger’s song. And then Nagi surprisingly shows us a rather… snappy side to him and makes freaking precious Ryu sad. While Yamato makes Tenn sad off screen lol. I wish we actually got to see the interaction there, but because these episodes are so short, they had to cut something out. Though if you’re curious as to what went down between Yamato and Tenn, you can go and read the game version. Out of all the interactions, that one wasn’t as interesting so I can see why they left that one out.
Going back to Nagi, he was extremely offended by Trigger’s choice to not sing Haruki’s song. And while I can understand his feelings, it definitely is a complicated situation. All of the Trigger members regret what happened and Ryu goes on to elaborate that they feel guilty whenever they sing the song, knowing how much Idolish7 loved that song. It is sad to have such a fun song just be tucked away due to controversy when it’s not even the song’s fault. The song was made to make people happy and have fun and Nagi even demands that Trigger return the song back to them if they refuse to sing it. Which is obviously easier said than done. It’s already considered Trigger’s song to the public and having Idolish7 take back the song that was originally there’s with no pretense would make it seem like they “stole” it from Trigger. Which I’m surprised wasn’t the case back when they had sung it at that street concert. I’m glad that at least Mitsuki recognizes that it’s not a simple matter of giving and taking and even goes to encourage Ryu to not push himself to sing the song and sing it when he can truly enjoy singing it. WHAT A GOOD BOY. Though that kindness probably made Ryu feel even more guilty about the whole situation. UGH. Stupid former Trigger composer. This is all your fault!
However, blame should also go to the president as well since he’s basically trying to bury that song and make it seem like nothing had happened. And despite it making the whole situation even more suspicious by not singing it, refuses to let Trigger sing it due to his pride. Even the manager was taking their side about singing it and Ryu also speaks up about wanting to sing it, but all of their efforts are denied. So in an emotional huff, Gaku goes to try and prove the plagiarism so he could give back the song to Idolish7. And while it is a noble act, it’s not a very smart move, especially since this could damage Trigger and the company’s reputation, which is exactly what Otoharu wanted to avoid doing and chose to remain silent for their sake. However, Gaku being Gaku wants justice for a situation that isn’t easily fixed even if they come forward and even tries to drag Mezzo into this mess since they were the ones to witness the break in. Now I’m super sad they didn’t actually show this moment because it was absolutely HILARIOUS in the game. Especially when Sogo was just stuck fanboying and getting stressed out from the situation while Gaku was trying to bribe Tamaki to cooperate.
And while I’m a little annoyed that both Nagi and Yamato were guilt tripping Trigger, Nagi does have a point about if Trigger does love the song, they should fight for it. However, there is a right and wrong way to go about the whole thing and if they’re not careful, it could be bad for both groups. And I appreciate that Tsumugi brought up that they may not even be allowed to fight. There is a lot of complexity to the situation so I’m glad that there are those like Ryu who doesn’t want to charge headfirst into things and Tsumugi who doesn’t see the situation as purely black and white. Even when Gaku was trying to get Mezzo to cooperate, as a fan of Trigger’s, Sogo couldn’t bring himself to do anything that could possibly damage the group’s name.
I absolutely love that Riku wants to help save Tenn and Trigger since Tenn was the one to save him while he was trapped at the hospital for most if not all of his childhood. It’s a very touching sentiment as family wanting to help out family makes me weak. Especially when it comes to these freaking twins. I JUST WANT THEM TO BE HAPPY TOGETHER AGAIN DANG IT.
I do like the point Tenn brings up of “Is not getting hurt so important?” It’s true that Idolish7 would take a lot of risks when it came to putting their name out there while Trigger always seemed to always be contained and protected by the agency and the president. While Otoharu did his best to protect his boys, he still took chances on them and would always listen to their feelings about certain matters. While President Yaotome would often shut them down in favor of how he thinks things should be done. You could tell that he was always afraid of them ruining their name somehow and refused to let them take certain risks unless he knew if he could gain something from it. People have to fail in order to grow and Otoharu does seem to understand this while President Yaotome wants to prevent them from having failure to seem like perfect idols. It’s honestly hard to see Trigger with their hands tied like this and it’s definitely disheartening to hear from so many people that they can’t do anything about the situation.
It’s the final episode of Vibrato and boy was it emotional! Idolish7 sure knows how to just… punch you in the heart and then kick you while you’re down. Considering how everyone felt really down in the last episode, it felt only natural for this episode to lift everyone’s spirits. Though they still tried to stick in some last punches to the feels before they went out with a smile. I’m thankful that we get such a wonderful and happy conclusion to this arc because all I want is for these precious precious boys to be happy dang it.
In any case, this episode definitely called back A LOT to the episode where Idolish7 shot the MV for their (at the time) debut song, NATSU☆Shiyouze. From Mitsuki proclaiming loudly when they arrived to Ryu being freaking hit on by yet another thirsty lady. Poor Ryu just can never catch a break from thirsty ladies. But come on, who can really blame them? Considering the GINORMOUS and spicy poster of Ryu advertising for some sort of alcohol on the side of the shack. Though they should still have some decency to not force themselves on him and take a note that he’s uncomfortable with their attention. But just like last time, Gaku and Tenn got Ryu out of an awkward situation. I appreciated that they even commented that why he lets these things keep happening lol. Come on Ryu, you have to learn to just say no.
Also just like episode 11 in the first season, Trigger runs into Idolish7 who also happen to be staying at the same hotel… again. But unlike last time, there isn’t any hostility between the two groups and Riku happily runs over to Tenn. It was extremely hilarious how similar Iori and Tenn are, much to their exasperation when they both shouted at Riku to stop running at the exact same time. Their faces were priceless. I actually realized how similar in personality these two are after shipping both Iori and Tenn with Tsumugi. Their dynamics would be somewhat similar in regards to that ship. (Yes I’m an avid shipper of Iori and Tsumugi and I’m proud) They also both act like Riku’s nanny in a way during different times and both are harsh with others, but still care very much for them. According to Rabbit Chats, they constantly argue about how they nanny Riku and are very critical with how each of them handle Riku. They’re like two mothers arguing with each other on how to raise their respective kid. Guys please.
And while there isn’t any hostility between the two groups anymore, Tenn is still keeping Riku at arms length. While it’s a bit sad, at least he’s being pleasant about it now, offering a polite smile rather than completely dismissing the contact. Despite the divide that has grown between the two, Riku still wants to help Trigger sing NATSU☆Shiyouze freely. It must have meant so much to Trigger that the group the song was stolen from wants to help them sing it. It’s actually very touching that they would rather it be sung than hidden away, even if it meant that they would never be able to sing it themselves. And Riku is right that this song does connect them to Trigger in a way and they don’t want it to be a sad thing and would much rather turn it into a positive. It was such a tender moment and you can tell just from Tenn’s expression that it must have meant so much to hear that from Riku. JUST GO BACK TO BEING PROPER BROTHERS DANG IT.
While Riku isn’t anywhere close to a favorite of mine, he is still endearing and I appreciate him at times, this being one of those moments. Especially since he’s always relied on the strength of others, he’s wanted to be relied on for something. Find something that only he could do and was able to find that within Idolish7 as the center. But now he’s reaching out even beyond his group to extend a hand to his estranged brother. That in itself is really touching. Though I do admit I’m not very convinced of Iori and Riku’s “best friends” title that the series seems to push to an obnoxious degree at times. Maybe it’s because I’m just not a fan of the trope of best friends who always argue. Not to mention as I’ve stated before, Iori basically acts like Riku’s nanny like 99% of the time.
Going down the line of character spotlights, Nagi has just been a ball of sunshine and awesome for the past several Vibrato episodes, however, he certainly let his hair down in these last two eps. Part of it being because of the sweltering summer heat, which is completely understandable because I too cannot stand heat and am just a complete grouch under those circumstances. Especially since Nagi comes from a naturally cold country so I can understand why he doesn’t fare too well in heat. Which is why it’s adorable when they first became a group, Mitsuki would walk Nagi around to try and help him get used to the warm weather in Japan according to the Rabbit Chats. (I would honestly love to see a spin off seeing the different events within the Rabbit Chats because they are amusing as heck)
Anyways, back on track. Nagi was just not having it these past two episodes mostly due to the situation with Haruki’s song that Trigger’s president just wants to slip under the table and be forgotten in a sense. Not only did he just let his frustration out on Ryu in the episode prior, but he even called Yamato out on him asking about others’ pasts but never about his own, which is kind of a low blow and a bit uncalled for. And while a lot of people are very curious about Yamato’s past and why he refuses to share anything, that is a whole can of worms that will won’t be spilled for a while. We learn a bit more about Nagi’s past as he explains how much Haruki’s presence meant to him, filling his lonely days with happiness. It definitely makes you wonder what kind of environment Nagi grew up in.
While it was a small scene, I really liked their talk by the sea side. Trigger sure has their own set of problems to deal with and I really appreciate that we get to see their struggles along with Idolish7. We didn’t really get to see such convincing struggles from rival groups in other idol anime like Uta no Prince-sama, so seeing them be fleshed out like this is very refreshing. The world doesn’t just revolve around Idolish7, there are others in it as well with their own stories. It was touching to hear how much NATSU☆Shiyouze meant to them as well and also a positive memory of when Tenn opened up to the group for the first time. After that, they even ran their own plan to sing the song as a final act of rebellion for this song, finally stepping out and taking a risk for their pride and for their fans. This is a beloved song and they wanted to sing it. I also appreciate that their manager was also in on it, choosing to do what was best for the Trigger members rather than just follow orders. Kudos to you.
But man, it was all kinds of emotional when Trigger passed the baton over to Idolish7 to sing it after the audience called for an encore. Though Yamato’s “Huh?!” was hilarious. He sounded genuinely dumbfounded and it was great. We usually don’t get a reaction like that from him. Just hearing each of the i7 members be in such disbelief over singing the song just punched me in the heart because you could tell that they didn’t expect to sing this song ever again in front of an audience. Nagi is bouncing off the walls in happiness, Mitsuki is in tears… it’s just such an emotional moment and I’m just so happy for them. They all looked so happy and energetic singing their original debut song and my heart clenched a little when it showed Tsumugi wipe away her tears. She too is so unbelievably happy to see her boys sing the song they loved so much before it got taken away from them. UGHHHHHHH! MY HEART.
What better way to end the episode with not just Idolish7, but Trigger as well to sing the song that bound them together. I definitely expected this to happen considering I’ve listened to their combined song before. But after seeing what lead up to them singing it together, it definitely added a lot more emotion and meaning to that combined version. While I wish we got to see the rest of the concert where they all sang the song together, it was still amusing to see them basically take stills of the actual Idolish7 live the voice actors took part in and illustrated them into the credits. The stage is LITERALLY decorated very closely to how the i7 live stage looked and they even had the exact same water guns they used. THIS IS WHAT I LIVE FOR. All of those stills during the credits can be found in real life form in their first live. When I first noticed I was like: …HOLD ON. Not to mention that ironically, the first live was also done in summer. All the voice actors were commenting on how hot it was and you could see them sweating buckets out there. From the water exploding in the front to Tamaki running across the stage, which Kenn did several times throughout the live. The tie in was just… UGH it was so good. This whole mini series was SO GOOD.
I love this little series. It honestly just gave me even more appreciation for all the characters. It felt like they were able to give spotlight to characters that weren’t highlighted too much in the first season, giving them a little more depth, which I greatly appreciate. Especially Ryu and Mitsuki.
I ended up just really appreciating those two particularly in this mini series. And while Nagi stole the spotlight a lot, I already kind of liked him, so he didn’t really move in my personal rankings. I’ve expressed why I just love Ryu, but man, I really appreciated Mitsuki in these past several Vibrato episodes. Not only did he stand up to Trigger’s manager about protecting Trigger’s hearts, he’s surrounded by guys who sure love their secrets. Poor guy lol. Out of the three, Mitsuki definitely is the most open about his past considering he and Iori had the most normal upbringing out of literally everyone in this freaking cast. THAT SAYS A LOT. I actually appreciate how normal Mitsuki and Iori’s pasts are since they ground the group in a sense. Back in the previous episode, Mitsuki was being such a mom and trying to cheer Nagi up after his little “spat” with Ryu. While it showed him scolding Nagi for being too harsh with Ryu, it showed he was still aware of how much Nagi loved Haruki’s songs and broke down into tears when Trigger started singing NATSU☆Shiyouze. Not only was he happy for Nagi, but Trigger as well. He then started crying AGAIN when Idolish7 gets their chance to sing their song. He just has such a big heart for so many people… He’s just so good! There are times where I can’t even decide whether him or Iori is my absolute favorite. So I’ve just accepted that I like both just as much because I honestly can’t choose lol.
Vibrato also highlights the very underrated friendships and I wish that the main series explored them more. Such as Iori/Tamaki, Yamato/Sogo or even Riku/Mitsuki. It just makes me wish that we could get a little more diversity in songs and let them change up the duets a bit more. Especially since I feel like it shouldn’t JUST be revolved around these little sub units. The characters all have different and interesting dynamics with other members and it’s a shame that they don’t get that many chances to explore them. Which is why I’m so thankful for this series because we definitely got to delve into interactions we normally don’t see.
Also, the amount of detail that went into this series is ridiculous. After watching Vibrato, I went back to watch the first season and I did notice they snuck in a bunch of details that alluded to both Vibrato and future situations. Like those two cops in episodes 3 and 4 actually attended the Black or White concert. That was such a great tie in. Not to mention how they even tied the first live into that final episode. They definitely took a lot of inspiration from that live from the performance down to the stage setting.
I absolutely LOVED this ONA series. Each episode just had so much charm, that it made me like the series even more. I’m glad they gave us something Idolish7 in between the waiting time for the second season. Lots of things to look forward to and I hope that they do drop a series like Vibrato again because it’s just nice to see the characters aside from the main plot. It makes me yearn for shorts pertaining to them as kids because that would definitely be some cuteness overload. A solid 9/10 for such an adorable series and seeing the characters we all know and love do dumb and awesome things. Thus after years of waiting, we can finally look forward to the much awaited second season. I won’t be covering it, but I as sure as heck will be watching it, no doubt about that.