IDOLiSH7: Third BEAT! Episode 1 [First Impressions]

Shadow’s Impressions:

Because of Eva’s hiatus, I’ll be taking the reigns for this season’s coverage for better or for worse lol. I was actually pretty surprised this season started a lot sooner compared to the couple year gap between the first and second season. But I’m not complaining because I have been dying to get back into this story… even if it’s going to be stressful because OH BOY, is this season going to be stressful. First few moments into the episode, ALREADY STRESS.

Already, this season’s first episode has a completely different tone compared to the first two seasons. Now, I know they hit us with some rather shocking developments in the first episode of last season with Riku being replaced by Iori as center, but that situation felt a little more hopeful than just downright depressing like we see here. Right off the bat, we’re told that Trigger ended up having a major downfall from grace. Which is probably extremely shocking and just begs the question of how in the world did this even happen? Trigger was the hot, up in coming group that was aiming to challenge Re:vale for their champion crown. What happened to them? Trigger performing in the rain in a public area felt very reminiscent of what Idolish7 had to do in the first season to garner more attention. Not to mention that the Idolish7 MV playing in the back while they perform basically shows how the two groups have had their roles reversed in this situation. The opening scene did fantastic in just setting the tone for the entire season. Prepare your hearts.

The opening scene literally felt like a copy and paste from the actual game’s cutscene and I had to double check to see if they actually just reanimated the cutscene or actually just took the game footage. And playing them side by side, I can confirm that it was actually re-animated and drawn. But they do use the exact same angles which is what made me do a double take.

Seeing all of the idol groups we’ve come to know and love over the past couple seasons just flourish feels extremely satisfying. But we all know, something is about to be thrown into the mix to shake things up. I do like how they basically connect the second season with this first episode by showing that same “unfamiliar” face we saw at the end of the last episode. Guy is already talking some mad shade about our boys, particularly Tenn and I’m just going to establish this now, his face is already looking mighty punchable.

Idolish7 is doing rather well for themselves and I couldn’t feel prouder, especially with the crap they had to deal with the last two seasons. So much that they finally hired enough staff and is able to give Mezzo their own manager to alleviate a little bit of the load off of Tsumugi’s shoulders so she can focus more on the main group. And of course, it’s none other than our boy, Banri. But the way they revealed it was rather hilarious with the whole slowmo to him just pointing himself as Mezzo’s new manager. Especially when both Sogo and Tamaki were lamenting over the thought of having their already shaky dynamic thrown off by the new manager. Thankfully for them, they are is good hands. Welcome to the manager group, Banri. I’m sure you will be welcomed warmly into our already lovely group of managers.

It’s quite adorable how close the trifecta of idol groups are to each other, with Ryu, Mitsuki and Momo having built an idol sports team together, much to both Yaotome Sr and Anesagi’s exasperation. (Also Anesagi’s imitation of Yaotome Sr is always A+) Though also VERY foreboding as to how Trigger is aiming to pull ahead of Idolish7 and overtake Re:Vale but we already know that something is going to make them fall.

I also like that they touch on a female artist and the fact that we actually get to see how she looks in the anime since she didn’t get a portrait in the game. But considering she’s been pointed out, it’s not a stretch to say that she may have a major role this season in one form or another. While I love the guys, it’s nice to see some other female characters be introduced.

Also Idolish7 being their normal chaotic selves is such a large contrast to how formal this party is lol. These freaking children, I love them.

This episode was basically a very big set up episode. Not only did we get familiar with the two big corporations that are Hoshikage and Tsukumo, but they basically foreshadowed every plot point that will be addressed in this season. Which I found to be pretty impressive if not super upfront lol.

I’m gonna be honest, I am quite SHOCKED that they have pudding at this fancy party. I was so sure they wouldn’t have any. But here they are and of course Tamaki is planning to horde all of them. I also didn’t expect the Tenn and Tamaki dynamic, but not gonna lie, it’s rather amusing to watch. Especially with how exasperated Tenn is when dealing with Tamaki’s rather childish behavior with Tamaki trying to adopt Riku as his younger brother despite Riku being a year older than him. However, unlike most of the other characters, Tenn actually speaks with Tamaki as if they were on the same level. He doesn’t talk to him like he’s a kid and is actually pretty honest with him. Tenn withholds A LOT of information even from his own group. So to see Tenn open up about his and Aya’s situation with Tamaki was rather interesting. Part of it could be that he believes he owes Tamaki something for being within the same custody as Aya and he may see their situations similar as both siblings aren’t really allowed to be with one another for different reasons. I also appreciate that Tamaki actually took the time to listen and try and understand Tenn’s perspective without lashing out like how he did when he originally found out about Aya and Tenn being adopted siblings. Which shows a bit of maturity on his part and I’m very proud of him. Either way, it was a dynamic I didn’t expect but will gladly welcome.

We get a brief appearance of a prominent character whom I shall not name until we get to formally meet him. But I will say, I already want to punch him.

As much as I love Ryu, I don’t think he had any business telling Sogo to try and reconcile with his family. His heart was in the right place for sure and it was very sweet of him to offer to mediate, but I couldn’t help but feel like he was being extremely naive in this moment. When he said that a parent could never hate their child the thought that immediately came to mind was: I just finished watching Fruits Basket… The literal epitome of terrible parents doing terrible things to their kids. Even Sogo commented on how different their families were by saying that Ryu must have come from a very warm family, deeply implying that Sogo’s was anything but. We haven’t seen how Sogo’s family is first hand, but just seeing how Sogo is, you can tell that he was brought up in a very strict household that didn’t let him complain or say what was on his mind, made him feel bad for LIKING things and also made him feel like he couldn’t ask for help. Which is why I could hardly blame Sogo for the issues that he caused back in season 2. He’s literally just learning to open up to the others but habits he’s developed all his life is hard to break and he still needs time to foster good habits. I do believe that Sogo does need to confront his family sooner or later, but I think Ryu came at it the wrong way. He’s coming at it at an angle where he believes that Sogo’s family can be reasoned with, but these are the same people that disowned him for choosing something he wanted to do. It’s a very complicated matter and I really can’t blame Sogo for declining Ryu’s help. Will this matter come up again, you can definitely count on it for how it was brought up like this.

And HOO BOY do I have some words about Momo’s confrontation with one of the newest characters to be introduced, Ryo Tsukumo. Even before them actually interacting, already you could tell that Momo was not particularly fond of the guy. And considering this is Momo we’re talking about, that says A LOT already. Especially when he doesn’t look too happy about having to meet up with him and quickly puts on his “idol smile” once he was approached. Ryo is already quite intimidating both from how he looks and the rather graphic humor he has by teasingly saying he should rip out Momo’s canines. Troyca really be flexing their 2D animation budget with how animated this guy is in his expressions and movements. And right off the bat, we’re given a big reason as to why Momo doesn’t like the Tsukumos as by going off of Ryo’s words, his family basically drove Momo’s friends and colleagues out of the entertainment business. To which, I can understand why Momo wouldn’t like them.

However, the biggest thing that came out of their interaction was Ryo’s rather bold claim that our trifecta of idol groups are going to be transferred under Tsukumo’s productions. And dear goodness, when he whispered into Momo’s ear, his voice only came out of one earphone and I’m like: EW GET OUT OF MY EAR. shudders Not to mention he’s saying that Hoshikage is going to fall to a scandal soon and I’m sitting here like: And how would you know that, SIR??? Highly suspect. Highly suspect indeed. And while Momo is uncomfortable with the younger Tsukumo brother, he at least is trying to be somewhat of a good influence on him and is trying to sway him into engaging with a less “shady” line of work. Though from the looks of things, Ryo more or less just waves the suggestions off and has a bit of plans to share with Momo later. Already, you can tell this guy is a bit of a creep. I mean, he freaking LICKED his own hand just to describe something… I hope you go and wash your hands after that. This is how people get infected! The guy is obviously very shady, even Yuki says as much. But I can’t help but chuckle over the fact that he has the same VA as Shu from Ensemble Stars. Not to mention that both are very expressive in their body movements.

We are formally introduced to yet another new character, Minami who apparently is also going to be working in the movie Yuki and Yamato are starring in. And I’m going to say this now again, I already want to punch him in the face. Maybe it’s also because his birthday was somewhat recent and just watching him on his Rabbitube episode, but he just comes across as incredibly fake. Just the way he talks and always seems to say the right things just rubs me the wrong way about him. He apparently was a child actor at one point and is now getting back into the acting business while having just come back from studying music abroad. And man was it foreboding for him to say he studied abroad in Northmare while the camera just honed in on Nagi. And while we couldn’t exactly see where Minami was looking, he could have very much been looking at Nagi when he said that as he was within his line of sight. And when Yuki glanced to the side, Minami could have been side-eyeing Nagi in that instance as well. However, it’s very obvious that the two have SOME sort of connection.

In any case, there is A LOT of shady business happening behind the scenes. We learn how both Hoshikage and Tsukumo are basically opposites of each other in how they treat their employees, but still rather controlling of their talent. Not only is both Yuki and Momo caught up in some weird shady businesses respectively, but there seems to be a lot of key players that are also involved such as Minami and Yamato. We always knew that Yamato was linked to something rather shady in the entertainment business, but we have yet to fully dive into it. We’ve been getting some hints here and there and last season they finally revealed that Yamato was the son of someone very influential in the entertainment business, more specifically in Chiba Salon. However, everyone other than Yuki really knows of Yamato’s situation as Yamato has been keeping a very tight lid on it. Unfortunately for him, Mitsuki and Nagi overhear about his connection to Chiba Salon (after a very comedic sprint across the hall to eavesdrop that had me rolling). So at this point, we are about to delve pretty deeply into Yamato’s situation now that a couple of his group members have found out a piece of his hidden backstory. Because we all know that his group really hates it when someone keeps secrets and will often implore them to open up so they can help. They aren’t going to let him get away with this, especially with how much this seems to burden Yamato.

Also I’d like to note how very telling Hoshikage’s name is with Hoshi = Star and Kage = Shadow. Almost like they make it seem nice on the outside, but there is a dark side to it.

The “unfamiliar” face from the beginning of the episode pops up yet again to confront Tenn and seems to know some rather personal info on him with how Kujo adopted him. Something literally no one before the second season should know about. Even knowing his connection to Riku by calling him “Nanase.” And man, this freaking bra- ahem kid (it’s too early for that), is sure making a lot of bold claims. Though we KNOW that part of what he says will actually happen because, we were told what happened to Trigger at the start of the episode. Though, already my protective instincts are kicking in and I want to punch this kid in the face. Who are YOU to tell Tenn his life is meaningless??? And already, from this brief encounter, you can tell that this kid… well, is very childish. He comes in, spouting all of these things and carries himself as if he knows better. Not to mention, he’s poking and prodding at sensitive topics for Tenn as if trying to strike a nerve. Just like a child would. He kind of reminds me of Hiro from Fruits Basket in a way.

As I said earlier, this was all just one big set-up, but we just have to wait to see how everything plays out. There was a lot to unpack here, even when it was just mostly set up. But I absolutely love just from these brief interactions, you can still get A LOT of subtext with how each character responds. Some are more subtle than others, but they touched upon everything that will definitely be brought up later. I’ve read the first half of the 3rd Part of the game maybe a couple years ago so a lot of the details are going to be a bit fuzzy for me. But that is probably for the best since watching the anime will be a completely new experience with the voice acting quality and being able to actually see the expressions and movement. I’m sure my heart is just going to get ripped out at certain points upon seeing them animated. In regards to the new characters being introduced, I’m sure even if people haven’t played the game, you’ve most likely at least seen their faces floating around social media or whatnot. But I do have nicknames for all of them that I will probably express deeper into the story… or when they appear again. To which, I’m sure by then you will know how I feel about them if not so already lol. In any case, this was a very foreboding episode and I can’t wait to see what each episode brings to the table while also bracing myself for pain and possible outbursts of anger out of protectiveness XD.

Also I’ll most likely be posting these reviews on Mondays and Digimon on Sundays just for a heads up.

Possibility of watching: OF FREAKING COURSE

Possibility of blogging: HECK YES

Shadow

A passionate yet somewhat awkward individual who just wants to talk about anime

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