This episode felt both like a cool down and a build up episode. We finally get to relax a bit from the Yamato arc but also not quite because they’ve established a few plotlines that are sure to be addressed in the coming episodes. And all of them are quite intriguing.
Looks like ZOOL has assembled and are ready to take the world by storm. While we never got to see how or when they met, Ryo has been doing some sketchy things behind the scenes so he most likely was the one to get these guys together. Considering he was already acquainted with Torao and probably had Minami in the loop to bring down Hoshikage. It is a little sad to see Toma among them, especially since he isn’t particularly a bad guy. However, due to his pettiness towards his defeat by Trigger, he found himself in the wrong crowd.
We get to see more of Torao this episode and my gosh he really does fit the nickname “garbage man” well. As soon as he approached Tsumugi and started flirting with her I was like: OH HECK NO. BACK THE HECK OFF SIR. Thankfully Toma being the better one of the group pulled him back and allowed Tsumugi to go in peace. But my opinion of the guy only gets worse when he confronts Sogo and starts talking smack about him and how his dad must be so disappointed in him. Again I was like: BACK THE HECK OFF SIR. We’ve seen Torao try and push buttons with Ryu before, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s just trying to rile everyone he talks to up with all the information he’s gathered on them. And man, is it INFURIATING. You could tell Sogo was uncomfortable talking with him as he did his very best to conceal his emotions behind that conditioned polite smile that he was most likely forced to wear while conversing with people of high status growing up. And man, Sogo looked like he was about ready to throw hands when Torao told him “try being a dutiful son every once in a while.” Thankfully Tamaki was able to deescalate the situation before Sogo could reach his boiling point, but not without Torao trying to take jabs at him as well. However, Sogo gives one of the SICKEST burns I have ever heard him say, successfully wiping Torao’s initial grin off his face. All with a smile no less. Gotta give him a hand for that. Already, Torao is a frustrating character to watch as he’s constantly making jabs at others to elicit a reaction from them. And yes, I really wanted to punch that stupid grin off his face.
Going from one terrible ZOOL member to another, my gosh Haruka is such an edgy kid lol. While I don’t like him, he’s probably one of the lesser evils in that group and I do find him amusing when he was interacting with Iori and Tamaki. If he weren’t so against Idolish7, he may have ended up friends with these guys. Their dynamic would surely be chaotic and I would love to see that. Though that may be just a far off dream at this point considering how much of a jerk Haruka is and his obsession with bringing specifically Tenn down. “Brat” perfectly sums him up pretty well.
“I’m not very sociable, so I can’t help” Well at least he’s honest lol. I honestly love Iori’s interactions with Tamaki. They bounce off each other rather well and it was hilarious how they basically just went in a giant circle of pointing to each other if Haruka doesn’t understand anything. It was fairly adorable, especially that it seems the two aren’t afraid to ask each other for help if they don’t know how to handle certain things. They almost seem to balance each other out
or just cause chaos and it’s fantastic. We don’t normally get to see them interact that much, but when they do, it’s always so amusing. Can’t forget them both slamming the door on Rootbank and went searching for a nonexistent cat in the dorms. They seem to get along fairly well despite being very different. Iori could have easily just gone home by himself, instead he hung around with Tamaki as he played the crane games again.
SPEAKING OF IORI I find him to be such an interesting character He comes across as this incredibly sassy know it all punk, but he cares so deeply for his group and sees the potential in everyone around him all the while wanting to help others see what he sees in them. He’s always prided himself in making Riku a superstar someday where everyone can see him shine. However, something seems to be changing in him lately. Now that everyone seems to be favoring Riku, Iori almost seems conflicted over it despite this being what he’s been pushing for since the start. He’s always been someone who supports others from the shadows, never really wanting to take the spotlight himself. However, I think after his time as center last season, he may be starting to want to put himself out there more.
As of right now, he isn’t doing anything to garner any real attention. And because of that, he feels as if the others (or more specifically Riku) is leaving him behind. Iori has always been kind of the average within the group. His popularity was always in the middle, he uses a softer voice when singing to not garner more attention than the others and doesn’t do anything to stand out. But ever since he was forced to be center for a little bit last season, I feel as if he was given a taste of what being in the spotlight felt like so he might not be content with being on the sidelines anymore. It goes along with what Ryu was experiencing back in episode 3. Both lack drive in being idols, allowing the others in their unit shine more brightly. However, if he continues like this, he won’t be able to keep up with the others for much longer.
Unlike the rest of the cast with tragic backstories, Iori has a lot of interesting personal issues that stems from just having a normal upbringing. Just because you don’t have a sad backstory, doesn’t mean you lack interesting introspective. Like I said with Mitsuki, the lack of drama in their past makes Iori really interesting since it’s not really his past that is his driving force. After watching Iori for the past two seasons, I couldn’t help but notice he doesn’t particularly have a personal passion. He’s more content in helping with others’ dreams rather than himself. I actually find myself really relating to Iori in that way as I too lack in passion with what I want to do with myself and am more content with helping others. However, when surrounded by passionate people who are becoming successful, it’s difficult to remain on the sidelines and not hope for that passion and drive as well. So seeing Iori start to develop a possible passion in becoming an idol will be interesting to watch and where it takes him. Especially since it’s obvious that he isn’t content in staying how he is currently.
…Or I could be looking into all of this completely wrong lol. This was around the point where I stopped reading game translations so actually I don’t know all the details. Guess I’ll find out with all of the anime-only’s~
Now, this may be a personal thing but it’s something that has always bothered me a little bit. I know that this is common in boy bands and K-pop groups where there is always a popular favorite amongst the group members who gets more attention than the others. But in a story telling standpoint, it feels like Riku being pushed as the favorite to an almost alarming degree feels too forced at times. I understand his charm and he’s cute, but sometimes it can be a little too much. For me at least. This could be a callback to what Kujou said to him back in episode 2 where he said that Riku was like Zero most likely in the way in how he draws people to himself. However Kujou mentions that if he were to produce Riku, he would just end up in sadness. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it could hint that Riku could be heading towards the same path as Zero with such a booming popularity only to end up disappearing. To which hopefully that won’t happen, but it is starting to get a little foreboding. Especially with how their song became all distorted at the end of the scene.
And while Re:vale were the ones to ultimately patch things up between Yamato and Idolish7, things seemed to have grown tense between the two due to the Ryo situation. I actually thought Yuki went to go see Ryo with Momo’s knowledge and blessing… BUT I GUESS NOT. Yuki is desperate to get Momo away from Ryo and tried to personally step in, even threatening to disband Re:vale if Momo didn’t let him go see Ryo. Despite how close the two seem, they still aren’t able to properly communicate with each other on personal matters. Not to mention they don’t even know each other’s real names yet. As shown in last season, they still have a hard time discussing very personal topics with each other and aren’t quite a unified duo outside their idol work. Both handled the situation quite poorly as Momo lied about Ryo’s personality while Yuki threatened to dissolve their group and I’m glad that Okazaki was able to tell them as such. He knows them so well… maybe even more than they know each other.
It’s honestly sad to see them at each others necks like this right after such a great resolution to Yamato’s drama. However, this could also be a good opportunity for growth for the two of them. They can’t seem to see eye to eye on certain things even when they talk things over and are incredibly stubborn in where they stand. I feel like they need to learn to meet at a middle ground instead of trying to force the other to see things their way.
At least Yuki seems to realize he took things too far and was hilariously practicing to a fire extinguisher before getting incredibly embarrassed over Okazaki catching him in the act. I appreciate seeing Yuki trying harder to try and be a little more sensitive. But I did snort at Yuki saying he cares about Momo “both cosmically and eternally speaking.” Though he still seems to be slow to catch on to how others actually feel about certain things unless they appear in front of him like what happened with Yamato and then now with Momo over what his favorite song is. Which he accidentally slipped up and almost said the song that Banri and Yuki sang instead of his favorite current Re:vale’s song. He even resorted to texting literally everyone to try and get them to stop Momo from seeing Ryo.
I honestly wanted to slap Yamato when he questioned how anyone could fight with Momo. Only for him to backpedal and repent lol. GOOD.
Looks like we’ll be getting Banri and Yuki’s backstory next episode. Not gonna lie, I actually stopped reading translations at this part because their backstory just wasn’t interesting for me to read… but hopefully watching it will be more interesting. I’m sure a lot of people are curious about Banri’s past, especially now that we’ve found out he was part of the original Re:vale.
The situation with Ryo is a tricky one. On one hand, I can understand Momo’s want to try and prevent fallout with him after what happened. But then on the other, once Ryo puts his mind to something, nothing can deter him from it. The way Momo interacts with him literally has him treating him like a child. All the while Ryo’s reactions are very akin to that of a child as he is either genuine in his reactions or just playing along. I feel like you could describe Ryo as a man child from how he acts. It feels like I’m just coming up with new ways to refer to this guy every episode… Anyways, things are looking pretty bad as Ryo is set on “grinding Yuki down to dust” since Momo broke his promise. Not only that, but it seems as if Momo may also be sharing the same story as Banri to Ryo. Which means giving the guy more ammo and that’s definitely not a good thing.
And here I thought we’d be able to rest after the huge Yamato drama. But there is no rest for the weary as we continue trucking along with more drama to unpack. It seems the next destination is ZOOL, Iori’s possible development and Sogo’s family situation as all were brought up in this episode. Though we’ll be taking a detour for the first Re:vale’s backstory. Flashbacks are kind of a double edged sword. Sure they provide more information about certain characters, but they can also slow down the momentum of the story. And if you’ve read my Ensemble Stars posts, the placements of those flashbacks drove me absolutely insane with them being inserted during the rising action. While Re:vale’s flashback is being placed in a lull between two arcs, my problem while reading the translation was that I wanted to see what was going to happen with ZOOL and they were stopping the progression of the story. However, looking at it now, it could possibly be used as a way for Momo and Yuki to develop as a duo maybe. But we’ll have to wait and see whether or not I am able to deal with a flashback at this point in time.