Episode 5

Rio-sama, I care you so much!! ;__; You bring a lot of value to TINGS and you are such an important part of the group. The last two episodes focused heavily on Kyouka and her trying to convince herself that she is much better in the background and nothing special despite really wanting to be recognized and have her time in the spotlight. This time we focus on Rio, who seems way more confident than she really is – she’s really good at putting up an act, but deep down she doesn’t believe she adds anything to the group. 

I really enjoy how realistic these feelings are, rather than trying to blow them all out of proportion. Sure, some moments, things may seem pretty exaggerated, but when it’s what’s been weighing down on your mind, the smallest things can become huge! In previous episodes, we had a moment where TINGS was handing out tickets

and Rio stormed off claiming that she was bored and that she would leave it to Kyouka and Haru. Typically, a move like that would make her seem like not a team player, but I really like how this series shows that she’s working really hard in her own way. She knows she can’t be perfect with her movements like Kyouka and doesn’t have the same flexibility in situations like Haru. Instead, she’s very much a “wear your heart on your sleeve” type girl. Yes, she puts on an over dramatic act all the time, but she’s still a very honest person. (It’s kind of funny to say that, when currently she’s the only one of the three that glows haha). 

This honesty shows up a whole lot more when she’s separated from the other girls. This episode, TINGS gets multiple opportunities to interact with the public. Two of them are able to become a manager for the day at a local bakery, while the other goes to a farm to do vegetable picking and a food review. Kyouka is automatically assigned the manager-for-day job based on her performance in the previous episode gaining her a fan with the true manager (also, shout out to Kyouka for no longer glowing! She’s not lying! That’s growth!!). This leaves Haru and Rio to fight among themselves for the final spots. Naturally, the palace of pudding seems like the perfect place for Rio, but she opts to take the other job instead. I presume this is to not ruin the situation for Kyouka. She thinks highly of her group mates and likely figures them better for the job. So, she gets to work with Nanami, a pretty popular idol from another unit. 

But this shoot is still pretty rough. Momiji even decides to tag along to see how everything goes. And honestly it’s really nice to see how rival groups truly do care about each other. They may seem mean at times, but they do care about the other members hehe. Nanami appears to be an expert in doing shows like this, she controls the camera nicely and Rio follows suit. Overall, I think Rio did a good job, but all the lizards, bugs, and frogs seem to take a liking to her. In those instances she’s not able to maintain her act and just has genuine emotions. And honestly? I would freak out as well. I just feel a little bad for her since every shot had something to scare her. 

I also appreciated that they had a chance to show her off screen aside from all of the commotion. Even though she’s acting silly it’s a lot of work trying to be the version of herself she feels she needs to be. She’s truly trying her best and that’s hard to do! Ah… but there’s a massive hiccup when it comes to tasting the food. Nanami, who is not a fan of eggplants, eats the food and just lies her way through it. Rio on the other hand, who does not like peppers declares them as very bitter and struggles to eat it. This leads to a rather sour ending of the shoot, but nevertheless she did try her best. 

But when it comes time to see how effective these events were, Rio is only met with disappointment. Haru and Kyouka are steadily gaining fans from their events, but Rio hands out a small amount of tickets. Once again we see her storm off, but she’s still not just giving up! That’s what I love about her! I feel like other characters would just give up and go to the arcade and wallow in self-pity! But Rio, while feeling very bad about herself, is really trying as hard as she can. She hypes up the other girls while telling people that they don’t need to come to see her. And it makes me so sad!! If I could go through the screen I would come and get a ticket from her. I’m really curious to see how this all resolves itself in the following episode. Rio, I promise you are a proper idol too!!

Episode 6

Woo!!! Rio gets to be the center!!! I’m so proud of her, but I really wasn’t expecting to cry so much in an idol anime… especially one where there aren’t any tragedies happening. But I think that’s the charm of series like these! WE get those moments that hit so close to home and slowly we start to root for them and feel nothing but joy when things come together for a happy ending.

While watching Episode 5, I felt that Rio and Kyouka’s stories were going to be similar with minor adjustments, so I really appreciate how unique the two felt from each other! They both want to be someone, but the challenges and struggles they come across are very different. Rio became an idol because she wants to help people. She wants to be someone reliable and ultimately that is what creates “Rio-sama”. So long as she is exuding confidence, the people around her don’t necessarily need to worry about her, because at the end of the day this is nothing that Rio-sama can’t handle. Of course, deep down she’s been very, very aware that she sucks. And to be perfectly honest with everyone, that just hits home. That’s a feeling that I know I’m familiar with – looking at those around me and seeing everything that they are good at, and yet I can’t find that same value in myself, because I’m constantly comparing myself to others or really hyper focusing on those things that I truly do suck at. And then you top it off with her not being willing to bother others to ask for help…. aaaaahhhh I feel like this whole episode was targeting me!

But that being said, I loved the resolution of this episode. I love that it wasn’t a major overhaul on Rio. They didn’t make her go through some major training camp so that she would get good at dancing, but instead they focused on what she has a true talent in: singing. Yellow Rose was truly such a wonderful song that drew the audience in. It’s already episode 6, but I was absolutely taken aback by her singing. Yuuko Natsuyoshi absolutely blew me away! I had to take a moment after she started just to appreciate her. 

I feel like I don’t have as much to say about this episode as the previous, but I absolutely adored this episode. As much as I tried, I could not keep from crying. I loved her reaction at the end when she finished singing, you could just see the happiness on her face and Haru and Kyouka were right there to support her. I really can’t put into words just how good this episode was! Shine Post has continually been a fantastic series and I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens in the future!! 


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