And so TINGS becomes a group of 5 in an honest effort to get Haru to give it her all. She’s truly a powerhouse, but the rest of the group is ready and willing to keep up with her. Hopefully, this is truly the start of her idol career and she can finally shine on the stage without any worry or limitations!
Overall, this was a nice episode, though I don’t know if I have a whole lot to say about it. We get more of Haru’s backstory, finding out that she was a member of HY:RAIN and joined along with her (at the time) best friend, Ren. The group was pushed very hard and yet Haru was still able to pick up everything pretty quickly, whereas the other girls still struggled a bit. She’s the classic, “Oh! This is the first time I’m trying this. Thank you for 1st place” type person, which starts to weigh down on the morale of the other girls. And to be clear, she’s not mean or rubs it in everyone’s faces that she’s better! She’s just doing her own thing and keeps coming out on top. I feel bad for those around her, but it wasn’t as if she was being intentionally malicious.
With all this said… I do believe that everyone should have had more open communication. I don’t really know the thoughts of the other girls in HY:RAIN, since they really didn’t talk a whole lot and generally just tended to stare at Haru. But at least between Ren and Haru that would have been a good place to start. Either side could have initiated too! Ren could have asked Haru for tips and tricks, or they could have tried to have a heart to heart since they were pretty close friends. On the flipside, Haru could have talked to Ren (and even included the others) about why she would have wanted to leave the group. It could have easily turned into a situation where everyone was helping everyone be the best they could be… the only reason I see that not working, is if the agency only bothered to develop Haru and leave the others in the dust. But she was not a solo idol, so I doubt that would have happened.
Still, if she didn’t leave that group we would have never gotten TINGS. I’m conflicted about the open communication portion for them primarily because we got really good development for Kyouka and Rio specifically. I mean, a lot of the stuff that is currently happening for the group now would have been easily solved if Haru just came clean and talked with them. But at the same time, knowing what Rio and Kyouka were going through, I think they would have given up too soon. I get where the “I’ll never reach her level, so why bother trying” mindset comes from, but Haru had an opportunity to breakthrough after Rio’s center song! Then recruiting back Momiji and Yukine might have gone a little smoother (but funnily enough, her not sharing this information also made them come back.)
But I’m pretty pleased with how this episode turned out. There wasn’t any worry about the group disbanding, just a lot of moping followed by the other girls not getting down on themselves. It was honestly pretty sweet to see them after the concert all commenting on just how good Haru is, but rather than getting defeated by it, they all declare that they are going to get better. TINGS is well on their way to becoming a star idol group and I can’t wait to see what else they have in store!! Hopefully there will be some competition between them and HY:RAIN! Or at the very least a Haru and Ren reconcile what happened in the past!