I feel a little embarrassed that I thought that the ‘TiNgS’ name from the subtitles was just one form of typing the group name… I never expected it to actually be the combination of all 5 girls. I was truly bamboozled. I knew Yukine and Momiji were always going to be added to TINGS, but I assumed it would be as new additions rather than returnees.
With all this said, it really does provide context for how well all the girls get along with each other. Yukine and Momiji, as stubborn as they are, are always working to help the other three and seem to genuinely care about them even if they have some tsundere or sarcastic moments. This, of course, could all be true even if they were all just rivals, but I really like the route that they’ve chosen. When we frame Yukine and Momiji as rivals who exist to improve TINGS, this narrative actually fits in really nicely! The two of them acting as a separate unit, Yukimoji, hopefully can show the current TiNgS that they need to step up their game. Which of course appears to not have worked with the big plot twist at the end of this episode.
Haru technically got her moment earlier on in the series when she was able to just have fun on stage and still steal the spotlight, but it turns out that Haru has really just been messing around this whole time. She’s having fun and supporting the group, but both the manager and Yukine call her out on this behavior at the end. And it’s a really interesting concept to explore! She wants to be a “shine post” and bring joy to people who watch idols and yet she deliberately does not try her best. Personally, I don’t want it to be because she doesn’t want to overshadow any of the other members, but that seems like the most plausible explanation (but really, who knows? This anime has been throwing me for a loop since the beginning!). I think I would much prefer her reasoning to be more personal, like she doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, albeit different from Kyouka’s story, or perhaps she never expected this to be a long term endeavor. Based on her personality, I don’t think that either of these are true, but I’m still going to hope!!
I do want to circle back to Yukine and Momiji for a moment though, because I really enjoy how well the series has portrayed their care for TiNgS. During both Kyouka and Rio’s episodes both of them provided support from the sidelines. They weren’t at the forefront helping the girls push through all the way, but they were there to make sure things went well. During this episode, we get to see Yukine take on more of the mom friend despite being separated from the group; she wipes Rio’s face and ties Kyouka’s shoes. She’s earned a lot of respect from the full group, but at the end of the day Haru’s behavior seems to be what’s keeping her away. And then of course we have Momiji, who really seems to just be tagging along with Yukine, but more in a “I want to support her” type way rather than feeling that it is a requirement. While a little space brained, she does care deeply for others and doesn’t want them to feel or be left alone. Ah! I really hope they can all be one unit again! Imagine the powerhouse they could be!! Let’s go TINGS!! You can do it! Be friends!!
Wow! They really know how to leave us with a cliffhanger! But boy do I really feel bad for Yukine after this episode. All this time she’s been trying to give them the cold shoulder, but not able to accomplish the goal that her and Momiji set out to do.
I won’t lie… it’s a hard situation for everyone right now. With the information that was dropped at the end of this episode, I can speculate on Haru’s reasons for why she acts the way that she does. And at the very least, I think something must have happened in her old group and her remarkable abilities that now causes her to be afraid to truly jump to her true level. I get that it could hurt the other members, but I wish that she would have been honest with the group from the beginning. Just hearing that your fellow group mate isn’t taking things seriously or giving their all really feels like a punch to the gut. All of them have been pushing their hardest to improve, but the person who arguably is the best one there isn’t changing at all? That’d hurt! Especially from Yukine’s perspective as the group’s leader. On the one hand she really is trying to push everyone in the group to do better and improve, but on the other hand she wasn’t able to pick up on what Haru was doing. She had to hear it from another group member! This, of course, is not the fault of Momiji for bringing it up. In fact, I really don’t think the group would have been able to grow without her doing so.
I really liked Kyouka and Rio at the end of this episode though as they are slowly realizing what is going on. They basically tell Yukimoji that they were ineffective rivals, but in the nicest ways. “You weren’t our rival” because they were constantly looking out for the trio and making sure that you were helping and supporting them every step of the way. I can’t quite remember, but did Yukimoji already debut? As a duo they are very strong, but it’s a little hard to be a rival if you are not an “active” group. Still! They did their best, it’s just hard to see what they were going for when you look at the larger picture. Essentially, to the current members of TiNgS, Yukine and Momiji quit and are still giving them all their support. I don’t blame them though, they just want to help their friends.
I’m on the edge of my seat for next week’s episode! It looks like we’ll be getting some Haru backstory and likely her involvement with HY:RAIN. I saw some speculation that the H in the group name looks like it’s been crossed out because it used to be for her and that’s super interesting! I’d love to know more about the group she was a part of and how she actually ended up as a member of TINGS!
Each episode of Shine Post keeps delivering and gives me more to look out for. We’re still just getting started and I can’t wait to see what comes next!