Eva’s First Impression
WE’RE BACK FOR PART 2, AND TRIGGER FANS, ARE YOU READY FOR PAIN? BECAUSE THIS EPISODE WAS FULL OF IT!!!!!! We need to form a protective circle around these guys!
Trigger is a strong group, but ever since the attack of the scandal with Hanamaki, I knew, it was only going to get worse, and it’s going to continue that way before it gets better. So it got me thinking: What is more painful as a viewer? The transparency of the said trap, or being caught off-guard? I think it’s probably the former considering I was cursing the entire time as I watch each of Ryo’s bombs detonate. What a bloody mess! But this I knew it was just going to escalate when we’re dealing with this unhinged madman called Ryo. I like to describe this guy as the Devil Incarnated, because holy shit, he’s a psychopath.
Yaotome getting caught up in the scandal after being “caught” visiting Hanamaki at a hotel in a questionable position. Oh man. The only way I could see them, maybe, not getting caught up in that particular trap if he had one of his two aids (both women) to have knocked on the door in his stead. But Hanamaki was a on a mission to get him caught in that position, so she probably would have weaved her way into his arms anyways. But ugh! It sucks because Yaotome knew it was a trap. After-all, he’s not stupid– but he underestimated what was going to happen. He would have ignored her, but when he was told Hanamaki was contemplating suicide, he changed his tune. Ryo knows that Yaotome isn’t about to ignore someone with suicidal tendencies, even if it could put him at a great disadvantage. But you see, unlike a certain someone, Yaotome is Human, and he upholds the morality of “nothing’s worth risking a person’s life.” I don’t like the guy, but he certainly has my respect in regards to putting life first.
And gosh, my heart hurts so much, SO FREAKING MUCH for Trigger! Hands down, the absolute worst and lowest part of the episode was when Shimooka had the freaking nerve to bring up the scandal during the broadcast. I knew something bad was going to happen with the way he reacted to Trigger in the fall, because man! They trusted you, we trusted you! It’s obvious that Ryo either threatened him or holding his mentees hostage, as Yuki pointed out how Tsukumo’s influence in the industry is making waves. I know he didn’t really want to do it, but in the end– for the sake of his own skin he had to. And if it wasn’t him, it was going to be someone else— but I think it was because it was Shimooka and not some stranger is why this really hurt.
I just want to pull Gaku into a protective hug because god damn it, that was so cruel man. So so so cruel! I actually choked up about it. Tenn and Ryu were stunned beyond words, horrified because they came into this thinking they’d be safe, but even then they weren’t. Thank freaking god Mitsuki has a spot as a MC there because holy shit, he did his absolute best to naturally change the topic and lighten up the air so they could wrap up the recording without any further incident. It was a terribly tough one to counter, but Mitsuki truly did his best and while there are people who feeds up scandalous affairs like this, he has earned further respect for his intervention by both fans of his own and Trigger’s.
And now, they have walked into yet, another painfully obvious trap. The whole thing had me internally screaming, “WHY?! WHY WOULD YOU GO TO SPEAK WITH RYO INDIVIDUALLY? IT WAS SUCH A BAD IDEA, AND RIGHT BEFORE THE TOKYO INTERNATIONAL MUSIC ART FESTIVAL TOO! I KNOW THAT THINGS ARE REALLY BAD RIGHT NOW, BUT IF THAT WASN’T A BLINKING NEON SIGN OF “IT’S A TRAP”, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS?!”
But in all fairness, up until now, Trigger never had to deal with opponents as unhanded as Ryo, who is willing to go as far as resorting to criminal methods to see his means to an end. And that is of course, is abducting each of them to ensure that they miss their performance at the Tokyo International Music Arts Festival in attempt to kill their group off for good. But it is certainly not a good look for ZOOL members as appear to be fairly to be indifferent about his ways of doing things. However going as far as using criminal means was something that did make at least Toma uneasy. We can see that’s where he would draw the line, but unless he were to say something about it— and it’s unlikely that he will, it doesn’t change the fact that he, as a witness and a beneficiary in all of this, he is involved.
Speaking of ZOOL, uh well, aren’t they making out to be a lovely lot./s
After their fairly uh… unpleasant individual encounters with some of the members. So it comes as no surprise that Yamato, Sogo and Tamaki all have rather negative first impression on Torao and Minami in particular. And Yamato really hit the nail on the head with describing Minami to be slimy like a snake though– which got me laughing pretty hard at that. Riku, Iori and Tamaki currently has a fairly neutral perspective at the moment on Haruka and Toma, as Iori and Tamaki kind of just see him as a classmate and aren’t thinking too hard about Haruka’s bitterness towards them. Toma is probably going to be the most interesting case considering he’s the only one we have seen is capable of being nice as he helped Riku out because he couldn’t ignore his puppy-eyes (though in fairness, that was before he knew Riku is a member of Idolish7). Might be a while before we see that again, but I certainly would like to see those two have some more wholesome interactions like that. Nonetheless, it’s going to be interesting to see how these two interact when they do inevitably meet again.
We did get further confirmation (which was brought up at one point earlier on) that Minami had come back from studying abroad in Northmeir, which Nagi pointed out to be a curious choice. We do know that the snake got eyes on Nagi, and with his connections to his homeland… well that’s just drama waiting to be had.
As for Haruka, I must say I wasn’t expecting to get such a huge insight on how Haruka ended up the way he is this soon. And boy… It’s no wonder why he is spitting trash about fans and stuff, because guess what: It was Kujo who taught him that mentality. Yes you read that right. The reason for that is because Kujo suspected that the fans were part of, if not the reason why Zero disappeared in the first place. So in order not to create a “perfect product” that wouldn’t be affected by the instability of ones’ emotions based on the fans reception. So Haruka was taught not to show gratitude to his fans. Of course when I heard that, I wanted to throw my hands up in the air, because no shit Sherlock! That’s a sure way to set someone up for failure! And guess what? That is exactly what happened– and then, get this, he blames Haruka for being a boring and defective product! My god. The kid was just doing what he was taught sir, sheesh!
Oh, and if you thought that wasn’t bad enough– he had also told Haruka too he would become his son— like dude! Holy shit— you can’t just, advertise that and then dispose these people without batting an eye. Like think about Aya for a second here. She know he has problems, but my god– to think she can be as easily disposed as Haruka. Now that’s a chilling thought, and Tenn no doubt, not just for himself definitely thought the same.
So with that context in mind, this is something I pity Haruka for, because gosh, to have your life toyed like that… that’s just so messed up. And now, he’s with someone who is even worst and is merely using him as a pawn for his game, ready to cast him aside the moment is loses his use. It’s a shame really, because Haruka definitely has a cute side to him, and we see that when he interacts with Iori and Tamaki at school, but given the circumstances right now and how he was mentored, it may be a while before we get to see… the less bratty/problematic side of Haruka so to speak.
That said, I am sincerely appreciated the fact Tenn did not hesitate to criticize Kujo for what he had done to Haruka, because frankly someone needed to set this guy straight (and be taken to therapy asap). What he did was not okay! But let’s be real here, this is a problem that is out of Tenn’s control. Kujo needs professional help. The fact he thought telling Haruka that he was a failure and ended his lessons was perceived as his way of “apologizing” is so twisted, that he fails to see what he himself did wrong. And you know what? Kujo likes to blame it on external sources for Zero’s disappearance, but the truth of the matter is, his control freak tendencies for striving for perfection was likely also what contributed to Zero leaving everything behind.
And perhaps Tenn knows that, but he is determined to see this through. If anything, hearing this only further solidified his resolve to become the ultimate star that Kujo so desperately desires, so that nobody else (such as Aya) would have to go through the unnecessary hardships that Haruka and anyone else for that matter before them had to go through.
Finally, the last bit I really wanted to touch on were two, well actually three other important points that Kujo had brought up during this scene.
The first was that Ryo is not looking to keep ZOOL running for the long term. This doesn’t come as a surprise given his opinion of idols as he is merely using them as pawns to play his game. Kujo said they’ll (or at least Haruka) will only last for maybe a year, three tops. It will be interesting to see how this bodes for ZOOL going forward, as they dig their way further into the idol world, and how they will feel about it should that day come sooner than expected.
The next point of interest was Kujo’s wondering if Yaotome Productions is coming to an end. Now this is a curious take to keep an eye on because this alludes to a lot of things. If Yaotome Production were to cease to exist, or worse: gets bought out by Tsukumo, that puts Ryo in control of Trigger. Another thing that could result of this is the disbandment of Trigger, which means Tenn would be free to focus on solo promotions as I believe Kujo would prefer him to do. He doesn’t really care for Trigger as a group, they are merely a stepping stone to Tenn’s development.
And finally, the possession of Haruki’s (living) will, and their current condition. He was promised to receive a song before he died, and Kujo made a point that he won’t be alive for much longer, suggesting he may be dying. I’m curious to see how everything is going to play out, as Kujo has decided he will be giving that song to Tenn.
Whew, uh… yeah as you can see, I had a lot of feelings to talk about hahaha…. I guess this is only to be expected after being on hiatus during Part 1 haha! This half is going to be one heck of a battle considering the opponent they are up against this time. Ryo has really been going out of his way weeding out the people that will obstruct his goals, another example being Re:Vale’s program PD being relocated. It’s probably going to take a major collaborative effort to fight this giant, and we’re already seeing both Re:Vale and Idolish7 doing what they can to support Trigger as they take these seemingly endless hits.
And that is precisely I think think would be an appropriate time for Nagi call in or use his secret services connections to rescue Trigger after they were individually abducted to three different locations. If part 1 was any indication, when a crisis like this strikes, he is probably the best person, if not the only one who has the means to counter Ryo’s criminal antics. The mission is to get them back on time for the performance, so it’s a race against time. And if they end up missing it, it will certainly put Trigger in a precarious position, but regardless what happens, I believe in them. We just gotta weather this hell-storm called Ryo because he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
But you know what? I’m absolutely here for it! Frankly I expected to see this kind of hostile rivalry at some point or another in this series, namely with the likes of Ryo and his methods because the music industry is certainly not sunshine and rainbows. There are certainly people/agencies of influence willing play dirty to get their products promoted properly, even if it means dragging their opponents in the mud. And as much as everything has been roller-coaster of emotions, I have been enjoying this “political” conflict we’ve been getting this season a lot. But gosh, I just want to strangle that girl Hanamaki. Seriously, she just keeps digging a deeper hole for to bury herself in. She’s doing this all to become Torao’s woman (he “promised” to marry her) as a means to a greater life (questionable at best). But girl, there are so many better fish out there in the sea, but you just had to go after one of the worst ones, who by the way, is playing you like a fiddle. But then again, she’s willing to stoop this low, so I suppose they make quite a pair, but I digress.
As for ZOOL, I am curious to see how those who haven’t read/played the game will respond to them this season. I’ve mentioned earlier that I’ve developed a soft spot for ZOOL, so it really is going to be a complication mix of emotions, especially since they are hostile towards my bias (Trigger). I suppose I have a bit of peace of mind (having followed some aspects of the game like RabbiTube videos) knowing that somewhere down the line, they will undergo their respective development. God knows when that will be though, it certainly won’t be anytime soon!
But one of the things that contributed to me growing unexpectedly fond of ZOOL was when I watched the 2nd LIVE Reunion broadcast (you can watch here on their official youtube channel). As some of you may recall, I said at one point that ZOOL songs didn’t really vibe with me. But after watching the LIVE, I’ve grown to become really fond of a lot, if not all their songs! I really enjoyed how much energy and passion their voice actors their put into their performance. It was so much fun to watch! On that note, ZOOL’s ED Song is sick! Really fits the mood going on here! I totally dig it.
Another reason for the soft spot, and in particular for a certain someone I did not think I’d develop a (begrudgingly) soft spot for… is Torao. Yes, this womanizer who is playing Hanamaki like a fiddle. Gee, what is there to like about this trash? Well apparently he likes me, because for whatever reason, I keep pulling his cards in the game when I’m not even pulling for him!!!!! The first time I got him when I was trying to pull for Sogo and Tenn, and I wanted to throw my phone in exasperation! And then after that, he just kept coming. I’m like BRUH. WHY?!?! STOP! But then the persistent bugger had to show a cute side on the Rabbitube and I’m like, “…..until I see you undergo that character development, you’re still trash to me.” I have also been developing a soft spot for both Toma and (more so) Haruka, especially after what I’ve learned he has gone through. Of course that won’t excuse for whatever shit they pull going forward.
With that said, it is an understatement to say I’m super excited to be covering this show again! I’ll be sharing it with Shadow this time, so I’ll be covering the even numbered episodes (16, 18, 20, etc…) going forward!
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed – Sharing with Shadow!
PS: I did the free ticket pull in the game, and I kid you not– Torao UR came home.
Shadow’s First Impression
Considering the wonky release dates for i7, I mostly put i7 in the back of my mind since I didn’t want to get my hopes up about it coming out soon. I figured it’d be a while until it would come out. Not to mention that all news regarding the anime is just radio silence until it starts nearing the time of release. When I started seeing official i7 stuff start popping back up on my feed I was like: Ah… it’s soon, isn’t it? And low and behold, we’re finally here and boy did they come swinging.
But man, I am a bit bummed that we’re back to CG openings as opposed to POLiCY, to which is still my favorite opening. Like sure it’s pretty and all, but it does look a tad wonky at times, especially in that first group shot of them dancing where it looks like their heads aren’t moving and trained to one spot. Which honestly kind of reminded me of those videos where people photoshop the faces of the characters on vines or whatever lol.
It’s definitely sad how everyone is super hyped about ZOOL, especially knowing just how terrible and underhanded them and their production is. Because wow, they truly went above and beyond showing just how terrible they are in this episode. It’s also interesting to note that everyone in i7 have some sort of connection or run in with one of the ZOOL guys, except Mitsuki. He’s like the neutral party that doesn’t seem to know any of them or have had the chance to work with them. Though I’m sure that will change soon enough. But as it stands, none of them particularly have the best view of any of the ZOOL guys… which is fair since all of them have shown to be jerks in one form or another. I’m eager to see just how i7 handles dealing with these punks.
Like Eva, I don’t particularly like Yaotome Sr, but he is a very interesting character who has shown shreds of humanity underneath his overly abrasive personality. And with the way he reacted when he heard that Sumire was threatening suicide, I can’t help but wonder if that is what actually happened to Tsumugi’s mom. We’ve never had a confirmation to how Tsumugi’s mom died and it also puts into perspective of what he said to Otoharu in the first season that he “drove his own wife to an early grave” and ridiculed him for lecturing him about taking care of people. Not to say that Otoharu was at fault, but it may have been a situation where he wasn’t able to help her in a sense. Until we get a confirmation of what happened, we can only speculate. However, despite knowing that this whole thing was a trap, he still took immediate action to make sure she’s all right and doesn’t try anything drastic. Which is very respectable, especially coming from someone like him. It’s a very interesting contrast to how much he seems to view others as pawns in a sense and yet he also sees the value of life.
While it was smart of him to bring two female employees with him to this meeting, of course they ended up just far enough from him so that they could just cut them out of the photo when Sumire flung herself at him. Just like what they did with Nagi when he was witness to the Ryu and Sumire situation. It’s honestly disgusting how far Ryo is willing to go just to set Trigger and Yaotome Productions up. Not to mention I just CANNOT with Sumire. As I said in my last post on episode 13, I UNDERSTAND she’s going through a lot and is feeling pressured and cornered by her agency. However, that does not justify her dragging others down into the mud just to escape it. And she’s only doing this because freaking Garbage Man gave her an empty promise for marriage. Girl, have a little more self respect than that. Not to mention with how many “scandals” she’s been a part of with people from Yaotome Productions, wouldn’t it be suspicious after a while??? But of course, the public’s opinions are easily swayed by how the articles are written and with how big Tsukumo has become, it’d be difficult to speak up against them.
Which leads me into how disappointed I am that Mr. Shimooka had a hand in helping along the talk about Yaotome papa’s scandal. On one hand, I honestly understand that he must have felt cornered and forced to bring it up in such a backhanded fashion. Especially since he is working under Tsukumo. And before Trigger greeted him at the vending machines, it’s obvious he didn’t want to do this. However, on the other hand, the fact that he went through with what Tsukumo most likely had a hand in making him do essentially made him lose respect from i7 and Trigger. But I think the thing that pissed me off the most was how the casual viewers WANTED them to keep talking about the scandal. Not at all taking into consideration anyone’s feelings on the matter. Like bruh, IT’S NONE OF Y’ALL’S BUSINESS.
Bless Mitsuki for being able to derail the current conversation and making it more lighthearted. And I think in that moment, Mr. Shimooka did realize just how far he’d fallen when Mitsuki diverted the attention and decided to not prod the initial conversation any further. And just as Riku said, he must have been relieved to not continue with what he was forced to bring up. But I’m also sure that he must be feeling so guilty for even being a part of it. It’s extremely sad, especially since he was the one to help give i7 their chance and even was the one to bring Mitsuki out of his slump. He was such a stand out guy who helped i7 so many times through out the first two season. But for all we know, Tsukumo could have threatened to make sure he never worked again if he didn’t comply and he has a family to look after. I’m disappointed, but I also feel really bad for him.
I am also glad that the actual fans were grateful for Mitsuki’s diversion to get the heat off of Trigger. Though because Mitsuki brazenly got into the way of Tsukumo’s plans, that may come back to bite him in the future since a lot of the viewers got pissed at him.
It’s just a really terrible situation all around since if anyone speaks out against or doesn’t comply with what is being said, they will either just be ignored or taken out of the equation. And because Re:vale’s producer didn’t do as Tsukumo wanted, he was sadly let go. This is the first time we’ve seen this guy, but he seems like such a chummy fellow that it’s no wonder that Momo broke down into tears to see him go. It’s such a contrast from how Shimooka handled things whereas Shimooka most likely felt as if he had to protect his family’s livelihood, but Re:vale’s producer took the high road and went out with a smile and good memories of working with them. I’m glad there was at least one person in the industry that wasn’t the main characters who wasn’t afraid to not simply roll over and comply with what Tsukumo was doing. But now that they’ve taken someone they cherished away from them, Re:vale looks like they’re out for BLOOD. Give Ryo hell, you guys!
I have to hand it to Trigger for powering through that terrible gut shot and singing in front of a now cold audience. And hoo boy when the ZOOL boys called each of the Trigger guys, I immediately went: OH WE GONNA FIGHT while raising my fist to the screen. Of course they were going to be lead straight into a trap because no one in Tsukumo can be trusted, much less any of the ZOOL members. And thus we’ve reached the Trigger kidnapping arc. This was one of the big plot points I was aware of but man, I didn’t expect the YAKUZA or any of these shady organizations to be involved. I fear for everyone’s safety at this point.
I definitely have a character type that I naturally gravitate towards. I’ve always felt an affinity towards characters who were “thrown away” or abandoned by someone and have become twisted because of it. And of course, with the way that Haruka was abandoned by being “defective”, of course he ended up falling into that category. What Kujo did was unnecessarily cruel and you can sense that he doesn’t have a respect for someone’s life if it doesn’t benefit his dream. It was also incredibly infuriating to call Haruka boring and only had technical skill despite him doing everything he wanted, all with a smile on his face. Like, how DARE you say that about someone who you gave such empty promises to and then turned your back on them when they didn’t live up to your expectations. Though after this, I’m sure that Tenn had developed a little sympathy for Haruka despite how terrible the brat was to him. I wonder how it’ll affect how Tenn acts towards him from now on. But despite his tragic past, I still felt a strong urge to punch the guy in the face whenever he showed up this episode.
I’m so glad that Tenn called Kujo out for doing such a cruel thing. Though it did feel a tad unsettling when he also took it upon himself to be the one to live up to Kujo’s expectations. But it also brings attention that what happened to Haruka can also happen to Aya if she can’t live up to Kujo’s standards. We don’t know her skills as an idol. However, unlike Haruka, I’m sure that Tenn and Tamaki would make sure she would have been taken cared of if Kujo decided to cut her off. But sheesh… my view of Kujo definitely dropped after seeing that confrontation. Initially I did feel bad for the guy because it’s obvious that he NEEDS help and he’s just so hellbent in producing a better idol than Zero out of heartbreak of being abandoned by him. But that doesn’t give him the right to just experiment with others’ lives. And just like what Tenn said, what he did was EXTREMELY cruel. He most likely gave Haruka so much hope, only to drop him because he didn’t believe anything could come from him. I can hardly blame Haruka for how messed up he is now because of that.
Despite this episode being essentially 99% dread, the only good thing that came out of it was Idolish7 coming to try and cheer Trigger up. After Trigger essentially helped put i7 back together in the second season, it felt nice to see them essentially return what they were given to help Trigger in their time of need. I love these two groups’ friendship. They’re all so supportive of one another and despite being rivals, they genuinely want to see the other succeed. They even came to their concert with a bunch of Trigger merch to cheer them on T^T. Also Sogo’s reaction upon seeing the Trigger car was PRICELESS. Not to mention the freaking license plate had the Trigger numbers on it XDDDD. I’m glad to see that both i7 and Re:vale aren’t backing down from supporting them.
This episode was definitely just a pit of doom and gloom and I feel bad for the Trigger guys with how they’re being shown as “the bad guys.” Thankfully both i7 and Re:vale have their backs so I’m sure they’ll be able to pull through all right in the end. I’m eager to have been given the chance to cover this with Eva because I too have a lot of feelings for this series~ I’ll be covering the odd numbered episodes while Eva takes the evens. So, guess I’ll see y’all next week!