After everything that has gone down, it was a calmer week so to speak— though it still had its moments of intensity as it sure felt like we were watching a game of minefield being played at times. So many bombs waiting to go off, and somehow Idolish7 managed to get out of it… mostly unscathed, though not without some bruises to the ego. But gosh, ZOOL was set to the thorn on everyone’s side!
Mitsuki thought they were nice at first, but true to Yamato’s warning to give it time, before long he realized that yup: he was right on the mark when it comes to Minami’s nasty side. He didn’t hesitate to go after Mitsuki by touching on one of his his biggest insecurities/flaws about himself, and then proceeded to suggested that Yamato is an ‘unsociable, scary person, who he expected to get along better’ on set while they were working together.
What did surprise me though, was that Minami chose not to outright fight Nagi today. Instead he simply let it be known that he despises him, by sarcastically complimenting his performance for “Sakura Message”. That was uh, an interesting way to say, “I hate your guts.” And considering ZOOL was there to stir up trouble, I was anxiously waiting for him to drop a bomb that would make Nagi lose his cool and cause a whole scene. After-all it really doesn’t take much to make him lose his cool if one were to mention potentially having contact with Haruki.
But Minami wasn’t the only problem Mitsuki had to juggle with. He had his work cut out for him when it came down to navigating the conversations with Torao and Haruka as well, given they kept on bombarding them with provocations.
Torao of course being mouthy piece of shit he is, who will deliberately point out Sogo’s family at every opportunity. But the dude should watch himself. After-all, Sogo doesn’t forget those he bows his head to. And with the number of times he’s been ticking him off and the way Sogo had dead-eyes when talking to him, you can bet your dollar that the purple monster within him is already plotting of various ways to eliminate him.
On the side note, it was sad to see that of course, it was Torao that took over Ryu’s slot for the beer commercial he used to be signed with. But… when the ad came on, I actually ended up laughing way harder than I probably should have because for some reason, I thought it was really funny how they were trying to shove his sex appeal in our faces— it didn’t work because I only thought about how Ryu did it better. HAHAHA! Also, he got shit to work out, starting with the way he treats people, because you know what’s sexy? Being a good person!
Then we have Haruka, who of course could not compete with the unstoppable Iori/Tamaki duo, so he ends up deflecting the topic to Riku, by revealing to everyone working in the studio that Riku and Tenn are in fact brothers. And it certainly didn’t help that Riku solidified that when it came to jumping to his brother’s defense.
Whelp, time to issue a gag-order. That said, I am honestly surprised not more people have figured it out by now considering Riku has been anything but subtle when it comes to his deep affections towards Tenn. And I’m pretttttyy sure he has referred to him as “nii-san” several times back-stage too.
But that wasn’t the only trouble Haruka caused today. He also refused to finish performing for the program because Idolish7 was “glaring” at them. Ha! That’s rich coming from him when we just saw Sogo and Tamaki being starstruck at how cool they were with their song and dancing abilities.
Nevertheless, even though we already knew they were doing this to cause problems, it was still pretty ridiculous to see Minami even suggest they have to apologize— the freaking nerve, and he knows it. Yamato being the more mature person and leader of the group tries to settle this petty fight they are picking, but Iori, Nagi and Tamaki were (and justifiably so), against that because they didn’t do anything wrong to begin with. It was just ZOOL being unreasonable.
And then you have Riku, who thought talking to Toma would solve the problem by putting him on the spot with a, “HEY TOMA, YOU’RE A GOOD PERSON RIGHT?” And gosh, that made me laugh so hard because I mean, the emphasis on ‘good’ right? Though had it had been anyone else, we know that would be their way of ‘calling him out’, but with Riku, we know that he’s saying it because he truly believes it.
Unfortunately, (or perhaps it was for the better), that got quickly derailed, so we never saw the outcome of that attempt. It does make me wonder what would have happened if it hadn’t though. We saw how Toma was confused with as to why Haruka suddenly decided to stop performing, so it’s really hard to say whether he would have been able to call him out on it, especially when the other two are more than prepared to stir up as much trouble as possible. On top of that, I do wonder just how much of a voice Toma has in the group… And the fact they don’t exactly have a sense of camaraderie with each, it probably only makes that kind of communication even harder. They lack the kind of team dynamic he’s used to from his NO_MAD’s days.
Ultimately, it was Sogo who is used to this kind of bullshit, helped them finish it up by explaining to the other he’s not doing it for ZOOL, but for the sake of the song instead. That was honestly a good way to work around it, or at least to offer a bit of sanity to the ridiculousness of the situation they were in.
Be careful ZOOL, Sogo never forgets who he bows his head to.
(Side Note: I lost it when Yamato realized he might be in danger because Sogo had apologized to him a bunch of time. I freaking can’t!)
As you can tell, out of the ZOOL lot, Toma proved to be the least problematic member this week. It served as a nice contrast to the nasty personalities like Toroa and Minami, and the exaggerated pettiness from Haruka. Toma is basically the soft guy who is trying really hard to act like a mean bad boy in front of others, but fails horribly whenever Riku comes into the picture. And that’s actually a part of the reason why Toma’s character is in a weird spot right now.
We can see that deep inside, Toma is actually good boy, but the problem is that he’s letting the hurt and bitterness of NO_MAD’s disbandment cloud his mind to the point he’s just looking for someone to blame and take it out on. His resentment towards Trigger is best to be described as extremely shallow and petty because when we look at the bigger picture, there are a number of factors that contributes to a group’s success. The truth is, ultimately, it comes down to a perfect combination of talent, management, connections and luck. Trigger was among the lucky ones to have scored big in terms of having all of the above. As for NO_MAD? It’s hard to say because we just don’t know enough about them. The only thing we do know is that they were good enough to have been lined up to compete against Trigger for the reward in Black and White, but sadly after losing to Trigger to that, they ended up disbanding.
This actually makes me think perhaps the reason why Toma pins the blame on Trigger, was because NO_MAD’s survival depended on them beating Trigger during the Black and White competition. This could explain why Toma hasn’t shown the same extent of hostility towards Re:Vale. And based on Toma’s frustrations back in (S3) episode 3, it appears that the members of NO_MAD grew tired of their efforts not being acknowledged. So when they lost, they took it as a sign to finally call it quits, and sadly Toma was the only one who was interested in sticking to it.
And while we’re on that trail of thought, another possible reason for his resentment towards Trigger could also be the denial of NO_MAD’s own short-comings. Back then, when Toma ranted about Trigger, he went on to say NO_MAD was more talented than Trigger, and yet somehow Trigger continues to be massively more popular.
And when I was looking back at that, what I found to be even more interesting was the way Toma had worded his statement too. “I’ll force the world to acknowledge that you’re worse than me.” In retrospect, he could have said, ‘I’ll force the world to acknowledge I am better than you.’ It certainly makes you scratch you head when you hear someone use a negative word in such context.
So this actually got me thinking, perhaps Toma is subconsciously aware of NO_MAD’s reasons for failure. After all the sweat and tears they’ve earnestly poured into their passion, in the end, it amounted to nothing of what they had hoped for, and perhaps Toma struggles to accept that. In other words, it would suggest he’s in this state of denial and to an extent, delusion. This would help explain why he feels like there’s no point in singing earnestly, as though to prove a point in his head that yes, the system is unfair and even the ones who don’t put any effort or love into their work ends up on top. But as Trigger announced to them last week, they are going to challenge everything exactly that, and prove their point that they are earnest idols, and even without Yaotome’s support and are suffering from a Media Blackout, they will rise up to the top once more. On that note, it’s going to be interesting to see how Toma will feel on the day when he finally realizes that his reasons for grief and anger towards them simply does not hold. Until then, we will have to see how he responds to their progress of clawing their way back up the ladder.
And then there were Toma’s interactions with Riku.
At long last, we finally got to see them interact with each other while on the job, and it did not disappoint. Whenever these two are together, so far it has been either a riot, or unexpectedly wholesome, and this time we got something a little different, but equally as good.
Despite everything that has happened, Riku continues to believe that the kindness he sees in Toma is true. It was pretty funny to watch considering Riku is basically following him with a puppy face that makes it terribly hard for him to say no or anything bad to him. We also saw him choosing to dial back, realizing he shouldn’t poke at the subject of Tenn and Riku being twins being kept a secret any further. But what really struck me, was the moment Riku opened up about how his mother became depressed from the slanders suggesting they’ve sold their sons off to their agencies, we saw Toma’s soft side come out. He had enough tact to not poke the matter of them being twins and how they have a load of secrets any further. He also imeaditely promised to keep quiet about it. But I must say, when they broached into the subject of depression, Toma’s reaction gave me the impression that it something he could relate to. He gave me the sense of he might understand the pain, and that might have been why he told Riku to take care of his mother.
That said, truthfully I’m not sure how much longer this secret of the two being twins is going to be kept under wraps considering the rest of ZOOL knows about it. And even if Toma were to discourage the group from leaking that information to Ryo, it would probably still find it’s way around to him (that is, if he doesn’t already know about it). I can see a bunch of paid-to-bash articles attacking Tenn for abandoning his family, that would be one sure way to slander Tenn’s image. After-all, we did already see a bit of that today, though that one is considered a ‘light bash’ in comparison to the kind of shit we’ve seen Ryo hurl at Ryu and Yaotome thus far.
So this is definitely something that could back to bite both of them… But you know what, that’s not the only thing to worry about. While I would like to believe Toma knows better not to mention Riku’s health around Ryo (especially since he has witnessed the man go as far as abducting Trigger), it is a scary thing to think what could happen if that were to slip out. It would be the ultimate prize for Ryo to exploit if given the opportunity to do so– though who knows, given his shady network, I wouldn’t put it past him to somehow know about that too. Hopefully Ryo will be taken out before it ever comes down to that.
Anyhow apart from the scary what-if’s scenarios, it is honestly it’s sad to see someone like Toma aligning himself with the
devils type of individuals who are willing to resort to underhanded and unlawful means. I like seeing the soft side of Toma where he is unable to ignore someone in need, and his adorable cute side when it comes to being affectionate about the things he cares about. It makes him an appealing character. And not to mention, his interactions with Riku is so much chaotically fun and wholesome. But most importantly, I do believe Toma can greatly benefit from Riku’s straight-forward, earnest and innocent personality, as he has the tendency to draw out Toma’s soft (and good) side that he tries to hard to bury away.
ZOOL aside, it was great to finally see how far MEZZO has come, and now they have been rewarded with a lovely new song, “Dear Butterfly”. It really sums up how much they have grown thanks to each other’s earnest support. And as Nagi so perfectly put it: Sogo found love in Tamaki’s yes, and Tamaki found love in Sogo’s no.
Sogo has come a long way of learning to depend on others and open up about his true feelings. Having learned about the way Haruki interpreted Dear Butterfly made Sogo deeply reflect on himself further. Earlier in the episode he had come to the realization that he has always wanted to be the things he likes to be. By coming to terms with that, Sogo finally mustered up the courage to share with Tamaki how he would like to compose a song for them. This was actually teased as while back when he had asked Yuki if he could observe him when he worked on the song. So it was really sweet to watch how patiently Tamaki was with the way Sogo was trying to cough it out, and how readily he supported en endeavor. To Tamaki, it doesn’t matter if it good or bad, he would be more than happy to be able to sing a song that Sogo made himself.
It really goes without saying, it is just so nice and rewarding to see these two communicating more clearly with each other, especially with the way Tamaki actively encourages Sogo to do so. [SOBS] And seeing Sogo finding the courage to speak of what he wishes to do and share, I’m so proud. He has come such a long way.
But there are still parts of him he isn’t quite comfortable sharing with the others yet, and Tamaki is acutely aware of that. Whenever Torao is around, Sogo is forced to steel himself, basically shutting down his emotions to just get through the bullshit, and the saddest part is that this is basically a defensive mechanism. So when Tamaki sees this, he knows this is a side of Sogo that hasn’t opened up to him yet, and making it difficult for him to help and understand him. As result it makes, it causes him to feel uneasy.
That’s why Tamaki actively encourages Sogo to open up to him, repeatedly assuring him that he will always hear him out and won’t judge him for it. And you thought that Tamaki couldn’t be sweeter, he proved us wrong when he then asked Sogo if he was scared to share that with him. Oh my gosh, how precious of him. It’s funny how even though Tamaki is the younger one, in moments like these, he ends up playing the role as the big brother, and it’s such a wonderful thing to see.
Overall another fantastic episode. They managed to get me cracking up right from the get go despite the sad situation of Trigger’s job offers now being passed off to Idolish7, ZOOL, and Re:Vale. It’s just.. the jobs and role they were getting, and their reactions to do it. I absolutely lost it at Yamato’s and Sogo’s, but Nagi’s point of calling out the fact they want a minor to play a role of a flirtatious bartender had me wheezing! Though on a serious note, I think it’s important to keep tabs on the amount of work Riku is starting to get compared to the rest of the group. We learned today that he has five commercials to shoot next month!
Then came along the comedic timing for the zen skits, and each of those had me crying from laughing so hard, especially Tamaki’s and Iori’s. The way Tamaki had described it made it sound like, without context, he and Sogo were romantic relationship, and I bet he doesn’t even realize that! I freaking can’t! Meanwhile Riku is just happily going up to Toma and is chatting away, Iori was just…. I don’t know if he was struggling or he was trying really hard not to laugh, or maybe both I don’t know, but it was so funny!
And you can’t forget the chaos that ensued that followed from Riku’s, “you’re a good person” comment to Toma, which Haruka– if I may add, who has been spilling secrets left and right today!— drops the fact that Toma has a blog, and wrote this lengthy post on the day NO_MAD disbanded. Poor guy, being exposed like this hahahaha! He was so embarrassed! Also lesson learned: Don’t share secrets with Haruka, and definitely don’t let him find out about yours! He will definitely spill the beans!!!
And finally, I really loved they finished the episode with the ED Song of ‘Dear Butterfly’ playing over their entire journey from start to present. It was a great way to celebration their bond!
Next time, we’ll get to see how TRIGGER is faring in this media blackout and Idolish7 start their anniversary tour!
Random Note of the Week: WHY IN THE WORLD DO I KEEP ON THINKING TOMA’S OLD GROUP (NO_MAD) IS CALLED MAD DOG?! WHY?????? WHERE DOES THAT EVEN COME FROM?!