Another banger of an episode with a lot of laughs. Why do I always end up laughing at all the episodes I cover so far lol. This was a heavily Trigger centric episode with i7 appearing more as background characters this time around. Anyways, we pick up right where we left off with Yaotome papa giving the boys their termination papers to sign. On the surface, it just seems like he was cutting ties with Trigger to lessen the burden on his company. However, it is revealed that he gave them the optimized path instead of simply turning them over to Ryo or going down with them. Especially since it allows a little bit of freedom compared to the other options.
As I said in my last post for this series, Yaotome papa has been really growing on me and I have been really liking his development. I wish we got to see why this change of heart happened, but because he’s such a side character, we don’t really get to experience how/when it happened. However, I don’t think it was too abrupt and it did show that things were changing over time. But I would still like to see what went on with him to instigate this change. He even seems to be starting to rebuild the bonds that he had broken, namely Takanashi papa and his ex-wife. At first when he was on the phone, I thought he was talking to a mentor of some kind. But when he dropped Takanashi papa’s name I was like: OH SNAP. I was NOT expecting him to seek out Takanashi papa for advice. He certainly has come a long way from how he was in the first season. I have to wonder what exactly caused him to finally drop his bitterness and resentment to have a civil conversation with the person he hated for so long. And while we’ve never seen his ex-wife and can only imagine what kind of relationship they had during their marriage, it seems like she still cares about him. And he seemed to appreciate the gesture during this time and it actually was a really sweet moment.
Not only that, but his relationship with Trigger seems have changed as well. Initially, he seemed to only view them as a cog in his machine but now he seems to have developed a respect for them and is actually proud of their success. It is sad that they would have to part ways like this since they seemed to have just started seeing eye-to-eye. However, it does seem like Trigger is aiming to make a name for themselves on their own again so they can come back with their heads held high once both parties can get their messes settled. And with the termination of their contracts with Yaotome Productions, Ryo lets Yaotome papa off the hook with all the “scandals.” Though I absolutely lost it when Yaotome papa used Ryu’s dialect to hurl and insult at Ryo, only to smile politely immediately afterwards as if he didn’t just threaten to destroy him later lololol. Thinking about it, the fact that he specifically used Ryu’s dialect despite having looked down at it initially made this moment actually kind of heartwarming. As it shows that he was both paying attention to Ryu and respects him despite his roots. The thing he thought people would make fun of. Man, when did you become so likable, Yaotome papa???
Speaking of likable characters, I feel like it’s times like this where he shows more of Tenn’s vulnerable side that makes me really like him as a character. Is he harsh? Yes. Does he do unnecessary things? Yes. But it just adds to the complexity of his character since he doesn’t do those things out of malice. He does them because he cares. Whether they are the right choices are up to debate.
Though a lot of things he did terribly wrong not gonna lie. He even admits that he wanted to become an idol because he likes making others happy, not for the fame and glory. It’s something he’s built over time with how he helped take care of Riku. He just wanted to give his brother happiness while sick. He means well in everything he does but he’s still pretty young and is bound to make all sorts of mistakes. But despite those mistakes, he still pushes forward and cherishes those fleeting moments of happiness he can bring to others. And it’s because of that that he can’t stand idly by and take what ZOOL has to say about them lying down.
When ZOOL comes sauntering in just having finished their performance all smug because they feel like they’ve won, I already KNEW that the part that I had laughed at in the trailer was coming. AND BOY DID THEY DELIVER. But let’s not get ahead of myself. Man, these guys are so insufferable right now with how they keep rubbing their success in Trigger’s faces. Like when Torao brought up a commercial offer that most likely is for Thunder Dry since that’s the brand Ryu used to be the poster boy for. And man, Toma really is rubbing me the wrong way with every passing episode. I know he has a tragic reason but it just feels SO, SO, SO petty. It also doesn’t help that he’s essentially being hypocritical with how he looked down on Trigger for how they were promoted to fame while he goes and does the exact same thing. It’s the kind of petty that rubs me the wrong way and I’m just annoyed. Enough where I even sided with Gaku (who I am notorious for not liking in the first place) because I just wanted Toma to eat his words. Toma, you’re just digging your grave further and further for me. He’s got a lot of making up to do for me to like him again because I’d even throw him down with Manami and Torao as characters I really dislike right now. It is tragic that he developed this mindset but someone really needs to just slap some sense in to him because hearing him talk down to Trigger like that is so frustratingly aggravating.
We already know Trigger has had to put in the work to get where they are. Yes their agency did provide them with a lot, but it was still their drive and dedication to their jobs that even allowed them to reach the popularity that they had. We don’t know the full story of why Toma’s group failed, but it was right for Gaku to point out that he shouldn’t blame his opponents for his loss and he really needs to do some introspective of what actually went wrong. I can hardly feel bad for him when he wanted camaraderie with his unit mates when the others just see this as a job and not anything particularly special. With Trigger starting back at zero (no pun intended), it may make Toma eat his words with how they most likely will rise back up without their agency backing them.
And then there’s the Haruka kind of petty that is just so laughable that I only see it as a small yap yap dog trying to act tough. Everything he said to Tenn about all of his efforts ended up being for nothing was very not true, especially after we heard why Tenn became an idol in the first place earlier in the episode. It honestly sounded like he was projecting. Especially when he said “your solitude, your service, and your effort, all of it was meaningless!” From what we already know from his history with Kujo, he most likely had to endure all of those things. His line of “Nothing to show for it! You’re empty, Kujo Tenn” rang a bit for me as it reminded me of that scene in the last ep of Part 1 for this season with Haruka and Tenn standing in front of a billboard or a wall. The shot showed a bunch of different papers on Tenn’s side of the wall while there wasn’t anything on Haruka’s side. I had assumed at the time that Haruka most likely had nothing to really strive for and had anything of his own and with what he said in this episode, I feel like I might have hit the nail on the head with that prediction. And then validated further when Tenn goes on to say that he most likely has never had the joy of making someone else happy.
But MAN, when Tenn just started ripping into Haruka, essentially refuting everything he had claimed about him, I couldn’t help but smile because YEAH MAKE HIM CRY TENN. We KNOW Tenn takes his job as an idol very seriously and of course he was going to put someone who doesn’t have a true drive to be an idol in their place. And I absolutely DIED when Tenn told him to essentially quit acting like a baby, ESPECIALLY when they literally cut to him sobbing! I LOST IT. I was actually crying because I was laughing so hard. Haruka crying was the part that had me rolling when I saw it in the trailer and I couldn’t have been happier with how it came about. Whoever plotted out that scene was GENIUS. On one hand, I do feel really bad for Haruka because of his circumstances and the fact that he really is still a kid. But on the other hand… MAKE HIM CRY HARDER, TENN. I applaud the voice actor for nailing the hilarity of his crying XD. Man, Haruka is just the type of petty that is fun to laugh at and make fun of. Probably because of how childish it is, unlike Toma’s pettiness.
Out of everyone in ZOOL, I think the only one that actually kinda scares me a little is Manami. He acts all polite with a smile, but he definitely has some heavy resent going towards Nagi in particular. I feel like it was strongly hinted that he must have known Haruki one way or another due to him having studied in Northmare for a bit. With how much Nagi cared for Haruki, you have wonder what Nagi did that made Manami so hateful towards him. It makes me wonder if Mitsuki will somehow get involved with him since Yamato and Nagi already have some sort of connection with Manami. Hopefully not, but considering Manami seems to be targeting those two in particular, there’s no way Mitsuki won’t try and step in to protect his sub unit mates. I can only pray for my boy’s safety.
I am a bit disappointed that they didn’t choose to animate Trigger’s performance for Shine on the Sea as it ended up being mostly comprised of still shots again. Though I do understand if it was because of restraints of some kind, whether it be budget or time. But it does make me suspicious about them possibly saving their budget for a bigger performance. It’s sad that a lot of the performances aren’t treated equally. I’m not mad… I’m just disappointed.
After Trigger confirmed their retirement from Yaotome Productions, there were definitely a lot of different reactions to it. Kujo for instance seemed to invite it as to him, it just meant that Tenn could now cut ties from Trigger and become a solo idol as Zero was. Not to mention we learn that Haruki left a final song in his living will. So I’m very curious as to which song that is and which group ended up singing it.
Most likely Idolish7. But man, his obsession with Tenn is getting really creepy. Like I know it’s always been creepy, but this scene felt ESPECIALLY creepy to me. Maybe it was how foreboding it felt considering he said Tenn is the only one who won’t betray him. That’s definitely a plot point that is gonna stir up a bit of drama since we know Tenn’s strong feelings for Trigger especially in this episode and he also doesn’t want to disappoint Kujo. However, we’ve also seen him stand up against Kujo when he saw how cruel and terrible he was to Haruka. So he definitely not going to leave without a fight of some kind. I’m just worried at how Kujo will react to it considering how mentally unstable he is. Kujo is definitely going to get a rude awakening that’s for sure…
And then there’s Ryo. Ryo TERRIFIES me and he is just downright terrible. However, I’ve stated before that despite all that, he is a very intriguing character. The series so far has always shown that there’s a bit more to him than just being a psychopath and it’s just so intriguing to me. There have been several hints to his motivations and we learn in this episode that he’s been betrayed by two people. I initially guessed his parents, but considering his conversation, he probably meant that idols had betrayed him. Whether it was Re:vale or a different pair is up for debate, but hopefully we’ll find out exactly who betrayed him and why. But in any case, he is willing to let ZOOL die at the hands of their fans and even said that at most they’d last three years. I’m pretty interested in why he thinks the way that he does and what in the world made him like this.
With Trigger out on their own, it was honestly really heartwarming to learn that Anesagi also quit Yaotome Productions to follow after and help manage Trigger. In the first season, I really didn’t like how aggressive and heartless Anesagi seemed to be, but after that, they seemed to have calmed down and I’ve grown to really like them and their interactions with the other managers. Manager squad is best! They’ve definitely have grown on me in a similar way that Yaotome papa has. It’s probably good that Anesagi decided to tag along because I’m sure Trigger wouldn’t know what to do all on their own. They’re essentially babies when it comes to working from the ground up since with Yaotome Productions they were given ground to stand on. Anesagi definitely has come to really care about the boys in Trigger and it’s really sweet of them to give up their secure finances at Yaotome Productions to help them. T^T
Things are definitely going to start ramping up after this with a lot of things set up from this episode. While also being very foreboding as well with how everyone just stopped talking about Trigger. I’m sure Ryo wanted to stamp them out completely so he probably had a hand in stopping anyone from talking about them. Hopefully they will rise back up and make that man eat his words. However, it also seems like Yuki has successfully started making a modern Chiba’s Salon and seems to be getting help from his previous Producer (yes I recognize their voice). Now that he isn’t working in the industry right now, he may have more freedom to move around and gather information. I have no idea what will become of this, but it is definitely going to be a very interesting upset, that’s for sure. Especially with how motivated Yuki is to take Ryo down. Next ep looks like it’s gonna be Mezzo centered so that’s something to look forward to, especially with what will go down with them.
Overall, this was a great episode with a lot of character introspective. Trigger definitely stole the spotlight this ep by showing just how firm they are in their unity as a group. It made me think back to the Vibrato episodes where they first formed. They have grown a lot from how they initially were with Tenn and Gaku teasing each other than just being at each others’ throats all the time and Ryu stepping in to offer advice instead of just keeping his thoughts to himself. He’s taken on the role as the mediator and the oldest in the group seriously and is doing a fine job. From this point on, they’ll be stray cats for a bit, but I’m sure they will find their way back home in the end.