It’s time for TINGS’ first anniversary concert at Nakano Sun Plaza! These girls have come such a long way in their idol journeys and there is still so much for them to do. They are well on their way to becoming a Shine Post!
It’s hard to believe that we’ve finally reached the final episode. It seems like just yesterday Yuki was telling our original trio that she was thinking about disbanding the group. They were fighting an uphill battle and I’m thoroughly enthused that the girls were able to overcome many different challenges to make it to where they are. Do they still have a long way to go? Absolutely, but with everything they have learned this season and the audience they have gained, TINGS is a group full of rising stars. Perhaps they will even overtake Hotaru in the future.
As proud as I am of these girls, this final episode felt… a little lackluster? Rather, I think we didn’t get the opportunity to just enjoy the girl’s success. There were so many little things that needed to be put in this episode that I almost wonder if they would have benefited from having just one more episode. For instance, we really didn’t know what the ‘secret weapon’ with Kyouka was until their song started playing, but we don’t really get any significant insight into the decision-making or how that particular performance made her feel. We get a couple of comments from the Manager and the audience, but this is one of those instances where I wish we got a little more “show” rather than “tell”. Then of course we have the whole beef with HY:RAIN (read: with Ren). After having an episode and a bit dedicated to how much Ren wanted Haru back with TINGS, she practically gives up on it when their song starts. It’s great that we have closure, but I just wish there was more! A few more seconds of her being shocked and dumbfounded by the performance or even a callback to her feelings at the Hotaru concert! More than just something more than what we got! We spent so much time building this tension for it all to be over within a matter of seconds.
And don’t get me started on the Hotaru things for this episode. I love that they showed Haru and Hotaru interacting with each other after the initial concert that sparked all of their interests in becoming idols. It was a good thing to have and I’m happy it was included in the series, but it felt a little out of place. Aside from Haru going “teehee do you remember me?” there was really no reason for that information to come out of this episode. It could have been a couple episodes ago when Haru was still on the fence about giving her all. Somewhere in that mix there could have been the “Why do you want to be an idol?” conversation but more in depth and personal. For me, it felt like they remembered they needed to add that moment in, but couldn’t quite find where a good spot could be. And then of course, we find out the “Commit Seppuku” phone call girl is actually Hotaru (well, technically that was the reveal but many of us had been speculating). And it just seems like she showed up just to make an appearance and then disappear again. To be honest, I don’t know what I would have wanted at the moment. Obviously the cryptic phone calls needed a reveal, but did we even need the cryptic phone calls to begin with? It just gave Manager-kun a little more screen time. I… just don’t know how I feel, other than I kind of wish her role in this finale played out a little differently.
But, we should still celebrate the girls for making it to Nakano Sun Plaza. They worked so hard to get here and I enjoyed the ride. I’m a little bummed they only got to perform one song on stage, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up a little bit. They’ve come so far! And I can’t wait to see where they go from here! I don’t know if a second season / movie is in store for us, but I hope TINGS continues to thrive!!
Shine Post was an absolutely delightful and refreshing anime for the summer season. Overall, I tend to enjoy watching idol / music focused series, but I also know that many of them are quick cash grabs. For me, the summer season was a bit lackluster; there weren’t any anime that I was particularly interested in watching and those that I was interested in didn’t give me much of a draw to cover. Ultimately, I decided to cover Shine Post since I actually haven’t covered a true idol anime since joining the blog. This anime completely caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting much, but I became incredibly invested really fast.
Truly, the characters made this anime and by that, I mean the original three girls we were introduced to: Haru Nabatame, Kyouka Tamaki, and Rio Seibu. They all had unique and interesting personalities from the start and we were able to dig deeper into their insecurities early on, which made these characters so relatable and pushed my desire to cheer for them. Haru is your typical genki girl protagonist. She keeps the energy high and generally moves throughout her spaces with excitement. Early on, we don’t see her get mopey or sad about her circumstances and for the other girls she does keep the morale high. She is earnest in her desire to become a shine post for everyone watching. Of course, her biggest fear is outshining all those around her. A fear which came from another group she was previously in. We get to watch her slowly find her true idol-self and it does feel satisfying when she is able to get on stage and give us everything that she’s got.
Then we have Kyouka. Kyouka’s whole schtick is that she tries to play pranks on others, but her delivery and timing could be much better. But it’s endearing because you can tell that she’s trying! She’s pretty run of the mill. She doesn’t make mistakes, but also tends to not stand out. Her biggest conflict early on was whether or not she would be center, something she’s been actively running away from since her first failed attempt. But as the episodes continue, we get to see that she really does want to be center, but she just doesn’t have the confidence anymore. She wants to shine on stage, but feels that it isn’t her place. She doesn’t want to be an inconvenience for others because of her own fears. I am so happy that she is the first girl we got to focus on in this series, because she’s the one I related to the most. That desire to be something, but also feeling invisible and unworthy? UGH hit a bullseye on me. Which is why it was so exciting to see her succeed in the end!
And of course, we have Rio, the one that takes more of a chuuni approach. Of the full group, I think Rio may be my best girl because I just love how bad she is at hiding her emotions and true feelings. In the beginning, Rio is considered the weakest link in the group primarily due to her poor dancing abilities. She really tries her best, but she’s off beat or too slow and as a result makes the full group performance much more amateurish. She puts on a facade in front of everyone, often laughing about her confidence and how good she is, but it’s shown that she is actually really upset that she’s struggling to keep up with the other girls. She chooses to go out to the farm for the TV program so that way she won’t make the other look bad. She’ll storm away from where her group is handing out tickets and head somewhere different and give 200%. As someone who is bad at a lot of things that I like doing, she also really resonated with me! So when she got her own ballad and we got to see the others hug her & hear her voice? I was absolutely balling. I am just so proud of her!!
As for the other two members of TINGS, Yukine and Momiji… they are okay. Honestly, they didn’t get the same treatment as the other three. Yukine has the perfectionist mindset instilled in her where she feels like she has to be the most responsible person in the group and Momiji is just a little clueless but also really good at dancing. I almost enjoyed them more when they weren’t part of the group, because they seemed like a fun little mini rival group for the girls to work against. But once they officially joined, there wasn’t much development with them and really they just filled out the sound of their group. So, if there is a second season / movie / game, I hope that those two get a bit more development. It seems like they only existed to make the big reveal for Haru, and that’s a bummer! Their characters have the potential to be so much fun!
Speaking of Haru, I think the story dipped a little bit when it became so focused on her. I get that she’s the main character, but the second half of the series felt much more rushed than the first. It’s a pitfall of the 12 episode season, but it’s what. We made it through her hesitations to give her all, but then it quickly shifted to HY:RAIN trying to get her back. And that’s the part that didn’t sit right with me! I like the idea of this other, more powerful group, putting pressure on the smaller, new group. Even the recruiting aspect was fine with me! But I wish they would have gone a different direction especially now that I know how the series ends. There were a lot of emotions surrounding both groups, but to have it all solved with the intro of their anniversary song? I feel a little cheated. If we’re going to have the drama, I’d like for us to commit to it. For instance, maybe Ren acknowledges that Haru should stay with TINGS, but still keep the whole almost ‘tsundere’ act and just keep challenging Haru to random things. (Which I guess is kind of implied for the ending that we got, but I digress.) We got a decent wrap up, but I’m stuck with the question of “Where do we go from here?”
The characters truly make this an enjoyable anime. I love the uniqueness and I love that supporting characters continually make their appearances. Some characters fall flat and some have you wonder why they are there, but those with personality have enough to go around! I know that sounds mean, but I’m particularly thinking about Manager-kun when I say that. He just exists to give them the magic answer, but otherwise we don’t do much for him. He has special powers, but they didn’t do much for us most of the time. Yes, we could see when someone was lying, but a simple ‘teehee’ *wink* would have easily solved this stuff. And the lies Kyouka & Rio told in the beginning, we could have gotten the same result with intuition. I just wish we would have done more with it! And his whole character! I get that he’s probably supposed to be the self-insert, but self-inserts can stand to be more interesting than he was!! Okay, I’m done bullying him.
While there were a number of things I have issues with, I did enjoy this series. If you’ve been following my coverage you would know that I’ve teared up a number of times. I know Shine Post is meant to be a multimedia project, so if Konami does come out with a game, I will most likely be playing it (provided I can get my hands on a copy lol).
Thank you for reading my rambles on the series, now it’s time for the hardest part – a rating. This was your classic underdog story, a group of three girls trying to grow their audience from 37 to 2,000 and ultimately achieving their goals and finding confidence along the way. The airing of Shine Post was rough to say the least. There were multiple delays, but I may be in the minority when I say that I think that worked in their favor. They handled cliff hangers really well, which kept me coming back. I just needed to know what happened. Plus, TINGS was able to have a special program aired in the middle of the anime. That probably helped their popularity as well! This anime could have easily been made into a run of the mill ‘cute girls doing cute things’ show, but you can tell that there was heart put into it and I appreciate that.
With everything said, I will give Shine Post a final score of 7/10. This was a good idol anime, and I hope to see TINGS succeed in their future projects!!