Shadow’s Impression

Deeply exhales I know it just came back but, TIME TO BE CONTROVERSIAL.

Where do I even start… I’m glad that i7 is back… but my gosh this episode… I can’t. The first half of it was fine, but then the second half… I’m still not sure what exactly the writers are going for, but for me, I’m not too happy about the direction it’s taking for certain characters, namely Riku and Iori. Back when I was covering the first half of Third Beat, I brought up that I really didn’t like Iori and Riku’s dynamic and this episode solidified that fact even more. Its probably a very controversial opinion, but I don’t find their relationship healthy.

While it was portrayed in an uplifting fashion, I just can’t find myself to get behind what Iori is trying to do with Riku. The fact that he’s putting himself in a situation where he is to control whatever Riku does as an idol just doesn’t sit well with me. Especially since it feels like it’s leaning into both Iori and Riku’s more negative qualities. In Iori’s case, he’s always been a control freak and his need to control things has often gotten himself and the group into some dicey situations. And through out the first and second season, I thought they were heading in the direction of him finally putting some slack on the reigns. Not fully letting go, but trusting others to do their part. But in this season, it feels like they’re having him backtrack on his development by having full control over what Riku does, to which I am not happy about it. Especially when they seem to painting Iori’s controlling tendencies to be a good thing when in reality it is not.

As for Riku, because of this, he becomes less independent, which is the complete opposite of what I want from him as a character. Not to just purely do things on his own, but to actually think things through on his own and not just blindly and naively jump head first into things which he’s been doing from the first season. The series feels like it’s been babying Riku to the point where it feels like he can’t do things on his own. To which to a certain extent isn’t a bad thing, especially in a group setting. However, the fact that he doesn’t seem to be allowed to do things on his own and feels like he’s being coddled is what frustrates me. Like I do believe that Riku needs to be reeled in at times, but I don’t like the idea of controlling everything he does. Especially since it forcing him to be dependent on someone, which was something I thought they were going to move him away from. Especially since Tenn did everything for him when they were kids, leaving him to be dependent on others to take care of him.

It honestly frustrates me how everyone just hones in on Riku, having the rest of the members to be forced into the background. I understand he’s the center and the poster boy, but the fact that it feels like it’s becoming more of a solo act than a group one rubs me the wrong way. Even back in season 1, I did not like how Iori seemed to just be pushing Riku to be a superstar and not even acknowledging the others. And it honestly feels so foreboding to me whenever it just has Riku’s voice singing while the others’ fade out. Not to mention that Iori’s relationship with Riku right now is feeling eerily similar to Kujo’s relationship with Zero. Iori is exhibiting similar obsessive feelings towards Riku as Kujo does towards Zero. Which is VERY concerning. I honestly can’t tell if they’re glorifying Iori’s desire for control or purposefully putting him on a dangerous path. A part of me wants to believe that i7 is going to make this an issue that will be addressed/confronted later, but at this point I’m just not sure. I’m not sure if it’s because of how it was translated, but their relationship just doesn’t sound healthy to me. But I digress.

Initially I was pretty wary of what Ryo would end up doing at Friends Day and Momo brought up a very valid fear. If Ryo perceives Riku as betraying him after taking a strong liking to him, that will surely cause Ryo to lash out at them. And I honestly got really frustrated when Riku said he didn’t care if Ryo attacked him. Like, bruh, YOU CAN’T JUST SAY THAT. You don’t know what this guy is capable of! I understand this is a way to stand up to Ryo and whatnot, but to me it just feels like they’re being reckless. Sure this type of thing flies with all the other situations they had to face, but this one I felt needed to go in with a BIT more caution. I know it’s supposed to be an uplifting moment, but I couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread like Momo about the whole thing. Especially when I was reminded that Ryo brought Tamaki’s dad in. Considering what Tamaki possibly had to live with as a kid, it’s definitely best to keep the two away from each other. I can hardly blame seeing his dad triggering a PTSD reaction. And the anime does a really good job just making him so slimy both in personality and in appearance even if we never get to see his full face.

I was wondering if Ryo knew that Momo was trying to pull something over him, but in the end, it seems like he bought into Momo’s ploy, which was why he never ended up messing with Mitsuki. Making Momo’s plan to protect him successful. But when Toma brought up how he doesn’t think Momo is the type of person to get into a spat with a friend and just drop him after a disagreement. To which my knee jerk reaction was literally: TOMA SHUT UP. Though in the end I guess it didn’t really matter since Momo and Yuki came up to confirm it themselves. And while it did feel a bit anticlimactic, it was still the first really big win against Ryo as they were able to stop a tragedy that could have ruined Idolish7 like Trigger. Ryo was definitely banking on triggering Tamaki to attack his dad again, which in turn would sully the foundation of Friends Day. I was hoping Sogo would at least be able to protect him considering he had a conversation with Tamaki about being the one to get mad for him. On one hand, I’m glad that Tamaki didn’t have to face his father again, but on the other, I would have liked to see how things would have been handled differently now that Tamaki has Sogo to help support him.

The situation between Tenn and Kujo is also starting to get more and more complicated. Especially with how each party has very specific expectations of him. Gaku expects Tenn to remain as Trigger’s center while Kujo expects him to leave Trigger to become the next “Zero.” That whole situation honestly felt like a boyfriend having an argument with the girlfriend’s father over what’s best for them. But ultimately it is Tenn’s choice. We know he wants to stay with Trigger, but we also know that he has a deep sense of loyalty to Kujo and not wanting to disappoint him. We’re not sure what Tenn plans to do, especially since he seems torn. While he did say he was going to become the next Zero, we don’t know how he plans to go about it or when.

Despite everything, Friends Day ended happily with Idolish7 doing a freaking cover of Secret Knight. Which was quite amusing lol. Though I do wish that they actually animated the dance and not just did another slide show. Oh well… Anyways, I’m glad that they were allowed to sing it as per the fans request. Which makes what Kujo said feel true about how fans hold A LOT of power. A lot more power than what people give them credit. Both Ryo and Yaotome papa set out to control what the public felt, but there are a lot of things that they can’t control. While it’s true that Ryo could control what would catch the general public’s attention and skew what they believe. However, it was constantly shown that true fans never believed the lies and fought to get Trigger’s name to be acknowledged in Friends Day. Even getting them up to be #3 in the MOP rankings. But that could also end up being a double edged sword, especially regarding Riku’s rise and how their expectations of him could possibly some day crush him.

I’m glad i7 is back, but… there are certain choices that I find very questionable and am curious as to what the overall consensus about it is. I feel like my take is very controversial, but that’s literally how I see it upon viewing. I’m not too happy about both Iori and Riku’s writing as it feels like they’re just backpedaling development-wise and the series is choosing for them to cling to their bad habits and not move past them. Which is very concerning to me. I’m hesitant to trust i7 with this since I have been betrayed quite a few times in the past and I HOPE that this isn’t meant to be a good thing and that they will actually have good, healthy development in the future. For the time being, I will brace myself for the oncoming criticism because this might be my most controversial opinion yet lol.


A passionate yet somewhat awkward individual who just wants to talk about anime

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Eva

    [patpat] It’s okay I felt exactly the same. There were a number of moments when I was shouting at the screen in exasperation of the characters actions. Iori and Riku’s current dynamic is a genuine concern. Iori mirroring Kujo’s obsession is a scary thing, and Riku my god– boy DON’T JUST AGREE TO “YOU CAN CONTROL ME” LIKE THAT!!!!!! Man, and here I was thinking he was on track to becoming a bit more independent too… I feel like we’re already looking at yet another time bomb waiting to blow.

    As for Toma– god I wanted to shake him, “YOU FREAKING IDIOT, WHY ARE YOU TELLING HIM THAT?!” is what I yelled at the screen. XD

  2. Paty

    Swap Tenn for Riku and Tamaki for Iori; same situation. It can’t even be written with the same words. “I don’t understand it exactly but Kujo says you are dangerous and you are going to make everyone cry and just be obsessive and someone has to control you and keep a finger on the exploding thingy.” Tenn would have shut it down right there and then. Besides, he would have been kind. He would have pointed out he was older and Tamaki was in high school, this was not his responsibility to even worry about and that ‘control’ was so far from the right word. I love how well written the characters are that you see personality even though it’s always made clear Tenn and Riku, Tamaki and Iori are the same age as pairs and our expectations of them wildly differ. Tamaki couldn’t even articulate ‘immature’ about Riku, he said ‘he feels like a younger brother.’
    So we end up with a faulty pair dealing with the situation in all the wrong ways. These two don’t even have the vocabulary to express the situation anymore than the wherewithal to see they are so out of their depth. I believe it is meant to ring all the wrong bells with the audience too because it happens on impulse. They are both left behind while the rest of the group goes ahead. It happens in a corridor (two ways, they either succeed or not) and not just behind the stage with Iori taking Riku apart from the others. They are two children left alone and the other guys have no reason to think they are going to be playing with fire because stupid Kujo gave the riddled flame to a teenager who happens to be panicking. Riku is so lacking in the mental age department that even immature is too ambitious a word to utter about someone so childish so it doesn’t surprise me at all he just said yes to ‘we’re getting into the woods but close your eyes, take my hand and I’ll get you to the other side.’ Yet, he has not been given the opportunity to grow up. And then, just like Tenn, Iori has been the ‘adult’ in many situations. To Mitsuki when he was overly emotional, for example. Yamato even challenged Iori first instead of presenting the potential problem of his past to Tsumugi (that would also had had different words and tone). I believe it’s the way Iori’s character is going to grow and he’s going to be better than Tenn in reaching out to an adult with it because he at least has had plenty of support as well as an older brother he can count on. Tenn has never had that, so I don’t know if he’s ever going to tell anyone he is in real danger because Kujo Takamasa needs a mental health evaluation asap. I find the parallel, and frankly 90% of the episode, to be ominous. Ironically, drinks was one of the few safe decisions here—and having Kujo there to do fan-crowd control.
    The music business, unfortunately, makes one focus on the front man to the detriment of the others. Momo always credits Yuki; Yuki always credits Momo. How many times have we heard Trigger’s Gaku, Tenn, and Ryuu crediting the other two when given an opening even in private? I7 doesn’t. It still leaves them on the background if you say ‘the other 6.’ The only one who can name them all in record time is Mitsuki.
    Gaku, on the other hand, went at it on instinct—Kujo has a tendency to appear when and where you least expect (for what I’ve seen so far no one among the fans refers to him as Kujo papa🧐)— but Trigger has shown time and time again they are better equipped to deal with dicey situations than all the others put together. Gaku has all the information he needs but like Iori, he has not gotten his ducks in a row yet. Once he does, I’m sure he’s going to champion Tenn himself and not Triggers’s center and Ryuu will undoubtedly follow suit.

    Again, thank you so much for your take. Learning what other people think is always a treasure🥰. Any comment helps one take a second look at something one already appreciates😁. (So sorry for the long comments😟)

  3. Bonniebellow

    About Iori and Riku relationship I do think this is another problem. The series always tries to make a parallelism with Zero and Kujou, and I gets really obvious in the most recents part’s of the history. I fell this more like a moment that tries to embrace their confidence in each other but in the end, is more like a way to plant “the bomb” just like was Zero’s. Even tho, I don’t like neither this dinamic, as you say, isn’t healthy. Riku and Iori can grow when their are not together, and that is concerning. I’ve only listen the game in japanese so I can’t really get into details and I may be missing or miss understanding, but at least the history gave me the impression of Riku having a development, I also remember seeing them less time together since a little later of this point in the story. But for Iori, I fell like he gets something more like an involution, maybe is on purpose. Even though, I will have faith in the series :’)

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