I AM IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION. I knew this was going to be a heavy hitting series, but I didn’t expect to get hit like THAT. Fans were treated to essentially a movie length premiere and man they knocked it out of the park. I was twelve minutes in and was like: how much more time do I ha- WHY IS THIS 90 MINUTES LONG???? I went into this series almost completely blind as I’ve seen a couple youtubers talk about this series before. However, I wasn’t expecting to be hit with that twist in the end. If I were to try and explain the premise of this series to someone, it probably would have left them both perplexed and really confused and I don’t blame them. Because this series is all kinds of wild in ways I would not have expected. Considering the mangaka for Kaguya-sama did this, I’m not surprised how far they were willing to go with this series. At first you think this was set up to be a silly almost isekai show, but it somehow stays fairly rooted in reality despite the slight fantastical element and ended up being quite emotional.
The series focuses on this doctor who is a huge Ai fan to a near fanatic degree. While it was sweet that he initially became a fan to honor his former cancer patient while also combining the two in his mind, it was a bit concerning that he didn’t answer the nurse’s question if Ai were to ask him out despite declaring his feelings for Ai is pure. Sus… Anyways, as fate would have it, he ends up having to take Ai as a patient after finding out that she is pregnant with twins. And while I find Goro’s feelings for Ai questionable, I will give credit where credit is due to him wanting to help deliver Ai’s twins and overall just wanting her to be happy above all else. To which… how the heck did no one find out about this??? Especially since she’s already twenty weeks along and is very obviously showing. Yet she was just recently put on hiatus??? I’m probably getting the time frame wrong, but it’s still very confusing. But I digress.
Unfortunately, that apparent closeness he had with Ai due to him being her doctor ended up costing him his life. Which is honestly pretty terrifying since it’s been depicted in other series how far fans are willing to go for their idols in real life. I literally cannot even fathom just how far someone would have to go to believe that this sort of fanaticism is okay. And while at this point I don’t particularly feel attached to Goro, the fact that he promised her a safe delivery, but wasn’t able to follow through with it because of this stupid fan did make me upset. It’s disturbing how these types of people actually exist. And it was equally disturbing to see how okay he was basically murdering someone they personally didn’t know just because he was associated to the idol he fancied. It’s all so messed up.
The part that I was aware of going in was that the doctor was reincarnated as one of the newborn twins to Ai. They were heavily foreshadowing the whole reincarnating as a famous idol’s kid prior to him dying so even if you went in blind, I’m sure you’d pick up on what was going to happen to him. And despite him being her baby, I do appreciate that he never acts upon any weird creepy things that he could have gotten away with. But thankfully it seems as if he does have some morals as when her shirt accidentally slipped down her chest, he covered it back up and refuses to be breastfed. Respect where respect is due.
I had suspicions that Ruby was the girl who passed away in the hospital considering how she acted. Since the way she acted was still akin to a child. And considering Sarina passed away at twelve, it makes sense. The whole situation surrounding Sarina is pretty sad and hard hitting. Not only did she die of cancer, but the fact that her prior life still has a strong influence on how she acts in her current life is incredibly sad. Especially that she’s never actually given her future too much thought before because she didn’t have a future to look forward to. And the part where she always braces herself as if she knows she’s gonna fall was also really sad. It was heart warming to see Ai take the time to help Ruby change her mindset a little and be more confident since she doesn’t have that weak body anymore and she can move a lot more than she has ever been able to. It definitely demonstrates very well what life for a cancer patient is like and the hopelessness and helplessness that goes with it. The amount of pain and suffering she had to go through because of it felt so real and the only thing she found joy in was watching Ai. Which explains why she’s so attached to her as she was her only comfort in her previous life that allowed her to just forget her circumstances for a moment. And now that she’s in a new body with a new life, it gives a second chance to do things she wasn’t able to and actually LIVE her life. Ruby has such a strong character foundation and I’m eager to see where she’ll go in this series.
I really like how in depth they go about the entertainment industry in this series. I enjoy the drama Idolish7 shows, but still ends up feeling like a fantasy most of the time. But Oshi no Ko out here being so REAL with the portrayal of the struggles people face in this fickle industry. They really did not pull their punches in giving us the facts about how rough it is with the people around them being incredibly judgemental and how little they actually make. Even going as far as explain how hard it is for them to go solo when already sold as a package with other group members. The entertainment industry isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and there are so many hurdles people have to get over to be noticed. Not to mention that they basically are in competition with each other, even their own groupmates. They also touch upon company politics where they cut Ai out of most of the filming because they felt like it would take too much attention away from their main talent. Which is all kinds of unfair and a bit of underhandedness, but it is what it is I suppose.
And then there are the fans… yes there are those who are incredibly supportive like those of Goro and Sarina. But then there are those like that stalker guy who are so incredibly entitled to the idea of being an idol fan that they delude themselves into thinking that the idols they adore love them back. Which is probably one of the biggest issues with how idols are marketed, even to this day. Not to mention the freaking age range of these idols… but I digress.
After getting roped into an acting gig in return for getting Ai a role in a low budget film, we meet a famous child actress, Kana who really needed to get knocked off her high horse because wow, if I had to work with her, I would lose all of my patience real fast. Not only was she condescending towards others, but also treated people terribly as she would act as if she was the center of the world. However, despite being a brat, she still has the awareness to realize her own faults when put into comparison of another’s talents. At first when she marched up to the director to reshoot the scene, I thought she was going to downplay Aqua’s ability. But she surprised me by admitting that SHE was the one who wasn’t the one who did a good job and that she could do better. Unfortunately, it seems like her initial attitude may come to bite her in the butt since the director talks about how if you treat the people around you poorly in the industry and they end up disliking you, you’ll find it hard to find another job. We’ll definitely be seeing her in the future since she has too much of a prominent character design to not make another appearance. And I can’t help but suspect she might end up developing feelings for the MC later down the road… Just a feeling since that’s usually the way her type of character ends up going.
Because Aqua was an adult doctor in his previous life, he knows how to talk to people and get on their good side. Something that obviously will help him a lot now. Not only that, but he has a distinct talent of understanding how people expect him to carry out things. Which was how he was able to nail his “performance” as a creepy child despite just being himself. While he doesn’t have the knowledge or ability to act, if he hones that talent, he could probably end up being a great actor. Especially since he already has the knowledge on how to say things to cater to what people would like to hear.
And then there’s the scene that absolutely ripped my heart out, threw it to the ground and stomped on it. I did accidentally see a spoiler of her getting killed, but I didn’t think it would be this soon and this emotionally heartbreaking. They marketed the series as if she was the main character, but she ended up being the catalyst that started the plot. But gosh, it was so disgusting how that fanatic fan stabbed someone and claimed that what she did to him was worse. It’s just another example of how terribly delusional some fans are to think that they are owed by the idols they stan and if they end up not meeting expectations, they go ballistic. I don’t even want to know what kind of mind state you’d have to be in to think KILLING someone equals having your expectations not met. Not to mention IN FRONT OF THEIR KIDS. Though I think the most disgusting thing about the stalker was that he didn’t feel remorse because he felt guilty for killing someone, but because he was WRONG about Ai.
While I know that her kids technically aren’t “kids,” it still hit me in a way where it still retained the feeling of having kids watch their mother die right in front of them. And that hurt. Especially when she made it so that Ruby wouldn’t be able to witness first hand the gruesome outcome. Which I think was for the best because Ruby was still a child emotionally and mentally while Aqua was an adult. Though that still doesn’t make the situation any less traumatic. And even in the end, Ai only care about whether or not Aqua was hurt and took to comforting both him and Ruby despite being the one dying. She even felt bad for not being able to meet her job obligations, feeling as if she had failed the people who were depending on her.
The music… the visuals… the voice acting… all of it during this scene absolutely destroyed me. I still can’t watch that scene without tearing up despite having watched it several times by now. It always wrecks me when a series portrays a mom showing grievances over not being able to watch their kids grow up or be able to see what they’ll accomplish in the future. I’m even tearing up writing this part out. It literally killed me watching Ai list out the things she had hoped to do as a parent and just how much she wanted to be there for them. And as if I wasn’t already sobbing my eyes out, she then proceeds to tell them she loves them. The first and last time she was able to tell anyone this sentiment. And the fact she never told them that before because she was afraid of that it would be a lie made it hurt all the more. It was so incredibly heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time since she was able to finally mean what she said for the first time. It’s just so tragic that it had to be at the end like this. Excuse me as I go sob into my cat.
What I found even more terrible was the fact that people had the audacity to mock Ai after her death and just treating the whole thing with indifference. Especially when this could relate to real life when celebrities meet a tragic end and a lot of people will just shrug their shoulders or even make fun of the situation. Not even giving a thought to how this must affect the families of this person and just how tragic it is. To me, every life is precious and holds meaning to at least one other person. So for people to just trample on top of those who are mourning’s feelings, just makes me think less of humanity. And it broke my heart to see Ruby have to bear witness to those kinds of people and just how much it hurts her to see them say these things. She was also absolute right about how selfish these people are and how it’s unfair that idols have to forego romantic relationships so that the fans can live in their fantasies. I love the quote: “Don’t use the words said by hurt people to satisfy themselves as an excuse to hurt others.” Just because you are hurt, doesn’t give you the right to hurt other people. I feel like it was made even worse over the fact that they couldn’t even properly attend Ai’s funeral since it would give it away that they were possibly Ai’s children.
At first I thought I wasn’t going to like Miyako very much. Especially since she only married Ichigo just so that she could end up having an affair with some other rich/famous guy. Not to mention was so eager to expose Ai that she had kids just because she didn’t like the idea of being a babysitter. But oh my gosh, I absolutely lost it when the immediate go to for the twins was to possibly kill her so that she wouldn’t ruin Ai’s career. And then proceeded to lose it harder over how they essentially manipulated her into treating them better by pretending to be vessels of gods. All the while promising her that she would be granted good fortune in the future and end up marrying a famous guy in the industry. To which, that felt like an extremely ballsy move since there was no way that they could guarantee that future. Over time, however, you can see her slowly start to change her attitude towards the others. Instead of complaining and getting annoyed, she seemed to be more caring and dedicated to the work she was given. Even seeming to be a lot more caring and mindful towards her husband who she seemed so ready to just dump off onto the side of the road at the start. And over the course of the episode, you could tell that she was slowly forging a bond with the twins, especially Ruby. When Ai died, it was honestly really touching that she was the one to reach out to them and offer to take them in since they had no where else to go. She genuinely came to love them and even though they probably would never see her as their mother, I love that Ruby didn’t push her away and ended up seeking her out for comfort.
This is where the series shifts. I thought this was going to be a slice of life series where we got to see these two reincarnated kids do their best with their young, idol mother. I didn’t expect her to die right out the gate like this. But now because of that, we suddenly get a mystery series where Aqua is determined to find the mastermind behind his and Ai’s deaths since there was no way that that stalker could have gotten the information that he did as easily as it seemed he did. Essentially leading Aqua to believe it was their biological father that might have leaked information to the stalker in order to get them killed. This lights a fire behind him as he is now determined to kill him, which… is honestly scary coming from a kid even if I am aware that he technically isn’t one. I honestly hate it when a character is seeking out revenge since he feels like there is nothing else to their lives. I’m not sure what is going to happen, but I do hope that Aqua finds meaning to his life and that it shouldn’t have to revolve around Ai. When he asked the director to raise him, I thought he was going to go separate ways with Ruby, the only other person who understand him and his situation. Thankfully, it seems as if the two weren’t separated as the flash forward shows them in their teens leaving the same house. So maybe he just meant it as a way as a mentorship of some kind.
And when all is said and done, I can’t believe that this was just the freaking prologue to the story. This was a fantastic first episode and I honestly am baffled with how they were able to get the first episode to be an hour and a half long. Not only that, but I felt like the pacing was good and I was engaged through the entire watch. This episode did a great job in getting invested. While I can’t say I am particularly attached to Aqua, the circumstances are enough to keep me interested in what he plans on doing. This was essentially a movie where I laughed, I cried, I felt intense hatred for certain people. Wrapped up in a nice package. While this series had quite a few downers, they were still able to balance it out with the heartwarming aspects and the comedy. I absolutely LOST IT when it showed the two babies doing an idol cheering dance with glow sticks. And the director giving his business card to essentially a baby for all he knows will never not be funny to me lol.
While we didn’t get to spend as much time with Ai that I expected, she was still a pretty interesting character. As much as I dislike “fake” characters, I did find her a lot more compelling than I expected. Especially in the aspect of how she didn’t understand how to love others after spending her childhood not being able to be loved. We never got to see first hand what her life was like prior to becoming an idol, from what she said about it, she definitely had a rough childhood. Which is the main reason why she just doesn’t understand how to love someone else. Thus, why Ai ends up becoming an idol as her manager tells her that she might be able to eventually learn to love after pretending to do so. Despite Ai being unable to understand the concept of love for the longest time, she was still an undeniably kind person. Even going as far as to strive to love all of her fans, even the one who stabbed her. She started out at as not being able to remember names or faces very well, (even those of her own children) but by the end of the episode, she actually DID remember them.
Despite her not being the best mother, she still did her best to provide for her kids, spending as much time as she could with them and sadly by the end, did genuinely love them. And that’s enough to convince me that she was a good mom in her own way. She could have easily ended up neglecting them, but she did her best to be in her kids’ lives as much as possible. And while her kids weren’t normal, the lengths she went for them is heartwarming. It was obvious she cared a lot about them since they were the ones to make her genuinely smile for the first time even if she never put those feelings into words. And just to twist the knife that was already lodged into my heart, they had an extra scene after the credits of a video she recorded to one day watch with them when they were older. WE GET IT OSHI NO KO. STOP COMING FOR MY FEELS.
This was a fantastic premiere and I honestly can’t wait to see what else this series has in store and whether or not they can rip out my heart as hard as they did this episode. Probably not since mommy feels are my weakness, but we’ll just have to wait and see~
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I know next to nothing about Kaguya, but for some reason I have been reading Oshi no Ko since it was first published. I was so delighted to hear it was getting an anime. The story doesn’t fit neatly into a single genre, so it’s been great to see the prologue/movie get such a positive reaction from new and old fans alike. I think it would take at least 3 seasons to tell the whole story, so it’s really exciting to think we might get the whole thing if it maintains the buzz from the first episode.
If you haven’t yet, go look for the MV for the show’s theme song “Idol”. Not only is the song a bop, the visuals and lyrics manage to sum up the 90 minutes of the first episode in 4ish. (And you’ll probably be sobbing by the end again.)
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