PriPara 53

pripara53.mp4_snapshot_07.50_[2015.07.12_23.38.17]

Welcome to the second of hopefully many weeks in PriParagraphs. All my previous impressions are scattered across AnimeGAF under the name Midonin, if you’re curious to see how I got up to this point. This week, the show takes a chance to get meta.

PriPara 53

Lala Manaka, this is your life! Lala’s idol debut has been something of a meta project for the franchise, going back to before it even began. Last Spring was the time of Pretty Rhythm All Star Selection, where Lala was “mentored” by the stars of Pretty Rhythm in a combination of Flash animation and reruns. While it was partially a chance to stall for time while the arcade games and merchandise were overhauled in order to accomodate for the franchise’s new direction, it also allowed the fans to get involved one more time, even as the Pretty Rhythm Club segments were going to be phased out in the season to come.

I don’t mind that they were phased out. Leaves more time for actual animation and storytelling – if fans want to go one of those events, they still can. Just leave the show to be the show.

The episode starting with Lala being told by technogoddess and leader of the clone army Meganee that participation in PriPara is cancelled feels almost real, with even the episode title giving no hint as to the show’s real game. Having Principal Gloria participate in it must have brought back some bad memories for Lala of the show’s earliest episodes. Losing the one thing she’s good at would have the potential for a whole episode of fallout, if it wasn’t part of Meganee’s mysterious ways.

Having Dorothy fall for the ruse with her was great, because Dorothy and Lala haven’t interacted with each other that much individually. Her headstrong nature and Lala’s naivete made for a fun pairing, and the way Meganee transformed the independent city-state of idols into a foggy ghost town held a little more impact in an anime scene where “cute girls in a horrible situation” is on everyone’s lips by the way of School-Live!. But Nitro+ is nowhere near this show.

Instead, it’s a celebration of Lala being an idol for one year. I wondered “Why her?” (aside from her being the main character) at first, but she is the one with the Prism Voice, who played an active role in turning Falulu into a real girl and essentially pulling off a miracle. Every major and minor character returns this week, complete with Lala’s mom and Non congratulating her. Is there some sort of age limit on when one can participate in PriPara? You’d think Non could be the Pop to Lala’s Doremi and start working on being an idol herself – and her VA was in Wake Up, Girls!, so she has experience with this – but they may be saving that for later. We do have a full year with this show, as recent DVD solicitations have confirmed.

I can always appreciate another performance of “CHANGE! MY WORLD”, which is the best PriPara song thus far, but this episode mostly felt like a love letter to the fans, a chance to chill and celebrate how far the show has come. For something that originally had less episodes than any entry in its sister franchise, to have it renewed and keep going for a direct sequel must be a sign of its popularity. It’s even getting Nendoroids that are fully compatible with iM@S Cinderella Girls ones – I’d have bought a Rinne or any of the members of Bell Rose if they’d released a Nendo!

So, congrats to Lala and the show for making it to one year running. There’s about 39 more episodes of content to go, and the possibilities for new music are there. I like it when art thanks the fans – because without people to remix it, consume it, participate in it, and be inspired by it, what is art, really?

Next Week!

Aroma and Mikan, those who seek to overthrow the old gods, have made friends with Solami Dressing already, but not quite with Fuwari. Aroma’s game of mental trickery continues as she targets the innocent girl who stepped out of World Masterpiece Theater.

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