Makoto Moriwaki did direct another idol show about girls who use magic to (temporarily) age themselves up, try on different outfits, and discover more about themselves and their friends before she directed PriPara. That show was Lilpri, and it’s still on Crunchyroll. There’s one big difference that separates the two shows, though.
The members of i☆Ris can act.
I’ve gone on about how good Yuu Serizawa is, but the other members of the idol group can hold their own. Sophie’s two sides of her personality are expressed wonderfully, the West twins and Shion are distinct, and even Lala has a charm to her. The heroines of Lilpri were played by the same idol group that was established for the show, and though I’m only nine episodes into it, I can verify that their acting talent was not quite up to par. The arcade game had existing voice actors they could’ve used – including Satomi Satou and Shiori Mikami – but it chose to avoid that route. A bad mistake if I ever saw one.
But I did not come here to bury or praise Lilpri. I’m here to talk about PriPara. And with this week’s episode, it makes me wonder if Fuwari really does want to be a princess. Her date with Prince Hibiki was not so much a date as it was another training session in her princess lessons. Gloria and Hibiki are both desperate to instill in her the drive to be a princess, but what if someone didn’t want to be royalty? Not someone who already was royalty, as all the Prince and Pauper stories go, but someone who simply had no desire to do so? This isn’t even a Nadja case where she may secretly be royalty. She simply does not want to take up the position.
When she was playing schoolyard games with Lala and the members of Dressing Pafe, that was when she got the inspiration needed for her Making Drama, and was at her happiest during the episode. What expectations people have of others have played a large role in PriPara, from Sophie’s “queen” persona to Leona presenting as a girl, but Fuwari doesn’t need any of that. She’s happy with who she is, and everyone is trying to persuade her to change. That may be the main message here.
NEXT WEEK ON PRIPARA
New Mew was never really a threat, but this group called the Celebrity Four? They just may be. And if they’re able to recruit Fuwari into their numbers, they’ll be the Celebrity Five. And that means Loki is planning something behind the scenes. Can Meganee assemble the Infinity Gems and stop Loki’s plan before the city-state of idols is taken over? Solami Smile, Assemble!