PriPara 56

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Milky Holmes 2.0: There Is (Not) Only One Answer

If these new blog posts read like the tired ramblings of someone typing out his thoughts before he goes to bed, that’s my secret. I’m always tired. At least when watching PriPara. A show like this must be encountered in a state of semi-lucidness in order to make its bizarre qualities shine the most. It’s a state of unlocking the mind to places it would never go, while still retaining a base level of engagement with the program. I reccommend it.

Now, sometimes I go into the episodes having an idea of what I want to talk abuout, but the real episode was much sillier than I expected, and at the end, much more serious. For as much as I’ve talked about Makoto Moriwaki like I’m an expert – and I’m not, I’ve only seen 30 episodes of Lilpri, PriPara and the work that influenced tonight, the two seasons of Milky Holmes she directed. But she also directed other, older works like Ebichu (adapted solely because Kotono Mitsuishi liked it) and Hyper Doll (which I want to see), so she clearly has a resume behind her. But Milky Holmes, aside from being one of my earliest blog posts, is very important to tonight.

Because Celebrity 4, aside from being a combination of the girls’ names (Sera, Reika, Britney and Tina) like everything else in this show, is Milky Holmes. Suzuko Mimori, Mikoi Sasaki, Sora Tokui and Izumi Kitta lend their voices to the four of them, and Tina even does Cordelia’s singing thing. The episode, involving C4 chasing Fuwari, Lala and Dressing Pafe through a series of events like panda bowling, is Makoto Moriwaki channeling her previous work, the work that made her a name I was paying attention to in the first place, in the purest form.

Sometimes directors want to homage. It can extend from subtle to overt, and given that Milky Holmes aims for an otaku audience while PriPara just happened to pick one up, this falls somewhere in between. For those who know, it’s clear as day, but otherwise they’re just a bunch of weird foreigners, as if they were literally imported from another show. I love Milky Holmes, and have gone into lengthy detail as to why, so when this episode is eventually subbed, I hope it gets recognition for that. PriPara doesn’t get a whole lot of recognition to begin with, which is why I’m writing this blog.

I loved the “Summer Adventure” musical number that Dressing Flower pulled off. So far, none of these Dream Teams have been able to change the world (or overthrow the Goddess Meganee), but the production and sets and stylings of the songs and the choreography are so elaborate (and likely to never be resued) that it shines above Aikatsu, and far above Moriwaki’s work on Lilpri by a wide margin. And that it has the actual VAs of the girls doing the singing makes it even more impressive.

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But that ending scene. Fuwari gives up on her dream of being a princess, realizing that she’s happy being an idol and simply wants to pursue a life that has less stress involved… and Hibiki wanders into a room designed like the galaxy, unveils a scale model of the Dream Theater, and tosses a Fuwari doll into the reject bin, with Falulu still present inside it. Gloria was never really a villain, but Hibiki is planning something that, while it perhaps has a sympathetic reason, is far more like the days of Rainbow Live, when there was a conspiracy theory and characters you genuinely wanted to punch. The best parts of PriPara’s comedy and lax approach to storytelling combined with the more dramatic parts of Rainbow Live.

We’re in for one of the must-see events of the summer, should this materialize in the summer. And what role does Ajimi play in it?

NEXT WEEK
Fuwari returns to the Palps. There are pandas involved. Hibiki remains incredibly untrustworthy.

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