PuchiPara: Harukasan’s Revenge
Falulu is a character I’ve written many words about. She’s one of the foremost examples of a tulpa in modern anime, and also a modern version on a robot gaining emotions/a Pinnochio story. The collective dream of everyone who wants to be an idol, manifested into a single ticket. All leading up to a conclusive arc where she was revived through the power of either song or an unholy heretical ritual. It could be read either way, really. The show ended at its 38th episode with her unambiguously being a real girl now, no Blue Fairy required, so what could her return from Paris bring to the show?
It appears PriPara is taking a few cues from Puchimas, those same cues that it took from Gremlins, or the Tribbles in Star Trek. Rather than putting all those emotions into one person, Unicorn has kept the system going and created an army of mini-Falulus. Who really do behave like Harukasan. They run across the city-state of idols, causing havoc at every turn and learning their behaviors and speaking from whoever they come across. They’re slightly more articulate than the Puchis and not as beastial as the Tribbles, so the Gremlins really are the best point of comparison here. I never thought I’d get to bring up Joe Dante on an anime blog, but it feels pretty good to do so.
There is one thing I want to bring up. PriPara’s already been a good show for what it’s been doing with Leona – treating his desire to wear dresses and participate as an idol as just a simple fact that nobody from Meganee on down has a problem with – but the way it treated Chanko this episode is also worthy of attention. Usually when there’s a bigger girl in anime, a focus is either put on her diet (like Kanako in Cinderella Girls) or she’s not even considered romantically. Here, the Meganee Leigon are photographing Chanko in a swimsuit and calling her sexy, and damn if she isn’t owning it. It also works because Chinatsu Akasaki voices all the versions of Falulu and Chanko, but seeing a chubbier character have her body be treated with respect is worthy of admiration.
Now that Falulu is no longer a mental construct, having her perform “0-week old” feels slightly different, since the robotic/mechanical nature of the song doesn’t really fit her anymore. Maybe she’ll get a new song later in the season. So far the mixture of new and old music this season has been rather erratic. I also love that Falulu went to (Pri)Paris, but it makes me wonder if she was able to do so within the PriPara dimension. I’d love for her to come out into the real world and meet Non for real, but such a thing hasn’t happened yet.
Overall, it would be a rather silly, Puchimas-esque episode that was fun to look at from a comic perspective, but no, this is a two-parter. There’s one more Mini-Falulu named Galulu, who represents all the regrets and negative emotions of being unable to become an idol. A gynoid composed of broken dreams, left alone in a land that promises them to all who enter.
This may be a bigger threat than Hibiki.
Galulu evolves into WereGalulu, and finds her way into the control panel, which controls everything from the weather to the time of day, as well as the entire ranking system. She’s closer to becoming a god than Mikan ever was.