PriPara 64

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Awaken! Da Vinci! Anything and everything! Super Genius!

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What do you know Leonardo Da Vinci for? The Mona Lisa? The Last Supper? Leader of the Ninja Turtles? As a prominent Renaissance artist, one of the most prominent, there’s going to be a lot of people who take after him… and that includes the long-teased Ajimi.

She’s played by Reina Ueda – the timid Naru in Hanayamata, unscrupulous reporter Mikan in Actually, I Am… and Ouka in this season’s 35th Anti-Magic Platoon. I don’t know anything about Ouka, but since Ueda will be playing Ajimi for the foreseeable future at the same time Ouka’s on, I figure it’s best to have examples to show her fairly wide range of voices, as well as just how different and unhinged Ajimi is compared to the rest of them.

Because the city-state of idols is about to be shaken up something fierce.

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The episode establishes that there is some form of law enforcement within the park’s boundaries – Meganii is the chief, field officer and otherwise only member of the PriPara Police, which mostly consists of him making siren noises and snapping pictures of a “crime scene” (a collection of sunflower seeds) with his glasses. It’s absurd in exactly the kind of way one would come to expect from this show. This is where Ajimi comes in.

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Lala and Dorothy are by far the two most energetic idols on the show, but compared to them, Ajimi is in another league entirely. She’s constantly painting on any surface that will let things stick, adding “Da Vinci” (and other artists) to the end of everything, leading to a barrage of classical art references during the episode, and generally running around as a ball of energy with no plan other than to create… which, one must admit, is better than running around destroying.

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Through the simple act of being mistaken for the additional member of the police Meganii said was coming in – it’s actually the little hamster mascot that’s been in the OP this whole time – Ajimi ends up becoming a combination idol/police officer/mad artist. I’ve talked about how lax the leaders of the world of idols are before, but to say that Ajimi is a “loose cannon cop who doesn’t play by the rules” is the understatement of the cour. She’s far more likely to be caught up in her own little art games than she is to actually be solving any cases in the future, even though her badge is also her charm. She was the first one to get the newest model of phone for PriPara too, just by the virtue of joining the show this close to October. I can see some being annoyed by her and annoyed that she’s being handed things so easily, but the show’s going to explain all of that very quickly.

I’m always curious to see what musical styles the show brings in. Aroma and Mikan had their lovely duet, and Fuwari’s yodeling-inspired number was adorable. The best way to describe Ajimi’s number – “Panic Labyrinth” – is a denpa song. It’s high-energy, high-pitch, off the wall and features some odd dance moves from the newest idol herself, in addition to paint-smoke effects that have been in no other song before. It’ll take a while to grow on me compared to the other songs, but I might get used to it.

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And now, the twist. Ajimi is actually much older than the main characters. So much so that she’s their new art teacher at Paprika Academy. It’s not as though anime hasn’t done young-looking teachers before. Komoe in A Certain Magical Index┬áis one of the first examples that comes to mind. But they’re rarely this out there.

Still, I can’t bag on anyone who enjoys the arts with the level of passion that Ajimi does, she just needs to find a way to focus it into something that’s not covering the streets with graffiti. She already created a sort of mural similar to the one made in the middle of Rainbow Live, so the potential is there. Her exact age is hard to determine at the moment, but if she’s a teacher, it’s clear that PriPara will let in any woman of any age to be an idol. There’s no upper limit on following your dreams… at least in theory. Reality doesn’t always agree with this, but that’s what fiction is for.

The new cour is going to be very, very interesting.

NEXT WEEK

Tom Hanks, Sir Ian McKellen, Cosmo and Ajimi star in: The Da Vinci Coorde.

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