This episode brought to you by Kanye West. No relation.
Lala was the first character we met, but Mirei was the first idol. It was in her other persona – which is just as real as her chairman self – but she knew the ins and outs of being an idol. She couldn’t match Sophie’s pure charisma, but both inside and outside the city-state of idols, she’s always had a solid head on her shoulders, more than anybody else. Even when the show makes her a butt of its jokes (like Solamageddon Mi), it just made her more endearing. We know a lot about her family life, about how she’s living her dreams according to her own style, and how though she share’s Ann’s voice from Rainbow Live, she’s rather different, personality-wise.
I’m a creative-type person myself, and I know what it’s like when you’re sapped of the motivation to do things. So having that happen to Mirei last week, and continuing into this week, hits really hard. She calculates and analyzes, but isn’t ruled by a robotic logic. Her passion is there too, enough that she can perform solo now. It speaks to the strength of the writing, and Moriwaki’s directing, that this all feels like a very real crisis.
While Hibiki tempts the lower classes in with theme parks and personal attendants, the castle is revealed to be little more than a fancy hotel. Anyone who’s not in the uppermost tier of idols can’t perform at all, and those in that tier include Hibiki’s close friends and international celebrities. He’s replaced Mikan with Beyonce, and Madonna was scheduled to arrive in Japan before something else happened that I’ll expand on later.
It’s the kind of “evil” that doesn’t think it’s evil, is still fun to the observer on a surface level, but ultimately doesn’t allow any upward movement. As Hibiki explains, the only thing that can get Lala and Mirei into the ranks to perform is “genius power.” This doesn’t help after Mirei sees Sophie effortlessly summon the fairy wings earlier.
Though it’s cloaked in trading cards, fancy dresses and cute songs, these episodes are showing that Hibiki is changing PriPara into something closer to the outside world. When viewed through the lens of our main characters, it shines a light on just how unfair the world outside of PriPara, and outside of PriPara, can be. Sure, it’s an escapist fantasy, but it’s hopefully one that allows us to escape to rather than escape from. A place where class boundaries really shouldn’t matter and people can be united by a common interest to help everyone else work towards their dreams. Or work towards making computer programs into real, sentient human beings.
Which ties nicely into my second point. With Madonna tied up (with Ajimi, natch), this means Meganee takes to the stage herself. We know that Kanae Itou can sing – she’s had several anime ending themes, character songs, and a few standalone singles. The song is cute, and she keeps playing up that she’s the system, but when the cheeky goddess computer program stands a better chance at performing than the main character….
Things got screwed up somewhere. No wonder Dorothy looks like she’s eager to incite revolution, and very nearly does, if it wasn’t for Mirei’s nerves causing her to quit.
The real wildcard in the system is back to take a bite out of Hibiki’s screwed up idol world. It’s time for Galulumon to evolve!