Everyone’s friends in the idol revolution.
This was a busy episode. There were at least three different plots going on, all of them tied around the theme of how UnderPara is affecting the world of idols. (Also, I can seriously see Mettaton EX doing PriPara. It’d be a smash hit!) Lala and company are using fliers, and Hibiki isn’t interfering, because she thinks that UnderPara poses no threat to the world of celebrities.
That’s where Hibiki is wrong.
Sure, Hibiki can get the likes of Beyonce and, in this episode, Janet Jackson to perform at the city-state of idols. How they flew out to Japan on such short notice is anybody’s guess. The point that Lala makes, and the thing that ends up drawing in three girls who reject the idea at first, is one that applies to the entertainment industry at large today. Celebrities aren’t quite the hit-makers they used to be. At least, in the states. People are drawn just as much to ideas and franchises as they are to big stars. Not to mention that a lot of celebrities are in places like YouTube, and they often directly interact with people over Twitter and the like. Japan often adds a layer of protection to this with things like indirect multiplayer, but the point is clear.
Anyone can be an artist. Everyone is friends. Everyone’s an idol. User-created content may not have the strict filtering of the pros, but it also allows for smaller voices to be heard. In this episode, Hanana, who last appeared in episode 13 as one of Lala/SoLaMi Smile’s fans, makes a small return with a big payoff. She’d never be invited into CelePara, and even if PriPara was running normally, she’d still lack the self-confidence. But when everything is underground, the audience is small and full of friends and (hopefully – seriously, not cool to be a jerk) supportive strangers, she manages to sing the first opening and rank up. Like Galulu last episode, it’s a tiny moment that’s incredibly meaningful in its amateurishness.
The other subplots in the episode involve Ajimi’s European Tour, and a reference to Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Vortumnus. I was able to recognize this right away because of a recent Brows Held High episode – everything on the internet is connected. Remember a few episodes ago when Hibiki freaked out upon seeing Ajimi? It’s not just because Ajimi is weird. She is. It’s because she’s a former fruit thief rapscallion who loved to tease Hibiki when she was younger.
Speaking of Hibiki and childhood, Fuwari also gets a bit of screentime. After finding out her grandpa went drinking with a goat, she thinks she’s fine with being her Heidi-like self… and realizes that while a lot of what Hibiki was like a facade, there were parts of it that were real. The parts that affected her emotionally were real. Plus, Toriko is majorly depressed, and if Fuwari doesn’t get back things could go south really quickly.
There really aren’t any new songs, but the episode does a wonderful job of showing just how the world is changing and what it means for our characters. The PriPara world is more chaotic than most idol shows, but beneath that chaos, it’s trying to say something. About what being creative means. About what embracing your good parts means.
The idol revolution has already begun.
We interrupt this ongoing story arc to bring you a Valentine’s Day special! Also introducing the new idol unit, Galumageddon.