A tale of joy and sorrow.
I think PriPara may have gotten to its competition. If you’ve seen the news lately, you know that Aikatsu is officially ending its current universe and starting over fresh. The arcade game, instead of multiple cards, now has only one. Going by the descriptions for the movie, it’s also introducing slight fantastical/magical elements to the mix. The action is still mainly at school, but even then, it’s clear that PriPara may have caused its main competition to borrow a few ideas. Bandai knows that sales have been flagging and are looking to reinvent things, even if it means saying goodbye to Akari and company.
But, this isn’t an Aikatsu post. It’s a PriPara post. And what an episode this week’s story is. If what we’ve been through was going down various routes, this is the final one where every character who left the story returns and leads us towards the happiest ending. It all begins with Fuwari offering Hibiki a friendship ticket as “Phantom Thief Natural.” Though Hibiki is distrustful of the offer, Fuwari is acting on her own and doing something that the rest of the cast hasn’t yet considered – not treating Hibiki as the enemy.
If anybody knows Hibiki well, it’s Ajimi. Her plan this episode is notably more bonkers. She builds Da Vinci’s catapult, springs over the Meganee Riot Squad and towards the tower of the castle, and is only stopped by Meganee changing the weather to make it rain. It’s a very her kind of plan, you have to admit. But brute force won’t quite work when you’re up against the person who controls the land. So Mirei challenges her to a singing competition.
It is kind of amusing how Shion keeps covering Mirei’s mouth to drown out her “~puri” so she can talk to Hibiki without Hibiki fainting in shock, but it’s only a temporary measure. Because we get a new song this episode – no doubt for the final music collection before the compilation album – and Mirei makes a song that’s essentially about nothing but “~puri”. As far as kids’ shows go, that’s basically showing up Hibiki in the best way possible. It makes for a pleasant midway climax to the episode. I say midway because there’s a few plot points that aren’t resolved quite as peacefully.
Falulu knows about Hibiki wanting to become a Vocal Doll… and is okay with it. She sees it as gaining company, unaware of what giving up one’s humanity really means. It makes sense from her perspective, but it doesn’t reassure Lala at all. Falulu’s come to understand a good deal about humanity, but she can’t quite see things from a human’s perspective naturally yet. If anything, Galulu has a much closer idea of what it means to be human than the ex-tulpa that is Falulu.
The end of the episode also has Hibiki coming up to Leona and asking him to join the CelePara Opera Troupe. Leona and Hibiki did have their bonding moment a while back, but would Leona betray his sister that easily? He knows the good that’s in Hibiki’s heart. This is something that’s going to have to wait until next week to be resolved.
Shows don’t necessarily need to have action to be emotionally resonant. The themes of giving up part of yourself for fame, embracing who you are and turning those supposed weaknesses into strengths without putting anyone else down, and simply talking to people… all good, universal lessons that the show is imparting to its young viewers. And hopefully its older ones as well.
Has Leona betrayed the team? Why are Celebrity 4 returning? Is this because the Milky Holmes movie is going into theaters and some extra promotion needs to be done? Dorothy’s lament can be heard through the underground.