We’ll meet again.
As it turns out, it’s Hibiki’s birthday. Also that Hibiki and Fuwari are going back to Europe, their roles in the plot having been served. Ajimi is also going, but not nearly as immediately. It’s a variety show episode. It’s a farewell episode. It’s what I’ve come to expect from this show on this, the season finale of its second year. While I was skeptical when Pretty Rhythm was being rebooted, the reboot has gone on to accomplish some great things.
The thing I most got out of this episode is that Hibiki might possibly have some kind of social anxiety. If she could get past her distaste for weird ways of speaking, she and Toriko might have more than a few things in common. It was very thoughtful of Lala and company to provide Hibiki with a special pair of headphones that cut out every instance of them, from Mirei’s “puri” to Ajimi’s absolutely dreadful artist puns. (Again, to the translator who has to deal with these episodes. You have my condolences.)
It’s a very sedate episode, with the best scene being Hibiki and Fuwari’s chat on the hillside after Hibiki literally replaces herself with a doll in order to escape from having so much attention placed on her that she’s not in control of. While the idea of “having friends” might seem like a child’s issue – and this is a kids’ show – the idea of interpersonal connections and what they mean is something that factors into all stories we tell. Hibiki’s still doubting of people, but Fuwari’s resolve may be just the thing to start healing those wounds.
Because all of this leads up to a performance of Fuwari’s signature song. With Hibiki joining in. She’s not totally into it, but watching her play along and not having such a commanding presence is a nice change of pace compared to previous episodes. There’s also a new song by Solami Smile to celebrate the day. Lala, Mirei and Sophie were never together 100% of the time this year, but they all grew in their own ways as people, and seeing them reunited like this makes this season ender worth it.
Not sure if Galulu not being on the helicopter means she’s going to be a regular supporting cast member – with Hibiki and Fuwari all going back to Europe, and Falulu only making infrequent appearances, the cast shrunk by a considerable margin. Though I am glad Aroma and Mikan are going to be sticking around into the season ahead. Lala needs more friends in her own age group.
…which goes into another odd thing about this episode. The preview shows that Lala’s still in her elementary school uniform. She should be old enough to move up to middle school soon, especially since she and Nao had their shared birthday during this season. (Plus that uniform would go well with her character design.) Are they keeping her in elementary because it sells better to the target audience? Have we entered one of those comic book timescales where things seem to move forward, but never really do?
What do you think, Council of Meganiis?
So that’s season 2. It took its time setting up plot elements, and at times seemed to be wandering around to nowhere in particular, but it expanded the world outside of Parajuku considerably, and for characters like Shion, Dorothy and Leona, gave them a chance to shine on their own in ways they simply didn’t get to last time. The new music was interesting and covered a variety of genres. While I feel S1’s plot was somewhat tighter constructed, S2 fleshed out the world and the types of character interactions this show could have a lot more.
Adorned in gold, ye idols of god, ascend now to the new stage.