“My name is Mechanee.”
After a string of relatively sane episodes dealing with raising Jululu, the competition, and Non and her sister, the show dips right back into the full fledged bonkers territory it was in during the early episodes of its run. The last time we got an episode like this has to be one of the ones that dealt with the Celebrity Four, but even those episodes had some grounding elements to keep them on a relatively stable footing.
So Hibiki, having heard about Solami Dressing winning the first round of the Divine GP, says that she has a way for them to be in a movie, as a special present. As it turns out, those freaky Meganee robots (Mechanee) is actually the director, and also shows why letting robots direct movies isn’t the best idea. We’ve already seen what happens when we let AI write the script for a short film, are we really sure we want to trust them in the director’s chair? For Lala, that must have been like going onto the set of Star Wars and discovering that the director was BB-8.
That’s not even the main thrust of this episode. Director Mechanee has the idea of letting Shion be the star in a movie called “Colorful Detective Shion-chan.” It’s something so sweet and sugary that even TV Tokyo would be remiss to air it with a straight face these days. Because Shion refuses to say her cutesy catchphrase – “Shiopoyo” – the set descends into a scene of chaos.
Describing it all would take too long and not really convey just how weird it is. Everyone changes into new outfits and personalities that are completely OOC. (Mirei just reverts to her civilian self.) Dorothy and Mirei get cast as the front and back end of a cow. Galumageddon crashes the set. Ajimi appears out of freaking nowhere. Jululu has an accident on top of a giant Mechanee, causing her to go berserk on the hologram set and nearly destroy everything with her laser eyes. And all of it culminates in a new Making Drama for Dressing Pafe that lets them wear Sentai helmets. I’m a longtime toku fan, so any chance for toku to overlap with anything is welcome. It just feels like everything between Mechanee’s arrival and the performance at the end of the episode was some kind of elaborate fever dream.
With imagery like this, is it really any wonder I’d think that?
Episodes like this are what I feel animation can be really good for. Depicting things that are so obviously not real in a way that gives you just enough verisimilitude to buy into it. Plus we’re dealing with a kids’ show, so some degree of whimsicality and looseness of mood is expected. But in a world where Shaft is focusing most of their efforts on the Monogatari series, being able to recapture that fever dream feeling in a TV show again feels both pleasant and terrifying.
In other news, my copy of the complete album for the second season should be shipping out from Amazon any day now. Really looking forward to owning a full version of “Reversible-Ring,” among other songs.
Is Lala going to become an elementary school dropout? The future of Jululu and the Divine Idol Grand Prix hangs in the balance on a part of the show that’s been on the back burner for a while now.