None of them are the real stars of the episode.
Once again, a week where I thought I wouldn’t have much to talk about throws a curveball my way that makes the entire thing worth it. You’ll see what I mean later.
There’s a lot I could talk about. How mascots are usually perceived in Japanese shows, how it plays into Japan’s cute aesthetic and how the PriPara mascots subvert it by being as scheming, petty and selfish as any human can be. The absurdity of Rei being there in full goat garb so that Jululu has a babysitter. I was even considering bringing up that all three voice actresses for Solami Smile have posted about playing Pokemon Go. Mirei and Shion are Team Mystic Types, while Dorothy is Team Instinct. Sophie is probably Team Valor. It’s like how fandoms try to sort people into Hogwarts Houses. One of those fun little thought exercises.
All of this for an episode that, as far as things go, is relatively low-key.
80% of the episode is simply the mascots talking to each other around a table and having drinks, dealing with occasional guests and hijinks while trying to hype up their own idols as being the ones most worthy of the Divine Grand Prix. Meganee gets a repeat performance of her song from last season, we get to see “Panic Labyrinth” and “Marble Make Up Ahaha” again – man, S1 feels like it was so long ago. It’s clearly an episode meant to be a breather before the storylines start picking up again, but then comes the biggest surprise of all. Pun not intended.
CHANKO! The heavy of Sophie’s increasingly less relevant secret service storms back onto the scene in a way that’s badass. All the wrestling/fighting imagery is completely different from everything else we’ve seen a PriPara idol do, and the song. The song. A wicked awesome rock/fight song that’s super catchy and hot-blooded. To say nothing of her Making Drama.
She suplexes a shark. And a squid. An entire ocean’s worth of dangerous creatures and turns them into food. Those few seconds are already a better film than Sharknado 4, not that that’s a very high bar to clear. If Chanko wants to be a Divine Idol, she made her case very strongly in the span of about two minutes.
I’m going to be listening to that song on repeat. The rest of the episode was kind of light. The ending joke about everyone trying to get out of having to repair the meeting room wall was amusing. In truth, though, it’s all about Chanko’s song. Remember, this is Chinatsu Akasaki, who’s also been playing Falulu, singing in a voice that’s completely different and doing it “in-character” for a whole song. Akasaki’s got some singing and acting chops to pull that off.
Two thumbs up for Chanko!
The Paris team returns to Harajuku to form a unit of their own. The competition just got a lot more unbalanced.